The critique shall have a thesis—a specific idea that frames and limits the discussion. ✓ Have a sense of your audience. It’s okay to write to an uniformed audience, but don’t abandon the thesis in order to merely summarize the book, chapter by chapter. Try not to view your audience as people who merely desire information about the book. Instead, view them as people who want to read an interesting critique. Conversely, it’s also okay to write to an informed audience. You may, if you wish, assume all your readers have read the book you are critiquing. ✓ Think of the rhetorical goal of your critique as a pair of tri-colons: If fiction, then 1) Character; 2) Setting; and 3)Theme If non-fiction, then 1) Thesis; 2) Minor Claims; and 3)Evidence. For both fiction and non-fiction: Ethos (the way that characters are rendered) // Pathos (how the book evokes feelings) / Logos (the manner of reason and how it works in the book…how logic is employed to convey the “overall picture”) ✓ A textual criticism requires frequent references to the text. The paper should be filled with textual references for the purposes of proving the thesis and being interesting. ✓ Another tri-colon for both non-fiction & fiction: Summary (for longer passages) Paraphrase (citations in your own words of shorter passages). Quotations (for verbatim citations from the book).
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