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WRTG 391
Writing Assignment #1
The Critique Essay


Writing Assignment #1 will be a critique essay.


Courses that fulfill the General Education Requirements (GERs) at UMUC all have a common theme—technological transformations. In following this theme this semester in WRTG391, you will be critiquing an author on her views on online writing courses.


The critique essay asks you to look at a source with a critical eye and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. It will incorporate source material summary into its discussion but will also evaluate that source material.


Please write your critique essay on the following article. This article is available to you in the ereserves section of our class.


Kiefer, K. (2007). Chapter 8: Do students lose more than they gain in online writing classes? In, Brave New Classrooms (pp. 141-151). Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.


Considerations for this Essay:


You are taking WRTG 391 online or in hybrid format. In either case, you are involved significantly in online instruction in your class.


Kiefer argues in her essay that writing courses may not work well online. She provides various reasons for making her argument.


You might agree with her. Or you might agree with her on some points but question her on other points. Or you might disagree with her entirely. In this essay, you will evaluate her arguments and critique them.


In this essay, you will do the following:


  • Introduce the topic and introduce the author and essay. Then state your thesis.
  • Summarize the author’s argument or arguments. Your opinion is not included here. You simply summarize the author’s points.
  • Critique the author.

·         Evaluate the author’s argument or arguments.

·         Respond to the author. Note what you agree with and what you disagree with. You will incorporate at least two other sources into this evaluation and response.


  • Conclude the essay.


Module 1
in our class, which can be accessed in Content, provides additional advice on organizing the critique.


In addition, click here for a video tutorial on organizing a critique essay.


Submitting the assignment:
Using the guidelines provided by the texts, please post a rough draft of your critique essay as your instructor directs you. Please use at least two credible sources other than Kiefer to help support your critique. Remember that a critique doesn’t necessarily need to be “negative” in order to be successful. You need to show that you are able to determine the validity of the material that you read.


After receiving feedback from your instructor on your critique essay, please use the comments from your instructor in revising the draft.


Please post your final draft of the Critique Essay as your instructor directs you. The final draft should be approximately 650-800 words. It should follow standard APA guidelines in citing the sources and should include a “References” page at the end of the essay to list the sources.


The following is a suggested rubric. Instructors may adjust the rubric as desired.


The introduction identifies the author and article in the introduction


The introduction states a solid thesis in the introduction


The essay adequately summarizes the author’s position without stating the writer’s position in the summary


The essay critiques the author’s position by evaluating the author’s argument


The essay critiques the author’s position by adequately developing the student’s response


The essay integrates at least two other sources in critiquing the author’s position


The essay uses accurate grammar and mechanics


The essay uses accurate APA format





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