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To critique a piece of writing is to do the following:
- describe: give the reader a sense of the writer’s overall purpose and intent
- analyze: examine how the structure and language of the text convey its meaning
- interpret: state the significance or importance of each part of the text
- assess: make a judgment of the work’s worth or value
FORMATTING A CRITIQUE
Here are two structures for critiques, one for nonfiction and one for fiction/literature.
The Critique Format for Nonfiction
- name of author and work
- general overview of subject and summary of author's argument
- focusing (or thesis) sentence indicating how you will divide the whole work for discussion or the particular elements you will discuss
- objective description of a major point in the work
- detailed analysis of how the work conveys an idea or concept
- interpretation of the concept
- repetition of description, analysis, interpretation if more than one major concept is covered
- overall interpretation
- relationship of particular interpretations to subject as a whole
- critical assessment of the value, worth, or meaning of the work, both negative and positive
The Critique Format for Fiction/Literature
- brief summary/description of work as a whole
- focusing sentence indicating what element you plan to examine
- general indication of overall significance of work
- literal description of the first major element or portion of the work
- detailed analysis
- literal description of second major element
- interpretation (including, if necessary, the relationship to the first major point)
- overall interpretation of the elements studied
- consideration of those elements within the context of the work as a whole
- critical assessment of the value, worth, meaning, or significance of the work, both positive and negative
You may not be asked in every critique to assess a work, only to analyze and interpret it. If you are asked for a personal response, remember that your assessment should not be the expression of an unsupported personal opinion. Your interpretations and your conclusions must be based on evidence from the text and follow from the ideas you have dealt with in the paper.
Remember also that a critique may express a positive as well as a negative assessment. Don't confuse critique with criticize in the popular sense of the word, meaning “to point out faults.”
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How to Write a Critique Paper: Tips + Critique Essay Examples
A critique paper is an academic writing genre that summarizes and gives a critical evaluation of a concept or work. Or, to put it simply, it is no more than a summary and a critical analysis of a specific issue. This type of writing aims to evaluate the impact of the given work or concept in its field.
Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for $13.00 $10.40/page
Want to learn more? Continue reading this article written by Custom-writing experts! It contains:
- best tips on how to critique an article or a literary work,
- a critique paper example with introduction, body, and conclusion.
💁 What Is a Critique Paper?
- 👣 Critical Writing Steps
👀 Critical Essay Types
- 📑 Format & Structure
A critique is a particular academic writing genre that requires you to carefully study, summarize, and critically analyze a study or a concept. In other words, it is nothing more than a critical analysis. That is all you are doing when writing a critical essay: trying to understand the work and present an evaluation. Critical essays can be either positive or negative, as the work deserves.
👣 How to Write a Critique Essay: Main Steps
Starting critique essays is the most challenging part. You are supposed to substantiate your opinion with quotes and paraphrases, avoiding retelling the entire text. A critical analysis aims to find out whether an article or another piece of writing is compelling. First, you need to formulate the author’s thesis: what was the literary work supposed to convey? Then, explore the text on how this main idea was elaborated. Finally, draft your critique according to the structure given below.
Step 1: Critical Reading
1.1. Attentively read the literary work. While reading, make notes and underline the essentials.
- Try to come into the author’s world and think why they wrote such a piece.
- Point out which literary devices are successful. Some research in literary theory may be required.
- Find out what you dislike about the text, i.e., controversies, gaps, inconsistency, or incompleteness.
1.2. Find or formulate the author’s thesis.
- What is the principal argument? In an article, it can be found in the first paragraph.
- In a literary work, formulate one of the principal themes, as the thesis is not explicit.
- If you write a critique of painting, find out what feelings, emotions, or ideas, the artist attempted to project.
1.3. Make a summary or synopsis of the analyzed text.
- One paragraph will suffice. You can use it in your critique essay, if necessary.
- The point is to explore the gist.
Step 2: Analyzing the Text
After the reading phase, ask yourself the following questions :
- What was your emotional response to the text? Which techniques, images, or ideas made you feel so?
- Find out the author’s background. Which experiences made them raise such a thesis? What other significant works have they written that demonstrate the general direction of thought of this person?
- Are the concepts used correctly in the text? Are the references reliable, and do they sufficiently substantiate the author’s opinion?
Step 3: Drafting the Essay
Finally, it is time to draft your essay. First of all, you’ll need to write a brief overview of the text you’re analyzing. Then, formulate a thesis statement – one sentence that will contain your opinion of the work under scrutiny. After that, make a one-paragraph summary of the text.
You can use this simple template for the draft version of your analysis. Another thing that can help you at this step is a summary creator to make the creative process more efficient.
Critique Paper Template
- Start with an introductory phrase about the domain of the work in question.
