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Writing Assessment Guidance

Critical Writing Skills
March 2023
Nicola Platt
Additional Assessment Information
Additional Information for Completion of Assessment:
Drawing on research, the core text and wider reading list, along with the learning resources from this
module your answers and observations should be justified, underpinned by credible academic sources
and in line with the learning outcomes.
It is not enough to merely describe the relevant theories or the question set, there should be clear
evidence of your understanding of the topic and its relation to professional practice; critical evaluation
and feasible recommendations /solutions offered. Your business case should be clear – you need to
advise what the activity (ies) is/are, what the business can expect as a result of implementing them and
how this should manifest itself in behaviours/motivation/engagement.
Your proposal should include the commercial consideration of your topic, i.e. what the estimated cost
implications are and what the return on Investment [ROI] and return on expectation [ROE] might be.
In-text citations are required, however, a full reference list is not required.
All elements of your portfolio MUST be submitted in Microsoft Word format, if it is not, it will not be
marked and you will, therefore, fail this assessment.
Critical Thinking
“Critical thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief
or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the evidence that
supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends”.
(Glaser, 1941, cited in Cottrell, 2003, 221)
Critical Analysis
Critical analysis can be conceptualised in four steps: claim,
confirmation, contention, conclusion.
Constructing Academic Arguments
When writing your response to the assessment question consider:
- wider reading of books, journals, professional body view points;
- the theory you select and how you apply it to your answer;
- a critical analysis/evaluation noting other models, theories etc.;
- how you write, so structure, the first two points to demonstrate
your critical thinking to the reader; and
- the narrative you create, always linking back to the question.
Example 1
Example 2 - Activity
Write a paragraph, or discuss in groups, how you might build critical
analysis. Consider an organisation you know and critically analyse
some available design options, noting structures, relationships and
drawing upon theory relating to systems thinking and models.
A reminder of some systems models:
Undertake wider reading and apply this within your work:
- use paraphrasing, citations, quotes
- use Harvard Referencing consistently
Consider a systematic questioning approach to all your sources, concepts,
theories or models:
- are the theories dated?
- what is the basis for their claim e.g. empirical research?
- is there evidence of use in practice?
- how does this inform your work?
Apply, analyse and evaluate the sources rather than describing it:
- lean more towards paraphrasing rather than quotes
- check your similarity rating.
Further Resources
The University of Lincoln library – books or online catalogue:
• On the homepage click on ‘support for’ on the navigation bar and select
‘academic writing’ from the drop down list.
• Click on ‘critical thinking’ on the left hand side options list
There are also recommended books/e-books, MOOCs and guides
including Cottrell, S. (2017) Critical Thinking Skills. London: Palgrave.