Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates

Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates

Second Edition

Companion Website

© 2011 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
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'Written in a clear and straightforward fashion that is guaranteed to make you think, as well as encouraging constructive and engaging modes of writing that will improve your connection to your audience.' - Professor Graham Crow, University of Southampton 

How do you respond to adverts?  Do you believe what they say, or look for a hidden agenda?

Reading critically, and writing using critical techniques, are crucial skills you need to apply to your academic work.  It may seem difficult at first, but you may already be a more critical reader than you think!

This guide helps you develop both the ability to critically ask questions, and a reflective and critical approach to your own research and writing.  Broken down into three parts, it builds up your skills and confidence through focused activities that progressively develop your ability to critically read and write.

New to this 2nd edition:

  • A range of subject specific examples from areas including linguistics, education, business and management
  • Commentaries on using e-resources and features of e-research
  • New online resources including worksheet templates, chapter activities and free access to journal articles.

Look at the RESOURCES TAB to view and download the additional materials.

SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills website for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!

What It Means to Be Critical
Making a Critical Choice
Getting Started on Critical Reading
Getting Started on Self-Critical Writing
Creating a Comparative Critical Summary
The Key to a Mental Map for Exploring the Literature
The Argument Component of Your Mental Map
More Components: Knowledge, Literature, Intellectual Projects
Developing a Critical Analysis of a Text
A Worked Example of a Critical Analysis
Developing Your Argument in Writing a Critical Review of a Text
Focusing and Building up your Critical Literature Review
Integrating Critical Literature Reviews into Your Dissertation
Tools for Structuring a Dissertation
Using the Literature in Research Papers and Oral Presentations
Abridged article: 'One word or two?'  
Abridged article: 'Sharing leadership of schools through teamwork'  
Blank form for the Critical Analysis of a text  
Logic Checklist: developing a logical overall argument in a dissertation  

'Mike Wallace and Alison Wray's book confirms that the answers that you get depend on the questions that you ask. One of the most important skills for researchers to acquire is that of asking the right questions, and they show that this process begins with identifying the questions that need to be asked about the existing literature on a chosen subject. Wallace and Wray demonstrate that critical engagement with one's sources pays dividends in terms of depth of understanding what those sources tell us. In addition, developing the skills of the critical reader also helps to make budding researchers into better writers, through the realisation of what works better and what works less well when communicating ideas and information. The book is written in a clear and straightforward fashion that is guaranteed to make you think, as well as encouraging constructive and engaging modes of writing that will improve your connection to your audience. '
Professor Graham Crow,
University of Southampton

Praise for first edition:

A very clear, accessible introduction that will be invaluable to postgraduate students trying to engage with reading and writing in a critical way' - R.M. Lee, Professor of Social Research Methods, Royal Holloway University of London

Provides excellent and easy to follow advice on how to locate and critique academic work as well providing skills to improve academic writing. Especially useful as it is an easy book to engage with and therefore assists less academic students studying at PGCE level.

Mr Sam Emmett
Division of Social Sciences and Educatio, Glyndwr University
October 23, 2015

This book will be used to help improve study skills for my first-year masters students in their first course. Our students come from a diverse background and some refreshment of skills is sometimes needed.

Of particular help are the sections on writing a critical synopsis, since we spend a lot of time of this course critiquing scholarly articles.

Dr Elizabeth Van Couvering
Dept of Media & Communication Studies, Karlstad University
June 18, 2015

This is the essential reader for students keen to develop their critical appraisal skills

Mr Mark Gillespie
School of Nursing, University of the West of Scotland
June 10, 2015

This is an excellent guide for MA students required to complete critical and evaluative literature reviews as part of the programme requirements

Mr John Cavener
Health and Life Sciences , Northumbria University
June 3, 2015

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ISBN: 9781849205627
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