- Tell which work you are going to analyze, its author, and year of publication.
- Specify the principal argument of the work under study.
- In the third sentence, clearly state your thesis.
- Here you can insert the summary you wrote before.
- This is the only place where you can use it. No summary can be written in the main body!
- Use one paragraph for every separate analyzed aspect of the text (style, organization, fairness/bias, etc.).
- Each paragraph should confirm your thesis (e.g., whether the text is effective or ineffective).
- Each paragraph shall start with a topic sentence, followed by evidence, and concluded with a statement referring to the thesis.
- Provide a final judgment on the effectiveness of the piece of writing.
- Summarize your main points and restate the thesis, indicating that everything you said above confirms it.
You can evaluate the chosen work or concept in several ways. Pick the one you feel more comfortable with from the following:
- Descriptive critical essays examine texts or other works. Their primary focus is usually on certain features of a work, and it is common to compare and contrast the subject of your analysis to a classic example of the genre to which it belongs.
- Evaluative critical essays provide an estimate of the value of the work. Was it as good as you expected based on the recommendations, or do you feel your time would have been better spent on something else?
- Interpretive essays provide your readers with answers that relate to the meaning of the work in question. To do this, you must select a method of determining the meaning, read/watch/observe your analysis subject using this method, and put forth an argument.
There are also different types of critiques. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, in the article “ Writing critiques ,” discusses them as well as the appropriate critique language.
📑 Critique Paper: Format & Structure
The main parts of good critical response essays are:
- Summary. This should be brief and to the point. Only the author’s/creator’s main ideas and arguments should be included.
- Analysis/interpretation. Discuss what the author’s/creator’s primary goal was and determine whether this goal was reached successfully. Use the evidence you have gathered to argue whether or not the author/creator achieved was adequately convincing (remember there should be no personal bias in this discussion).
- Evaluation/response. At this point, your readers are ready to learn your objective response to the work. It should be professional yet entertaining to read. Do not hesitate to use strong language. You can say that the work you analyzed was weak and poorly-structured if that is the case, but keep in mind that you have to have evidence to back up your claim.
Critique Paper Introduction
The introduction is setting the stage for your analysis. Here are some tips to follow when working on it:
- Provide the reader with a brief synopsis of the main points of the work you are critiquing .
- State your general opinion of the work , using it as your thesis statement. The ideal situation is that you identify and use a controversial thesis.
- Remember that you will uncover a lot of necessary information about the work you are critiquing. You mustn’t make use of all of it, providing the reader with information that is unnecessary in your critique. If you are writing about Shakespeare, you don’t have to waste your or your reader’s time going through all of his works.
Critique Paper Body
The body of the critique contains the supporting paragraphs. This is where you will provide the facts that prove your main idea and support your thesis. Follow the tips below when writing the body of your critique.
- Every paragraph must focus on a precise concept from the paper under your scrutiny , and your job is to include arguments to support or disprove that concept. Concrete evidence is required.
- A critical essay is written in the third-person and ensures the reader is presented with an objective analysis.
- Discuss whether the author was able to achieve their goals and adequately get their point across.
- It is important not to confuse facts and opinions . An opinion is a personal thought and requires confirmation, whereas a fact is supported by reliable data and requires no further proof. Do not back up one idea with another one.
- Remember that your purpose is to provide the reader with an understanding of a particular piece of literature or other work from your perspective. Be as specific as possible.
Critique Paper Conclusion
Finally, you will need to write a conclusion for your critique. The conclusion reasserts your overall general opinion of the ideas presented in the text and ensures there is no doubt in the reader’s mind about what you believe and why. Follow these tips when writing your conclusion:
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- Summarize the analysis you provided in the body of the critique.
- Summarize the primary reasons why you made your analysis .
- Where appropriate, provide recommendations on how the work you critiqued can be improved.
For more details on how to write a critique, check out the great critique analysis template provided by Thompson Rivers University.
If you want more information on essay writing in general, look at the Secrets of Essay Writing .
📚 Critique Essay Examples
With all of the information and tips provided above, your way will become clearer when you have a solid example of a critique essay.
Below is a critical response to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
When speaking of feminist literature that is prominent and manages to touch on incredibly controversial issues, The Yellow Wallpaper is the first book that comes to mind. Written from a first-person perspective, magnifying the effect of the narrative, the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman introduces the reader to the problem of the physical and mental health of the women of the 19th century. However, the message that is intended to concern feminist ideas is rather subtle. Written in the form of several diary entries, the novel offers a mysterious plot, and at the same time, shockingly realistic details.
