How to Write a Critique Paper: Tips + Critique Essay Examples
A critique paper is an academic writing genre that summarizes and gives a critical evaluation of a concept or work. Or, to put it simply, it is no more than a summary and a critical analysis of a specific issue. This type of writing aims to evaluate the impact of the given work or concept in its field.
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- best tips on how to critique an article or a literary work,
- a critique paper example with introduction, body, and conclusion.
💁 What Is a Critique Paper?
- 👣 Critical Writing Steps
👀 Critical Essay Types
- 📑 Format & Structure
A critique is a particular academic writing genre that requires you to carefully study, summarize, and critically analyze a study or a concept. In other words, it is nothing more than a critical analysis. That is all you are doing when writing a critical essay: trying to understand the work and present an evaluation. Critical essays can be either positive or negative, as the work deserves.
👣 How to Write a Critique Essay: Main Steps
Starting critique essays is the most challenging part. You are supposed to substantiate your opinion with quotes and paraphrases, avoiding retelling the entire text. A critical analysis aims to find out whether an article or another piece of writing is compelling. First, you need to formulate the author’s thesis: what was the literary work supposed to convey? Then, explore the text on how this main idea was elaborated. Finally, draft your critique according to the structure given below.
Step 1: Critical Reading
1.1. Attentively read the literary work. While reading, make notes and underline the essentials.
- Try to come into the author’s world and think why they wrote such a piece.
- Point out which literary devices are successful. Some research in literary theory may be required.
- Find out what you dislike about the text, i.e., controversies, gaps, inconsistency, or incompleteness.
1.2. Find or formulate the author’s thesis.
- What is the principal argument? In an article, it can be found in the first paragraph.
- In a literary work, formulate one of the principal themes, as the thesis is not explicit.
- If you write a critique of painting, find out what feelings, emotions, or ideas, the artist attempted to project.
1.3. Make a summary or synopsis of the analyzed text.
- One paragraph will suffice. You can use it in your critique essay, if necessary.
- The point is to explore the gist.
Step 2: Analyzing the Text
After the reading phase, ask yourself the following questions :
- What was your emotional response to the text? Which techniques, images, or ideas made you feel so?
- Find out the author’s background. Which experiences made them raise such a thesis? What other significant works have they written that demonstrate the general direction of thought of this person?
- Are the concepts used correctly in the text? Are the references reliable, and do they sufficiently substantiate the author’s opinion?
Step 3: Drafting the Essay
Finally, it is time to draft your essay. First of all, you’ll need to write a brief overview of the text you’re analyzing. Then, formulate a thesis statement – one sentence that will contain your opinion of the work under scrutiny. After that, make a one-paragraph summary of the text.
You can use this simple template for the draft version of your analysis. Another thing that can help you at this step is a summary creator to make the creative process more efficient.
Critique Paper Template
- Start with an introductory phrase about the domain of the work in question.
- Tell which work you are going to analyze, its author, and year of publication.
- Specify the principal argument of the work under study.
- In the third sentence, clearly state your thesis.
- Here you can insert the summary you wrote before.
- This is the only place where you can use it. No summary can be written in the main body!
- Use one paragraph for every separate analyzed aspect of the text (style, organization, fairness/bias, etc.).
- Each paragraph should confirm your thesis (e.g., whether the text is effective or ineffective).
- Each paragraph shall start with a topic sentence, followed by evidence, and concluded with a statement referring to the thesis.
- Provide a final judgment on the effectiveness of the piece of writing.
- Summarize your main points and restate the thesis, indicating that everything you said above confirms it.
You can evaluate the chosen work or concept in several ways. Pick the one you feel more comfortable with from the following:
- Descriptive critical essays examine texts or other works. Their primary focus is usually on certain features of a work, and it is common to compare and contrast the subject of your analysis to a classic example of the genre to which it belongs.
- Evaluative critical essays provide an estimate of the value of the work. Was it as good as you expected based on the recommendations, or do you feel your time would have been better spent on something else?
- Interpretive essays provide your readers with answers that relate to the meaning of the work in question. To do this, you must select a method of determining the meaning, read/watch/observe your analysis subject using this method, and put forth an argument.
There are also different types of critiques. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, in the article “ Writing critiques ,” discusses them as well as the appropriate critique language.
Critique Paper Topics
- Critique of the article Is Google Making Us Stupid? by Nicholas Carr .
- Interpret the symbolism of Edgar Alan Poe’s The Black Cat .
- Examine the topicality of the article Impact of Racial/Ethnic Differences on Child Mental Health Care .
- Critical essay on Alice Walker’s short story Everyday Use .
- Discuss the value of the essay The Hanging by George Orwell .
- A critique on the article Stocks Versus Bonds : Explaining the Equity Risk Premium .
- Explore the themes Tennessee Williams reveals in The Glass Menagerie.
- Analyze the relevance of the article Leadership Characteristics and Digital Transformation .
