Each viewpoint essay starts with an Article Commentary that includes information about the essay's author(s), position summary, main points, and questions to consider. Having this information at the start, sets you up to be a critical thinker. It's important to know the credentials of the author, their expertise, and potential biases in order to assess their credibility and understand why they take the perspective that they do. The brief position summary and questions to consider offer you a preview and help to focus your thinking as you read the essay.
Here, in this example, we learn that the author, Margaret Renki, is a writer for The New York Times, a well-respected newspaper and very credible source of news and information. Knowing the author's credentials and affiliations can help you evaluate potential bias and anticipate their perspective on controversial issues.
Like Critical Thinking Questions on topic pages, you'll find questions to consider with each viewpoint essay, These questions are designed to focus your reading. They help you make deeper connections between ideas, consider what you believe, and actively apply the information you are learning.