Using a Flowchart for Critical Reviewing

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Human knowledge systems have evolved over thousands of years. These systems include medicine, literature, the performing arts, painting, academic pursuits, poetry, agriculture, engineering, inquiry into natural processes, etc. Civilizations on every continent boast significant achievements in these varied domains. Men and women have diligently invested time, effort, and intellect in creating and propagating the various aspects of distinct systems of human knowledge. In modern times, humankind has registered considerable advancements in said knowledge systems. Consequently, critical reviewing has emerged as one of the prime pursuits; this line of action seeks to examine a section of knowledge from multiple points of view. In this context, flowcharts have established their primacy as a tool that help reviewers to further their analytical activities. The graded, systematic architecture inherent in a modern flowchart diagram enables initiatives that center on critical reviewing.

Modern scholars may choose to create flowcharts when they seek to review critically a body of text. This flowchart must essentially reflect the analytical processes that operate inside the mind of the reviewer. An early stage in this flowchart may seek to analyze the overall tone of the text in question. This aspect of critical reviewing sets the process in motion; it is followed by various stages that seek to analyze the title of the said body of text. The subsequent stages may interrogate the myriad motives of the author, a brief historical overview of the subject matter under analysis, factual inaccuracies (if any), etc. The flowchart diagram that emerges from these exercises conveys the flavor of the analysis. In addition, this exercise in critical reviewing may reveal certain dimensions, which await an exploration in subsequent versions of the text by the original author. Further, reviewers can peruse the flowchart in a bid to uncover certain motivations that may have fuelled the author’s body of work.

Reviewers perform a vital, if unsung, function in modern knowledge systems. Their critique of established bodies of knowledge set the tone for future discoveries and insights in a given discipline. For instance, reviewers of modern architecture serve to decipher contemporary architectural trends and practices. Flowcharts enable these practitioners of critical reviewing to dissect the possibilities inherent in a certain body of work. These personnel can analyze the thoughts, influences, and motivations that underlie modern architectural marvels. The flowcharts can successively proceed to analyze the various stages and actions that went into creating a certain building or museum or play arena. These diagrams also help to deconstruct an edifice into simpler forms that combine to create a stupendous achievement of modern architecture. In addition, an analysis of the various stages in such a flowchart helps to educate the public on the basics of this discipline. Further, the art of critical reviewing may inspire other architects to craft their own versions of a unique creation, therefore adding to the body of notable achievements in modern architecture.

The modern flowchart empowers reviewers to analyze a system as part of critical reviewing practices. Reviewers may choose to create a flowchart template wherein, each stage seeks to compare, contrast, connect, and cite instances of convergence and dissonance. For instance, an expert in software architecture may pursue this template to review the structure and functions built into a new software package. Each stage of this flowchart provides the reviewer fertile ground to critically review the various components, relationships, conflict resolution mechanisms, and connections that animate the software package. Purists in the art of critical reviewing may view the package through these many lenses, thereby helping to author an original and deeply informed review of the software product. In addition, the flowchart may be expanded to accommodate sub-reviews of the various modules engineered into the product. This action may complicate the visual image, but makes for a wonderful exploration of a given product. Further, certain proponents of critical reviewing may elect to drive an in-depth comparison of the new product and similar offerings available in commercial markets. This analysis clearly underlines the importance of using flowcharts to drive critical reviewing exercises.

Labels are a standard feature of modern society. In a certain sense, these describe the different moods, flavors, and ambiences that, when individually interpreted, form the cornerstone of critical reviewing initiatives. For instance, reviewers of modern versions of the performing arts can frame a flowchart that buckets the individual interpretations of each reviewer. A master of critical reviewing may select labels such as ‘difficult’ or ‘opaque’ or ‘unique’ or ‘interesting’ to author a critical review of a certain performance. This flowchart may appear over-simplified, but the many trains of thought triggered by each individual stage in this flowchart may weave a complex visual picture overlaid by multiple connections. Such a flowchart, when surveyed in its entirety, may help readers and members of the public to interpret the thought patterns that power the reviewer’s work. This flowchart may also serve as a lodestone for creative artists when they plan their next foray into the performing arts. In addition, the diagram allows novice reviewers to analyze the magisterial works of critical reviewing that may distinguish a certain arena of the performing arts.

The business of critical reviewing has expanded in recent times and established a solid base in academia. Those who regularly undertake such review activities can deploy flowcharts to analyze academic works. These flowcharts may evaluate student theses for language choices, factual evidence, academic rigor, imagery employed, a robust synthesis of data, among other factors. Each of these factors, when assigned specific weightages, can contribute to the combined outcome that decides the grade for each student. Such an exercise in critical reviewing may appear repetitive, but essentially depends on the finesse brought to bear on each thesis by the reviewer. In addition, this flowchart remains open to expansion because each reviewer may choose to expand or contract certain stages depicted in the diagram. Such a flowchart also remains open to upgrades (deemed necessary) by an institution of higher education. Further, the weightages assigned to each stage in this flowchart can be formulated in tune with the demands of each academic season, thereby allowing reviewers to critically grade each student’s performance.

Commercial operators may deploy flowcharts to drive critical reviews of their strategic and operational activities. These initiatives are important because they serve to inform the business about a range of metrics such as cash burn, profit margins and ratios, the efficient use of human resources, potential for business expansion, competitive pressures, etc. For instance, an operator of commercial airline services may use the various stages of a flowchart to depict its operations. Each stage in such a flowchart represents a certain aspect of the business based (ideally) on pure facts. On completion, senior management personnel may survey each stage of the flowchart with a critical eye and suggest tweaks and refinements. The implementation of these suggestions may necessitate the creation of additional synapses on the flowchart diagram. This leads us to infer that a critical review is integral to elevating the scope and extent of business operations. In addition, the flowchart enables business associates to appreciate the depth of their company’s operations, thereby sensitizing them to the importance of each cog in the proverbial wheel.

The forgoing analysis enables us to gain an appreciation of using flowcharts in critical review practices.

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