What Does ''Critically Discuss'' Mean?

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James Harden Profile
James Harden answered
The term 'Critically Discuss' is often used in assigned tasks given to students of English Literature or other forms of  English Studies usually within the titles of essays thought possibly also as part of an exam. The question here hasn't been specific about what subject or task 'Critically Discuss' refers to, and so as a result it is possible that it has been used as a question in a different subject entirely, such as Critical Thinking, or even more specific subjects such as History, Philosophy or Politics. Whatever the subject may be the student will expected to Critically Discuss some form of text which be chosen at the discretion of the student's teacher, professor, or examining body. The give text could be a poem, or else an example of prose - either a piece of fiction or an essay - and this will obviously depend  to a large degree on the subject the student is set the task in, for example, if the task is set for a student of English, they will almost certainly be expected to 'Critically Discuss' a poem or a piece of fiction, therefore an example of a set question would be: 'Critically Discuss The Use of Irony As A Narrative Tool Within Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice'. Alternatively if the question was set in the context of a Politics or History class, an example question would be: 'Critically Discuss The Importance of Alienation To The Works of Karl Marx'. Thus, depending on the subject, a student may be required to 'Critically Discuss' anything from a single passage to a whole novel. Whatever the subject and question happens to be, as long as the task has the phrase 'Critically Discuss' within it, certain things will be expected of the student. To begin with the student will need to read the and will be expected to give a close analysis of that text in the format of an essay. Once again the exact length expected of this essay will inevitably vary depending upon the requirements of the task. However, the term 'Critically Discuss' does require an essay to be written in order for the question to be answered adequately, as opposed to the briefer answers required for other tasks. This is because the question requires the student to analyse the given text in depth, and then evaluate it, coming at the end to some form of definite conclusion. It is important to bear in mind when beginning analysis that just because the question has 'Critically' in it does not mean that the essay should be wholly negative. The word critical in this context means to weigh up the positive and negative aspects of the given text, and then explore them as is implied by the instruction 'Discuss'. This means that it is possible for a Critical Discussion to completely agree with the given reading. What is important is that the student analyses the text thoroughly and then evaluate it, expressing their thoughts upon it in an intelligent and coherent way.

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Ellie Hoe Profile
Ellie Hoe answered
Students are mostly asked to critically evaluate the concepts or theories from their professors. 'Critically Discuss' means evaluating the pros and cons of the subject in hand critically. You need to analyze all the aspects and dimensions of the topic in hand. You need to evaluate the effects of the topic on its stake holders. For example, if you are asked to critically evaluate the 'affects of advertising' then you need to address issues such as moral hazards on advertising, its effects on children, women and men. You need to describe various forms of advertising and various communication mediums. You will have to discuss the effectiveness of each communication medium and include as many aspects as you can.

Therefore whenever you are asked to critically evaluate some topic, try to go in the depth of the topic. Do proper research and include analysis of your own along with the proper referencing.
Karl Sagan Profile
Karl Sagan answered

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