Article Critique Essay Writing
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An article critique is a style of essay writing where the writer is supposed to identify, evaluate, and respond to another author’s ideas both positively and negatively. Identifying involves looking at the article’s background and purpose and the main idea or the main argument that the article is communicating. Evaluating involves checking how convincing the argument is, checking what the argument assumes, checking how useful or applicable the article is, and checking how the article compares with other current theories and research. Responding will involve what your assessment of the article is, looking at the issues the article raises and what the article avoids.
In article critique, you are expected to not summarize the article but rather engage with the article and consider its contents from different angles. It is a chance to demonstrate that you have read extensively, can identify the strengths and weaknesses of an article, and that you can join in academic debates about an article’s merits. It is a chance to show that you are developing an understanding of “the big picture”.
- Is the title of the article appropriate and clear?
- Is the abstract specific, representative of the article, and in the correct form?
- Is the purpose of the article made clear in the introduction?
- Do you find errors of fact and interpretation?
- Is all of the discussion relevant?
- Has the author cited the pertinent, and only the pertinent, literature? If the author has included inconsequential references or references that are not pertinent, suggest deleting them.
- Have any ideas been overemphasized or underemphasized? Suggest specific revisions.
- Should some sections of the manuscript be expanded, condensed, or omitted?
- Are the author’s statements clear? Challenge ambiguous statements. Suggest by examples of how clarity can be achieved, but do not merely substitute your style for the authors.
- What underlying assumptions does the author have?
- Has the author been objective in his or her discussion of the topic?
- Active reading. Read and understand the article. Observe the facts and details of the article.
- Develop a preliminary outline. This is a plan of how you will discuss the main points of the article.
- Question the author’s main ideas. Look at whether the overall message is logical.
- Identify contradictions. Look for any intentional or unintentional biases by the author. He or she may have ignored evidence or might have misinterpreted it.
- Write your critique. Organize all the notes gathered in a clear outline. Start by disclosing your main idea in the introduction and use the body for the critique. For the conclusion, summarize your critique and suggest it’s potential implications. Use the conclusion to also recommend further research which sheds light on the issue and improves the work of the writer you just critiqued.
- Revise. Proofread and edit your work. Be sure to also pay attention to your citations.