The things you can do and learn online for General Paper (and Project Work).

Everyone’s a critic…

But not everyone knows how to produce academic evaluations. This is a skill required particularly in the Application Question in Paper 2; and Evaluation of Materials, Insights and Reflections and the Written Report in Project Work.

To get an idea of what evaluative language (epistemic, ie. knowledge-related, and not, for example, aesthetic) looks like, see http://home.ku.edu.tr/~doregan/Writing/evallangpanova.htm

David O’Regan produced this long list of stems (strings of words) for writing evaluative statements.

Now that you know what kind of language you should produce, this article by Susan Katz and Jennie Skerl provides a comprehensive range of questions to help you analyse your (re)source (article or book) and evaluate it. They then give pointers on how to organise and write your critique.

Both literature reviews and answers to application question are evaluation done with a certain purpose in mind. The latter may be considered a rougher and shorter version of the former. The Language Centre at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand produced this concise and thoroughgoing guide to producing a literature review which you will find at http://www.clet.ait.ac.th/EL21LIT.HTM

It offers practical advice, such as the pitfalls to avoid when collecting information from secondary sources for research. One example of the very pertinent advice it dishes out is to take down all the necessary bibliographic information on a piece of work you may be referring to in your written report. This means jotting it down on the photocopies that you make of print publications and noting, among other things, the URL and date of access of online sources. Also very useful are the examples of an ineffective literature review and a good one. 

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