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Task 2 – Short answer critical reviews ‘All opinions are not equal.’ It is important that we are able to critically consider the ideas we encounter. We do this by assessing them objectively by referring to expertise, evidence and examples. This task builds on the skills developed in the summary task by asking you to use the ideas and information found in scholarly sources to critically review the opinions expressed by public figures. This short answer task will provide the opportunity for you to further develop your critical reading skills and your capacity to identify and succinctly express essential ideas relating to Australian society as well as practicing applying scholarly conventions in your written work. Assessment Description For this assessment task you are required to complete five short answer critical reviews of the news items provided from week 2 to week 7 (except for week 3). No other sources are necessary. Each short answer critical review should relate to the news item and required reading for the appropriate week and should consist of around 200 words. The total words for the completed task should not exceed 1000 words. You must use this critical review submission sheet and upload it to turnitin by the due date. In order to produce brief but accurate critical reviews you will need to comprehend the arguments contained in the news items and the required readings and select the essential points and information. You’ll need to identify the topic being discussed in the news item, identify the individual presenting their ideas on the topic, briefly summarise the point of view being presented and then critique this opinion using the ideas and information of a scholar with expertise and experience on the topic in the required reading for the appropriate week. You do not need to summarise the entire required reading, just the author’s arguments, evidence and examples that relate specifically to the topic being raised in the news item. Here is a critical review drafting tool which includes an example of a critical review of the week 3 news item and scholarly source to show you how it’s done. Assessment Requirements You are required to critique the claims made in the news items provided for weeks 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 using the argument, information and examples found in the required readings for those specific weeks. Each short answer critical review should be around 200 words. The news items and required readings are: Week 2 Abbott, T. (2014) Address to the Sydney Institute, 14 November 2014. Gammage, B. (2011). Fire in 1788: The closest ally. Australian Historical Studies 42(2), 277-288. Week 4 Morrison, S. (2018) On The Australia Day Debate, Sunrise, Channel 7, 24 September 2018. Grehan, H. (2018) First Nations Politics in a Climate of Refusal, Performance Research, 23:3, pp. 7-12. Week 5 Morrison, S. (2018) Response to Richard Di Natale question without notice, Question Time, Parliament of Australia, 26 November 2018. Carson, L. (2011) Dilemmas, disasters and deliberative democracy, Griffith Review Edition 32: Wicked Problems, Exquisite Dilemmas, May 2011 Week 6 Turnbull, M and May, T. (2017) Turnbull and May confident of free trade deal, The Guardian, 11 July 2017. Derek McDougall (2016) Australia and Brexit: Déjà Vu All Over Again? The Round Table, 105:5, 557-572. Week 7 Gillard, J. (2012) In Conversation: Australia in Asian Century White Paper, The Lowy Institute. 21 November 2012. Johnson, C. et.al. (2010) Australia’s Ambivalent Re-imagining of Asia, Australian Journal of Political Science, 45:1, 59-74. Structure of each short answer critical review It is important that you set out your critical reviews in an easy to follow way. The recommended structure is: The main topic – what is this news article about? The speaker’s thesis – what is the public figure’s position on the main topic? The author’s argument – what is the author of this week’s required reading’s main point on this topic? Evidence and examples provided to support the author’s argument Author’s conclusion on the topic. Your critical reviews must be written in proper prose form using complete grammatical sentences. Dot points are not acceptable. Your critical reviews must be written in your own words. Keeping to word limits is an important part of your academic training. 10% above or below is acceptable. Referencing System You are required to include a reference list and cite in the text of the short answer critical reviews the author, year and page number/s of the sources where your information and ideas come from using the APA (in-text) referencing system. It is recommended that you use the APA referencing guide prepared by Western Sydney University Library. The link to this referencing systems is: https://library.westernsydney.edu.au/main/guides/referencing-citation. Assessment Criteria 1. Accurate and concise review of the news article and the author’s view Each review must be an accurate reflection of the content of the news article and the required reading, including of the author’s argument, ideas and views. Your review must also be concise, that is brief and to the point. What is important here is that you have identified the issue raised in the news item and then identified the main argument that the author is making about this and the main points within the reading that support the author’s argument. 2. Critical thinking You should demonstrate the application of critical thinking to the ideas you encounter. This means you should assess them objectively, looking at whether evidence and examples support the argument. Your critical review must be logical (adhere to the principles of reasoning) and coherent (fit together naturally). Your argument must make sense and views presented must be justified. 3. Use of own words Using your own words demonstrates that you have genuinely processed the ideas you are using rather than simply reciting the words of others. Using your own words helps to make the work your own. You should avoid lengthy quotes or ‘cut and paste’ pseudo paraphrasing (where a word or two is mechanically substituted). Use quotes very sparingly. If you do include a quote you must comply with scholarly conventions below. 4. English expression, correct spelling and grammar. Attainment of the minimum standard for writing and presentation is necessary to pass the summary assessment task. There will be no right of resubmission for Task 2 on the grounds of English expression or for any other reason. 5. Adherence to scholarly conventions You must comply with scholarly conventions. This means avoiding plagiarism, including the “cut and paste” variety as discussed above under using your own words. It also means you should correctly and diligently acknowledge any quotes used with quotation marks and citations via in-text referencing and a reference list.


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