How to Write an Article Critique
As a college or university student, you will definitely write an article critique in your studies. Article critiques often require you to perform a critical evaluation of a research article. Such research articles include journals, books, or essays.
That said, what does critique mean?
A critique is a detailed and critical analysis or evaluation of something. When writing an article critique, being critical involves:
A proper understanding of the main idea
Analysis of evidence provided
Evaluation and judgment
Development of your argument – Who, What, Why, When?
Therefore an article critique is a critical analysis and evaluation of a research article.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about writing an article critique.
What is the Importance of an Article Critique?
Now that you understand the meaning of an article critique let’s discuss the importance of writing one. The purpose of an article critique includes to:
Obtain the main ideas and emotions of the author
Discover crucial points
Analyze the author’s intent
Explain the article in a detailed manner
Give opinions of approval or disapproval
Evaluate the article’s value
Scrutinize the strong and weak points of the article
Recommend any improvements in future research
How to Write an Article Critique
There are various ways to write an article critique. Remember to refer to your instructions or educational materials to ensure the correct formatting of the critique paper. When writing an article critique, consider the following steps:
- Critical Reading
After selecting an article that fits your criteria, read the article attentively as you note down key points. In your notes, ensure you do the following:
Identify the author’s reasons for writing the article
Point out the research methods and their level of success
Discover your likes and dislikes about the article
- Find a Thesis Statement
This is the main argument of the article.
It’s normally found in the introduction. Since a thesis is not explicit, formulate one main theme by analyzing the purpose of the article.
- Critical evaluation
This requires re-reading the article and answering the following questions:
What is the author’s experience in the field? Is the author qualified to write the article?
The grounds of the research. It can be either theory or previous literature.
Does the research relate to a broader context?
What is the author’s style?
Is the article relevant or outdated?
Is there any conflict of interest or bias evidence?
Are the problems experienced in generalizing the results?
What are is your emotional reaction after reading the article?
- Drafting the essay
Now that you’ve understood the author’s intent and generated a topic, it’s now time to write the essay. There are five parts to a research article critique. They include:
A good introduction involves:
A short introduction. Usually 10% of the total word count.
Name of the article under review
The author-date system
Name of the author
Description of the main idea or purpose of the critique
The context. This involves either the political, social, or psychological context
Thesis statement. This is a concluding statement that predicts the evaluation of your critique
This is a brief summary and objective description of the key points. The author summarizes the contents of the article critique using symbols, media, characters, and other techniques.
A brief summary includes the article’s main:
This is a detailed and systematic interpretation of the whole article. In this section, you should discuss the researcher’s main purpose and the different elements of the research. Use the gathered evidence to determine whether the author was successful in convincing the reader.
The critical analysis and evaluation do include not only negative critique but also positive feedback. A good article critique should discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of the article.
For example, a research project critique would identify the following:
Data collection and analysis
When analyzing the research article, there are key elements to consider. They include:
- Write in a formal academic style
Write your body paragraphs in a formal academic style. Organize your ideas into paragraphs with broad impressions, then narrow them down to technical impressions.
- Every paragraph should have a topic sentence.
The topic sentence focuses on a specific concept from the article. From the topic sentence, use concrete evidence to support the arguments in your paragraph. You are free to propose or oppose the author’s concept.
- Write in Third Person
Use the third person form when writing your body paragraphs. This gives the article critique credibility of your background information.
- Discuss the goals of the author
When writing your body paragraphs, discuss the author’s primary goals and whether they were adequately convincing.
- Provide evidence
Remember to give the reader a deeper understanding using other works or previous literature. Ensure to be as accurate as possible. Examples of evidence used include quotes and citations.
- Use the correct referencing style
Different academic formats have different referencing styles. Therefore, remember to use the correct citation and reference styles when providing evidence.
Every article critique has a conclusion. This section involves reasserting the overall idea of the author and your opinions. Consequently, the reader is confident in the ideas presented and can understand the reasons for your opinion.
A good critique conclusion involves:
A summary of the analysis
A summary of the reasons for your analysis
Recommendations of improvement
- Reference List
This is where you include all the references for the work cited in your article critique. Remember to use the correct referencing format depending on the instructions given.
Research Article Critique Example
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The importance of being earnest was the final and most celebrated play that Oscar Wilde wrote. The main reason for Wilde’s prosperity is the ability to narrate a captivating story that strengthens the existing social values. Wilde was able to narrate by making good use of modern relationships and graphics successfully. The play was considered the most humorous, but it continues to entertain the lovers of theatre worldwide. The play is a sarcasm of British society’s current aristocratic and modern customs while questioning the concept of identity. In the play, there are topsy-turvy characters due to unexpected occurrences. In the play, Wilde has successfully discussed the two significant dilemmas facing the Victorian community.
Two distinct dilemmas form the critique of the play. To begin with, critics openly doubted or questioned the moral perspectives in the play, although the audience well absorbed it. Consequently, the play was criticized by George Benard Shaw for its real degeneracy (Bob Nelson, 1993). He described the wordplay as rather sinister and hateful.
