Critical Analysis of What Patients Taught Me
Option B: Critical Analysis of a Literary Work (100 pts)
The book I chose is What Patients Taught Me: A Medical Student´s Journey by Audrey Young (ethics of the ordinary)
The purpose of the Literary Critique is to give students the opportunity to examine a specific topic in health care ethics as it is presented by a piece of literary
work and to facilitate the construction of a well-reasoned personal position about the topic. The paper should be no more than 8 pages in total length. Because the
paper is designed to facilitate an unbiased and thoughtful analysis of the selected topic, students may use first-person narrative only in the final section of the
paper reflecting the student’s individual position about the topic.
To complete this project, students will select ONE work from the suggested reading list. Alternate literary works may be proposed to the course instructor, but must be
approved in writing (email) prior to the start of the project. The paper must include the following elements and each element must be clearly noted in the narrative
using proper APA section headers.
For some guidance on how to write this paper refer to the sample literary critique paper titled the Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat
Topic Introduction (10 pts) (1 to 2 pages)
Each of the literary works on the book list are selected for the range of issues presented in the story about a given topic. With that in mind, students should plan to
narrow the book summary to ONE health care ethics issue as it is presented by the selected book along with the controversy associated with that issue. Hence, the topic
introduction must clearly identify the issue and the associated controversy, and it should provide enough background information, including definitions, to allow the
reader to identify the issues. The narrative in this section should include a clearly identified problem statement, or thesis, as well as a range of ethical issues to
be dealt with in the analysis and some clearly defined viewpoints about those issues. The ethical issues should be framed as ethical questions. All sources used in
this section should be properly cited and referenced.
When constructing the topic introduction, you should assume the reader is not familiar with the book or the topic.
Book Summary and Critique (15 pts) (2 pages)
Once the specific controversy and problem statement have been crafted in the topic introduction, the book summary and critique section of the paper should provide an
overview of the problem and issues as they are presented in the selected literary work. Therefore, the book summary will not be merely a play-by-play of the story as
it unfolds. Rather, the summary should describe the specific context in which the selected issue is presented in the story, as well as a review of the associated
dilemmas faced by the characters and their viewpoints about the issue. Remember, it is important to maintain a very narrow focus on the selected problem as it is easy
to migrate from it towards the broader issues often presented in literary works on these topics.
The critique should include a review of HOW the selected problem is presented in the story. Is there an obvious author agenda in presenting the issues? Is the
information in the story factual and relevant? Are the characters’ responses believable? Are the various viewpoints balanced and authentic? Remember, in the critique,
it is important to avoid rhetoric. Instead, seek to offer a balanced critique of the story which allows your reader to fully understand the range of issues inherent in
the selected topic. Avoid the introduction of argumentation in this section.
Analysis (35 pts) (2 pages)
This section of the paper will be used to create cogent arguments about the selected topic in direct response to the problem statement and ethical issues identified in
the topic introduction. A bulleted list may be used to present arguments in this section. Each argument should include the use of at least one ethical principle or
theory as applied to the given argument in tandem with a review of relevant information that either supports or refutes the viewpoint presented by the argument. This
section offers the opportunity to further argue the characters positions in the story.
Because the analysis is intended to facilitate a well-balanced presentation of the issues, it is also important to include at least one counter-argument for each of
the initial arguments. Counter-arguments should point out the weaknesses of initial arguments and should examine the circumstances under which one might abandon or
otherwise alter the initial position. All counter-argument should reflect how a particular theory or principle can be applied to refute original arguments. Additional
relevant information should also support arguments made on this side of the debate. Any additional sources used in this section should be included in the reference
list. All reference entries should be identified with a corresponding in-text citation.
Personal Position (20 pts) (1 to 2 pages)
The personal position provides a direct response to the problem statement and the ethical questions by taking a specific stance on the issues presented in the paper. A
well-rounded literary critique will conclude with a few sentences indicating how the story influenced the student’s position on the topic. The position statement
should also present an objective summary of the analysis as it pertains to the issues presented, and should flow logically from the analysis. Additionally, the
position statement should include a solid justification for why a particular stance is more relevant or compelling that other possible viewpoints on the issue.
