Listen free for 30 days

Audible Membership

$14.95 a month

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $46.98

Buy Now for $46.98

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Tap into the power of effective writing by developing the fundamental critical and analytical skills that transform your writing from "good" to "great." Regardless of your subject, goal, or occasion, these skills will help you organize your thoughts into a coherent piece, make a persuasive argument rooted in facts, and make responsible use of research materials.

You'll find the secrets of these and other methods in 24 accessible lectures that immerse you in the elements of successful writing. With engaging literary and everyday examples, inspirational prompts, and unforgettable insights, this course is the perfect reference guide for both professional and casual writers.

Survey the ways five major literary genres-fiction, essay, poetry, drama, and autobiography-can show you the path to stronger persuasive and critical writing. Writing prompts and practice examples will help you better understand how to apply the insights you'll uncover by studying each genre. See how the art of rhetoric can help you adapt your writing to different situations. The increased awareness of classical rhetoric you gain will go a long way toward making you a stronger writer by calling your attention to the basics of compelling analytical writing. Take a step-by-step look at the four major stages of the writing process-researching, writing a first draft, editing, and rewriting.

Chock full of useful strategies and real-world examples, this course is an invaluable tool for developing your effective writing skills so you can better express yourself to others.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great refresher, awesome insight, brilliant tips

Do you write? Do you write well? Oh coarse you do. After listening to this lecture series not only will you have learned to take it to the next, but you will know how to appreciate your great works.

Packed with useful information! I would venture to say that there is something here for the beginner to the infamous, green to the scholarly!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Maybe it’s just me.

She lists examples of bad writing, then proceeds to demonstrate them. Her opening story about not writing something boring, was well, kinda boring. Her explanation of why writers should not over described, but she over described it. She seems knowledgeable and qualified, maybes it’s just me.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Good but Very Rudimentary

This course was very well organized and extremely engaging thanks to its enthusiastic professor. However, it should be noted that it is extremely rudimentary. If you need refreshers on metaphors and similes, if you're unclear on the difference between "its" and "it's" or between "they're", "there", and "they're" this is for you. Even if you don't, it's never bad for a review and there are still some things to be learned here. Some international listeners may be alienated by the heavy reliance on Americana in the example texts.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

An excellent tool for anyone interested in grammar, sentence structure and writing. Dorsey Armstrong is very clear and understandable in conveying her knowledge on the subject

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Quite basic

I was hoping for something a bit more in depth. There are a couple of gems, but for the most part this quite a basic course.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

well read and thought out.

I really liked the nararator. To often in these lectures people sound as though they don't care about the subject. she sounds as though it's a passion.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Hays
  • 2015-03-01

None of my professors has ever been this helpful!

I have two Master's degrees, but none of my professors have ever been able to explore the art of essay, rhetoric, fact and support, pathos and ethos, quite as well as Dr. Armstrong. Nevertheless, it's never too late to learn.

Thank you. Again, The Great Courses continues to live up to its tradition odd excellence in teaching.

Gratefully,
Richard F. Hays

81 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2015-05-20

A course I wish I'd had in high school or college

I was an English major in college. I learned to do research and write papers. I think I have some natural writing ability, and I know I am very logical. Nevertheless, writing essays was agony for me. I had no idea how to outline. I put the project off to the last minute. Thanks to many all-nighters, I was able to get good grades.

Thirty-five years later, I listened to this course for a couple of reasons.

I'm a supervisor and have to provide written feedback. Almost always, I end up writing the reviews at the last possible moment and stress about not having done them sooner.

I am also a Toastmaster. As a Toastmaster, I give 15 to 20 speeches a year. After 24 years, I've finally learned to outline, but I thought this course might help me organize my thoughts more efficiently. I have a technical speech that I've been planning to give, but couldn't quite figure out how to organize and present it to a non-technical audience.

This course (perhaps the 20th I've listened to) is one of the two best I've heard. (The other was "The Other Side of History".)

Professor Armstrong is a gifted and engaging lecturer. She provides insight into her own writing, which informs her recommendations of best methods. She has concrete suggestions for how these techniques can be used both inside and outside academia. (Letters to the editor, resume writing, etc.)

She gives us examples of poor or average writing, then recommends changes that undeniably improve the work.

Her course is clear, well-organized, easy to follow and (surprisingly) fun.

My niece wants to teach high school English. I have recommended this course. If I had been presented with this material in my youth, my writing would have been better and my sleep more prolific. As it is, I believe my habits and my writing will improve thanks to Professor Armstrong and this course.

142 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marc
  • 2016-06-26

A repitition of what you probably learned before

If you could sum up Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything in three words, what would they be?

As always, it is entertaining to listen to Mrs. Armstrong and following her energetic, though sometimes quite "read from the manuscript" sounding performances.
There isn't anything "new" or "surprising" in the collection of good advice, personal experience and global approaches to writing (researching, collecting and sorting data, reworking / editing or not, finding your own workflow etc). You have heard it all before, but it still is encouraging to hear it in a positive, productive way. That is what Mrs. Armstrong has to offer in this course.

The downside is, as always when it comes to "what is good style?", Mrs. Armstrong's assumption that her own perspective of "good style" is the only possible. When she reads out examples of texts that she herself considers "sub-optimal", she does it in a way that would even make a "perfect" text sound terrible. A bad performance can ruin the best line, and using your performance skills (which she definitely commands) to make a piece of work sound worse than it actually is, to me is "bad style".
The same goes for what Mrs. Armstrong considers "better" or "good" style. Although in most cases her examples show some improvements, those improvements ALWAYS head for a very common, very alike "standard text", which may not be what the writer or the reader actually wants.