What really stands out about the novel is the fact that the reader is never really sure how much of the story takes place in reality and how much of it happens in the psychotic mind of the protagonist. In addition, the novel contains a plethora of description that contributes to the strain and enhances the correlation between the atmosphere and the protagonist’s fears: “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (Gilman).
Despite Gilman’s obvious intent to make the novel a feminist story with a dash of thriller thrown in, the result is instead a thriller with a dash of feminism, as Allen (2009) explains. However, there is no doubt that the novel is a renowned classic. Offering a perfect portrayal of the 19th-century stereotypes, it is a treasure that is certainly worth the read.
If you need another critique essay example, take a look at our sample on “ The Importance of Being Earnest ” by Oscar Wilde.
Just $13.00 $10.40/page , and you can get an custom-written academic paper according to your instructions
And here are some more critique paper examples for you check out:
- A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Critique Paper
- Critique on “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- “When the Five Rights Go Wrong” Article Critique
- Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey — Comparison & Critique
- “The TrueBlue Study”: Qualitative Article Critique
- Ethical Conflict Associated With Managed Care: Views of Nurse Practitioners’: Article Critique
- Benefits and Disadvantages of Prone Positioning in Severe Acute Respiratory Distress: Article Critique
- Reducing Stress in Student Nurses: Article Critique
- Management of Change and Professional Safety – Article Critique
- “Views of Young People Towards Physical Activity”: Article Critique
Seeing an example of a critique is so helpful. You can find many other examples of a critique paper at the University of Minnesota and John Hopkins University. Plus, you can check out this video for a great explanation of how to write a critique.
- Critical Analysis
- Writing an Article Critique
- The Critique Essay
- Critique Essay
- Writing a Critique
- Writing A Book Critique
- Media Critique
- Tips for an Effective Creative Writing Critique
- How to Write an Article Critique
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The word "criticize," has by definition and perception largely negative connotations attached. Students may dread having their creative writing critiqued in a group setting. However, a fair assessment of any text, object, place or experience deeply analyzes all component parts and then renders judgment. When writing a critique essay, your readers need to understand how and why you arrived at your conclusion. A thorough and analytic critique provides them with an understanding of the critic’s values.
Describe Author and Work
Describe the work and its creator in the first paragraph. Do not assume that readers know the work or author prior to reading the critique. It is necessary to place the work in context so the reader has a sense of what is happening. Determine if the text is a first outing for the author or the latest in a long series. Does the author have a reputation or expertise in a certain field? Is the work controversial or well-known or little-known, and why? What is the intended audience for this work? By answering these questions, the reader has a stronger base of information to add clarity to the rest of the critique.
Write an accurate summary of the work’s main ideas in the second paragraph. Do not mingle your own evaluation with this summary. Instead, use the summary to explain the most important ideas the author tried to convey in the entire work and any other literary details that might guide or enlighten your reader.
In this section, critique the author’s presentation. Ask yourself a series of questions as you write the critique. Did the author present accurate and relevant data in a logical manner? Did the author clearly define important terms or jargon? Did the author offer sound interpretations? Focus in this paragraph, on whether the author achieved his or her purpose for creating the piece of writing.
State Your Opinion
Here, you will state both your own agreements and disagreements with the author. Develop your ideas by explaining why you agree and disagree with the author’s ideas. To further support your critique, cite other critics who support your interpretation.
In the last paragraphs, compose the conclusion that restates the main agreements and objections to the work. This conclusion is often the shortest paragraph in the critique but may also be the most important as it sums up the entire critique. In the closing, do not mention any new idea that does not already appear in the body paragraphs. The final paragraph is included to give an overview of the entire essay by restating its main ideas.
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How to Write an Eighth Grade Book Report
- Goshen College: Essay Critique Guidelines
- Massey University: Article Critique
- Writing Forward: How to Critique Other Writers' Works
- College Essay Tips: How To Write A Critique Essay for College
- Document in instructor-recommended citation style all quotes, paraphrases and summaries.
- Write a detailed summary of the text before writing the critique.
Patricia Hunt first found her voice as a fiction and nonfiction writer in 1974. An English teacher for over 27 years, Hunt's works have appeared in "The Alaska Quarterly Review," "The New Southern Literary Messenger" and "San Jose Studies." She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from American University and a doctorate in studies of America from the University of Maryland.
Writing a Critique
- About this Guide
- What Is a Critique?
- Getting Started
- Components of a Critique Essay
This article provides additional guidance for writing critiques:
Vance DE, Talley M, Azuero A, Pearce PF, & Christian BJ. (2013). Conducting an article critique for a quantitative research study: perspectives for doctoral students and other novice readers. Nursing : Research and Reviews , 2013 , 67–75.
Parts of a Critique Essay
There are 4 distinct components to a critique, and those are the:
Each of these components is described in further detail in the boxes on this page of the guide.
