Critical Analysis Assignment (3.5-5 pages)
After you’ve watched Jordan Peele’s Get Out, this assignment challenges you to select one (1) of two (2) academic articles on the film and offer a critical analysis of the single article you select & to evaluate the author’s critical claims. Options include either:
- Jonathan Byron and Tony Perrello, ”From Tragedy to Horror: Othello and Get Out,” Jordan Peele’s Get Out: Political Horror, edited by Dawn Keetley, Ohio State UP, 2020, 23-35.
- Todd K. Platts and David L. Brunsa, ”Reviewing Get Out‘s Reviews: What Critics Said and How Their Race Mattered,” edited by Dawn Keetley, Ohio State UP, 2020, 131-146.
Please be aware that to fully absorb the complexities of the argument about Peele’s film, you might need to set time aside to read the article more than one time.
Your Essay should Accomplish 2 Major Objectives:
(1) Thoughtfully outline and summarize the essay’s claims. Locate the governing thesis of the text and discuss the premises and supporting evidence(s) used to back up the essay’s conclusion(s). Does the essay intervene in and contribute to any existing debates? How would you characterize the author’s methodological approach to the film? What kind of evidence does the author deploy to bolster the essay’s thesis statement?
(2) Respond to the essay and evaluate the viability of its claims and argumentative methods. You do not need to answer all the questions below, but feel free to use them to brainstorm:
Do you think the essay presents a successful, persuasive, or coherent argument? Why or why not? Has the essay left any questions unanswered, underexplored, or overlooked? If yes, how might you address the underexplored questions? Do you take issue with any parameters of the author’s research methods or data collection processes? Does the methodology allow the author to answer the research questions the author sets out to address in the essay? No essay achieves perfection: can you locate any weaknesses whatsoever?
Remember that your own personal response to the article should function as your essay‘s thesis statement–since your reaction to the article constitutes your own contribution to the discussion.
Tips for Writing a Critical Response
A critical response is an analysis of and a commentary on another piece of writing. It generally focuses on technique as well as on content. A critical response essay (or interpretive essay or review) has two missions: to summarize a source’s main idea and to respond to the source’s main ideas with reactions based on your synthesis.
The first step to writing is to read actively and thoughtfully, seeking answers to the following questions as you go:
- What are the main points, ideas, or arguments of the article?
- How would you characterize the author’s methodology?
- What evidence/support does the author give?
- What is the primary purpose of the analysis?
Analyzing (interpretation and evaluation)
To help you generate content for your analysis, consider the following questions. Note that you do not need to respond to all of these questions.
- Does the work achieve its purpose? Fully or only partially?
- Was the author’s purpose worthwhile to begin with? Or was it too limited, trivial, broad, theoretical, etc.?
- Is any of the evidence weak or insufficient? In what way? Conversely, is the evidence/support particularly effective or strong?
- Is the organization of the work an important factor? Does its organization help me understand it, hinder my understanding, or neither?
- Can I supply further explanation to clarify or support any of the main points, ideas, and arguments?
- Are there sections you don’t understand? Why? How could the author clarify their claims in those sections?
- Was there any area where the author offered too much or too little information?
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