If you need to know how to write an article critique, keep reading for our step-by-step guide.
In an article critique, you will be asked to critically read a research article, reflect on the article, and identify the strong and weak points of that piece. Whether you have been asked to critique a research paper, an essay, or an entire book, it would be best if you reflected on the argument’s effectiveness and validity. The key point to writing a solid article critique is to think critically.
Every author or researcher tries to convince you of the correctness of their point of view. However, even if that point of view is flawed, the author is trying to make it look good. Therefore, your job is to critique the paper critically, identifying its strong and weak points. There are several steps involved in the process.
To write an article critique, there are several materials you need to have. They include:
- The paper, book, or article you are going to be critiquing
- A computer or a notepad you can use to take notes
- Writing materials, such as pens and pencils
- Highlighters and tabs you can use to keep the information organized
Step 1: Read the Piece
If you want to write a decisive critique, you need to read the piece first. On the other hand, you don’t want to try to read a summary and grasp everything from the article. Otherwise, you risk losing a significant amount of context from the article.
As you read the article or book, there are several questions you need to answer. They include:
- If the author is considered an expert or authority in the field, why is that the case?
- What is the thesis statement or hypothesis the author is presenting? Does the author have enough evidence to support their point of view?
- Who is the target audience of the article? For example, is the target audience people with a specific viewpoint, people of a particular background, or people with a predetermined point of view?
- Are the arguments presented in the article valid? Does it seem like the sources have been cherry-picked? Or does the author appear to consider all possible answers to the question?
- Does the author appear to have any flaws in the argument? Is the author overlooking something important?
- Does the author appear to reach a logical conclusion based on the evidence in the paper?
As you read through the article, you should take notes and answer the questions above. This will give you plenty of information you can use to craft your article critique.
Step 2: Gather Evidence To Support Your Article Critique
You need to note the author’s sources as you read the paper. These could include footnotes, endnotes, quotes, and other sources referenced in the paper. You may want to review the sources to ensure the author has drawn an appropriate conclusion based on the information in the source. You may also want to do your research to identify other sources that either support the author’s point of view or refute it.
You should also go to the article to see if there are any biased opinions. It is not unusual for someone to pick a side and not even consider the opposing point of view. If you believe you can draw a different logical conclusion based on the same evidence, you should include that in your article critique.
Remember that the language of the article will also play a vital role. You should pay close attention to word choice, particularly if the language is politically charged. Readers can interpret words differently, and you will need to explain the interpretation of the language in the article.
You may also want to identify any logical fallacies in the article. Some of the most common fallacies people use in their writing include:
- Ad Hominem: This fallacy occurs when someone attacks the individual instead of the substance of their point of view. Discrediting the person does not necessarily discredit the argument.
- Correlation and Causation: Correlation does not always equal causation. Just because something came first doesn’t mean it caused the second action.
- Slippery Slope: Many people will make the “slippery slope” argument. Just because one action takes place doesn’t mean it will end up in the worst-case scenario.
If you notice these logical fallacies, you should use them in your article critique.
Step 3: Format Your Paper
You may be asked to follow APA format in your article critique. In general, there will be four separate parts to your article. They include:
- The Introduction: In the introduction, you need to include the author’s name and the title of the piece you are critiquing. You should also mention the core idea or point of view that the author has. It would be best if you also had a clear thesis reflecting your article critique’s direction.
- The Summary: In the summary, you need to include the main points of the article. If there are central arguments in the article, you should present them. Then, be sure to include the article’s main conclusion as well.
- The Critique: In your critique, you need to include both the strong and weak points of the article. Mention what the article does well, and mention what the article does poorly. You should discuss the evidence in the article and any other evidence you might have gathered.
- The Conclusion: Again, you should summarize the article’s key points. Conclude the validity of the piece you have analyzed. You may want to include some future directions that merit further research.
Once you have finished your article critique, be sure to proofread it before you submit it.
Step 4. Proofread Your Article Critique
Once you have finished your article critique, be sure to proofread it before you submit it. Check for spelling, grammar, and syntax errors when proofreading your article.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the format of an article critique?
In academic writing, the format of an article critique includes an introduction, a brief summary, the critique itself, and the conclusion. In your critique, you should include everything from the title of the article and the author’s ideas to the research methods and research questions (or journalistic questions), depending on whether you are critiquing a research paper or a journal article.
What is the difference between a critique and a review?
Generally, a good critique is written by someone considered an expert in that field. In contrast, a review is written by someone interested in that field but is not necessarily considered an expert.
What are the components of a critique?
The components of a critique paper include the background information and author’s main point (in the introduction), a summary in the body paragraphs, a critical evaluation in the critique section, and future research or following questions in conclusion.
If you are interested in learning more, check out our essay writing tips!
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