An effective introduction:
- Provides a quick snapshot of background information readers may need in order to follow along with the argument
- Defines key terminology as needed
- Ends with a strong argument (thesis)
For additional guidance on writing introduction paragraphs, librarians recommend:
Need some extra help on thesis statements? Check out our Writing Effective Thesis Statements guide .
A summary is a broad overview of what is discussed in a source. In a critique essay, writers should always assume that those reading the essay may be unfamiliar with the work being examined. For that reason, the following should be included early in the paper:
- The name of the author(s) of the work
- The title of the work
- Main ideas presented in the work
- Arguments presented in the work
- Any conclusions presented in the work
Depending on the requirements of your particular assignment, the summary may appear as part of the introduction, or it may be a separate paragraph. The summary should always be included before the analysis, as readers need a base-level familiarity of the resource before you can effectively present an argument about what the source does well and where improvements are needed.
More information about summaries can be found on our Writing an Effective Summary guide .
The critique is your evaluation of the resource. A strong critique:
- Discusses the strengths of the resource
- Discusses the weaknesses of the resource
- Provides specific examples (direct quotes, with proper citation) as needed to support your evaluation
- The accuracy of the resource
- Any bias found within the resource
- The relevance of the resource
- The clarity of the resource
A critique is your opinion of the text, supported by evidence from the text.
If you need further guidance on how to evaluate your source, you can also consult our Evaluating Your Sources guide .
Need help with citation?
- APA Style Help Learn more about APA style through our research guide.
A conclusion has three main functions in an essay. A conclusion will:
- Summarize the main ideas presented in the essay
- Remind readers of the thesis (argument)
- Draw the paper to a close
For additional guidance, the library recommends:
- << Previous: Getting Started
- Next: Examples >>
- Last Updated: Aug 2, 2022 2:36 PM
- URL: https://library.tiffin.edu/critique
- Writing well
How to write a critique
- Starting well
- How to write an annotated bibliography
- How to write a case study response
- How to write an empirical article
- How to write an essay
- How to write a literature review
- How to write a reflective task
- How to write a report
- Finishing well
Before you start writing, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the work that will be critiqued.
- Study the work under discussion.
- Make notes on key parts of the work.
- Develop an understanding of the main argument or purpose being expressed in the work.
- Consider how the work relates to a broader issue or context.
There are a variety of ways to structure a critique. You should always check your unit materials or Canvas site for guidance from your lecturer. The following template, which showcases the main features of a critique, is provided as one example.
Typically, the introduction is short (less than 10% of the word length) and you should:
- name the work being reviewed as well as the date it was created and the name of the author/creator
- describe the main argument or purpose of the work
- explain the context in which the work was created - this could include the social or political context, the place of the work in a creative or academic tradition, or the relationship between the work and the creator’s life experience
- have a concluding sentence that signposts what your evaluation of the work will be - for instance, it may indicate whether it is a positive, negative, or mixed evaluation.
Briefly summarise the main points and objectively describe how the creator portrays these by using techniques, styles, media, characters or symbols. This summary should not be the focus of the critique and is usually shorter than the critical evaluation.
This section should give a systematic and detailed assessment of the different elements of the work, evaluating how well the creator was able to achieve the purpose through these. For example: you would assess the plot structure, characterisation and setting of a novel; an assessment of a painting would look at composition, brush strokes, colour and light; a critique of a research project would look at subject selection, design of the experiment, analysis of data and conclusions.
A critical evaluation does not simply highlight negative impressions. It should deconstruct the work and identify both strengths and weaknesses. It should examine the work and evaluate its success, in light of its purpose.
Examples of key critical questions that could help your assessment include:
- Who is the creator? Is the work presented objectively or subjectively?
- What are the aims of the work? Were the aims achieved?
- What techniques, styles, media were used in the work? Are they effective in portraying the purpose?
- What assumptions underlie the work? Do they affect its validity?
- What types of evidence or persuasion are used? Has evidence been interpreted fairly?
- How is the work structured? Does it favour a particular interpretation or point of view? Is it effective?
- Does the work enhance understanding of key ideas or theories? Does the work engage (or fail to engage) with key concepts or other works in its discipline?
This evaluation is written in formal academic style and logically presented. Group and order your ideas into paragraphs. Start with the broad impressions first and then move into the details of the technical elements. For shorter critiques, you may discuss the strengths of the works, and then the weaknesses. In longer critiques, you may wish to discuss the positive and negative of each key critical question in individual paragraphs.
To support the evaluation, provide evidence from the work itself, such as a quote or example, and you should also cite evidence from related sources. Explain how this evidence supports your evaluation of the work.
