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How to Critique an Article?
If your professor asked you to write an article critique paper, your first reaction is probably “How to critique an article?” If you lack the article critiquing skills, do not worry! We have created a great guide that will help you understand the essential elements of a good article critique.
Basically, an article critique or an article response is a formal evaluation of the particular article or another piece with the scientific content. When working on an article critique, your primary goal is to understand whether the author managed to use the arguments properly and whether they managed to reach their goals. Although the basic concept of the article critique is pretty simple, many students fail article critique assignment being unable to organize the ideas in the right order and present a well-structured overview of the article. If your professor did not provide you with the additional information on this task, you may reasonably assume that you just need to read an APA format journal article and write a paper telling what you think about this article. Although this assumption is right, you should realize that an APA format article critique is much more than a brief evaluation of the literary work.
What is an Article Critique?
Before we tell you how to organize the writing process, you need to understand what is an article critique, as well as the essential peculiarities of this task:
- Instead of summarizing the article, you need to critique it pointing out to its relevance, as well as to its strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, summarizing the article instead of analyzing it is the main mistake committed by the students. We assure you that your professor does not need that. He wants to see your critical thinking and analytical skills;
- When providing your opinion about the article you should back up your arguments with the solid evidence;
- Along with identifying the main idea of the article, you need to point out its purpose and background.
Now when you understand what is a journal article critique, you should learn how to write it. Below, you will find the list of the key steps of article critique writing:
Step 1. Active Reading
As you probably understood, active reading is pretty different from the usual reading because active reading requires taking some notes. The main problem is that some articles are quite lengthy and difficult to understand. We recommend you to read the article, paragraph-by-paragraph, and write down all the meaningful things that worth attention. When reading the article, you should definitely highlight the following aspects:
- Research problem;
- Methods used in research;
Most probably, to get your article well, you will need to read it several times. We assure you that reading your article more than once, you will discover its different layers that will help you create an outstanding article critique paper. Do not skip the important information because in such an important academic paper, every detail matters.
Step 2. Develop an Outline
Now when you know what is the article about and have enough research notes, it is high time to organize them into an outline. A preliminary outline of the article critique is the plan that defines all the stages of researcher`s work, the main parts of the article critique, as well as the arguments that will be included in each part.
Step 3. Think about the Main Points
We assure you that the first thing your professor would check is whether you have mange to recognize the difference between a summary and a critique. As such, you should not only summarize the main ideas found in the article but critically evaluate them. In other words, you have to find out the ways that will help you create a convincing discussion covering the important messages of the author.
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To achieve success, you should evaluate the writer`s arguments if they are clear, logical, and relevant. If you find it difficult to understand what should be included in the article critique paper, we recommend you to look for the effective article critique examples and you will understand what information should be included in it, as well as how your arguments should be organized. To understand the main point of your article, we recommend you to read your introduction and conclusion several times. Usually, the introduction and conclusion are the parts of the article where the most important information is told.
Many students mistakenly believe that the word critique has a negative meaning and when writing a research article critique, they need to analyze its weaknesses. However, it is not true. We assure you that the article critique should not be only negative. If you find the researcher`s ideas and arguments pretty interesting, feel free to tell about that. Either way, keep in mind that all your observations about the article should be supported with the sound arguments.
Step 4. Find Some Contradictions
We assure you that your professor will be impressed by your diligent work in you manage to find some contradictions in the article and analyze them. Some researchers, intentionally or unintentionally, may be biased. As such, when suggesting the evidence, they may misinterpret or ignore it. This bias usually comes from prejudice but, nevertheless, it is a great opportunity for you to evaluate their claims. If you believe that the author`s evidence is untrustworthy, feel free to mention that in your critique.
Step 5. Start Writing Your Article Critique Outline
Now, when you have a detailed article critique outline on the key aspects you want to analyze in your paper, start writing your article critique.
- Write an introduction.
Keep in mind that your introductory paragraph is the place where you need to disclose your main argument. First, you need to provide the full title of the article, its author, the date of its publication, and the journal in which it was published. Then, you need to include a thesis statement that will outline the key idea of the article you analyze. Writing a thesis statement is vitally important since it helps your reader understand what is your critique about.
- Write the main body.
Your main body is the place when your actual critique begins. Each of your body paragraphs should expand on a new argument and begin with a topic sentence that is connected with a hypothesis. Make sure there is a logical connection between the paragraphs in your main body. In the main body, you need to suggest a few the most meaningful arguments about the article but all of them should be supported with the solid evidence. We recommend you to use direct citations to back up your words. Pay attention that all citations used in your critique should be quoted in accordance with the reference style requested by your instructor. Pay attention that formatting an article critique is an integral requirement in your grading rubric. Most probably, you will be asked to follow the APA formatting style, so we recommend you to find some efficient APA manuals and learn the key rules that should be followed.
- Write a conclusion.
As well as any other academic paper, your article critique should have a strong conclusion that will summarize the key ideas and arguments you expressed in your main body. Keep in mind that your conclusion should not introduce new details and should not contain new quotes. Basically, you need to rephrase your thesis and readdress the main strengths and weaknesses of the article you analyzed. Remember that your conclusion is the best way to make an impression on your reader. Thus, you need to make is strong, clear, and detailed.
Step 6. Revise Your Paper
Do not even think about skipping this step. We assure you that submitting your draft to your instructor without revising or editing it, you won`t get the anticipated grade. An article critique is a particularly serious project, so everything should be done correctly. We assure you that the slightest grammar mistake or a logical flaw will compromise the quality of the whole project. As such, do not put your academic reputation at risk, and revise your paper several times until you think it is perfect. When revising your paper, pay attention to the logical gaps in your analysis, the use of citations, mechanical errors, etc.
To sum up, writing an article critique can be a great challenge for a student, especially the one, who does not know how to write an article critique. However, having a clear understanding of the nature of this assignment, as well as an article format, you will be able to cope with your article critique on the highest level. Remember that your article critique is the assignment, where you can showcase your critical thinking skills and develop your analytical competence. All in all, the result will worth all your efforts!