These dynamic 24 lectures are a chance for you to explore the entire process of writing creative nonfiction....
Learn how a single tongue spoken 150,000 years ago evolved into the estimated 6,000 languages used around the world today....
These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life....
More than a half-century after it burst upon the intellectual scene, Existentialism's quest to answer the most fundamental questions has continued to exert a profound attraction....
Grammar! For many of us, the word triggers memories of finger-wagging schoolteachers, and of wrestling with the ambiguous and complicated rules of using formal language....
Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history....
Can literature change our real world society? At its foundation, utopian and dystopian fiction asks a few seemingly simple questions aimed at doing just that....
Since the start of recorded history, and probably even before, people have been interested in answering questions about why we behave the way we do....
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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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
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.
51 of 54 people found this review 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.
Richard F. Hays
24 of 25 people found this review helpful
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.
55 of 59 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything to be better than the print version?
What other book might you compare Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything to and why?
Not yet! This is the best. I thank audible and great courses for bringing great professors to be heard in countries and to people who otherwise would have never had such an opportunity.
Which scene was your favorite?
How to read a passage part was excellent
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
This course is excellent if you're beginning college and want to know how to write for an academic audience (eg your professor). It covers all basic tactical approaches for more effective writing, such as varying sentence structure, organizing an essay and using proper grammar.
What it doesn't do is delve deep below the surface of what makes a person truly want to read a book - something critical to a popular fiction or historical author. All the advice is very "safe" - I think most college professors would agree with 98% of what the professor states in this work.
It does not get into the more nuanced and innovative aspects of writing like how to write compelling dialogue or how to truly tell a good story. It doesn't talk about character development or efficient flow in writing.
In other words, this is a great course to get an A in a college English class. It's also a good foundation to start a journey or writing (everything in this course should be known by a good writer). But it's not a course for good writer looking for techniques to take one's writing to the next level. As we know, it's not the safe the safe approach that makes a fiction or nonfiction book; but rather it's the bold, groundbreaking elements. That's where this course falls short.
37 of 41 people found this review helpful
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.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
This was excellent, in fact is excellent, as I intend to refer back to it regularly. A well balance and entertaining series of lectures that offered sound and solid advice, peppered with relevant and inspiring examples.
I particularly liked the investigation of all the different forms of writing throughout the learning experience. The contribution of one form to the improvement of another was an inspiration for me.
I would have liked to have had the exercises included in some of the chapters available in some way.
Other than that, I was very satisfied with this course.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything in three words, what would they be?
As always, it is entertaining to listen to Mrs. Armstrong and following her energetic, though sometimes quite "read from the manuscript" sounding performances.<br/>There isn't anything "new" or "surprising" in the collection of good advice, personal experience and global approaches to writing (researching, collecting and sorting data, reworking / editing or not, finding your own workflow etc). You have heard it all before, but it still is encouraging to hear it in a positive, productive way. That is what Mrs. Armstrong has to offer in this course.<br/><br/>The downside is, as always when it comes to "what is good style?", Mrs. Armstrong's assumption that her own perspective of "good style" is the only possible. When she reads out examples of texts that she herself considers "sub-optimal", she does it in a way that would even make a "perfect" text sound terrible. A bad performance can ruin the best line, and using your performance skills (which she definitely commands) to make a piece of work sound worse than it actually is, to me is "bad style". <br/>The same goes for what Mrs. Armstrong considers "better" or "good" style. Although in most cases her examples show some improvements, those improvements ALWAYS head for a very common, very alike "standard text", which may not be what the writer or the reader actually wants. <br/><br/>In short: I recommend this course to anyone who needs a reminder of well picked suggestions to improve your general writing skills. But do not expect to get a recipe book/course for GOOD writing of any kind, you have to take it with salt and you still have to weigh what you consder "good advice" versus "that's just high school text, I am too old for that".
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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!
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
Considering the high standard of other titles in the Great Courses series, I cannot but be disappointed.
The lectures are unstructured, apparently off-the-cuff, rambling from some point to another via another still, utterly unconcerned with any kind of signposting. The listener is thus waylaid mid-lecture on reading by a stray note on writing, leaving the listener completely baffled as to what they are actually being lectured on.
The lectures are utterly devoid of terminology. All analytical/critical concepts are thus implied rather than exemplified & named explicitly. No undergraduate therefore need invest into this title.
The lecturer skims over examples as if every piece of analysis were obvious. There are precious few instances of brilliant insight (which nonetheless go unexplained - how does she arrive at her conclusions? Mostly, we have to work it out ourselves.) At one stage, she blandly reels off an extract from Moby Dick - the longest example in the whole lecture - just to perfunctorily spend a few sentences on a sonewhat bewilderingly gratuitous comment on three words from the whole paragraph.
The lecturer sounds utterly bored & unenthusiastic.
This is, sadly, not what I expected.
I enjoyed listening. Uniquely provides keys to read and understand literature from various angles and perspective.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Superb series of informative lectures, complete with exercises. Beautifully put together by an expert who is truly passionate about her work.
Or is it 'whom'?
2 of 5 people found this review helpful