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Critical Analysis Essay
Overview: The essay asks you to summarize, critically evaluate, and respond to the Jia
Tolentino article. A close reading of the article is necessary so that you can accomplish
these tasks. The purpose of the assignment is to go beyond merely summarizing and
briefly responding to text. You are joining in a conversation with Tolentino’s essay. You
are going to report on the highlights of the article, evaluate it as a piece of text, analyze
one particular point she makes, and then respond to that point.
Here is a high-level overview of the essay:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Introduction
Short Summary
Evaluation of the article
Discussion of one particular point she makes
Your response
Conclusion.
See below for a more detailed guide.
If you would like to follow a different organization that more closely matches your
interpretation of the article, please discuss with me.
Detailed Guide of the Outline:
I. Introduction:
Hook:
Connecting info/Background information:
Thesis
II. Capsule summary of the article. Present a short summary, i.e., a high-level overview,
of her purpose and her main themes. Begin the paragraph with the introductory
sentence template we practiced for the Summary of the Black Suffragists article.
Topic sentence:
Themes she discussed:
III. Evaluation of the article. In this paragraph, offer an evaluation of the article. You
must reference the text directly in your discussion. By “reference,” I mean that you must
back up your claims by citing evidence from the text. You can quote or summarize the
evidence. For your evaluation, you might discuss the following. Focus your
discussion. In other words, don’t discuss several of these questions.:
•
o
o
o
o
o
Persuasiveness: How did and how well did she convince you that
her main points are valid?
What contribution to a reader’s thinking does the author make?
Conversely, what might be a danger?
Definitional questions: Are all the concepts in the text clear? Does
the author define a concept vaguely? Can the author’s discussion
be extended to another context or related issue, and if so, what is
that other context/issue? How does the author’s work help us think
about the other context/issue?
Evidence questions: Does the author’s evidence support their
argument? Do they have enough specific evidence to prove the
more general point? Does the author under-emphasize or ignore
evidence that is contrary to their argument? Is the evidence
credible? Can you identify a bias in the evidence?
Logical Fallacies-See the PPT we discussed in class
IV. Focused discussion of one of Tolentino’s major points. Similar to our practice
Quote Sandwich activity. Explain Tolentino’s assertion. Use evidence from the text to
support your discussion and analysis.
V. Response to the point you discussed in Paragraph IV. You included your
evaluation of the article in paragraph 3 and your analysis to a particular point in
paragraph 4. In this paragraph, respond. Use Ch 4 in TS, IS as a guide. Do you agree,
disagree, or both simultaneously? Review the book or PPT for a refresher.
VI. Conclusion
Restate the thesis
Point out why your discussion should be of interest
Assignment notes:
Word count: A minimum of 1200 words
Evidence from the text: You must refer to the text in Paragraphs 3 and Paragraph
4. Include at least 2 quotes in the text. So that we practice MLA citations, use the page
numbers of our PDF reading as the text’s page numbers.
The outline is due by Sunday. I need to give you feedback before you start writing.
Extra credit: Bring in an external source to back up your response in paragraph
5. Bringing in an external source has TWO benefits: 1) your discussion will be more
fully supported, which is part of the rubric, and 2) you’ll receive extra credit.

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