- Critical evaluation of Jonathan Harvey’s play Beautiful Thing .
- Analyze and critique Derek Raymond’s story He Died with His Eyes Open .
- Discuss the techniques author uses to present the problem of choice in The Plague .
- Examine and evaluate the research article Using Evidence-Based Practice to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia .
- Explore the scientific value of the article Our Future: A Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing .
- Describe the ideas E. Hemingway put into his A Clean, Well-Lighted Place .
- Analyze the literary qualities of Always Running La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L. A .
- Critical writing on The Incarnation of Power by Wright Mills .
- Explain the strengths and shortcomings of Tim Kreider’s article The Busy Trap .
- Critical response to Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway .
- Examine the main idea of Richard Godbeer’s book Escaping Salem .
- The strong and weak points of the article The Confusion of Tongues by William G. Bellshaw .
- Critical review of Gulliver’s Travels .
- Analyze the stylistic devices Anthony Lewis uses in Gideon’s Trumpet.
- Examine the techniques Elie Wiesel uses to show relationship transformation in the book Night .
- Critique of the play Fences by August Wilson .
- The role of exposition in Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart.
- The main themes John Maxwell discusses in his book Disgrace .
- Critical evaluation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 .
- The ideas and concept of the book The Vegetarian Imperative .
- Different points of view on one historical figure in the book Two Lives of Charlemagne .
📑 Critique Paper: Format & Structure
The main parts of good critical response essays are:
- Summary. This should be brief and to the point. Only the author’s/creator’s main ideas and arguments should be included.
- Analysis/interpretation. Discuss what the author’s/creator’s primary goal was and determine whether this goal was reached successfully. Use the evidence you have gathered to argue whether or not the author/creator achieved was adequately convincing (remember there should be no personal bias in this discussion).
- Evaluation/response. At this point, your readers are ready to learn your objective response to the work. It should be professional yet entertaining to read. Do not hesitate to use strong language. You can say that the work you analyzed was weak and poorly-structured if that is the case, but keep in mind that you have to have evidence to back up your claim.
Critique Paper Introduction
The introduction is setting the stage for your analysis. Here are some tips to follow when working on it:
- Provide the reader with a brief synopsis of the main points of the work you are critiquing .
- State your general opinion of the work , using it as your thesis statement. The ideal situation is that you identify and use a controversial thesis.
- Remember that you will uncover a lot of necessary information about the work you are critiquing. You mustn’t make use of all of it, providing the reader with information that is unnecessary in your critique. If you are writing about Shakespeare, you don’t have to waste your or your reader’s time going through all of his works.
Critique Paper Body
The body of the critique contains the supporting paragraphs. This is where you will provide the facts that prove your main idea and support your thesis. Follow the tips below when writing the body of your critique.
- Every paragraph must focus on a precise concept from the paper under your scrutiny , and your job is to include arguments to support or disprove that concept. Concrete evidence is required.
- A critical essay is written in the third-person and ensures the reader is presented with an objective analysis.
- Discuss whether the author was able to achieve their goals and adequately get their point across.
- It is important not to confuse facts and opinions . An opinion is a personal thought and requires confirmation, whereas a fact is supported by reliable data and requires no further proof. Do not back up one idea with another one.
- Remember that your purpose is to provide the reader with an understanding of a particular piece of literature or other work from your perspective. Be as specific as possible.
Critique Paper Conclusion
Finally, you will need to write a conclusion for your critique. The conclusion reasserts your overall general opinion of the ideas presented in the text and ensures there is no doubt in the reader’s mind about what you believe and why. Follow these tips when writing your conclusion:
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- Summarize the analysis you provided in the body of the critique.
- Summarize the primary reasons why you made your analysis .
- Where appropriate, provide recommendations on how the work you critiqued can be improved.
For more details on how to write a critique, check out the great critique analysis template provided by Thompson Rivers University.
If you want more information on essay writing in general, look at the Secrets of Essay Writing .
📚 Critique Essay Examples
With all of the information and tips provided above, your way will become clearer when you have a solid example of a critique essay.
Below is a critical response to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
When speaking of feminist literature that is prominent and manages to touch on incredibly controversial issues, The Yellow Wallpaper is the first book that comes to mind. Written from a first-person perspective, magnifying the effect of the narrative, the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman introduces the reader to the problem of the physical and mental health of the women of the 19th century. However, the message that is intended to concern feminist ideas is rather subtle. Written in the form of several diary entries, the novel offers a mysterious plot, and at the same time, shockingly realistic details.
What really stands out about the novel is the fact that the reader is never really sure how much of the story takes place in reality and how much of it happens in the psychotic mind of the protagonist. In addition, the novel contains a plethora of description that contributes to the strain and enhances the correlation between the atmosphere and the protagonist’s fears: “The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smoldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight” (Gilman).