This is usually a very brief paragraph, which includes:
- a statement indicating the overall evaluation of the work
- a summary of the key reasons, identified during the critical evaluation, why this evaluation was formed
- in some circumstances, recommendations for improvement on the work may be appropriate.
Include all resources cited in your critique. Check with your lecturer/tutor for which referencing style to use.
- Mentioned the name of the work, the date of its creation and the name of the creator?
- Accurately summarised the work being critiqued?
- Mainly focused on the critical evaluation of the work?
- Systematically outlined an evaluation of each element of the work to achieve the overall purpose?
- Used evidence, from the work itself as well as other sources, to back and illustrate my assessment of elements of the work?
- Formed an overall evaluation of the work, based on critical reading?
- Used a well structured introduction, body and conclusion?
- Used correct grammar, spelling and punctuation; clear presentation; and appropriate referencing style?
- University of New South Wales: Writing a Critical Review
- University of Toronto: The Book Review or Article Critique
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How to Critique an Article
What Is an Article Critique?
An article critique is an assignment that requires a student to critically read a research article and reflect upon it. The key task is to identify the strong and weak sides of the piece and assess how well the author interprets its sources. Simply put, a critique reflects upon the validity and effectiveness of the article's author's arguments in his or her work.
The key to success in writing this paper is critical thinking. The task of every research article author is to convince readers of the correctness of their viewpoint, even if it is skewed. Thus, the only ways to distinguish solid arguments from weak ones are to be a good researcher, have the right tools to pick out facts from fiction and possess solid critical thinking skills.
How to write a critique paper – In this guide, we will take you through the process of writing this type of work step by step. However, before we move on, it is worth noting that the main purpose of a good article critique is to bring up points that determine whether a reviewed article is either correct or incorrect—much like you would do while writing a persuasive essay. Although the purpose is similar, the structure of the article critique that we are going to address in this guide is slightly different from the standard 5-paragraph essay; however, both formats are suitable for convincing readers about the validity of your point of view.
How to Critique an Article: The Main Steps
This form of assignment is naturally challenging and rather confusing. It is no wonder why students may begin to feel overwhelmed with figuring out how to write an article critique.
To help you get your task done with ease, we have prepared a simple 3-step guide on how to summarize and critique an article:
Step 1: Reading the Article
First of all, to critique the article, you need to read it carefully. It is recommended to read the piece several times—until you fully understand the information presented for a better outcome. Next, you need to address the following questions:
1. Why is the article's author considered an expert in their field?
What makes a particular author's opinion sound valid? Does the author know about the topic? What do other field experts say about the author? Is the article's author covered in academic praise or not taken seriously?
2. What is the author's thesis/hypothesis?
What is the main message the author is trying to convey? Is this message clear? Or are there just plenty of general phrases without any specific details?
3. Who is the article's target audience?
Is the article geared toward a general audience? Or does it appeal to a specific group of people and use only understandable language for that audience?
4. Are the arguments presented valid?
Are the sources used by the author from all over the place? Does it seem like some sources are taken from areas that share a cult-like vocabulary?
5. What are the logical fallacies in the author's viewpoint?
Are there any logical blindspots? How much do they affect the outcome?
6. Is the conclusion clear and logical? Did the author arrive at a clear outcome in his or her work?
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Step 2: Collecting Proof
The first step will help you read and understand the piece, look at it from a critical point of view, and reflect upon it. Now, when you have an idea about which way you should be heading in your critique paper, it is the time to start gathering evidence. Here are the main steps you should undertake:
1. Define Whether the Author Is Following Formal Logic One of the key things to look for when writing an article critique is the presence of any logical fallacies. Establishing that the author's general idea follows logic is not easy, but it is essential to coping with the task.
Often, undereducated people have some common logical fallacies. An example is to accept certain information based on the feelings and/or emotions it evokes rather than focusing on the supporting arguments.
Here is a list of some common examples of logical fallacies with brief explanations of each:
- Ad hominem – when the author attacks someone expressing an opinion to discredit the other's point of view.
- Slippery Slope – when the author claims that an action will always end up being the worst possible scenario.
- Correlation vs. Causation – when the author concludes that actions 1 and 2 occurred one after the other, action two must be the effect of action 1. The problem with such a statement is that the author concludes the correlation between the two actions without looking deeper to see the real causes and effects.
- Wishful thinking – when the author believes something that is not backed up by any proof. This issue typically occurs when someone thinks the information is true because it makes them feel good.
2. Search for Any Biased Opinions in the Article Another step is to evaluate the piece based on biased opinions. The thing is that people often pick sides of an argument based on the outcomes rather than the evidence. So, if the result makes them feel bad in any way, they can search for any proof that would discredit it and, thus, make them feel better.
