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Critical Analysis - Essential - 2016-2017

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Richard Jones

on 22 September 2016

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Transcript of Critical Analysis - Essential - 2016-2017

Critical Analysis: An introduction

Richard Jones

Centre for Academic Success

Millennium Point 371

What is critical analysis?

“Be more critical! More analysis needed!
That’s what my tutors say about my essays.
I’m not really sure what they mean.
Being critical

What you need

Example essay
“the rational examination of ideas,
inferences, assumptions, principles,
arguments, conclusions, issues,
statements, beliefs and actions”

(Bandman and Bandman, 1988)
What’s good?

What’s bad?

"There was very little evidence basis for it [five a day]. They just chose a figure that was aspirational but not so high as to be perceived as impossible to reach"

Professor Tim Lang (2011)
Cheryl is wearing natural hair extensions
Shows a good understanding of the subject.

Shows understanding, appreciation and use of principal relevant sources.

Draws conclusions based on rational argument supported by critical analysis
Getting between 60 – 69%
Getting over 70%
Draws independent conclusions
based on rational argument
using a rigorous, analytical and
critical approach to data,
demonstration and argument.
“I thought I had written a really good assignment this time. I did so much reading and preparation for it, but my tutor’s feedback is ‘not enough argument.’

I’m not sure what to do now."
According to the British Medical Association (2005), there were one million obese children in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2005.
This is a vast number, and it is clear that action needs to be taken to tackle this problem.
The National Audit Office et al. (2006) say that obesity costs the NHS around £1 billion per year. Fox (2003) states that childhood obesity poses a serious threat to public health. Whiting (2008: 36) notes
that rates of childhood obesity are continuing to rise and describes this
rise as an ‘epidemic’. She suggests that the causes of obesity are poor diet and lack of exercise amongst children.
Lempert (2005) suggests
that marketing strategies used to promote food products are another underlying cause of the rise in childhood obesity
. Hawkes (2007) suggests
that another cause of obesity is insufficient exercise
. And Martin (2007) indicates
that parental neglect is another factor underlying childhood obesity.
This is a great headline figure.

How this was arrived at?

How do the BMA define ‘obese’?
How did they calculate this cost?
What is their evidence behind these claims?
I’m sure the marker will be pleased to see
you have read lots of studies.

But ... ‘So what?’
How significant are these factors?
What do YOU make of them?
According to the British Medical Association (2005), there were approximately 1 million obese individuals under the age of 16 in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2005. However, estimates of the incidence of childhood obesity within the
UK vary for a variety of reasons.
Crowther et al. (2007) note that it may be underestimated and under-reported due to the unwillingness of children, and possibly their parents, to participate in measuring their weight. As well as this, there are different ways of defining childhood obesity: Obesity is not easy to define in children due to variations in the ratio between weight gain and height gain during normal childhood growth
. But despite these factors there appears to be no doubt that the incidence of children being overweight or obese has been steadily rising in the UK since the mid-1990s (Chinn & Rona, 2001; Reilly and Dorosty, 1999). The National Audit Office et al. (2006) suggest that obesity costs the NHS around £1 billion per year, and possibly much more in indirect costs.
You have demonstrated
an ability to look at what you have read with a critical perspective, and
think about the rigour of the material.
You have shown that:

you are dissatisfied with headlines

want to explore the basis for definitions.
You have demonstrated that:

you have read and carefully considered a variety of literature

and how you have come to your
own informed conclusions regarding
the causes of obesity in the UK.
The second rule is:
Identify your own point of view
The third rule is:
Consider how you’ll persuade other people
The fifth rule is:
Engage in debate
The sixth rule is:
Structure your argument
The first rule is:
Identify the focus of the assignment
The fourth rule is:
Find the proof
What …? How…?
Who…? When…?
Why…? Where…?
is being said?

Are you sure you understand the

How… did they come to their conclusions?

What method did they use for their research?

Could the research be influenced more by opinion than evidence?
Who… has written (or said) this?

What organisation or individual?

Are they an expert in the topic?
When… was this said/written?

Some work done a long time ago is still valid. But its validity may be affected by recent events.
Why… have the authors written this?
What are they aiming to achieve?

Is there an agenda?
What do they get?

Where .. does/do the material or the views come from?

Is it relevant to your focus?
To what extent







What do you use?
What are the best points?

What are your arguments?
What's your plan?

Where do you start?

What do you include?
Case Study
An essay on obesity
Research methodology
What is critical analysis?
How do you research?
What questions can you ask?
Google Scholar
Full transcript