Despite Gilman’s obvious intent to make the novel a feminist story with a dash of thriller thrown in, the result is instead a thriller with a dash of feminism, as Allen (2009) explains. However, there is no doubt that the novel is a renowned classic. Offering a perfect portrayal of the 19th-century stereotypes, it is a treasure that is certainly worth the read.
If you need another critique essay example, take a look at our sample on “ The Importance of Being Earnest ” by Oscar Wilde.
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And here are some more critique paper examples for you check out:
- A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Critique Paper
- Critique on “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- “When the Five Rights Go Wrong” Article Critique
- Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey — Comparison & Critique
- “The TrueBlue Study”: Qualitative Article Critique
- Ethical Conflict Associated With Managed Care: Views of Nurse Practitioners’: Article Critique
- Benefits and Disadvantages of Prone Positioning in Severe Acute Respiratory Distress: Article Critique
- Reducing Stress in Student Nurses: Article Critique
- Management of Change and Professional Safety – Article Critique
- “Views of Young People Towards Physical Activity”: Article Critique
Seeing an example of a critique is so helpful. You can find many other examples of a critique paper at the University of Minnesota and John Hopkins University. Plus, you can check out this video for a great explanation of how to write a critique.
- Critical Analysis
- Writing an Article Critique
- The Critique Essay
- Critique Essay
- Writing a Critique
- Writing A Book Critique
- Media Critique
- Tips for an Effective Creative Writing Critique
- How to Write an Article Critique
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IOE Writing Centre
- Writing a Critical Review
Writing a Critique
A critique (or critical review) is not to be mistaken for a literature review. A 'critical review', or 'critique', is a complete type of text (or genre), discussing one particular article or book in detail. In some instances, you may be asked to write a critique of two or three articles (e.g. a comparative critical review). In contrast, a 'literature review', which also needs to be 'critical', is a part of a larger type of text, such as a chapter of your dissertation.
Most importantly: Read your article / book as many times as possible, as this will make the critical review much easier.
1. Read and take notes 2. Organising your writing 3. Summary 4. Evaluation 5. Linguistic features of a critical review 6. Summary language 7. Evaluation language 8. Conclusion language 9. Example extracts from a critical review 10. Further resources
Read and Take Notes
To improve your reading confidence and efficiency, visit our pages on reading.
Further reading: Read Confidently
After you are familiar with the text, make notes on some of the following questions. Choose the questions which seem suitable:
- What kind of article is it (for example does it present data or does it present purely theoretical arguments)?
- What is the main area under discussion?
- What are the main findings?
- What are the stated limitations?
- Where does the author's data and evidence come from? Are they appropriate / sufficient?
- What are the main issues raised by the author?
- What questions are raised?
- How well are these questions addressed?
- What are the major points/interpretations made by the author in terms of the issues raised?
- Is the text balanced? Is it fair / biased?
- Does the author contradict herself?
- How does all this relate to other literature on this topic?
- How does all this relate to your own experience, ideas and views?
- What else has this author written? Do these build / complement this text?
- (Optional) Has anyone else reviewed this article? What did they say? Do I agree with them?
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Organising your writing
You first need to summarise the text that you have read. One reason to summarise the text is that the reader may not have read the text. In your summary, you will
- focus on points within the article that you think are interesting
- summarise the author(s) main ideas or argument
- explain how these ideas / argument have been constructed. (For example, is the author basing her arguments on data that they have collected? Are the main ideas / argument purely theoretical?)
In your summary you might answer the following questions: Why is this topic important? Where can this text be located? For example, does it address policy studies? What other prominent authors also write about this?
Evaluation is the most important part in a critical review.
Use the literature to support your views. You may also use your knowledge of conducting research, and your own experience. Evaluation can be explicit or implicit.
Explicit evaluation involves stating directly (explicitly) how you intend to evaluate the text. e.g. "I will review this article by focusing on the following questions. First, I will examine the extent to which the authors contribute to current thought on Second Language Acquisition (SLA) pedagogy. After that, I will analyse whether the authors' propositions are feasible within overseas SLA classrooms."
Implicit evaluation is less direct. The following section on Linguistic Features of Writing a Critical Review contains language that evaluates the text. A difficult part of evaluation of a published text (and a professional author) is how to do this as a student. There is nothing wrong with making your position as a student explicit and incorporating it into your evaluation. Examples of how you might do this can be found in the section on Linguistic Features of Writing a Critical Review. You need to remember to locate and analyse the author's argument when you are writing your critical review. For example, you need to locate the authors' view of classroom pedagogy as presented in the book / article and not present a critique of views of classroom pedagogy in general.
Linguistic features of a critical review
The following examples come from published critical reviews. Some of them have been adapted for student use.
- This article / book is divided into two / three parts. First...
- While the title might suggest...
- The tone appears to be...
- Title is the first / second volume in the series Title, edited by...The books / articles in this series address...
- The second / third claim is based on...
- The author challenges the notion that...
- The author tries to find a more middle ground / make more modest claims...
