Critical methods assessment


















  1. Essay evaluation

A review of the essay Compare and contrast the way that John Milton in Paradise Regained and Jim Crace in Quarantine treat ONE of the following themes; resurrection, miracle, evil, truth OR suffering.

            In the first sentence, ‘Crace manages to use suspense (how will he survive?) and –finally- a beautifully elegant and rationally satisfying explanation of how the Christ cult originates’ use of beautifully in the same sentence as elegant is redundant as it does play a complementary role in  or change the meaning of the sentence. The hyphenation is also questionable. In the first paragraph, the use of ‘confound’ and ‘satisfy’ to describe the state of the audience is at best contradictory. Confound refers to confusion and a confused person is unlikely to be satisfied.

Poor structuring of sentences is detected in paragraph two. The sentence ‘paradise regained keeps quite closely with the gospel according to Luke 4 1-13’should have ended after the word gospel. Poor choice of words is detected too. It would have been more apt to use ‘stays close’ as opposed to ‘keeps quite closely’. There is also excessive use of adjectives in describing the Persona of the man Jesus healed.

Poor punctuation is again detected in page two, paragraph two. A comma is needed after the word ‘rejected’ in the sentence, ’After Satan offers Jesus a feast and is rejected…’. Contradictory statements are made on the same matter in different sections of the essay. In the second paragraph of the first page, the writer describes the effects of starving on Jesus’ body with the statement,

‘Jesus does not starve for forty days and merely feel hungry, we are given graphic accounts of his body as it slowly disintegrates,’ , but in the third paragraph of the second page he declares, ’ He also refuses food and water for forty days with no physical repercussions.’

Overall, I find the essay fairly well written. The writer has obviously gone to great lengths to understand the message the authors are attempting to convey in the context of the chosen word. Poor sentence structure and simple punctuation errors have been the only major undoing.

2. A literature search on criticism of cigarette advertisement.

This literature search covers what opponents of cigarette advertisements that target youth have to say.  A major aspect of tobacco control guidelines has been eliminating the exposure of youth to tobacco promotions (Bonnie, Stratton and Wallace 6). The same authors add that tobacco companies argue that the youth are just incidental recipients of their promotional campaigns and that no adverts specifically target them. However there is evidence that this might not be accurate.  According to Shimp new evidence suggests that even teenagers are being targeted using new strategies where adverts are placed in movies (609). As Hoyer and Macinnis found out, the
youth who are more exposed to cigarette adverts have the greatest propensity to become heavy smokers later in life (481).

D) The word sequence chosen is; Prestige (n.), bachelor (n.), dunce (n.), holocaust (n.), shambles (n.)

According to the oxford dictionary, prestige is the widespread respect and admiration felt for someone or something on the basis of perception of their achievements or quality. If something or someone evokes prestige, they command some general admiration from society perhaps due to their achievements or deeds in the event that it is a person or in the case of an inanimate object; perhaps superior workmanship, good aesthetics and reliability. For instance, in the sentence ‘Mercedes is one of the most prestigious cars’, the adjective prestigious suggests that the car is one of the most respected makes.

Bachelor is defined in the oxford dictionary as ‘a man who is not married and has never been. It also has a zoological definition of the word as a male mammal that has been prohibited from mating. A holder of a first university degree is also referred to as a bachelor. One would wonder however in these days of gender awareness whether female bachelors would prefer to be called bachelorettes. In the historical context, the oxford defines the bachelor as a young knight serving under another’s banner. The word seems to be popular to describe someone who’s either had no previous experience with something or just had a single experience as seen in academics and the historical context.

The OED defines a dunce as ‘a person who is slow at learning or in essence a stupid person. It is interesting to note that the word is inspired by an actual human being, John Dun Scotus. John was said to be averse towards learning. However, the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy describes John’s thoughts as ‘brilliantly intricate and nuanced’ which is ironic given that John’s name inspired a word used to describe a person of limited wits.

The word Holocaust is a reference to the mass murder of Jews by the Nazi regime during the Second World War. The OED defines it as destruction or slaughter on a mass scale especially through fire or nuclear blasts. The word has Greek, French and Latin roots but it seems to generally refer to destruction through incineration.

The OED defines Shambles as a scene of complete disorder and ruin. Shambles can thus be compared with holocaust in that they both refer to scenes of complete chaos. Perhaps the can even complement each other in an expression such as, ’The holocaust left the Jewish nation in complete shambles.’

4. They say that one should not judge a book by its cover. That sounds sensible, since the contents within are what we are ultimately after. However it would be naïve to suggest that a prospective reader is not initially drawn to a book due to its external appearance. The cover is definitely of some significance and should be thought of as the initial interaction of the buyer with the book, if he or she is not impressed, it is unlikely that the publication will get a second glance.

If am buying a book, its visual appearance will definitely play a great role in my final decision. Books in a store are arranged according to categories, so with hundreds of books covering the same topic, the most eye- catching has a great chance of drawing my interest. A cover also reflects other attributes regarding the book other than its literal value. When a book is becomes a published and printed publication, it becomes not just an expression of the author’s thoughts but of cultural principles of a moment in history (Drew and Sternberger 8). These cultural ideals should be well articulated on a professional modern cover.

The cover of a book should also provide a great hint of the content within. The hint should not be all revealing but should instead offer a tantalizing allusion as to what to expect. If the cover design can arouse the potential reader’s interest enough, it might prove to be deal clincher. However covers should not be overdone. According to Altitude associates, the best covers are those that have an intricate and well crafted combination of boldness cunning and simplicity, these books just keep drawing readers to the stands.

It would appear then that despite how exclusive the text is, the packaging should be equally alluring so that the full potential of the publication can be achieved.



Works cited

Altitude , Associates. The Best of Cover Design: Books, Magazines, Catalogs, and More.             Rockport Publishers, May 1, 2011.

Bonnie, Richard, Stratton Kathleen and Wallace Robert. Ending the Tobacco Problem:

A Blueprint for the nation, National Academies Press, 2007.

Drew, Ned and Paul Sternberger. By its cover: modern American book cover design,

Princeton  Architectural Press, 2005.

Hoyer , Wayne and Macinnis Deborah. Consumer Behavior, Cengage Learning, 2009.

Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, John Duns Scotus First published Thu May 31, 2001;          substantive revision Wed Dec 23, 2009.

Shimp, Terence. Advertising,  promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing          communications. Cengage Learning, 2008


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