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*This should be a 6-8 page Essay

Prompt: Write a critical essay about one of the texts that we have studied together this semester, using at least two secondary sources to comment on it. One of your secondary sources should be an article that weve read together as a class; the other should be a high-quality critical, theoretical, or social/historical text of your choice (which can be a second reading from our class, or something you have found elsewhere).

Rosenwasser and Stephen remind us that in academic contexts, criticism (what they call critique) does not have a negative connotation. An effective critique usually does not sit in judgment, they write. You are not being asked on the model of talk-show, big-opinion culture, to go in and demolish the piece. Critique does not mean to attack. Instead, you are trying to put the piece into some kind of perspective, often more than one possible perspective, for your readers (42). Criticism is a genre of writing about cultural artifacts, a genre that we have been reading every week, and that youre now asked to write in.

This essay is called synthesis because its asking you to put all the pieces together that weve been studying this semester. You need to (1) come up with an interesting, debatable thesis about your primary text ; (2) closely describe and analyze that text; and (3) show how your interpretation draws on, responds to, or applies ideas from other critics. Youre encouraged to revisit texts and concepts from your previous two essays, but you have to show how your thinking has changed or deepened with the addition of a new sources perspective.

Critical Synthesis Essay
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