- The article / book begins with a short historical overview of...
- Numerous authors have recently suggested that...(see Author, Year; Author, Year). Author would also be once such author. With his / her argument that...
- To refer to title as a...is not to say that it is...
- This book / article is aimed at... This intended readership...
- The author's book / article examines the...To do this, the author first...
- The author develops / suggests a theoretical / pedagogical model to…
- This book / article positions itself firmly within the field of...
- The author in a series of subtle arguments, indicates that he / she...
- The argument is therefore...
- The author asks "..."
- With a purely critical / postmodern take on...
- Topic, as the author points out, can be viewed as...
- In this recent contribution to the field of...this British author...
- As a leading author in the field of...
- This book / article nicely contributes to the field of...and complements other work by this author...
- The second / third part of...provides / questions / asks the reader...
- Title is intended to encourage students / researchers to...
- The approach taken by the author provides the opportunity to examine...in a qualitative / quantitative research framework that nicely complements...
- The author notes / claims that state support / a focus on pedagogy / the adoption of...remains vital if...
- According to Author (Year) teaching towards examinations is not as effective as it is in other areas of the curriculum. This is because, as Author (Year) claims that examinations have undue status within the curriculum.
- According to Author (Year)…is not as effective in some areas of the curriculum / syllabus as others. Therefore the author believes that this is a reason for some school's…
- This argument is not entirely convincing, as...furthermore it commodifies / rationalises the...
- Over the last five / ten years the view of...has increasingly been viewed as 'complicated' (see Author, Year; Author, Year).
- However, through trying to integrate...with...the author...
- There are difficulties with such a position.
- Inevitably, several crucial questions are left unanswered / glossed over by this insightful / timely / interesting / stimulating book / article. Why should...
- It might have been more relevant for the author to have written this book / article as...
- This article / book is not without disappointment from those who would view...as...
- This chosen framework enlightens / clouds...
- This analysis intends to be...but falls a little short as...
- The authors rightly conclude that if...
- A detailed, well-written and rigorous account of...
- As a Korean student I feel that this article / book very clearly illustrates...
- The beginning of...provides an informative overview into...
- The tables / figures do little to help / greatly help the reader...
- The reaction by scholars who take a...approach might not be so favourable (e.g. Author, Year).
- This explanation has a few weaknesses that other researchers have pointed out (see Author, Year; Author, Year). The first is...
- On the other hand, the author wisely suggests / proposes that...By combining these two dimensions...
- The author's brief introduction to...may leave the intended reader confused as it fails to properly...
- Despite my inability to...I was greatly interested in...
- Even where this reader / I disagree(s), the author's effort to...
- The author thus combines...with...to argue...which seems quite improbable for a number of reasons. First...
- Perhaps this aversion to...would explain the author's reluctance to...
- As a second language student from ...I find it slightly ironic that such an anglo-centric view is...
- The reader is rewarded with...
- Less convincing is the broad-sweeping generalisation that...
- There is no denying the author's subject knowledge nor his / her...
- The author's prose is dense and littered with unnecessary jargon...
- The author's critique of...might seem harsh but is well supported within the literature (see Author, Year; Author, Year; Author, Year). Aligning herself with the author, Author (Year) states that...
- As it stands, the central focus of Title is well / poorly supported by its empirical findings...
- Given the hesitation to generalise to...the limitation of...does not seem problematic...
- For instance, the term...is never properly defined and the reader left to guess as to whether...
- Furthermore, to label...as...inadvertently misguides...
- In addition, this research proves to be timely / especially significant to... as recent government policy / proposals has / have been enacted to...
- On this well researched / documented basis the author emphasises / proposes that...
- Nonetheless, other research / scholarship / data tend to counter / contradict this possible trend / assumption...(see Author, Year; Author, Year).
- Without entering into detail of the..., it should be stated that Title should be read by...others will see little value in...
- As experimental conditions were not used in the study the word 'significant' misleads the reader.
- The article / book becomes repetitious in its assertion that...
- The thread of the author's argument becomes lost in an overuse of empirical data...
- Almost every argument presented in the final section is largely derivative, providing little to say about...
- She / he does not seem to take into consideration; however, that there are fundamental differences in the conditions of…
- As Author (Year) points out, however, it seems to be necessary to look at…
- This suggest that having low…does not necessarily indicate that…is ineffective.
- Therefore, the suggestion made by Author (Year)…is difficult to support.
- When considering all the data presented…it is not clear that the low scores of some students, indeed, reflects…
- Overall this article / book is an analytical look at...which within the field of...is often overlooked.
- Despite its problems, Title offers valuable theoretical insights / interesting examples / a contribution to pedagogy and a starting point for students / researchers of...with an interest in...
- This detailed and rigorously argued...
- This first / second volume / book / article by...with an interest in...is highly informative...
