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Critical Thinking Assignment Guidelines

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Part One: Vocabulary

Choose 5 words from the story.  Do these 3 things for each word: give the PART OF SPEECH, the DEFINITION, and write a sentence in YOUR OWN WORDS.  Be warned:  If you copy and paste a sentence from or any other source, it is plagiarism and you will receive a zero!

Part Two: Precis

FULL CITATION: This is where you place your full citation of what you’ve read! A full citation fully identifies your source.  

Step 1: List the author of the short story. Write the author’s last name, then a comma, then the author’s first name and a period.

Step 2: Type the name of the short story one space after the period and put it in quotation marks. Include a period after the short story’s name but before the closing quotation mark.


Step 3: Write the name of the textbook in italics one space after the quotation mark. Insert a period after the textbook name.


Step 4: Type “Ed.” one space after the period and then insert the textbook editor’s name. The editor’s first name should be listed first, followed by his last name and then a period. If the editor’s name isn’t listed on the cover of your textbook, you should be able to find it on the cover page, which is usually the second or third page of the textbook.


Step 5: Locate where the textbook was published, the publisher and the year it was published on the cover page of the textbook. List the place of publication one space after the previous period, followed by a colon. List the publisher one space after the colon, followed by a comma, the year the textbook was published and a period.


Step 6: List the page range of the short story within the textbook one space after the period, followed by a period.


Step 7: Type the medium of publication one space after the period. If it’s a print textbook you are using, type “Print.” If it’s an electronic textbook you are using, type “Electronic.”


The following highlighted example is provided for you.

(You will simply change the name of the author, the story title, and the page numbers.)
Hamill, Pete.  “The Yellow Ribbon.”  Voices and Values. Ed. Janet M. Goldstein and John Langan. New Jersey: Townsend Press, 2015.  299-301. Print

Sentence #1.  AUTHOR’S MAIN POINT:

  • The MAIN POINT is the chief point that the author is making about a topic. It sums up the author’s primary message.  To help you determine the main idea, you should look for the Topic Sentence. This is a statement of the main idea under which all other examples, reasons, facts, details and other evidence can fit.
  • Ask yourself:  “What is the main point the author is trying to make?” and  “Does all or most all of the material support this main idea?”


  • This would be the facts, statements, or examples which guide you to a full understanding of the main idea.  The PRIMARY SUPPORT clarifies, illuminates, explains, describes, and illustrates the main idea.
  • Look for the details! Who, what, when, where, how?

Sentence #3.  AUTHOR’S PURPOSE: 

Although there are many reasons to write, to persuade, to inform or to entertain/share represent the three main forms of author’s purpose. Most other reasons can be grouped into those three broader categories.  A simple trick to remember the three main categories of author’s purpose is to use the acronym PIES, which stands for:

·         persuade

·         inform

·         entertain or share

 Decide which ONE the author is using and state it in a complete sentence.

Sentence #4.  AUTHOR’S AUDIENCE:

  • An intended audience refers to the type of people a writer has in mind when composing an essay, a story, a newspaper article, etc. To determine audience, it might help you to ask these questions:

*Who is the general audience the writer is trying to reach?

*Who is most likely to be interested in the reading?

  • Example: An article in a parenting magazine about keeping hair beautiful with very little maintenance
  • Intended Audience: Busy moms
  • Another Example: An article about stock prices of a certain company in a financial magazine
  • Intended Audience: investors or business people

Part Three: Question, Quote, and Cite

Question #1.  Answer this IN YOUR OWN WORDS.


Question #2.  Choose a QUOTE that supports what you said in question #1 and CITE with parenthetical citation.

Citations within your paper (Parenthetical)
Use the name of the author of the short story…..not the textbook author to cite within the text.

Note: there is no comma after author’s name and no p. before the page number.

The following highlighted text is an example of parenthetical citation: (This information will be cited at the end of your answer for question #2) 

“I did it and I went to jail.  If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. That’s what they say and they’re right.” (Hamill 300, par. 4)

Question #3.  Explain WHY you think this quote supports the answer you gave to question #1.

Part Four

Think about what you’ve read and answer the questions in complete, thoughtful sentences. Use correct spelling 

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