“The Military Has a Man Problem”n “The Military Has a Man Problem,” (page 27) Helen Benedict examines the U.S. military and identifies what she sees as a problem.
Part of critical reading, particularly of argument, is understanding why the writer has made the choices that they have. We can expect that the writers we will encounter are making choices, not simply allowing the writing to happen, and these choices are purposeful.
With that in mind, why do you suppose the author chose to begin the way that she did? Beginnings are important. They are our first opportunity to connect with the reader and they also serve as a way to lead into our thesis. Look at the first paragraphs and everything that comes before the thesis.
Fitbits for Bosses”: Tone and Support”In “Fitbits for Bosses” (page 22) Lynn Parramore presents a perspective on the issue of biosurveillance. We can use this example as a way of exploring some of this week’s concepts and skills. Critical reading requires understanding the argument a writer makes and also how the writer constructs and presents that argument. You may share any response you have concerning this essay, but I wish to direct your attention to two elements in particular: tone and support.
Tone can be thought of as the attitude the writer strikes concerning the topic or issue. Tone can have emotional qualities, even though argument is largely focused on reason. For example a writer can strike a sarcastic tone or a somber tone. A writer’s voice can seem alarmist or angry or light and humorous. How would you describe the tone in this essay? Ok. Now the hard part. How does the writer create that tone? Where does that tone show itself? Present evidence from the text. Does it come through in certain words the writer uses?
You may also focus on support. As presented in the material this week, support refers to the reasoning or evidence the writer gives the reader to convince them that the writer’s position is true or makes sense. It can come in the form of examples or data or expert opinion or a line of thinking. Identify a place in the text where you see the writer attempting to convince the reader. Do you think it is effective. Explain.
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