Lots of people think of criticism as something that is inherently negative since it highlights what someone else has done wrong. In today’s postmodern realm of hyper-sensitivity, many students believe that there is absolutely no objective truth and because it might hurt someone’s feelings or disempower them that it is wrong to criticize. This view of criticism is wrong, however, since it takes criticism to weed out bad ideas, fine-tune good ideas, and further scholarship. Ultimately, academic criticism is not a negative thing but a confident one, developing a strong set of insights into scholarship.
This is one reason that instructors use critical analysis essays as a teaching method. (more…)