Example extracts from a critical review
If you have been told your writing is not critical enough, it probably means that your writing treats the knowledge claims as if they are true, well supported, and applicable in the context you are writing about. This may not always be the case.
In these two examples, the extracts refer to the same section of text. In each example, the section that refers to a source has been highlighted in bold. The note below the example then explains how the writer has used the source material.
There is a strong positive effect on students, both educationally and emotionally, when the instructors try to learn to say students' names without making pronunciation errors (Kiang, 2004).
Use of source material in example a:
This is a simple paraphrase with no critical comment. It looks like the writer agrees with Kiang. (This is not a good example for critical writing, as the writer has not made any critical comment).
Kiang (2004) gives various examples to support his claim that "the positive emotional and educational impact on students is clear" (p.210) when instructors try to pronounce students' names in the correct way. He quotes one student, Nguyet, as saying that he "felt surprised and happy" (p.211) when the tutor said his name clearly . The emotional effect claimed by Kiang is illustrated in quotes such as these, although the educational impact is supported more indirectly through the chapter. Overall, he provides more examples of students being negatively affected by incorrect pronunciation, and it is difficult to find examples within the text of a positive educational impact as such.
Use of source material in example b:
The writer describes Kiang's (2004) claim and the examples which he uses to try to support it. The writer then comments that the examples do not seem balanced and may not be enough to support the claims fully. This is a better example of writing which expresses criticality.
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You may also be interested in our page on criticality, which covers criticality in general, and includes more critical reading questions.
Further reading: Read and Write Critically
We recommend that you do not search for other university guidelines on critical reviews. This is because the expectations may be different at other institutions. Ask your tutor for more guidance or examples if you have further questions.
IOE Writing Centre Online
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Writing a Critique
- About this Guide
- What Is a Critique?
- Getting Started
- Components of a Critique Essay
This article provides additional guidance for writing critiques:
Vance DE, Talley M, Azuero A, Pearce PF, & Christian BJ. (2013). Conducting an article critique for a quantitative research study: perspectives for doctoral students and other novice readers. Nursing : Research and Reviews , 2013 , 67–75.
Parts of a Critique Essay
There are 4 distinct components to a critique, and those are the:
Each of these components is described in further detail in the boxes on this page of the guide.
An effective introduction:
- Provides a quick snapshot of background information readers may need in order to follow along with the argument
- Defines key terminology as needed
- Ends with a strong argument (thesis)
For additional guidance on writing introduction paragraphs, librarians recommend:
Need some extra help on thesis statements? Check out our Writing Effective Thesis Statements guide .
A summary is a broad overview of what is discussed in a source. In a critique essay, writers should always assume that those reading the essay may be unfamiliar with the work being examined. For that reason, the following should be included early in the paper:
- The name of the author(s) of the work
- The title of the work
- Main ideas presented in the work
- Arguments presented in the work
- Any conclusions presented in the work
Depending on the requirements of your particular assignment, the summary may appear as part of the introduction, or it may be a separate paragraph. The summary should always be included before the analysis, as readers need a base-level familiarity of the resource before you can effectively present an argument about what the source does well and where improvements are needed.
More information about summaries can be found on our Writing an Effective Summary guide .
The critique is your evaluation of the resource. A strong critique:
- Discusses the strengths of the resource
- Discusses the weaknesses of the resource
- Provides specific examples (direct quotes, with proper citation) as needed to support your evaluation
- The accuracy of the resource
- Any bias found within the resource
- The relevance of the resource
- The clarity of the resource
A critique is your opinion of the text, supported by evidence from the text.
If you need further guidance on how to evaluate your source, you can also consult our Evaluating Your Sources guide .
Need help with citation?
- APA Style Help Learn more about APA style through our research guide.
A conclusion has three main functions in an essay. A conclusion will:
- Summarize the main ideas presented in the essay
- Remind readers of the thesis (argument)
- Draw the paper to a close
For additional guidance, the library recommends:
- << Previous: Getting Started
- Next: Examples >>
- Last Updated: May 22, 2023 10:46 AM
- URL: https://library.tiffin.edu/critique
How to Write Critical Reviews
When you are asked to write a critical review of a book or article, you will need to identify, summarize, and evaluate the ideas and information the author has presented. In other words, you will be examining another person’s thoughts on a topic from your point of view.
Your stand must go beyond your “gut reaction” to the work and be based on your knowledge (readings, lecture, experience) of the topic as well as on factors such as criteria stated in your assignment or discussed by you and your instructor.
Make your stand clear at the beginning of your review, in your evaluations of specific parts, and in your concluding commentary.
Remember that your goal should be to make a few key points about the book or article, not to discuss everything the author writes.
Understanding the Assignment
To write a good critical review, you will have to engage in the mental processes of analyzing (taking apart) the work–deciding what its major components are and determining how these parts (i.e., paragraphs, sections, or chapters) contribute to the work as a whole.
