critical thinkingReading this article  how can we answer these questions: 1. what is the author's purpose?...

critical thinking

Reading this article 

how can we answer these questions:

1. what is the author's purpose?

2. what is the author's point of view?
3. what assumptions are made?
4. what are the implications?
5. what evidence is provided?
6. what are inferences or conclusions?
7. what are the basic concepts?
8. what are the key questions?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1.What is the author's purpose?

The author's purpose is to inquire whether we have been misinformed by government agencies and/or the press on current worldwide dangers particularly pertaining North Korea and its nuclear program.

2. What is the author's point of view? As a factual report, it is third person.
3. What assumptions are made? That Bush did not get proper facts about certain world events.
4. What are the implications? America and other countries with major populations are misinformed and will make conjectures that are wrong.
5. What are inferences or conclusions? "They are lying to us". "Do not believe everything you read". "Someone is trying to mislead us"
6. What are the basic concepts? Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Nuclear capability
7. What are the key questions? "How will this impact further negotiations?" Other implications are: "Are we in danger?" "Is the press overestimating this?" "Can we trust the media and other forms of communication?"

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As has been been pointed out above, a very significant claim of evidence occurs in the following sentence:

What the administration knew in 2002 -- and what remains uncontested now -- is that North Korea secretly obtained 20 centrifuges for uranium enrichment from Pakistan and purchased other equipment needed to construct a large-scale enrichment facility.

Note the great degree of specificity here -- specificity of time (2002 and 2007), specificity of number (20 centrifuges) , specificity about the source country (Pakistan), and specificity about what the 20 centrifuges would allow the North Koreans to do ("construct a large-scale enrichment facility"). All these different kinds of specificity make this sentence seem especially important, because if any or all of these specific claims could be disproven, then the general persuasiveness of the article would be greatly challenged.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is not clear that simply because the op-ed appeared in the Washington Post that it represents a liberal point of view or, for that matter, that a liberal point of view necessarily would be against a hardline on foreign policy issues like the one in question. Indeed, the point seems to be that despite the discovery that the Bush administration overstated threats in order to justify a hardline position, the behavior of officials in Pyongyang should still be taken seriously. This strikes me as a remarkably nuanced and balanced argument, particularly as it was written in 2007, the nadir of the conflict in Iraq before the "surge."

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Whenever one reads articles from newspapers, especially editorials, one must always consider which paper has published this article.  The Washington Post is a known liberal press as is the cited New York Times.  As such, their positions would be slanted against the build-up of any force against a country.  So, the point of view of the author is stated in the lead-line in which accusations are against the CIA and George Bush, but there is a desire to have Pyongyang to explain the Korean uranium program.


readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an appropriate question in view of the recent death of Kim Jong Il. The point of the article is to question the intelligence community and the Bush administration. Perhaps conservative people in America overestimate the dangers overseas without good evidence. Hence, the article ask how we know anything. In short, we need to ask: what do we know and more importantly how do we know it? Finally, it also question North Korea and their willingness to negotiate.

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One major piece of evidence in this report is "what remains uncontested now" in 2007 when it was written. The issue at hand is that Bush came under further suggestions of misconducting foreign policy. The important issue addressedby the report was the relevance of the new investigation on upcoming discussions about "the issue in the next phase of negotiations." Therefore the evidential statement of what was known and uncontested is necessary and important.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The biggest question that this article raises is the extent to which the CIA has mishandled or manipulated information to raise fears in the same way that it was accused of doing with Iraq and Sadaam and Hussein. There is definitely a sense in which intelligence agencies are responsible for fabricating evidence or at least exaggerating certain fears or possibilities for their own ends.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an editorial so its purpose is to persuade.  It is trying to persuade us that we do not really know what is going on in North Korea.  We do not really know what actions the US government should take because we do not know how serious North Korea is about giving up their nuclear program.

Woody Durant | Student

what evidence is provided? What are the basic concepts? what are inferences and conclusions? when it comes to that article.