3. Pay Attention to the Way the Author Interprets Others’ Texts. Does He or She Look at Others’ Viewpoints through Inappropriate Political Lenses? It takes much time and experience in research practice to recognize the fingerprints of all the political slants out there. To grasp the concept, let's look at the subject of animal studies. To begin with, it's worth noting that some people become involved in certain industries due to their emotional involvement in their related topics. For example, people who write about animals are likely those who genuinely love them. This can put their work at risk of being biased toward portraying animals in a way that gives their topic more importance than it deserves. This is a clear example of what you should be looking for.
When reading and re-reading the article, find and highlight cases in which the author overstates the importance of some things due to his or her own beliefs. Then, to polish your mental research instruments, go back to point 1 of this list to review the list of logical fallacies you can look out for.
4. Check Cited Sources Another big step to writing a perfect critique paper is identifying whether the author cited untrustworthy sources of information. Doing this is not easy and requires a certain experience.
For example, let's look at Breitbart news. How would you define whether it is an untrustworthy source or not? To rate trustworthiness, one should know about its long history of distorting facts to suit a far-right agenda. Learning this requires paying a lot of attention to local and international news.
5. Evaluate the Language Used in the Article Language is vital in every article, regardless of the field and topic. Therefore, while working on your critique, you should pay close attention to the language the article's author uses.
Just to give you a clear example of what you should be looking for: some words have cultural meanings attached to them, which can create a confrontation in the article. Such terms can place people, objects, or ideas into the 'them' side in the 'us vs. them' scenario.
For example, if someone conservative refers to an opponent using the word “leftist”, this can be considered a form of attacking the messenger and not the message. A similar concept applies to a case when someone progressive refers to an opponent using the word “bigot”.
Using such language in an article is a clear sign of logical fallacies. Authors use it to discredit their opponents on the merit of who they are rather than what they say. This is poor word choice because the debate does not get resolved.
6. Question the Research Methods in Scientific Articles
This may not always be mandatory, but if you write an article critique for a scientific piece, you are expected to question and evaluate how the author did their research.
To do this, ask the following questions:
- How is the design of the study? Are there any errors in it?
- How does the piece explain the research methods?
- Was there a control group used for this research?
- Were there any sample size issues?
- Were there any statistical errors?
- Is there a way to recreate the experiment in a laboratory setting?
- Does the research (or experiment) offer any real impact and/or value in its field of science?
Step 3: Formatting Your Paper
Just like any other written assignment, a critique paper should be formatted and structured properly. A standard article critique consists of four parts: an introduction, summary, analysis, and conclusion. Below is a clear checklist to help you grasp the idea of how a good paper should be formatted:
- The name of the author and title of the article.
- The core idea of the author.
- A clear thesis that reflects the direction of your critique.
- The main idea of the article.
- The main arguments presented in the article.
- The conclusion of the article.
- Highlight the strong and weak sides of the article.
- Express an educated opinion regarding the article's relevancy, clarity, and accuracy, and back up your claims with direct examples from the piece.
- Summary of the key points of the article.
- Finalization of your conclusion with your comments on the relevancy of the research.
- If you claim the research is relevant, explain why further study in this field can be useful.
How to Critique a Journal Article
So, you were assigned to write a critique paper for a journal article? If you are not sure where to start, here is a step-by-step guide on how to critique a journal article:
1. Collect basic information Regardless of the article subject you are going to critique; your paper has to contain some basic information, including the following:
- Title of the article reviewed.
- Title of the journal where it is published, along with the date and month of publication, volume number, and pages where the article can be found.
- Statement of the main issue or problem revealed in the piece.
- Purpose, research methods, approach, hypothesis, and key findings.
- Therefore, the first step is to collect this information.
2. Read the article once and re-read after First, get an overview of it and grasp the general idea of it. A good critique should reflect your qualified and educated opinion regarding the article. To shape such an opinion, you have to read the piece again, this time critically, and highlight everything that can be useful for writing your paper.
3.Write your critique based on the evidence you have collected Here are the main questions to address when writing a journal article critique:
- Is the article's title clear and appropriate?
- Is the article's abstract presented in the correct form, relevant to the content of the article, and specific?
- Is the purpose stated in the introduction made clear?
- Are there any errors in the author's interpretations and facts?
- Is the discussion relevant and valuable?
- Has the author cited valid and trusted sources?
- Did you find any ideas that were overemphasized or underemphasized in the article?
- Do you believe some sections of the piece have to be expanded, condensed, or omitted?
- Are all statements the author makes clear?
- What are the author's core assumptions?
- Has the author of the article been objective in his or her statements?
- Are the approaches and research methods used suitable?
- Are the statistical methods appropriate?
- Is there any duplicated or repeated content?
You might also be interested in an article about how to write a descriptive essay .