Analyzing the work will help you focus on how and why the author makes certain points and prevent you from merely summarizing what the author says. Assuming the role of an analytical reader will also help you to determine whether or not the author fulfills the stated purpose of the book or article and enhances your understanding or knowledge of a particular topic.
Be sure to read your assignment thoroughly before you read the article or book. Your instructor may have included specific guidelines for you to follow. Keeping these guidelines in mind as you read the article or book can really help you write your paper!
Also, note where the work connects with what you’ve studied in the course. You can make the most efficient use of your reading and notetaking time if you are an active reader; that is, keep relevant questions in mind and jot down page numbers as well as your responses to ideas that appear to be significant as you read.
Please note: The length of your introduction and overview, the number of points you choose to review, and the length of your conclusion should be proportionate to the page limit stated in your assignment and should reflect the complexity of the material being reviewed as well as the expectations of your reader.
Write the introduction
Below are a few guidelines to help you write the introduction to your critical review.
Introduce your review appropriately
Begin your review with an introduction appropriate to your assignment.
If your assignment asks you to review only one book and not to use outside sources, your introduction will focus on identifying the author, the title, the main topic or issue presented in the book, and the author’s purpose in writing the book.
If your assignment asks you to review the book as it relates to issues or themes discussed in the course, or to review two or more books on the same topic, your introduction must also encompass those expectations.
For example, before you can review two books on a topic, you must explain to your reader in your introduction how they are related to one another.
Within this shared context (or under this “umbrella”) you can then review comparable aspects of both books, pointing out where the authors agree and differ.
In other words, the more complicated your assignment is, the more your introduction must accomplish.
Finally, the introduction to a book review is always the place for you to establish your position as the reviewer (your thesis about the author’s thesis).
As you write, consider the following questions:
- Is the book a memoir, a treatise, a collection of facts, an extended argument, etc.? Is the article a documentary, a write-up of primary research, a position paper, etc.?
- Who is the author? What does the preface or foreword tell you about the author’s purpose, background, and credentials? What is the author’s approach to the topic (as a journalist? a historian? a researcher?)?
- What is the main topic or problem addressed? How does the work relate to a discipline, to a profession, to a particular audience, or to other works on the topic?
- What is your critical evaluation of the work (your thesis)? Why have you taken that position? What criteria are you basing your position on?
Provide an overview
In your introduction, you will also want to provide an overview. An overview supplies your reader with certain general information not appropriate for including in the introduction but necessary to understanding the body of the review.
Generally, an overview describes your book’s division into chapters, sections, or points of discussion. An overview may also include background information about the topic, about your stand, or about the criteria you will use for evaluation.
The overview and the introduction work together to provide a comprehensive beginning for (a “springboard” into) your review.
- What are the author’s basic premises? What issues are raised, or what themes emerge? What situation (i.e., racism on college campuses) provides a basis for the author’s assertions?
- How informed is my reader? What background information is relevant to the entire book and should be placed here rather than in a body paragraph?
Write the body
The body is the center of your paper, where you draw out your main arguments. Below are some guidelines to help you write it.
Organize using a logical plan
Organize the body of your review according to a logical plan. Here are two options:
- First, summarize, in a series of paragraphs, those major points from the book that you plan to discuss; incorporating each major point into a topic sentence for a paragraph is an effective organizational strategy. Second, discuss and evaluate these points in a following group of paragraphs. (There are two dangers lurking in this pattern–you may allot too many paragraphs to summary and too few to evaluation, or you may re-summarize too many points from the book in your evaluation section.)
- Alternatively, you can summarize and evaluate the major points you have chosen from the book in a point-by-point schema. That means you will discuss and evaluate point one within the same paragraph (or in several if the point is significant and warrants extended discussion) before you summarize and evaluate point two, point three, etc., moving in a logical sequence from point to point to point. Here again, it is effective to use the topic sentence of each paragraph to identify the point from the book that you plan to summarize or evaluate.
Questions to keep in mind as you write
With either organizational pattern, consider the following questions:
- What are the author’s most important points? How do these relate to one another? (Make relationships clear by using transitions: “In contrast,” an equally strong argument,” “moreover,” “a final conclusion,” etc.).
- What types of evidence or information does the author present to support his or her points? Is this evidence convincing, controversial, factual, one-sided, etc.? (Consider the use of primary historical material, case studies, narratives, recent scientific findings, statistics.)
- Where does the author do a good job of conveying factual material as well as personal perspective? Where does the author fail to do so? If solutions to a problem are offered, are they believable, misguided, or promising?
- Which parts of the work (particular arguments, descriptions, chapters, etc.) are most effective and which parts are least effective? Why?
- Where (if at all) does the author convey personal prejudice, support illogical relationships, or present evidence out of its appropriate context?
Keep your opinions distinct and cite your sources
Remember, as you discuss the author’s major points, be sure to distinguish consistently between the author’s opinions and your own.
Keep the summary portions of your discussion concise, remembering that your task as a reviewer is to re-see the author’s work, not to re-tell it.
