ANALYSIS AND HOLISM IN READING, WRITING, AND PRESENTING
Students in this class must be analytic in their reading of others’ work, in their own writing, and in their presentations. What follows are suggestions for developing analytic and critical methods of thinking and communication. These suggestions are also indications of what you should expect from the writing and speaking of others.
Please remember that a holistic, integrative understanding of context must always complement depth of analysis.
+ First and foremost, maximize clarity - be clear, but not simplistic or patronizing.
+ Remember that writing is a form of thinking, not just a medium to "display" the results of thinking; make your thinking engaging, reflective, and clear.
+ Provide enough context for your remarks that your audience can understand them but not so much that your audience’s attention or comprehension is lost.
+ Be specific.
+ Avoid jargon, undefined terms, undefined acronyms, colloquialisms, clichés, and vague language.
+ Give examples.
+ Be critical, not dismissive, of others’ work; be skeptical, not cynical.
+ Answer the difficult but important "how?," "why?," and "so what?" questions.
+ Support assertions with evidence.
+ Make explicit why evidence used to support an assertion does so.
+ Identify and explore the specific practical, social, and intellectual implications of courses of action.
+ Be evaluative. Synthesize and internalize existing knowledge without losing your own critical point of view.
+ Identify the specific criteria against which others’ work and options for action will be assessed.
See the Standards for Written Work and the assignment descriptions in this syllabus for further explanations and examples.