Evaluate and Critique a Model or Argument

Students need to be able to break down a model or argument. They must judge the quality of the sources presented as well as determine the validity of their interpretation in the larger course context. Developing these evaluation skills push student’s critical thinking and challenges their understanding of course concepts.


Being able to analyze an argument pushes students knowledge base and critical thinking skills. Breaking down the good and bad of a model allows students to deeply consider the facts and their interpretation in the larger course content. Critical thinking is a fundamental part of this process. Students must read, infer, compare, and evaluate to jude the model or argument. They must then communicate their observations to provide constructive feedback and analysis. By understanding how to critique an argument and learning the potential benefits of such critique, students are also becoming better at receiving criticism.

Evaluate and Critique a Model or Argument can be worked into a variety of activity types! Here are just a few examples:


Research: A research project can be expanded to include a peer-review step. A peer-review allows students to evaluate their classmate’s model and provides the author feedback on how well they defended their point. Critically, establish a set of rules and class norms so that students’ reviews are constructive rather than mean. If you think this may be a problem, you may also have students submit reviews to you so that you can rephrase feedback before handing it back to the author.


Think-Pair-Share: After introducing a new model to the class in lecture, take a pause to allow students to evaluate the model on their own. Give a few minutes for each student to think critically on their own and jot down a few strengths/weaknesses of the new model. Then encourage students to speak to their neighbors to compare their evaluations. Finally, bring the class back together to have a larger class discussion.


There are also ways to focus on Evaluate and Critique a Model or Argument in unexpected activity types.


Statement Corrections: Have a series of statements proposing different models/arguments based on the same set of primary sources. Have students compare each different model, pick the one they feel is the most accurate, then correct the other statements to reflect their choice. If done in independent groups, bring the class back together to see if groups had differing opinions and discuss what aspects of the model convinced them. End by having the class settle on a single model that best represents the primary sources.

Coming soon!