And, importantly, if you refer to ideas from other books and articles or from lecture and course materials, always document your sources, or else you might wander into the realm of plagiarism.
Include only that material which has relevance for your review and use direct quotations sparingly. The Writing Center has other handouts to help you paraphrase text and introduce quotations.
Write the conclusion
You will want to use the conclusion to state your overall critical evaluation.
You have already discussed the major points the author makes, examined how the author supports arguments, and evaluated the quality or effectiveness of specific aspects of the book or article.
Now you must make an evaluation of the work as a whole, determining such things as whether or not the author achieves the stated or implied purpose and if the work makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge.
Consider the following questions:
- Is the work appropriately subjective or objective according to the author’s purpose?
- How well does the work maintain its stated or implied focus? Does the author present extraneous material? Does the author exclude or ignore relevant information?
- How well has the author achieved the overall purpose of the book or article? What contribution does the work make to an existing body of knowledge or to a specific group of readers? Can you justify the use of this work in a particular course?
- What is the most important final comment you wish to make about the book or article? Do you have any suggestions for the direction of future research in the area? What has reading this work done for you or demonstrated to you?
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Writing a critique involves more than pointing out mistakes. It involves conducting a systematic analysis of a scholarly article or book and then writing a fair and reasonable description of its strengths and weaknesses. Several scholarly journals have published guides for critiquing other people’s work in their academic area. Search for a “manuscript reviewer guide” in your own discipline to guide your analysis of the content. Use this handout as an orientation to the audience and purpose of different types of critiques and to the linguistic strategies appropriate to all of them.
Types of critique
Article or book review assignment in an academic class.
Text: Article or book that has already been published Audience: Professors Purpose:
- to demonstrate your skills for close reading and analysis
- to show that you understand key concepts in your field
- to learn how to review a manuscript for your future professional work
Published book review
Text: Book that has already been published Audience: Disciplinary colleagues Purpose:
- to describe the book’s contents
- to summarize the book’s strengths and weaknesses
- to provide a reliable recommendation to read (or not read) the book
Text: Manuscript that has been submitted but has not been published yet Audience: Journal editor and manuscript authors Purpose:
- to provide the editor with an evaluation of the manuscript
- to recommend to the editor that the article be published, revised, or rejected
- to provide the authors with constructive feedback and reasonable suggestions for revision
Language strategies for critiquing
For each type of critique, it’s important to state your praise, criticism, and suggestions politely, but with the appropriate level of strength. The following language structures should help you achieve this challenging task.
Offering Praise and Criticism
A strategy called “hedging” will help you express praise or criticism with varying levels of strength. It will also help you express varying levels of certainty in your own assertions. Grammatical structures used for hedging include:
Modal verbs Using modal verbs (could, can, may, might, etc.) allows you to soften an absolute statement. Compare:
This text is inappropriate for graduate students who are new to the field. This text may be inappropriate for graduate students who are new to the field.
Qualifying adjectives and adverbs Using qualifying adjectives and adverbs (possible, likely, possibly, somewhat, etc.) allows you to introduce a level of probability into your comments. Compare:
Readers will find the theoretical model difficult to understand. Some readers will find the theoretical model difficult to understand. Some readers will probably find the theoretical model somewhat difficult to understand completely.
Note: You can see from the last example that too many qualifiers makes the idea sound undesirably weak.
Tentative verbs Using tentative verbs (seems, indicates, suggests, etc.) also allows you to soften an absolute statement. Compare:
This omission shows that the authors are not aware of the current literature. This omission indicates that the authors are not aware of the current literature. This omission seems to suggest that the authors are not aware of the current literature.
Whether you are critiquing a published or unpublished text, you are expected to point out problems and suggest solutions. If you are critiquing an unpublished manuscript, the author can use your suggestions to revise. Your suggestions have the potential to become real actions. If you are critiquing a published text, the author cannot revise, so your suggestions are purely hypothetical. These two situations require slightly different grammar.
Unpublished manuscripts: “would be X if they did Y” Reviewers commonly point out weakness by pointing toward improvement. For instance, if the problem is “unclear methodology,” reviewers may write that “the methodology would be more clear if …” plus a suggestion. If the author can use the suggestions to revise, the grammar is “X would be better if the authors did Y” (would be + simple past suggestion).
The tables would be clearer if the authors highlighted the key results. The discussion would be more persuasive if the authors accounted for the discrepancies in the data.
Published manuscripts: “would have been X if they had done Y” If the authors cannot revise based on your suggestions, use the past unreal conditional form “X would have been better if the authors had done Y” (would have been + past perfect suggestion).
The tables would have been clearer if the authors had highlighted key results. The discussion would have been more persuasive if the authors had accounted for discrepancies in the data.
Note: For more information on conditional structures, see our Conditionals handout .
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How to write a critique
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Before you start writing, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the work that will be critiqued.
