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EAPP Handout 3

Reaction Papers, Reviews, Critique

 are specialized forms of writing in which a reviewer or

reader evaluates a scholarly work (academic books and
articles), a work of art (performance art, play, dance,
sports, film, exhibits), designs (industrial designs,
furniture, fashion design), and graphic designs (posters,
billboards, commercials and digital media).
 usually range in length from 250 to 750 words.
 not just simply summaries.
 involve skills in critical thinking and recognizing
 reviewers use proofs and logical reasoning to
substantiate comments. Reader Response Criticism
 concerns with the reviewer’s reaction as an audience of a
Critical Approaches in Writing a Critique
 claims that the reader’s role cannot be separated from
 claims that literary works contain intrinsic properties and
the understanding of the work; a text does not have
treats each work as a distinct form of art.
meaning until the reader reads it and interprets it.
 posits that the key to understanding a text is through the
 readers are not passive and distant but are consumers of
text itself; the historical context, the author, or any other
the material presented to them
external contexts are not necessary in interpreting the

Common Aspects looked into in Formalism

 Author’s techniques in resolving contradictions within
the work.
 Central passage that sums up the entirety of the work.
 Contribution of parts and the works as a whole to its
aesthetic quality.
 Contribution of rhymes and rhythms to the meaning or Common Aspects looked into in Reader Response Criticism
effect of the work.  Interaction between the reader and the text in creating
 Relationship of the form and the content meaning
 Use of imagery to develop the symbols used in the work.  The impact of reader’s delivery of sounds and visuals on
 Interconnectedness of various parts of the work. enhancing and changing meaning
 Paradox, ambiguity, and irony in the work.
Marxist Criticism
 Unity in the work.
 concerned with differences between economic classes
and implications of a capitalist system, such as the
continuing conflicts between the working class and the
 attempts to reveals that the ultimate source of people’s
experience is the socioeconomic system.

Common Aspects looked into in Marxism Criticism

 Social class as represented in the work
 Social class of the writer/ creator
 Social class of the classes
 Conflicts and interactions between economic classes

Feminist Criticism or Feminism

 focuses on how literature presents women as subjects of
socio-political, psychological and economic oppression.
 reveals how aspects of our culture is patriarchal

Common Aspects looked into in Feminism

 How culture determines gender
 How gender equality (or the lack of it) is presented in the Other Approaches in Writing Critique
text  Postmodern Criticism
 How gender issues are presented in literary works and  Post-colonial Criticism
other aspects of human production and daily life  Structuralism
 How women are socially, politically, psychologically, and  Psychological Criticism
economically oppressed by patriarchy  Gender Criticism
 How patriarchal ideology is an overpowering presence.  Ecocriticism
 Biographical Criticism revisit the work to further identify its arguments or
 Historical Criticism message.
 Mythological Criticism  Relate the content of the work to what you already know
 Deconstructionist Criticism about the topic. This will make you more engaged in the
article or book.
Structure of a Reaction Paper, Review, or Critique
 Focus on discussing how the book treats the topic and
Introduction (around 5% of the paper)
not the topic itself. Use phrases such as this boo/ work
 Title of the book/ article/work presents and the author argues
 Writer’s name  Situate your review. This means that your analysis should
 These statement be anchored on the theories presented by the writer or
Summary (around 10% of the paper) creator.
 Objective or purpose  Report the type of analysis or mode of presentation the
 Methods used (if applicable) writer/ creator used and how this type of analysis
 Major findings, claims, ideas, or messages supports the arguments and claims.
Review/Critique (in no particular order and around 75% of the  Examine whether the findings are adequately supported
paper) and how the connections between ideas affect the
 Appropriateness of methodology to support the conclusions and findings.
arguments (for books and articles) or appropriateness of  Suggest points for improvement of the reasoning,
mode of presentation (other works) explanation, presentation of ideas, as well as alternative
 Theoretical soundness, coherence and ideas methods and processes of reasoning.
 Sufficiency and soundness of explanation in relation to  Compare the writer’s or creator’s explanation of the
other available information and experts topic to that of another expert from the same field of
 Other perspectives in explaining the concepts and ideas study.
 It is best to ask the following questions during this part:  Point out other conclusions or interpretations that the
a. Does the writer explicitly state his/ her thesis writer/creator missed out. Present other ideas that need
statement? to be examined.
b. What are the assumptions mentioned in the work? Are  Show your agreement with the writer’s or creator’s ideas
they explicitly discussed? and present an explanation for this agreement.
c. What are the contributions of the work to the field
where it belongs? 2. For artworks and other media
d. What problems and issues are discussed and  When critiquing artworks or posters, make sure to use
presented in the work? speculative verbs such as evoke, create, appear, and
e. What kinds of information are presented in the work? suggest to show that your interpretation of the artist’s
f. Are there other ways of supporting the arguments or work just that---an interpretation.
thesis aside from the information?  Presume that the reader has not yet seen the material
Conclusion (around 10% of the paper) you are reviewing, so make sure to describe it to them.
 Overall impression of the work For reviews of films or plays, make sure not to spoil key
 Scholarly or literary value of the reviewed article, book or events unless they figure I your review, in which case
work always add a disclaimer.
 Benefits for the intended audience or field  For artworks, describe the material in simple terms to
 Suggestion for future direction of research help your audience visualize it; refrain from being vague
or abstract.
Common Structure for Other Types of Reviews
3. On a general note, your reaction paper’s conclusion may focus
 Basic details about the material, such as its title, director
on the following ideas:
or artist, name of exhibition/event, and the like
 Did the work hold your interest?
 Main assessment of the material (for films and
 Did the work annoy or excite you?
 Did the work prompt you to raise questions to the
Plot Summary/ Description
 Gist of the plot
 Did the work lead you to some realizations?
 Simple description of the artwork
 Did the work remind you of other materials that you
have read, viewed or listened to in the past?
 Discussion and analysis of the work (you may employ the
critical approach)
Conclusion/ Evaluation
 Reinforcement of main assessment
 Comparison to a similar work
 Recommendation of the material (if you liked it)

Guidelines in Writing a Reaction Paper, Review, or Critique

1. For articles or journals
 Read, view or listen to the work to be reviewed carefully
to get the main topic or the concepts presented. Then,