237130_A1_Wk3_Task #2_Writing Response_A response to Wallace, Schirato, and Bright’s “Critical Thinking”_14/03/2016

Ultimately, this text is intended to be a guide of sorts for university students in “thinking, researching, and writing for success”. Its purpose is to provide the reader with the skills to enhance their ability to think critically and analyse; to identify key terms and put them in context with what the author is trying to express, using logic and creative thinking to form conclusions about the author’s intent. The text is successful in this sense. I myself am the exact embodiment of the intended target audience, and I found the text easy to understand and engaging due to the casual phrasing and the way the authors ‘speak’ directly to the reader using a second person point of view.
The point I found most intriguing was that we must “test” every key word or phrase of everything we read for “reasonableness”. This means that we must second-guess the meanings of words that could be interpreted in more than one way, to ensure we fully understand what it is the author intends us to take away from the text. I hadn’t wholly considered this to be a problem, but it caused me to realise that many of the texts I’ve read could have meant something different than what I took away from them. The author’s thorough explanations of the most reliable ways to ‘absorb’ academic texts was enlightening.
Despite the text being engrossing and informative, I didn’t particularly enjoy reading it. I found the author’s tone to be slightly condescending, as if they were writing for an incompetent child. Their authoritave stance was a little too overbearing, and I found it off-putting when reading.

237130_A1_Wk3_Task #1_Understanding key terms_The relevance of context to critical thinking_14/03/2016

In essence, critical thinking is the act of in-depth analysation. In order to analyse we must identify the aspects of an artefact that define it (Clarke, 25); its distinguishing features, origins, and the intent behind its creation (Ruszkiewicz, et al., 32). These aspects are what form the context of a visual text. Without context, a subject is less understandable. When we are provided with the context of a subject we are given background information, and can therefore form new opinions based off the way this information has changed our view of the subject (Clarke, 25).

237130_A1_Wk1_Task #4_Writing Response_A response to Walker’s ‘Writing From The Gut’_09/03/2016

The author feels that the Maori race is “delegitimised” by Pakeha, and that in the act of trying to connect with the Maori, Pakeha are only complicating this problem. ‘The problem’ is that Maori are seen as an uneducated race. The author believes that the only reason this perspective is held by Pakeha is because their methods of education differ to those the Maori use. To change this, she wishes to educate the masses of delegitimised Maori using cultural methods they are familiar with.
I found this text compelling as it was written in first person, but the author spoke on behalf of an entire race, and on behalf of anybody who felt their own identity was also suppressed by the academic system. She uses personal pronouns when describing the Maori race and their customs, as she feels she is acting as a representative for everyone who identifies as Maori. This point of view is effective in communicating the purpose of the text; people must unite within their ethnic groups in order to retain their cultural values and traditions. The indignant tone of voice used throughout the text forces us to think about the issue at hand and why it is indeed an issue. I appreciated that the author used her personal experience to bring to light the struggles others are also facing.