How To Write An Article Critique in 3 Steps (With Article Critique Example)

Feb 2, 2022

Feb 2, 2022 | Guide

What Is an Article Critique?

An article 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 summarize the key points of the article and forget they are supposed to analyze and challenge them.

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

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

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

The main purposes of writing a good article critique are to:

  • Describe the main ideas and what the author wants to express
  • Analyze each important and interesting point and develop an explanation of the article
  • Interpret the author’s intention
  • Summarise and evaluate the value of an article, stating whether you agree or disagree with the author, with supporting evidence.

What steps need to be taken to write an article critique?

1. Thoroughly Read The Article

Read the article to get the general message

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 article’s 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.

2. Re-read the article as you analyze it

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 article’s author trying to prove?
  • Are there holes in the key 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 for your analysis

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

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

Develop preliminary concepts for your article critique

Develop preliminary concepts for your article 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 piece of research article at hand.

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

2 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

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 article’s 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 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, they are most likely personal opinions, thereby foundation-less.

Often, people tend to be biased 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)

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 our word choice and tone.

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

For instance, if an author uses 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 article critique.

Read also: Writing Article Reviews

3 Writing the Article Critique

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

The next steps are to write an article critique.

Start with an engaging introduction

Start with an engaging introduction

To write an article critique, an introduction should:

  • Include the name of the author, the name of the article, the publisher, the date of publication, and the main 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 article

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

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

It would help if you had 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 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 key points and explaining why your opinion is correct

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

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

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

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

Demonstrate to the reader the bigger and clear picture of your review.

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

Also, make sure you leave a lasting impression on 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

An article critique is not a summary of a research 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, writing an article critique will not seem so difficult.

How to Critique a Journal Article

So, you’ve been assigned to write a critique paper on an article for some journal? If you’re not sure where to start with this project, here is our step-by-step guide on how to critique a journal article that will help:

1. Collect basic information

Collect basic information

The first step to writing an article critique is collecting the necessary information. This will include:

  • Title page of the article reviewed.
  • Statement of the main issue or problem revealed in the piece.
  • Title page of the article journal where it is published, along with the date and month of publication, volume number, and pages where the article can be found.
  • Purpose, research methods, approach, hypothesis, and key findings.

2. Read the article once and re-read after

Read the article once and re-read after

The first thing to do is get an overview of the article and grasp its general idea. To shape qualified criticism, you have reread it critically, highlighting what can be useful for writing your paper. A good critique must reflect your qualified and educated opinion of the article.

3. Write your critique based on the evidence you have collected

Write your critique based on the evidence you have collected

What are the key questions to ask when critiquing a journal article? Here I will share with you some of the most important questions that should be addressed:

  • Are the approaches and research methods used suitable?
  • Is there any duplicated or repeated content?
  • Is the discussion relevant and valuable?
  • Do you believe some sections of the piece have to be expanded, condensed, or omitted?
  • Did you find any ideas that were overemphasized or underemphasized in the article?
  • What are the author’s core assumptions?
  • Has the author of the article been objective in their statements?
  • Is the purpose stated in the introduction made clear?
  • Are there any errors in the author’s interpretations and facts
  • Has the author cited valid and trusted sources?
  • Are the statistical methods appropriate?
  • Is the title of the article clear and appropriate?
  • Are all statements the author makes clear?
  • Is the article’s abstract presented in the correct form, relevant to the article’s content, and specific?

Article critique example

Article critique example

Now that you know how to critique an article, we are going to share an example journal article critique. Journal articles can be complicated for some people with no prior experience in academia; take it from someone who knows firsthand!

Sample Article Critique

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 have an objective analysis of any piece of work.

However, most students summarize the main points of the article and forget they are supposed to analyze and challenge them.

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

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

Basically, to write a good article critique, 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 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 of the article and explaining why your opinion is correct

What makes a good critique?

A critique is not a brief summary of the analyzed paper – 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 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 contains some core ideas of the major work.
  • Body Paragraphs – In your critique, expound on your arguments; why do you disagree with the article.
  • It would help if you had 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 of the article and explaining why your opinion is correct
  • In the last paragraph, recap the main points of view in your critique. But, go further and explain to the reader the relevance of your critique.
  • Reference Page– This is the last element of your paper and includes the sources and works cited in the text. Each reference should be arranged by APA requirements and alphabetically in ascending order.
  • In-text citation– You need to cite your sources in APA formatting style. You need to place the author’s name and publication date in brackets, e.g. (Smith, 2019)