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Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything | [The Great Courses]

Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything

Tap into the power of effective writing by developing the fundamental critical and analytical skills that transform your writing from "good" to "great." Regardless of your subject, goal, or occasion, these skills will help you organize your thoughts into a coherent piece, make a persuasive argument rooted in facts, and make responsible use of research materials.
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Publisher's Summary

Tap into the power of effective writing by developing the fundamental critical and analytical skills that transform your writing from "good" to "great." Regardless of your subject, goal, or occasion, these skills will help you organize your thoughts into a coherent piece, make a persuasive argument rooted in facts, and make responsible use of research materials.

You'll find the secrets of these and other methods in 24 accessible lectures that immerse you in the elements of successful writing. With engaging literary and everyday examples, inspirational prompts, and unforgettable insights, this course is the perfect reference guide for both professional and casual writers.

Survey the ways five major literary genres-fiction, essay, poetry, drama, and autobiography-can show you the path to stronger persuasive and critical writing. Writing prompts and practice examples will help you better understand how to apply the insights you'll uncover by studying each genre. See how the art of rhetoric can help you adapt your writing to different situations. The increased awareness of classical rhetoric you gain will go a long way toward making you a stronger writer by calling your attention to the basics of compelling analytical writing. Take a step-by-step look at the four major stages of the writing process-researching, writing a first draft, editing, and rewriting.

Chock full of useful strategies and real-world examples, this course is an invaluable tool for developing your effective writing skills so you can better express yourself to others.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (120 )
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4.1 (96 )
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4.2 (98 )
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  •  
    Louis 09-28-13
    Louis 09-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really helpful overview."
    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything?

    Professor Armstrong's course would be a great introduction to the basics of good writing for anyone, but is particularly useful for someone just starting his or her college career. Having said this, I am an established professional and the father of a high school senior, and I found this course very helpful for me personally. Writing is a big part of my job (I work in academic medicine), and while I think of myself as being a fairly good writer, this course has made me much more conscious of what I do - and what I should do - when I write. Sometimes people who think they know the basics are the ones that need to review them the most. I also found the informal style of presentation very engaging. Highly recommended.


    32 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Hays Atlanta, GA USA 03-01-15
    R. Hays Atlanta, GA USA 03-01-15 Member Since 2015

    bibliomaniac

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "None of my professors has ever been this helpful!"

    I have two Master's degrees, but none of my professors have ever been able to explore the art of essay, rhetoric, fact and support, pathos and ethos, quite as well as Dr. Armstrong. Nevertheless, it's never too late to learn.

    Thank you. Again, The Great Courses continues to live up to its tradition odd excellence in teaching.

    Gratefully,
    Richard F. Hays

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nathan Benbrook, TX, United States 02-28-15
    nathan Benbrook, TX, United States 02-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Good Introduction to Essay Writing"
    If you could sum up Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything in three words, what would they be?

    Lectures informative and useful.


    Any additional comments?

    As with her series on the Medieval World, I enjoyed Professor Armstrong's lectures on writing. The primary theme of this series was how to write an essay. All of the lectures supported this theme with lectures 6-10 actually showing how to write the essay. She used examples from popular literature to illustrate how important it is to pay attention to how the author is perceived by the audience. In addition, the use of other genres at appropriate times can also enhance the writing piece. She finished the series by discussing how to edit and rewrite the essay. With this, she used examples from her area of research on King Arthur. This series was a review for me, but also showed me how to use different approaches in my writing.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon 05-20-15
    Shannon 05-20-15 Member Since 2013

    I love listening and usually get in at least three hours a day. I like fiction, biographies and medical non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A course I wish I'd had in high school or college"

    I was an English major in college. I learned to do research and write papers. I think I have some natural writing ability, and I know I am very logical. Nevertheless, writing essays was agony for me. I had no idea how to outline. I put the project off to the last minute. Thanks to many all-nighters, I was able to get good grades.

    Thirty-five years later, I listened to this course for a couple of reasons.

    I'm a supervisor and have to provide written feedback. Almost always, I end up writing the reviews at the last possible moment and stress about not having done them sooner.

    I am also a Toastmaster. As a Toastmaster, I give 15 to 20 speeches a year. After 24 years, I've finally learned to outline, but I thought this course might help me organize my thoughts more efficiently. I have a technical speech that I've been planning to give, but couldn't quite figure out how to organize and present it to a non-technical audience.

    This course (perhaps the 20th I've listened to) is one of the two best I've heard. (The other was "The Other Side of History".)

    Professor Armstrong is a gifted and engaging lecturer. She provides insight into her own writing, which informs her recommendations of best methods. She has concrete suggestions for how these techniques can be used both inside and outside academia. (Letters to the editor, resume writing, etc.)

    She gives us examples of poor or average writing, then recommends changes that undeniably improve the work.

    Her course is clear, well-organized, easy to follow and (surprisingly) fun.

    My niece wants to teach high school English. I have recommended this course. If I had been presented with this material in my youth, my writing would have been better and my sleep more prolific. As it is, I believe my habits and my writing will improve thanks to Professor Armstrong and this course.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bror Erickson Farmington New Mexico 03-07-15
    Bror Erickson Farmington New Mexico 03-07-15 Member Since 2014

    Your Brother in Christ

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reading, Writing, the Symbiotic Relationship"

    Prof. Armstrong emphasizes the relationship of reading to writing throughout this course. You can't write unless you also read. More than that, she talks about critiquing what you read in order to learn to write better.
    Much of what she teaches is for the purpose of writing essays and term papers. She has a lot of helpful tips for doing research and how to to research, including how to vet sources on the internet. As such this course will be especially helpful for college students and ambitious high school students, though the usefulness of the course is by no means limited them.
    She has lots of useful tips on getting started too, which would be helpful for anyone who makes a living or would like to make a living as a writer. As well as helpful tips for editing your own work.
    Most helpful though, are her many tips and resources for reading with a critical eye and ear for the purpose of improving your own writing, and then to write often as well.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gadget geek san diego 09-09-14
    gadget geek san diego 09-09-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good course and great presenter"
    Would you listen to Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything again? Why?

    Would listen to again... it's a great course with a very good presenter that is engaging and fun to listen to.


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Girish Montpellier, France 03-15-15
    Girish Montpellier, France 03-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent! Very informative..."
    Would you listen to Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything again? Why?

    Yes! Professor Dorsey knows her stuff. I loved her speaking voice and was almost sad that it was over during the final lecture.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything?

    The way she used real life examples from people like Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, who used their writing skills to change the world.


    What about Professor Dorsey Armstrong’s performance did you like?

    Very fluid, friendly and smooth narration.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of Frederick Douglas, a slave who taught himself to read and write, and eventually became an icon of American History.


    Any additional comments?

    Would definitely recommend it!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. D. Gunter Colorado 05-24-15
    J. D. Gunter Colorado 05-24-15
    ratings
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    4
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    "Worth the time"

    The narrator processed well and didn't lose the audience as she did so. She inspired hope for me to write well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 02-03-15
    Jon Crawfurd ST PETERSBURG, FL USA 02-03-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good advice, but not all that illuminating"

    One cannot fault any of the recommendations, but you will have a hard time finding anything new to the art of writing.

    4 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Not for an educated audience"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better examples


    Has Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Good voice but reading from her academic specialty morte d'Artur, really?


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The concept was good the execution failed.


    Any additional comments?

    I love great Courses just not this one.

    14 of 48 people found this review helpful
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  • Alan Fitzgerald
    Cork. IE
    4/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy to follow"

    An well put together tutorial, encouraging the listener to understand the importance of analysing the writing of others along with tips on improving ones own skills.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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