Grading for this section is NOT based upon the rightness or wrongness of conclusions; rather, points will be earned based upon the degree to which the position is
supported by the analysis, and the strength of the justification in terms of ethical language.
The Ethics Project Option A paper will be scored according to the following rubric:
Topic introduction 20 points
Book Summary and Critique 15 points
Analysis – Arguments / Counter-arguments 35 points
Personal Position 20 points
Clarity of expression including style, grammar, writing mechanics,and proper use of APA format.
Writing should be at the graduate level and carefully proofed. 10 points
TOTAL 100 points
All courses in the RHCHP School of Nursing require adherence to standards set forth by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition,
published in 2010. This is an important element of academic writing and students are required to carefully follow APA standards. The APA publication manual is
available through the Regis University bookstore and most other book retailers. Additionally, writing resources including APA style sheets and information about
academic writing are linked through the Course Syllabus. Papers that do not substantively comply with APA standards may be returned unread.
Expectations and Evaluation*
Recognizing that ethical narrative reflects a degree of subjectivity and creativity on the part of the writer, written assignments in this course will not be evaluated
on the rightness or wrongness of individual thoughts or positions. Rather, work will be evaluated on the depth and clarity of thoughts and ideas; presence of all
required assignment elements; accurate understanding, interpretation, and application of ethical theories and principles; and narrative organization and writing
mechanics. Close attention to details in the following categories will help to ensure successful completion of written assignments in HCE 604: Ethics for Nurse
• In health care ethics, context generally refers to the specific situation being assessed including events or circumstances, problems or topics, individual cases, or
even personal insights. Therefore, written assignments in the Department of Health Care Ethics provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a solid
understanding of course concepts in accordance with specific assignment requirements that deal with both the general and contextual features of a given issue.
• The assignment descriptions for HCE 604 projects outline required elements for each assignment. All required elements must be addressed with graduate level clarity
• The narrative must reflect an accurate understanding, interpretation and application of ethical principles and theories
• Ideas must be well-supported with relevant and credible literature that serves to inform the general assumptions about a given topic; present balanced arguments,
and/or shape, define, and extend individual thoughts or positions.
Organization and Presentation:
? Papers must be well organized with a logical progression of ideas. Required assignment elements must be noted in the narrative with proper APA section headers.
? Strong narrative flow must be demonstrated through the use of grammar, punctuation, and syntax which allow the sentences and paragraphs to “flow together” in
creating cohesive ideas throughout the narrative.
? Writing must include graceful language that skillfully communicates the intended meaning with both clarity and fluency. *
? Papers must meet acceptable writing standards for graduate-level work, including paragraph construction and sentence structure. For guidance on academic writing,
visit the Regis University Learning Commons at https://www.regis.edu/Academics/Learning-Commons.aspx.
? Papers must be carefully proof-read prior to submission so as to capture misspellings, grammatical errors, and problems with sentence or paragraph structure.
It is often helpful for students to read their own writing out loud in order to capture some of the more obvious errors. It is also often helpful to see the help of a
friend or family member who can serve as editor. The Regis University Writing Center includes free services to help students with the writing process. Those services
are accessible at https://www.regis.edu/Academics/Learning-Commons/Writing-Center.aspx#.UmAfUhBMzZ9
Assignment Layout and Adherence to APA Standards
• Papers must not significantly fall below or exceed guidelines for length as outlined in the assignment descriptions.
• Papers must be formatted in accordance with standards set forth by the APA manual as described above.
• As recognized by APA standards, papers are to be constructed using the 12 point Times New Roman font.
• Papers should be double spaced.
• Assignment submissions should include a cover sheet as well as running headers and paper numbers (placed electronically within the body of the paper),
• All written work must be free of plagiarism, either intended or unintended. The use of direct quotations should be kept to a minimum.
• Sources must be properly captured with in-text citations, and each in-text citation must include a corresponding and properly formatted entry in the reference list.
* Adapted from:
Rhodes, T. L. & Finley, A. (2013). Using the VALUE rubrics for improvement of learning and authentic assessment. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and
References may include but not limited to:
Johnson, C. E. (2015). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadows (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.