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

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How to be a critical reader

2.5.2 What are the similarities and differences? (2)

Activity 14 Part 2

Task 2

Complete the text boxes below by typing in your answers for both Text 4 and Text 5.

Question 1a

Who is the author?

Text 4

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Answer

An academic.

Question 1b

Text 5

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Answer

An academic.

Comment

Both texts are university texts and academic in nature, so they could be written by academics or teachers.

Question 2a

What is their purpose in writing?

Text 4

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Answer

To promote anthropathology.

Question 2b

Text 5

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Answer

To introduce some important aspects of evolution.

Comment

The writer of Text 4 seems to promote anthropathology as a possible new discipline and the writer of Text 5 seems to introduce some important aspects of the science of evolution.

Question 3a

What type of text is it?

Text 4

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Answer

An academic article.

Question 3b

Text 5

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Answer

A textbook or an extract from course material.

Question 4a

Where would you find it?

Text 4

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Answer

In an academic journal or review.

Question 4b

Text 5

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Answer

In a textbook or course material.

Comment

Both texts are in the style of short articles. Text 4 could be from an academic online journal or printed journal but Text 5 introduces basic ideas about evolution and so is more likely to be from a textbook or course material.

Question 5a

What subject area is the text from?

Text 4

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Answer

Anthropathology.

Question 5b

Text 5

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Answer

Science.

Comment

You would probably recognise Text 5 as coming from the subject area of science if you already know that the subject of evolution is studied in science. The text also refers to the science of evolution in the opening line. Text 4 is, as it claims, from the new discipline of anthropathology. This probably connects with other subject areas such as anthropology, biology and social sciences.

Task 3

Think about the following questions and write down some ideas.

Question 1

Which of the two texts is more pessimistic? Why?

Answer

Text 4 is more pessimistic in that it is very gloomy about the human race. Text 5 ends with an optimistic view of the possible future of humankind.

Question 2

Which of the two texts is based on accepted fact and which is based on beliefs you might challenge?

Answer

Text 5 is probably based on a more widely accepted fact – the science of evolution – than Text 4. Perhaps many more people would challenge the view of human nature in Text 4.

Comment

Establishing what is ‘fact’ is not as easy as it might seem. Even well accepted facts can turn out to be opinions. It was once thought that the Earth is flat; Galileo was imprisoned for suggesting this was not a fact. Once you start questioning texts, more ‘facts’ may turn out to be opinions. However, it is usually possible to tell that some texts are more fact-based than others.

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