A Sample Critical Response
The following is an example of how one student responded to the article “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names.” (Again, remember: “Sticks and Stones” is not the article that you will be reading and responding to. However, this example does provide a good example of how to craft the critical response, in general.)
As you read this example, ask yourself what you notice about the critical response—in terms of purpose, focus, tone, organization and formatting.
Sticks and Stones and Contradictions
I found Richard Estrada’s article, “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names,” unconvincing, and also a bit confusing. Estrada’s language seems inflated, exaggerated, and even contradictory. His evidence is entirely anecdotal, and as a result, we receive very few concrete facts to support his claims. In addition, Estrada’s credibility is unclear throughout the article.
To begin with, Estrada uses many exaggerated and contradictory phrases. For instance, Estrada claims that using ethic sports teams names and mascots is “dehumanizing” to Native Americans (280). To “dehumanize” is to deprive someone of human qualities, yet Estrada never proves that this is actually what ethic sports names actually do. In fact, he completely contradicts this notion of “dehumanization” in the previous sentence, by discussing why these mascots were chosen in the first place. “The noble symbols of the Redskins or college football’s Florida Seminoles or the Illinois Illini are meant to be strong and proud” (Estrada 280). Noble. Strong. Proud. These are all human qualities; indeed, they are qualities many people aspire to attain. So how can such symbols be dehumanizing?