How to Critique a Research Article
If you are wondering how to critique a research article in particular, below we’ve outlined the key steps to follow.
Before you start writing:
- Pick a piece that meets the instructions of your professor.
- Read the whole article to grasp the main idea.
- Re-read the piece with a critical eye.
- Define how qualified the author is on the chosen topic. What are the author's credentials?
- Reflect on the research methods used. Are the methods the author chose appropriate and helpful for answering the stated research question(s)?
- Evaluate the results. Are there any signs of the generalizability of the outcomes?
- Look for any bias in the article. Is there any conflict of interest or proof of bias?
- Define the overall quality of the research work. Does the article seem relevant or outdated?
- Pay attention to the sources used. Did the sources back up their research with theory and/or previous literature related to the topic?
Struggling to find the strong and weak points that can shape your critique? Here is a simple checklist to help you understand what to critique in a research article (separated by sections):
- Does the author make a problem statement?
- Does the problem statement correspond with the focus of the study?
- Is the problem stated researchable?
- Does the author provide background information regarding the problem?
- Does the author discuss the significance of the problem?
- Does the author mention variables and their correlations?
- Does the author have decent enough qualifications to perform this particular study?
2. Review of the Relevant Literature
- Is the review of the literature comprehensive?
- Are all references cited properly?
- Are most of the sources used by the author primary sources?
- Did the author analyze, critique, compare, and contrast the references and findings?
- Does the author explain the relevancy of his or her references?
- Is the literature review well organized?
- Does the review competently inform the readers about the topic and problem?
- Does the author specify key research questions and hypotheses?
- Is every hypothesis testable?
- Are all hypotheses and research questions clear, logical, and accurate?
- Does the author describe the size and main characteristics of participant groups?
- Does the author specify its size and characteristics if a sample is selected?
- Is there enough information on the method of selecting a sample used by the author?
- Are there any limitations or biases in the manner the author selected participants?
- Does the author specify the instruments used?
- Are the chosen instruments appropriate?
- Do the instruments meet general guidelines for protecting participants of the experiment?
- Did the author obtain all of the permissions needed?
- Does the author describe each instrument regarding reliability, purpose, validity, and content?
- If any instruments were developed specifically for this study, does the author describe the procedures involved in their development and validation?
3. Design and Procedures
- Is there any information given in terms of the research design used?
- Does the author describe all of their procedures?
- Are the specified design and procedures appropriate to investigate the stated problem or question?
- Do procedures logically relate to each other?
- Are the instruments and procedures applied correctly?
- Is the context of the research described in detail?
- Did the author present appropriate descriptive statistics?
- Did the author test all of his or her hypotheses?
- Did the author explicitly use the inductive logic used to produce results in their qualitative study?
- Are the results clear and logical?
- Did the author provide additional tables and figures? Are those easy to understand, relevant, and well-organized?
- Is the information from the presented tables and figures also provided in the text?
Discussion, Conclusion, or Suggestions
- Does the author discuss every finding concerning the original subject or hypothesis to which it relates?
- Does the author discuss every finding in agreement or disagreement with previous findings from other specialists?
- Are generalizations consistent with the results?
- Does the author discuss the possible effects of uncontrolled variables in the findings?
- Does the author discuss the theoretical and practical implications of their findings?
- Does the author make any suggestions regarding future research?
- Does the author shape his or her suggestions based on the study's practical significance?
Abstract or Summary
- Did the author restate the problem?
- Is the design used in the research identified?
- Did the author describe the type and number of instruments and subjects?
- Are all performed procedures specified?
- Did the author restate all of their key conclusions and findings?
- The structure of the article – Is the work organized properly? Are all titles, sections, subsections, and paragraphs organized logically?
- The author's style and thinking – Is the author's style and thinking easy to understand, clear, and logical?
As you go through all these steps, you can transition to writing. When writing your critique paper, you should critically evaluate the research article you have read and use the evidence collected from the piece. To help you structure your research article critique properly, here is a sample outline of a critique of research for the article The Effects of Early Education on Children's Competence in Elementary School:
1. Bibliographic Information
- Author(s): M. B. Bronson, D. E. Pierson & T. Tivnan
- Title: The Effects of Early Education on Children's Competence in Elementary School
- Year of publication: 1984
- Source: Evaluation Review, 8(5), 143-155
2. Summary of the Article
- Problem statement: Do early childhood education programs have significant and long-term impacts on kids’ competencies in elementary school?
- Background: To perform well in elementary school, children need to possess a variety of competencies.
- Hypothesis: Early childhood education programs decrease the rate of children who fall below the minimal competencies defined as necessary for effective performance in the second grade.
