How to Write an Article Critique

How to Write an Article Critique

In the academic field, the ability to dissect and evaluate research articles is an invaluable skill. As a student navigating through your academic journey seeking to refine your critical analysis abilities, writing an effective article critique is a fundamental endeavor. It’s a process that not only hones your analytical thinking but also contributes to the collective knowledge of your field.

An article critique goes beyond a mere summary. It involves a meticulous examination, a careful consideration of methodologies, and a critical evaluation of the author’s arguments. It’s a structured exercise in discerning the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of research, and ultimately, it empowers you to contribute to the academic conversation.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll embark on a journey to master the art of writing an article critique. From understanding the core concepts to drafting a compelling critique, we’ll walk you through each step of the process. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, this guide aims to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed to craft critiques that stand out.

So, let’s dive in and unravel the intricacies of writing an article critique that not only demonstrates your understanding but also elevates your scholarly contributions. Ready to embark on this enlightening journey? 

Let’s get started.

What is an Article Critique 

A critique is a detailed and critical analysis or evaluation of something. It involves: 

  • Questioning
  • A proper understanding of the main idea
  • Analysis of evidence provided
  • Evaluation and judgment
  • Development of your argument – Who, What, Why, When?

As a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of a scholarly or research article. It involves a careful and structured assessment of the article’s content, methodology, and overall quality. 

The primary purpose of writing an article critique is to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the research, provide constructive feedback, and offer insights into the article’s contributions to the field of study.

Key components of an article critique include:

  1. Summary 

Providing a brief overview of the article’s main points, research objectives, and findings.

  1. Analysis

Examining the author’s research methods, data collection, and analysis techniques to evaluate their validity and effectiveness.

  1. Evaluation

Assessing the author’s arguments, evidence, and conclusions to determine their logical coherence and validity.


Identifying any limitations, biases, or gaps in the research and discussing the implications of these shortcomings.


Offering suggestions for further research or potential improvements to the article.

What is the Purpose 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:

1. Critical Reading

After selecting an article that fits your criteria, read the article carefully 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

2. 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.

3. 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 is your emotional reaction after reading the article?

Drafting the Research Article Critique

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:

1. Introduction

The goal of the introduction is to hook the reader. Ensure you have s short introduction, usually 10% of the total word count.

In this portion of your critique, you’ll include the following:

  • 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

2. Summary

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:

  • Points
  • Argument
  • Findings

3. Body

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 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:

  • Subject
  • Experiment methods
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Results
  • Conclusions

When analyzing the research article, there are key elements to consider. They include:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Write in the Third Person

Use the third-person form when writing your body paragraphs. This gives the article critique credibility of your background information.

4. Discuss the goals of the author

When writing your body paragraphs, discuss the author’s primary goals and whether they were adequately convincing.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Conclusion

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

8. 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
  • Research methodologies
  • Hypothesis
  • Major conclusions

The Process of Writing a Great Journal Article Critique

You’ve already established that an article critique does not focus on negative criticism but also on 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

1. 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.

2. Citation

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.

3. The Writing Style

Is the article well written?

Ensure that your article critique is free from grammatical and spelling errors.

4. The Title

Is the title clear? The title should be informative enough and provide a good summary of what the journal article involves. 

When writing the title, it should be captivating, bold, and accurate.

5. Abstract

Does it give a summary of the article?

An abstract should state the:

  • Research problem
  • Aim of the research
  • Findings
  • Recommendations

6. The Overall Formatting Style

Does the article critique follow the correct formatting instructions? Some of the formatting styles include APA, MLA, Havard, and Chicago.

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 logical 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.

  • Hypothesis

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

  • Findings

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

Give recommendations

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 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.

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