Week 10: Final Exams

This week you will apply the critical thinking skills you’ve learned to analyzing a reading for your final exam. You will also take Latin and Dictionary Word final exam.

Final Reading Analysis

(NOTE to instructor: I use a current opinion essay for this assignment. Most recently I have used a piece on mass incarceration by Nicholas Kristof that students have responded to enthusiastically.)


  • Annotate by writing brief summaries and paraphrases in the margins of all major points.
  • Circle all unknown vocabulary and note their definitions in the margins.
  • In a separate Word document, write answers to all of the following:
  • What is the overall tone of the essay? List three words from the article that indicate the tone. (Angry, Upbeat, Sad, Sentimental, Sympathetic…)
  • What biases do you think the author shows? List three words or phrases from the article that indicate bias.
  • Type a statement of the overall claim that the essay makes. NOTE: The claim may not written as a single statement; instead, it may be expressed in more than one sentence.
  • What appeals does she/he use? Does /shehe appeal to a reader’s fears, sympathy or other types of emotion?
  • Type a numbered list of the support used. (Use your annotations for this list. Note that some points may be combined to form major support, and some are minor support.)
  • Label each support. Is it a fact, an examples, expert opinions, common knowledge, anecdote (brief story), and so forth.
    • For instance: Major claim: In order to unravel the damage that the War on Drugs has done…
    • Support:… 23 people were locked up simply for failure to pay government fines and fees. Statistics
  • Review the claim and support. Where do you see logical fallacies? Type a list of them and label each and then explain why it is a fallacy.
  • Write a brief response (one or two paragraphs) to the editorial. What is your opinion of the ideas expressed? Do they make a strong argument? Be sure to avoid using logical fallacies in your own writing. Be especially careful to avoid overgeneralization and oversimplification. Consider your own biases. If you want, research your views before you write.

Outside Reading Final Response

Personal Dictionary Word Final


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Developing Reading Skills by Grace Richardson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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