- Dependent Variables: mastery skills, social skills, and use of time; Independent Variables: Brookline Early Education Program; Controlled Variables: mother’s level of education.
- Research Design: A Quasi-experimental design, with a post-test only comparison group design, with no random selection of children, assignment to treatment, or control group.
- Sampling: The study engaged 169 students into the BEEP program. Students were selected randomly from the same second-grade classrooms and matched by gender. Also, the group was divided into children who continued their BEEP program (104) and those who moved elsewhere but were still tracked (65).
- Instrumentation: For the research, the authors used a specially developed tool – the Executive Skill Profile – to help detect and track students’ mastery, social, and time use skills.
- Collection/Ethics: The observation took place in Spring, during the students’ second-grade year. On different days (between three and six weeks apart) the observers recorded behaviors of all children for six 10-minute periods. Duration and frequency of behaviors were also recorded.
- Data analysis: The researchers conducted a series of tests to examine any significant changes in mastery, social, and time use skills between matched pairs of children (those who were engaged in BEEP and those who moved elsewhere).
- Authors’ findings: The study showed that children who were engaged in the BEEP program performed better on tests and showed better mastery and social skills. There were no significant changes in students’ time use skills. The early education program made a difference at all three levels of treatment for students whose mothers have college educations. However, the same program made a difference only at the most intense level for students whose mothers don’t have college educations.
- Possible Threats to the Internal Validity
- ~ History: Was not controlled as the comparison children may have not spent their entire lives in the same area as the treatment students.
- ~ Maturation: Controlled. Students were matched by gender and grade.
- ~ Testing: The observers recorded students’ behaviors within 3-to-6 week periods. This fact may have influenced their behaviors.
- ~ Instrumentation: The tool used may have been a subject to bias from the observers' perspective.
- ~ Selection bias: All selected students volunteered to participate in the study. Thus, the findings could be affected by self-selection.
- ~ Experimental mortality: Students who left the area were still tracked as a part of the treatment group, though they should have been evaluated separately.
- ~ Design contamination: It is possible that children in the comparison group learned skills from the students in the treatment group since they all were from the same classroom.
- Possible Threats to External Validity
- ~ Unique features of the program: The program was available both for community residents and non-residents.
- ~ Experimental arrangements: Brooklin is an affluent community, unlike many others.
- Is the reviewed article useful?
- Does it make sense?
- Do the findings of the study look convincing? Explain.
- Does the study have any significance and/or practical value for its respective field of science?
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Video Guide: How to Write an Article Critique
Article critique example.
Now, as you know how to write this type of assignment step by step, our nursing essay writing service are going to share an example of journal article critique to help you grasp the idea of how the finished work should look.
“The education system cannot address what it does not acknowledge” (Shewchuk, and Cooper 942). Ontario, a province in Canada, understands this and has come up with an initiative and policies to improve equity in their schools. To achieve this, they have implemented an Equity and Inclusive Education (EIE) strategy. The practical purpose for EIE strategy is to ensure that in Ontario there is inclusive education, in which there are no biases, barriers, or power dynamics that discourages student learning possibilities. Acknowledging a problem and committing to finding its solution is the first step an administration can do to be supportive of their education system. However, the proper thought, research, and policy guidelines should be formulated to ensure the policies and strategy are inclusive of the potential issues, and have room for expansion. The procedures proposed are religious accommodative, anti-discrimination, and harassment of any kind. The policy should have a sound technique of how it will be implemented and reviewed and monitored after. Ontario has done just that, and the purpose of this article is to evaluate how well the equity program has been implemented in the province in attempts to foster equity in schools.
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Writing a Critique · describe: give the reader a sense of the writer's overall purpose and intent · name of author and work · objective description of a major
Critique Paper Template · Start with an introductory phrase about the domain of the work in question. · Tell which work you are going to analyze
What steps need to be taken to write an article critique? · Choose an article that meets the criteria outlined by your instructor. · Read the article to get an
How to Write a Good Critique Essay · Describe Author and Work. Describe the work and its creator in the first paragraph. · Summary. Write an
Critique · Discusses the strengths of the resource · Discusses the weaknesses of the resource · Provides specific examples (direct quotes, with
guide, "How to Write a Critique," the introduction should include the author's name, the name of the article, its source and the thesis or main point of the
If you are asked to write a critique of an article or an essay assigned by ... is to identify what you want to say about the article in an effective thesis.
How to write a critique · Study the work under discussion. · Make notes on key parts of the work. · Develop an understanding of the main argument
How to Critique a Research Article · Define how qualified the author is on the chosen topic. What are the author's credentials? · Reflect on the
some helpful hints for writing the first essay—The Critique. ... not the AUTHOR of the article presented an effective (or ineffective) argument. EXAMPLE