Three Rivers Community College

Anthony Benoit

Phone: 885-2386 | Office: Room TH 201B


PSY K111 General Psychology I

Spring ’04 (Wednesday evening section)

Information on the critiques:

See How to Write a Good Critique for step by step instructions.

The critiques will be based on readings in the Taking Sides book. The first one will be based on Issue 3 ("Is the Consumer Reports conclusion that 'Psychotherapy Helps' valid?"). Each critique should be approximately one to four typewritten (ie, computer printed) pages. I will give you a handout describing how to write the sort of essay I am looking for. Be sure that you understand the assignment before you invest your time in writing.

You should read both points of view and analyze both sides of the argument. Decide which side makes a stronger case and then write an argument in favor of that side based on the two articles. Your conclusions should be based on the reasons presented in the book. Point out the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. Read and write carefully.

These essays should not be a statement of your opinion, but rather a logical argument for a point of view, based on the information given in the readings. Try to write an essay that will convince your reader of the correctness of the point of view for which you are arguing. Statements such as "I feel…," "I think...," "I believe...," or even "I agree..." are unconvincing and will not add strength to these essays. My Latin teacher in high school used to say, "What is gratuitously asserted may be gratuitously denied." Little kids argue back and forth: "Is so." "Is not." "Is so," etc.

Quotations from the articles can be very effective, and you are encouraged to use them. But, you must clearly indicate the presence of quoted material by using quotation marks and giving page numbers.

You are permitted to include knowledge, data, information and theory from the textbook or other readings, as you see fit. However, a thorough and complete critique can usually be written based solely on the Taking Sides book. Avoid speculation and personal anecdotes.

You might actually write in favor of a viewpoint with which you personally disagree. If you do write in favor of your opinion you must support it with information and arguments from the assigned articles or other sources.

I will read these papers for the clarity and strength of your arguments. However, I will also comment on your typing, spelling, grammar and syntax. Your grade will be based both on content and on the quality of the writing. In some cases, I may allow you to rewrite a paper to correct any deficiencies. You should submit all four critiques on time. You will lose 2 points (out of 10) for each week that each paper is late.

The Tutoring and Academic Success Center (TASC) has tutors who can help you with basic and advanced writing skills. I will also make myself available outside of class, by phone (860 885-2386) and by email ( to assist you in writing these essays. The Writing Center has email writing tutors available. Call 892-5799 or email

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