You must write a 3-4 page critical summary. chapter 15 of Geertz book The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books. – The point of the exercise is twofold: to give you practice in reading assigned material critically and for specific content; to help generate possible questions or issues that can be raised and discussed in class. – The mark assigned to this exercise reflects your ability to grasp the main issues of the article both as an independent piece and as it specifically relates to course topics. The mark also takes into account your ability to get to the point quickly. How to Complete the Critical Reading Exercise: – This should give you an idea of what we are looking for in the critical reading exercise. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask your Course Director. 1. Overall Thesis/Main Point of the article (40-50% of total content) In this section you have to summarize what you think are the key points that the article/chapter is making. The most successful answer should include a clear understanding of the author’s argument. To do this, look for the author’s thesis statement (usually in the introduction) and then pay attention to how s/he demonstrates or proves this thesis (main point) – look for the key points that elaborate on the thesis. We will be looking for a concise (and brief) description of the content or subject of the article and a summary of the overall point(s) being made by the author. 2. How does the article relate to larger issues discussed in class (20-30% of total content) These required reading articles are assigned to fit with the topics that are being discussed in lectures. In this section you should show how the article fits with other topics discussed in class. This means that you should discuss what this article has to add to what we are already discussing and not just limit yourself to statements like: “this article discusses kinship,” or “the author talks about gender roles.” In this section a successful answer will include, for example, how the author discusses a ritual in a unique way, or perhaps how gender roles in this article relate to the conceptions of gender discussed in class. 3. Your relevant questions and concerns with the article (20-30% of total content) Here you should ask questions that show that you have thought about the article in a critical way. Your questions should show that you understood the article and were able to go beyond what is included in the article itself. These are questions and concerns that highlight gaps, related issues, or problems that you may have found in the article. Some of these questions may be raised in lectures, so pay close attention to the instructor when these readings are being discussed. Questions that are not valid here would include such things as: “why did those people do that?” or “why does war happen?” or “why did the author study this?”. These are all valid questions to ask yourself, but they are not relevant questions for this section. Questions that have a clear yes or no answer or questions that seek specific pieces of information found in the article are not necessarily suitable for discussion. Good questions for discussion should relate the article to our larger discussion in class. Formatting Instructions – Required Information on the first page: Your full name, student number, course code (ANTH 1120 A or B), Name of your Course Director, Time and Day of your tutorial. You should NOT produce a separate title page and can put all of this information at the top of the first page of text. – Technical Details: 12-point font, Times or Arial preferred, 2.5cm or 1inch margins all round, double-spaced, with page numbers, and clear paragraphing. . – Citations: see the Chicago style citation and Reference Guidelines in the “Assignments: General Information” document, as well as the link to the Chicago Style Guide on Moodle, for how to cite specific ideas and phrases from the course resources you consult. – Title and References are not required for this assignment Tips on what to do and what not to do: – Some of these articles may have summary abstracts at the beginning of the article; most articles will have introductory and concluding paragraphs that summarize the main points. These are very useful for focusing your attention on the main points of the article. But, do not copy or paraphrase these summaries. You should be critically reviewing these readings in your own words. We will deduct marks if I find that you are simply copying lines out of the articles. – It is not necessary to detail every point that is made in the article. Your summary should provide an overall assessment of the specific details of larger points. For example, if the author makes a point and then elaborates on that point by providing several examples, it is not necessary to detail all the examples – just mention the main point. Similarly, if an author considers a series of points as part of her larger argument, you should list the points, but not necessarily the specific details accompanying each point. – Some articles have a lot of ethnographic detail. Do not try to summarize these details. Instead, try to figure out how this discussion is being used to make a larger point and/or related to the author’s main argument(s). – Be sure that you do your own work. Please do not copy your work from another student. Work that is obviously paraphrased or copied (both the original and the copy) will be given a zero. See the “Assignments: General Information” document for further details on plagiarism.
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