POL 233 Final Essay
Write a formal (either APA or MLA) critical essay paper (approximately 1,500 words), applying principles of critical thinking to your analysis.
- Briefly explain Islamism as a political, civil conservative movement vs. Islamic fundamentalism in relation to Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and Islamic dictatorial régime, as well as Islamist-Jihadi terrorism/insurgencies (Al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iraq) as threats to US-Western security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US or later ones in Europe and world-wide.
Critical analysis involves going into the depths of the subject objectively so that readers get to know the subject better and in detail. A critical analysis should not only be a review, but it should also contain a summary of what other critics say about the work. The major purpose is to voice your concerns, views, and opinions based on correct and logical evidences.
You should be reflective (think deeply and engage in multiple rewrites), not reflexive (inserting the first ideas that come to mind).
Be thorough, precise, and convincing. Feel free to use “if” clauses, “it is possible” clauses, “for his reason X to be true” clauses, and “for the reason to support his conclusion” clauses, or any other creative device you choose to show the impact of any ambiguity or assumption that you have identified.
- Since the required word count is approximately 1,500 words (please keep writing within 100 words in either direction), following an outline is crucial to remain focused on your argument and avoid irrelevant descriptions.
- Refer to the grading rubric at the end of this document for more information about requirements and grading criteria.
Format of a critical analysis:
- Introduction – Your introductory paragraph should set the stage for what is to follow. Use a catchy first line to grab the reader’s attention. In this paragraph, you should present the central theme, the thesis statement, and facts surrounding the main theme. Any important definitions and terms that will have relevance in the body can be defined and explained here if necessary.
- Short summary – Provide a very brief summary of the work being reviewed. Then preview your argument, briefly stating what you will attempt to prove within your argument. Never present any more than the minimum that the reader needs to know to understand your argument.
- Body – This should be the bulk of your paper. It is where the scope of the thesis should be explored and where the facts and data presented in the article are analyzed and checked for logic and accuracy. It is where you will present details of the reviewed material and where you ask the critical thinking questions we have covered so far in the course. You should identify and discuss any and all ambiguous terms and phrases, value and descriptive assumptions, fallacies, sources of evidence or lack of sufficient evidence, credentials of authorities, and appropriate citations, etc. It should clearly demonstrate how your analysis and evaluation influences how you reacted to the reasoning. Most importantly, it should be your argument about the article and not a summary. Even though you are potentially only referring to one source, you still need to cite your information using parenthetical citation or footnotes / endnotes.
- Conclusion – This final paragraph should sum up your overall conclusions. It should not contain any new or additional information. It should very briefly restate the ideas or arguments that have already been presented in the paper, and, more so, it should point out the importance of your argument. Provide an interesting closing—a striking statement or a dramatic example—with reference back to the thesis statement, making an impact and signaling the end of your essay.
Grading Rubric Critical Analysis Essay (Final) Assignment Value: 150 points
I. Introduction (20 points)
- Presents a clear central theme/thesis
- Defines necessary terms
II. Body (80 points)
- Arguments are clearly identified
- Arguments are presented logically
- Similar issues are organized and grouped together
- Evaluation of ambiguities, fallacies, etc. are thoroughly analyzed and discussed
- Focus is on your argument and is not a summary
- Transitions are smooth and appropriate and move the reader through the paper
- Direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries are correctly referenced in MLA or APA format
III. Conclusion (20 points)
- Restates ideas and theme presented
- Does not introduce new ideas
- Does not summarize the paper
- Restates your argument as theme proven by conclusion
IV. Grammar and Style (20 points)
- Written entirely in present tense
- Contains no sentence fragments or run-on sentences
- Avoids use of first person
- Properly punctuated
- Contains no misspelled words
- Well-written sentences
VI. Mechanics (10 points)
- Word count requirements are met