The issue of morality in the play has significantly divided critics. According to Edouard Roditi, the play’s comedy was weaker than “the incomplete” or “the trivial”(Edouardo Roditi, 1947). He felt that the play had not addressed any ethical issues. Another critic was Eric Bentley, who concluded that the play failed to break due to its ridiculous action( Eric Bently, 1987). Otto Reinart is also another critic who thought the play’s comedy exhibited hypocrisy( Otto Reinart, 1956). In a nutshell, the play has endorsed a mockery of respectability and uses paradoxical morality to reveal the problem of manners.
Another issue of the play is the categorization of the play. The play has been described as a farce representing the reality that Victorian convention pretends to ignore (Otto Reinart, 1956). More often than not, the characters portray irony by saying something but meaning something different. The character Alegron to escape scenarios pretends to be something he’s not. Wilde has revealed that Victorian morality led to people living double lives. In a nutshell, critics have failed to categorize the play.
In conclusion, the dramatic encounters in the play are regarded as strengths. However, people like Forster have defended the play and referred to the play as an intellectual dialogue rather than a farce(Forster, 1956). According to Forster, the main idea of the play lies in the plot and the numerous coincidences found in the resolutions.
Bob Nelson, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Study Guide.
Edouard Roditi, Oscar Wilde, 1947, Norfolk
Eric Bentley, The Playwright as Thinker, 1987, Harvest Books Foster, Richard. “Wilde as Parodist: A Second Look at The Importance Of Being Earnest.” October 1956, College English
Reinert, Otto. “Satiric Strategy in The Importance Of Being Earnest.” October 1956, College English
How to Critique a Journal Article
A journal article is a collection of written work that focuses on specific topics. A journal article critique is an academic paper that analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness and value of a journal article in achieving its goals as a reliable and credible source.
The most common assignment is critiquing a part of empirical research by scrutinizing literature reviews or theoretical papers. However, there are instances where you’ll be asked to perform a comparative review. A comparative review involves critiquing and comparing more than one journal article.
A journal article critique should include the following basic information:
Name(s) of the author(s)
The title of the article
Title of the journal article, volume number, publication date, month, and page numbers
A discussion of the research problem
The author’s purpose for writing the article
How to Write a Journal Article Critique
You’ve already established that an article critique does not focus on negative criticism but also positive or indifferent feedback. When critiquing a journal article, you want to verify the claims made and contributions of the article to the field. This requires asking and answering each part of the journal article.
Assess the Article’s Credibility
- The author(s)
Is the author knowledgeable or an expert in that specific field?
To verify the author’s(s) credibility, information is usually provided at the start and end of the article. If no information is present, google the author(s). Most published authors have a section in their portfolio about their area of research and expertise.
Have other authors cited the article?
Most journal databases provide this information. However, if you don’t find any information in the databases, you can use google scholar to check for citations.
- The writing style
Is the article well written?
Ensure that your article critique is free from grammatical and spelling errors.
- The title
Is the title clear?
When writing the title, it should be captivating, bold, and accurate.
Does it give a summary of the article?
An abstract should state the:
Aim of the research
- The overall formatting style
Evaluate the Robustness of the Article
- The main purpose of the research
Why has the author written the article? What is the research problem?
The answers to the above questions are clearly defined in the abstract and introduction of the paper.
- Literature review
Is it comprehensive? Is the review a logic summary with sufficient critique? For scientific articles, is the review timely?
The literature review requires a search strategy that involves exquisite literature search. In addition, the review should reveal concrete reasons for the research.
Is the hypothesis present? If present, is it clear?
The purpose of the research is identified in qualitative research, while in quantitative research, the objectives and goals are identified.
- Research Methodology- Samples
Was the right specimen sampled? Did you target the right people?
The target population size is identified in quantitative research, while in qualitative research, the sampling method and size are identified.
- Research Methodology- Data collection
Did you use a suitable data collection method?
In quantitative research, the data collection instrument is identified. Also, mention if there was a pilot study and if the study is replicable.
In qualitative research, the data collection strategies are identified and justified. Identify if you achieved data saturation.
- Research Methodology- Data analysis
How did you analyze the data? Were the findings relevant?
In quantitative research, identify the type of statistics and data used and how appropriate they were. Results should be presented in a comprehensive manner, such as tables and charts.
In qualitative research, use the strategies in the data collection to analyze the data. Discuss the credibility and reliability of the data.
- Ethical Concerns
Have you addressed all the ethical issues?
In this section, identify whether:
the article was ethically permitted
The participants were aware of all the research details
The participants were confidential
The participants were offered protection
Did the author answer the research question? Were the findings accurately presented?
In this section of the article critique, discuss the following:
Any difference in previous findings
Identification and support of the hypothesis
The strengths and weaknesses of the article
The purpose of the research
Linkage with previous literature reviews
Did the article emphasize the theoretical or practical significance?
When writing your conclusion, identify the following:
Implications of the findings
Importance of the findings
The validation of the results
- Reference list
Was the reference list correctly formatted? Was the list complete?
Identify whether all the sources cited in the article have been accurately referenced.
How is a Critique Different from a Summary?
Be keen not to confuse between a summary and a critique. A summary involves highlighting the key points or overview of an article. Often, summaries don’t include accurate or detailed information.
A critique involves critically analyzing the article and sharing an opinion. Usually, an article critique includes a brief discussion or argument that analyzes and evaluates the research.