How to be a critical reader
How to be a critical reader

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

How to be a critical reader

2.5 Comparing the two texts

2.5.1 What are the similarities and differences? (1)

In the next activity you ask questions about Texts 4 and 5 to get a critical overview of their similarities and differences.

Activity 14 Part 1

Task 1

Critically read Texts 4 and 5 again (using skim reading, scan reading or close reading). Then consider the statements below. Decide if the statement applies to the text and write down some examples to support your decision.

Text 4 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Text 5

Question 1

Uses factual supporting evidence.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is c.

Answer

Both texts refer to facts. However, some of them are more ‘factual’ than others. You cannot argue about there being greed and violence in the world (Text 4). Many people might say patriarchal domination is also a fact, but not everyone agrees. In the same way, many people regard evolution as a fact (Text 5). However, there are also people who do not accept some aspects of evolution. This does show that even some facts can be questioned.

Question 2

Uses the opinions of other writers to support ideas.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is a.

Answer

Text 4 refers to the opinions of other writers: for example, Taylor (2005).

Question 3

Shows whether there are other arguments which contradict their arguments.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is a.

Answer

Text 4, for example, refers to the opinions of those who may want to play up the positive aspects of human beings and deny that we are so destructive, or wish to underline the idea that only some individuals, groups or eras are evil.

Question 4

Provides more arguments that cannot be challenged.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is c.

Answer

It is difficult to answer this question. Many people would think that Text 5 provides more arguments that cannot be challenged because it is all about the science of evolution. However, some people do challenge the ‘science of evolution’.

Question 5

Contains more opinions.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is a.

Answer

Text 4 contains more opinions: for example, Anthropathology might be regarded as inevitably pessimistic.

Question 6

Is ‘academic’ in style.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is c.

Answer

Both texts are academic in style in that they are well organised and contain academic language. Noun groups such as humanity’s undoubted resourcefulness (Text 4) and impressive technological achievement (Text 5) are examples of formal language. However, Text 4 contains more references to other writers and is more formal than Text 5 (for example, see the use of questions and the use of ‘and’ to start a paragraph in Text 5).

Question 7

Contains more examples of hedging.

a. 

Text 4


b. 

Text 5


c. 

Both texts


The correct answer is a.

Answer

Text 4 contains more examples of hedging. For example: One possibility might be entropy; Many may want to play up the positive aspects of human beings. This is because anthropathology is not yet an accepted subject like evolution and the text is presenting opinions about it. Evolution, on the other hand, is regarded as a fact by many people so the author does not think they need to hedge what they are writing.

L185_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus