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Try this reading comprehension?

  1. Mar 7, 2012 #1
    I keep encountering people who think "critical" means carping or fault-finding, and nothing more. So it would seem that the critic's pen, once mightier than the sword, has been supplanted by the ax. Yet I have always maintained that the critic has three duties: to write as well as a novelist or playwright; to be a teacher, taking off from where the classroom, always prematurely, has stopped, and to be a thinker, looking beyond his specific subject at society, history, philosophy. Reduce him to a consumer guide, run his reviews on a Web site mixed in with the next-door neighbor's pontifications, and you condemn criticism to obsolescence.

    Based on the above paragraph, which of the following qualities was NOT mentioned/deemed essential by the author as a critique?

    A Enlightening and instructional
    B Original thinking
    C Matter-of-fact attitude
    D Philosophical insight
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2012 #2


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    This sure seems like homework. What do you think?
  4. Mar 7, 2012 #3


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    Ah well, so much for critical thinking - for those folks at least.
  5. Mar 8, 2012 #4
    No, not homework, I'm trying to see whether there is something inherently different from people majoring in Liberal Arts and us engineering majors.

    The correct answer is completely senseless. So may be I'm the odd one out.
  6. Mar 8, 2012 #5
    Ans: C Matter-of-fact attitude
    The author did mention:
    A Enlightening and instructional "be a teacher"
    B Original thinking "be a thinker"
    D Philosophical insight "looking beyond his specific subject at society, history, philosophy"
  7. Mar 8, 2012 #6

    This is the problem.

    The correct answer is not C. Hehehe.

    My guess was C at first. But the liberal arts major said I was wrong.

    Glad I'm not the weirdo here...
  8. Mar 8, 2012 #7
    Was a reason given?
  9. Mar 8, 2012 #8
    I notice that the phrase "as a critique" is used here, when "in a critique" or "for a critique" would have been more felicitous. "...qualities...essential...in a critique," or "...qualities...essential...for a critique".

    The way it is phrased causes you to wonder if "critique" is supposed to describe the author: "...the author as critique," in which case it should have been "critic":

    "...which of the following qualities was not mentioned/deemed essential by the author as critic?" (i.e. in his capacity as a critic.)

    It is not, strictly speaking, clear which was meant, and neither was clearly enough indicated that we could justify selecting one over the other. If your friend is a truly fascistic reading comprehensionist, he might be saying any choice is wrong since the question is, as written, syntactically "sprung".

    Other than that, I can't see why it shouldn't be "C", like everyone else.
  10. Mar 8, 2012 #9


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    I guessed C too, what the "right" answer? D?
  11. Mar 8, 2012 #10
    I don't think the case for original/creative thinking is that good. So, if not C then B.
  12. Mar 8, 2012 #11
    I said B at first
  13. Mar 8, 2012 #12


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    As for matter-of-fact attitude, isn't it important for a teacher to point to facts, i.e, what has actually been written?
  14. Mar 8, 2012 #13
    I immediately thought B was the answer.
  15. Mar 8, 2012 #14


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    Good point, it's a critique. No original research (or thinking) should enter in. It should be based on accepted mainstream so that there's SOME standard.
  16. Mar 8, 2012 #15
    You may be right that no original thinking should go into a critique. However, the question was "which of the following qualities was not mentioned?" Thinking beyond the specific subject was mentioned. If the answer is not C, then we must find where in the essay it mentioned matter-of-fact attitude. I'm still looking.
  17. Mar 8, 2012 #16
    I also didn't see where it mentioned original thinking. It mentioned that you need to be a thinker, but it didn't mention original thinking.
  18. Mar 8, 2012 #17
    I don't see how you can think "beyond" without original thinking.
  19. Mar 8, 2012 #18


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    D is the answer.
    "looking beyond his specific subject at society, history, philosophy"
    He might have philisophical insight, but not necessarily so, and only if his subject matter is philosophy.

    A is necessary due to "to be a teacher" and "be a thinker"
    B is necessary due to "taking off from where the classroom, always prematurely, has stopped" (implying 'the' something beyond rote and roster) and "to be a thinker"
    C is necessary due to"to write as well as a novelist or playwright"

    Do I win the prize?
  20. Mar 8, 2012 #19
    Novels are matters of fact?
  21. Mar 8, 2012 #20


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    The act of writing a novel does entail some degree of knowledge of language and how words and phrases can be put together to form and convey an idea to the reader. It is a matter of fact that someone should have knowledge of sentence structure, and be aware of the usage of literary tools to communicate feelings and ambiance through words. Novelist and playwights attempt, sometimes with great success. The critic must also use these matters of fact in writing, to be successful.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
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