When an average person thinks about how to critique an article, they usually believe that the purpose is to find all the wrong points and be as critical as possible. Our guide helps to demystify the majority of questions related to the article critique. These basic rules, explanations, and an example can help you learn along. Even if you receive cryptic instructions from your college professor, our article critique guide will make things clearer as you continue!
What is an Article Critique?
In simple terms, an article critique is a type of essay writing where an author should provide sufficient, unbiased, critical evaluation of the article in question. Of course, it will involve at least a brief summary of the contents and information about the author's background (if it is necessary). Yet, it does not have to turn into a listing of the contents! Knowing how to summarize and critique an article means helping your audience see all the key points of the article along with the author's ideas, objectives, or major intentions. The main purpose of every article critique is to reveal the strengths and the weaknesses of the article by keeping the tone neutral in terms of personal considerations. Since it has to be written in formal language with a precise structure, one should follow the general academic pattern where analysis has the beginning or introduction, the body parts, and a strong conclusion that sums things up.
The trick is to read it more than once and describe how it makes you feel through the lens of academic objectives and the general academic value. Speaking of the purpose, composing an article critique, you have to describe the main ideas of the author. Provide a brief description of why it is important in your specific context. Next, remember to mention all the interesting aspects that help to reveal the value of the article. Finally, talk about the author's intention and vision regarding the subject. The final part of the article critique must offer a summary of the main purpose. Learning how to write a critique of an article, remember that your conclusion is the important part where you can let the audience know whether you agree or disagree with the author. It is the place to provide supporting thoughts and references either from the article or another academic source.
How to Write an Article Critique Step-by-Step?
The writing process of the article critique is simpler than it seems. It is only necessary to know where to start and how to align your critique when you are dealing with complex academic writing. Therefore, follow these simple four steps as you learn how to do an article critique:
- Take Enough Time to Read The Article. Such an approach is necessary to understand every idea described in your reading material. It may be challenging at times to understand it. Check it again or read it aloud to see if it makes more sense. When in doubt, you can consult similar sources or articles that further explain the subject. Consider the readability and clarity of the article as you criticize it.
- Take Notes. When the article feels clear to you and you understand (more or less!) what it is about, it is high time to read it again in a bit different way and take notes to help yourself move along. For example, if you encounter something interesting or an argument that moves you, you should consider it as something that is worth being discussed. You can either quote the part or use it as argumentation to prove your point.
- Turn Your Notes Into Outline. Your notes are there for a reason. You can implement them into your structure and use your points as the topic sentences as you discuss the important parts. As you let your article critique evolve, provide opinions or leave comments to help your audience understand things clearer.
- Your Opinion Comes Here. This is where you should summarize your thoughts and explain whether you like the article or if it has too many weak and unclear parts. Of course, your ideas should be supported with a piece of clear evidence.
Remember that if you have used any other reference or consulted external information beyond the article in question, always mention it on your Bibliography / References page.
Learn About Article Critique Format & Structure
Unless it is specified otherwise, your article critique should follow this template:
- Outline. This is what your introduction should look like since you have to provide background information about the article and explain the author's main points without turning it into a summary. Approach things from the critical point of view.
- Thesis Statement. Your thesis statement should explain the value of the article or methodology if you are dealing with a research article critique.
- Article's Purpose. This part is your body paragraphs part where you have to brainstorm the author's ideas and crash-test them against the common knowledge. See what is good, what is insufficient, and what parts are the most important for achieving a certain purpose set by the author.
- Additional References. If you are dealing with a research article, it may be necessary to consult relevant external research papers to prove the importance and methodology of the article before you explain your opinion.
- Conclusion/Summary With Your Opinion. The conclusion part of the article critique is usually the most challenging. It is where you have to explain your opinion. The trick is just saying how the article has made you feel, how it has helped you, or what flaws you have found, always providing relevant evidence.
Without a doubt, you may have to provide a different structure, yet following the structure above is the perfect balance where you express both your findings, opinion, and the general variables. Remember that your article critique must cover not only the negative points that you encounter but the positive discoveries as well.
How to Write an Article Critique: Journal vs Research Article
The major difference between writing a research article critique and dealing with the general journal article is the approach that you have to take. As a rule, research articles represent empirical or primary sources. It means your critique style must consider the introduction provided by the author, the methods that have been used, the samples and surveys, the results of the certain research, and the discussion of the outcomes that have been achieved.
Now dealing with the general review articles that mostly represent secondary sources with an already included synthesis of certain information, you should work with the topic and its importance for the general audience. In other words, the purpose is always different. You should provide more of a summary than the analytical research work. Coming back to the research article critique,try to study the problem and see if the author makes some statement. Then, focus on review of the relevant literature, and hypothesis or research questions set by the author.
Remember to review the Bibliographical information if it is provided and explain whether it poses importance for the review and if all the information mentioned in the article has been properly referenced. Remember you should also provide references for your quotes and references in your article critique in relevant writing style (APA, MLA, or Chicago) to avoid possible plagiarism issues.
The Article Critique Example
As an example of the article, let us take "Contribution of Psychoacoustics and Neuroaudiology in Revealing Correlation of Mental Disorders With Central Auditory Processing Disorders" that has been presented in 2003 by V. Iliadou and S. Lakovides. Below is the short passage, an article critique sample that will help you get an idea of how it’s done:
The article represents interesting and innovative research in the field of Psychoacoustics by focusing not only on the aspects of Neuroaudiology but also dealing with the electrical activity of the auditory pathways. The authors have dealt with the challenges of Central Auditory Processing Disorders, meaning that the article relates to the field of Psychiatry. This particular MEDLINE research has been conducted by turning to over 564 papers to establish the methodology and sufficient samples to maintain the importance of psychoacoustic elements through the lens of neurological or mental disorders. What makes this research special is the use of various tests and experiments that have been done with the help of auditory simulation methods. All the sources provided are properly referenced and offer sufficient background regarding the reasons why particular scientific aspects have been highlighted.
The authors provide a unique balance between psychoacoustic and electrophysiologic tests based on the type of lesion chosen. It must be noted that the various types of mental disorders have been taken into consideration to provide well-weighted research. The article meets its purpose of providing varied research based on the works of skilled experts in Psychiatry, Neurology, Neuropsychology, and Pediatric Psychology among other sciences. The value of the article also lies in the importance of addressing numerous learning challenges like dyslexia, ADHD, and autism differently because the auditory aspect is explored at greater depth. Although the educational factor is mentioned briefly as the article is more evidence-based, it leaves enough space for relevant scientific research.
As you can see, the purpose is to explain and show why the article is important and what exactly makes it special. Try offering related evidence from the critique article either with the quotes or by paraphrasing.
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