A critique of an academic article is an objective analysis of the topic discussed in the article, as to whether the author has supported his key points with applicable and reasonable arguments based on relevant facts or not. It is rather easy to get caught up while summarizing the points of the article, without actually challenging and analyzing it.
A good critique of an article will effectively demonstrate your impressions of the academic article, while providing relevant evidence to back up these impressions.
It is not an easy job to write a critique, which covers all the aspects of the article. Rather, it can be a tough job for individuals. Even if a person is able to write a critique of the mentioned article, it may not cover all points or may not be of sufficient quality.
Therefore, in order to write a quality academic article critique, it is important to follow some necessary tips.
Five of these essential tips are mentioned below, which can help you becoming a professional academic article critic:
1. Become an Active Reader
The first and foremost point in writing a critique is to become an attentive and active reader. If you lazily go through an article, you will not be able to grasp the main idea of the article. While reading the article for the first time, you should understand the meaning of each sentence thoroughly, without skipping anything.
The overall argument which the author is trying to make should be understood in the first reading. Further readings may help you in criticizing various aspects. However, if you do not understand the key argument you cannot expect to criticize it.
On the second and third reading, mark the important text as you go through the article. Ask yourself various questions like what is the main argument of the article? Who is the intended audience? Why was the research on this topic initially done? Does the author have enough evidence to support his argument? Are there any loopholes in the author’s argument?
2. Gathering Evidence
Question whether the evidence acquired by the author is logical or not. Even if the author has mentioned the respective names of individuals from whom he has taken reference from, test and analyze whether the author’s argument is practical for real world applications or not.
You must also search for any biased aspects where the author has taken a definitive side, without explaining a solid reason. Biases can be related to politics, races, gender, ethnicity or class. Bias can also include ignoring relevant evidence, and unfairly make conclusions.
Also examine whether the introduction and conclusion of the article are supporting the overall article or not, and whether they are well-written for their respective purpose or not. It is important to double check the references, which the author has referred to, and check if they are relevant or not.
3. Dig Deep
Use your educated opinions and knowledge to either disagree or support the author’s article. Perform research on related material, and dig deeper into the material to know the relevancy of the author’s article. The more you know about the author’s key main argument, the better will you be able to critique it.
Over-sourcing and too much of good evidence may become a problem, if your main arguments become repetitive. Make sure each of the source is providing something unique to your overall critique, and you are not repeating too much of the same thing. Moreover, do not allow your researched material to crown out your own arguments and opinions. While relevancy is important, people are here to listen to your own opinion and analysis of the article.
4. Format your Critique
It is very important to properly format your critique. The introduction of your critique should not be more than two paragraphs and should be able to lay out the initial framework of your critique. Start by noting where the article succeeds or fails most dramatically and reason out why. Do understand that introduction is not the proper place to provide evidence of your opinions. The evidence will be mentioned in body paragraphs.
It is also important to mention the name of the author, the article title, journal or publication the article has appeared in, publication date, and a statement about the key argument.
5. Concluding your Critique
Conclude the critique by summarizing your own argument and by suggesting potential solutions or implications. You should provide a recap of the key points, which you have gone through in the article. You must do your best to make a lasting impression on the reader’s mind in the conclusion by using assertive and straight-forward language in order to demonstrate the importance of your work.
So, do you want to write an excellent article-critique? If Yes, the above useful tips can be your benchmark in writing an article critique, no matter what type of article it is.