How To Write An Article Critique

How To Write An Article Critique

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A critique is an objective analysis of a given article.

The article could be scientific or just a literary piece.

Whichever is the case, you need to analyze and possibly criticize the work.

However, most students simply provide a summary of the main points and forget they are supposed to analyze and challenge the article.

Also, note that you should base your analyses on facts and rational arguments that you can back up with evidence – not personal opinion.

In a nutshell, a good article critiques should demonstrate your understanding of an article and the topic discussed and whether or not you think the author had solid arguments.

Basically, to write an article critique that is good, you have to read an article, analyze it, then gather evidence.

Thoroughly Read The Article

  • Read the article to get the general message

You cannot critique an article you have not read.

The first time you read it, make sure you understand the topic and get the general message, the author is trying to relay.

It is more like you are searching for the thesis of the article.

You want to see if you agree with this thesis.

  • Re-read the article as you analyze it

The next time you read the article, try to make some analysis.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What was the target audience of the article?
  • What was the purpose of the article?
  • What argument was the author trying to prove?
  • Are there holes in the points the author used to support his arguments?

Highlight, using a pencil or marker, anything you think stands out.

  • Create legends for your analysis

Create legends to differentiate between parts you found rational, inconsistent, and confusing.

For instance, you could use circles for points or passages that are confusing, and arrows for parts you found totally irrational.

  • Develop preliminary concepts for your critique

Before you start gathering evidence, make sure you have a rough opinion of the article.

After reading the article 2 to 4 times, you should have a preliminary critique.

This preliminary critique will be the basis of your evidence gathering.

It helps to note down how you feel about the article.

Also, at this stage, try and think of sources you will use to critique the article at hand.

Think of any documentary or book you might have read that provides arguments that contradict the article you are to critique.

Read also: Quantitative Article Review

Gather Evidence

At this point, you have already formed an opinion about the article.

Now, it is time to check if your opinion holds water by gathering evidence.

To do that:

  • Ask yourself if the message of the author is rational

The easiest way to examine the rationality of the article is to analyze the intro and conclusion; are you convinced?

Then, compare the main argument of the author with other literature in the same field.

Also, check whether the author conducted in-depth research before writing the article.

You can do that by checking the works quoted in the text if any.

Go a step further and check the practicality of the arguments in the article: Is what the author is trying to say applicable and successful in the real world?

  • Check for biases in the author’s arguments

An author is likely to be biased if they have something to gain from the discussions depicted in their article.

Another obvious indicator of bias is failing to include evidence that contradicts their arguments.

Also, if the points are not properly cited, then they are most likely personal opinions, thereby foundation-less.

Often, people form bias due to a narrow point of view due.

As you critique an article, check for opinions that are likely to be influenced by issues such as politics, gender, race, economic status, and ethnicity.

  • Scrutinize stylistic elements (especially in literature critiques)

In literature, content is not the only thing you should analyze.

You should check the literary and formal techniques the author used.

The main things to pay attention to are, word choice and tone.

Stylistic elements could reveal more problems in the article’s arguments.

For instance, is an author is using a heated and enthusiastic tone, you will most likely find the author is biased and ignores contradictory evidence throughout his work.

In non-scientific and non-sociological pieces, stylistic elements are the only way to critique.

Read also: Writing Article Reviews

Write an Article Critique for yourself

At this point, you understand what the article is all about, you have formed your analyses, and you have evidence.

The next step is to write the critique.

  • Start with an engaging introduction

To write an article critique, an instroduction should:

  • Include the name of the author, the name of the article, the publisher, the date of publication, and the focus of the article.
  • Indicate areas where the article succeeds and areas where it fails remarkably.

Limit the introduction to a paragraph or two, at most.

  • Provide evidence for your analyses in the body of the critique

In the body of your critique, expound on your arguments; why do you disagree with the article.

You should have several arguments, where each argument falls under a separate paragraph.

Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, followed by supporting sentences.

The supporting sentences should have evidence, from the article itself and external sources to back up the idea in your topic sentence.

If you do not have one argument that disagrees with the article, then make sure each paragraph expands on your analysis but in a different direction.

  • Conclude by summing up your main points and explaining why your opinion is correct

In the last paragraph, recap the main points in your critique.

But, go further and explain to the reader the relevance of your critique.

The point is not to aimlessly criticize the work of another scholar.

Demonstrate to the reader the bigger picture of your review.

Show the implications of your critique in your field of study.

Also, make sure you leave a lasting impression in your reader by leaving them with a rhetorical question, a call-to-action, or a question that requires them to conduct further research.

Final thoughts

A critique is not a summary of an article – it is an objective analysis that should challenge the article in question.

In this post, you will find a step-by-step process on how to write an article critique.

By the time you reach this point, to write an article critique will not seem so difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you write a critique?

A critique is an objective analysis of a given article. The article could be scientific or just a literary piece.

Whichever is the case, you need to analyze and possibly criticize the work.

However, most students simply provide a summary of the main points and forget they are supposed to analyze and challenge the article.

Also, note that you should base your analyses on facts and rational arguments that you can back up with evidence – not personal opinion.

In a nutshell, a good article critiques should demonstrate your understanding of an article and the topic discussed and whether or not you think the author had solid arguments.

Basically, to write an article critique that is good, you have to read an article, analyze it, then gather evidence.

How do you write a literary critique?

  • Start with an engaging introduction. Indicate areas where the article succeeds and areas where it fails remarkably.
  • Provide evidence for your analyses in the body of the critique. In the body of your critique, expound on your arguments; why do you disagree with the article.
  • Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, followed by supporting sentences.
  • The supporting sentences should have evidence, from the article itself and external sources to back up the idea in your topic sentence.
  • If you do not have one argument that disagrees with the article, then make sure each paragraph expands on your analysis but in a different direction.
  • Conclude by summing up your main points and explaining why your opinion is correct

What makes a good critique?

A critique is not a summary of an article – it is an objective analysis that should challenge the article in question.

  • Ask yourself if the message of the author is rational
  • Compare the main argument of the author with other literature in the same field.
  • Also, check whether the author conducted in-depth research before writing the article. You can do that by checking the works quoted in the text if any.
  • Go a step further and check the practicality of the arguments in the article: Is what the author is trying to say applicable and successful in the real world?
  • Check for biases in the author’s arguments. Check for opinions that are likely to be influenced by issues such as politics, gender, race, economic status, and ethnicity.
  • Scrutinize stylistic elements (especially in literature critiques).

How do you critique an article in APA?

  • Introduction– it is 150-250 words long and contain some core ideas of the major work
  • Body Paragraphs – In the body of your critique, expound on your arguments; why do you disagree with the article.
  • You should have several arguments, where each argument falls under a separate paragraph.
  • Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, followed by supporting sentences
  • Conclusion– Conclude by summing up your main points and explaining why your opinion is correct
  • In the last paragraph, recap the main points in your critique. But, go further and explain to the reader the relevance of your critique
  • Reference Page– is the last element of your paper and includes the list of sources and works cited in the text. Each reference should be arranged in accordance with APA requirements, and alphabetically in ascending order.
  • In-text citation– You need to in-text cite your sources in APA format. You need to place the author’s name and publication date in brackets, e.g. (Smith, 2019)

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