As you read this sample article, think about the inferred theoretical framework. If you follow the "bread crumb trail" of the works cited for this article, you can figure out what research or other writings the author was using to help support his or her hypothesis or research.
One important way to better understand an article, essay, editorial, etc., is through the critical analysis of the parts of the author's reasoning. Read the article(s) as assigned for the class. Then complete the “logic” of the article using the template below. Please number and completely answer your responses as shown in the template below.
The Logic of an Article, Essay or Chapter
1. The main purpose of this article is ______________________________.
(Here you are trying to state, as accurately as possible, the author's intent in writing the article. What was the author try¬ing to accomplish?)
2. The key question that the author is addressing is __________.
(Your goal is to figure out the key question that was in the mind of the author when he/she wrote the article. What was the key question addressed in the article?)
3. The most important information in this article is ____________.
(You want to identify the key information the author used, or presupposed, in the article to support his/her main arguments. Here you are looking for facts, experiences, and/or data the author is using to support his/her conclusions.)
4. The main assumption(s) underlying the author's thinking is (are) __________________.
(Ask yourself: What is the author taking for granted [that might be questioned]? The assumptions are generalizations that the author does not think he/she has to defend in the context of writing the article, and they are usually unstated. This is where the author's thinking logically begins.)
5. What conclusions can you draw, based on this article?
It is possible to use the basic structures of thinking to analyze articles, essays, and chapters. This analysis will deepen one’s insight into the author’s reasoning.
Here are three sample note taking templates that you can download and modify to use with your readings.