Take part in class discussion, they said. It’s easy, they said.
And it really is simple – but only if you know what critical discussion is.
And I bet you already know what it is.
Spend a couple of moments to read this brief reminder and collect your thoughts… and there you go – shining with your quick wits in the middle of class discussion.
The Basics of Critical Analysis
Yes, we know that sometimes you just have nothing to add. Maybe, your teacher has fully covered the topic or your classmate said what you wanted to say, right before you could do it. Or, you don’t actually care about the topic under analysis…
Just start thinking critically. For this purpose, use the following simple questions:
- What are the author’s purposes?
- What are the author’s main arguments? Comment on them.
- Are the author’s conclusions logical?
- Any recommendations for improvement?
- What’s your overall opinion of the work/theory/text?
What Is Critical Discussion? Perfect Icebreakers
Is the entire class staring at you and you’d rather vanish somehow from the room?
Dear friend, you still badly need to say something. Your grade for the entire course can depend on that.
Don’t panic – just be creative. You can always say a couple of words on aspects such as:
- the author’s skill;
- moral lessons (if any);
- practical value (if any).
Or – if all else fails and none of the above inspires you to say anything – you can still just ask if you can go to the bathroom (use in extreme cases only!)
5 Worst Mistakes to Avoid During Critical Reviews
Sure, you understand that thinking critically doesn’t mean thinking negatively. And critique is not the same as summary. Here are some other mistakes that are not that obvious though:
- Repeating what the teacher/ author/ classmates said (even if properly paraphrasing).
- Stating that the author was wrong/right, without properly explaining why.
- Saying that you agree with the teacher/ author/ classmates, without adding anything new.
- Using too many complicated words only to show that you know them.
- Making offtopic remarks after missing the discussion.
Look, you’ve just got the answer to the question “what is critical discussion”.
It looks like somebody is going to become a class discussion superstar. We mean you, of course!