In short: I recommend this course to anyone who needs a reminder of well picked suggestions to improve your general writing skills. But do not expect to get a recipe book/course for GOOD writing of any kind, you have to take it with salt and you still have to weigh what you consder "good advice" versus "that's just high school text, I am too old for that".

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Louis
  • 2013-09-28

Really helpful overview.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything?

Professor Armstrong's course would be a great introduction to the basics of good writing for anyone, but is particularly useful for someone just starting his or her college career. Having said this, I am an established professional and the father of a high school senior, and I found this course very helpful for me personally. Writing is a big part of my job (I work in academic medicine), and while I think of myself as being a fairly good writer, this course has made me much more conscious of what I do - and what I should do - when I write. Sometimes people who think they know the basics are the ones that need to review them the most. I also found the informal style of presentation very engaging. Highly recommended.

77 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kgt
  • 2015-06-25

Splendid!

Would you consider the audio edition of Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything to be better than the print version?

Yes, definitely

What other book might you compare Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything to and why?

Not yet! This is the best. I thank audible and great courses for bringing great professors to be heard in countries and to people who otherwise would have never had such an opportunity.

Which scene was your favorite?

How to read a passage part was excellent

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nathan
  • 2015-02-28

Good Introduction to Essay Writing

If you could sum up Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything in three words, what would they be?

Lectures informative and useful.

Any additional comments?

As with her series on the Medieval World, I enjoyed Professor Armstrong's lectures on writing. The primary theme of this series was how to write an essay. All of the lectures supported this theme with lectures 6-10 actually showing how to write the essay. She used examples from popular literature to illustrate how important it is to pay attention to how the author is perceived by the audience. In addition, the use of other genres at appropriate times can also enhance the writing piece. She finished the series by discussing how to edit and rewrite the essay. With this, she used examples from her area of research on King Arthur. This series was a review for me, but also showed me how to use different approaches in my writing.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bror Erickson
  • 2015-03-07

Reading, Writing, the Symbiotic Relationship

Prof. Armstrong emphasizes the relationship of reading to writing throughout this course. You can't write unless you also read. More than that, she talks about critiquing what you read in order to learn to write better.
Much of what she teaches is for the purpose of writing essays and term papers. She has a lot of helpful tips for doing research and how to to research, including how to vet sources on the internet. As such this course will be especially helpful for college students and ambitious high school students, though the usefulness of the course is by no means limited them.
She has lots of useful tips on getting started too, which would be helpful for anyone who makes a living or would like to make a living as a writer. As well as helpful tips for editing your own work.
Most helpful though, are her many tips and resources for reading with a critical eye and ear for the purpose of improving your own writing, and then to write often as well.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 2015-06-05

Educational and entertaining

This was excellent, in fact is excellent, as I intend to refer back to it regularly. A well balance and entertaining series of lectures that offered sound and solid advice, peppered with relevant and inspiring examples.
I particularly liked the investigation of all the different forms of writing throughout the learning experience. The contribution of one form to the improvement of another was an inspiration for me.
I would have liked to have had the exercises included in some of the chapters available in some way.
Other than that, I was very satisfied with this course.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan Madsen
  • 2015-06-29

Good for College, Less so for Popular Writing

This course is excellent if you're beginning college and want to know how to write for an academic audience (eg your professor). It covers all basic tactical approaches for more effective writing, such as varying sentence structure, organizing an essay and using proper grammar.

What it doesn't do is delve deep below the surface of what makes a person truly want to read a book - something critical to a popular fiction or historical author. All the advice is very "safe" - I think most college professors would agree with 98% of what the professor states in this work.

It does not get into the more nuanced and innovative aspects of writing like how to write compelling dialogue or how to truly tell a good story. It doesn't talk about character development or efficient flow in writing.

In other words, this is a great course to get an A in a college English class. It's also a good foundation to start a journey or writing (everything in this course should be known by a good writer). But it's not a course for good writer looking for techniques to take one's writing to the next level. As we know, it's not the safe the safe approach that makes a fiction or nonfiction book; but rather it's the bold, groundbreaking elements. That's where this course falls short.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • epoul
  • 2018-05-06

Know What You're Getting

I've given this course the lowest rating for a few reasons. But let me just say out of the gate that I can imagine someone else having a very different experience with this course and finding it far more interesting and helpful than I did. This is primarily due to my chief complaint about it: this is an undergrad 101 course on writing, at best. In actuality, I'd say it's closer to high school level. If you're at the level and want a primer on writing in general, this might be for you. If, however, you're a working writer looking to explore and better understand your craft, this is most certainly not the course for you. For that, I'd recommend the courses on building better sentences, writing novels, and even the grammar boot camp course was informative and engaging. Throughout most of this course I felt like I was sitting through those boring undergrad 101 courses I've come to not only dislike, but also see as not particularly helpful to aspiring writers.

The second critique I'd wager here is that this isn't even an exceptional example of one of those 101 courses. From the writing and presentation of the lectures to the literary excerpts used as examples, this course left me feeling frustrated and unengaged. As a matter of fact, as someone who's studied and practiced writing for years, I found myself wondering about this professor's personal relationship to writing, because if there is a genuine affection and deeper understanding of what makes great writing great, it is not often apparent.

Bottom line, these things are entirely subjective. This course did not resonate with me and my interests, but it may be fine for you. Just know that this is a pretty straightforward, by the numbers, 101 style course. Probably best for high school kids looking for some tips on writing their college application essays, or those admirable folks choosing to skip college altogether, save themselves tens of thousands of dollars, and just educate themselves instead. They could do worse than this course.

20 people found this helpful