Second_Writing_Assignment - Paper Assignment 2 Critical...

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Paper Assignment # 2: Critical Analysis Due April 20 th , 2011 Assignment Write a Critical Analysis of “Homer Gets a Tax Cut” by Larry Bartels. What: 5 pages max (double spaced, ordinary margins, Times New Roman 12 pt. font) More than 5 pages? No. Due: Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at the beginning of class. On time: late papers will be graded down, except with excuse. It is important that everyone have same length of time. Acceptable excuses: None. 1 Critical Analysis Defined Analysis, in general, means the taking apart and close examination of something. Critical analysis implies that you exercise your critical facilities, to carefully think through an argument and locate its strengths and weaknesses. It does not imply that you must dislike it, say it is flawed, etc. And whether you like it or not (or are neutral) has no bearing on grade. In social sciences, indeed in all sciences, ALL arguments, tests, analyses, etc. are flawed. There is no absolute proof (as in mathematics), no perfection. That point is very much part of the purpose of this assignment, for you to demonstrate that you can evaluate the work of competent professionals and find strengths and weaknesses. It is also to unlearn the implicit point we teach in schools, that if something is written in a book or article by someone who knows what they are talking about, it must be right. 1
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This assignment is completely self-contained. I do not want you to read anything - or do any external research - other than the article assigned. Anything external I will consider just a waste of space. This is not an Easter egg hunt, or “how many mistakes can you find in this picture?” No obvious mistakes/flaws, No simple right/wrong slant to take. Some things you might consider (generally, not just for this case) 1. What is being explained and does the explanation make sense? 2. The structure of the argument: do conclusions necessarily follow, or is there slippage? 3. Is it tight or loose, compelling or “take it or leave it”? 4. The data:
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Second_Writing_Assignment - Paper Assignment 2 Critical...

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