- Study the work under discussion.
- Make notes on key parts of the work.
- Develop an understanding of the main argument or purpose being expressed in the work.
- Consider how the work relates to a broader issue or context.
There are a variety of ways to structure a critique. You should always check your unit materials or Canvas site for guidance from your lecturer. The following template, which showcases the main features of a critique, is provided as one example.
Typically, the introduction is short (less than 10% of the word length) and you should:
- name the work being reviewed as well as the date it was created and the name of the author/creator
- describe the main argument or purpose of the work
- explain the context in which the work was created - this could include the social or political context, the place of the work in a creative or academic tradition, or the relationship between the work and the creator’s life experience
- have a concluding sentence that signposts what your evaluation of the work will be - for instance, it may indicate whether it is a positive, negative, or mixed evaluation.
Briefly summarise the main points and objectively describe how the creator portrays these by using techniques, styles, media, characters or symbols. This summary should not be the focus of the critique and is usually shorter than the critical evaluation.
This section should give a systematic and detailed assessment of the different elements of the work, evaluating how well the creator was able to achieve the purpose through these. For example: you would assess the plot structure, characterisation and setting of a novel; an assessment of a painting would look at composition, brush strokes, colour and light; a critique of a research project would look at subject selection, design of the experiment, analysis of data and conclusions.
A critical evaluation does not simply highlight negative impressions. It should deconstruct the work and identify both strengths and weaknesses. It should examine the work and evaluate its success, in light of its purpose.
Examples of key critical questions that could help your assessment include:
- Who is the creator? Is the work presented objectively or subjectively?
- What are the aims of the work? Were the aims achieved?
- What techniques, styles, media were used in the work? Are they effective in portraying the purpose?
- What assumptions underlie the work? Do they affect its validity?
- What types of evidence or persuasion are used? Has evidence been interpreted fairly?
- How is the work structured? Does it favour a particular interpretation or point of view? Is it effective?
- Does the work enhance understanding of key ideas or theories? Does the work engage (or fail to engage) with key concepts or other works in its discipline?
This evaluation is written in formal academic style and logically presented. Group and order your ideas into paragraphs. Start with the broad impressions first and then move into the details of the technical elements. For shorter critiques, you may discuss the strengths of the works, and then the weaknesses. In longer critiques, you may wish to discuss the positive and negative of each key critical question in individual paragraphs.
To support the evaluation, provide evidence from the work itself, such as a quote or example, and you should also cite evidence from related sources. Explain how this evidence supports your evaluation of the work.
This is usually a very brief paragraph, which includes:
- a statement indicating the overall evaluation of the work
- a summary of the key reasons, identified during the critical evaluation, why this evaluation was formed
- in some circumstances, recommendations for improvement on the work may be appropriate.
Include all resources cited in your critique. Check with your lecturer/tutor for which referencing style to use.
- Mentioned the name of the work, the date of its creation and the name of the creator?
- Accurately summarised the work being critiqued?
- Mainly focused on the critical evaluation of the work?
- Systematically outlined an evaluation of each element of the work to achieve the overall purpose?
- Used evidence, from the work itself as well as other sources, to back and illustrate my assessment of elements of the work?
- Formed an overall evaluation of the work, based on critical reading?
- Used a well structured introduction, body and conclusion?
- Used correct grammar, spelling and punctuation; clear presentation; and appropriate referencing style?
- University of New South Wales: Writing a Critical Review
- University of Toronto: The Book Review or Article Critique
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How to Write a Critique in Five Paragraphs
Last Updated: March 6, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Diane Stubbs . Diane Stubbs is a Secondary English Teacher with over 22 years of experience teaching all high school grade levels and AP courses. She specializes in secondary education, classroom management, and educational technology. Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware and a Master of Education from Wesley College. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 964,831 times.
A critique is usually written in response to a creative work, such as a novel, a film, poetry, or a painting. However, critiques are also sometimes assigned for research articles and media items, such as news articles or features. A critique is slightly different than a traditional 5-paragraph theme, as it is usually focused on the overall effectiveness and usefulness of the work it is critiquing, rather than making a strictly analytical argument about it. Organizing your critique into 5 paragraphs can help you structure your thoughts.
Laying the Groundwork
- Does the creator clearly state her/his main point or goal? If not, why do you think that is?
- Who do you think is the creator’s intended audience? This can be crucial to determining the success of a work; for example, a movie intended for young children might work well for its intended audience but not for adult viewers.
- What reactions do you have when reading or viewing this work? Does it provoke emotional responses? Do you feel confused?
- What questions does the work make you think of? Does it suggest other avenues of exploration or observation to you?
- For example, if you're critiquing a research article about a new treatment for the flu, a little research about other flu treatments currently available could be helpful to you when situating the work in context.
- As another example, if you're writing about a movie, you might want to briefly discuss the director's other films, or other important movies in this particular genre (indie, action, drama, etc.).
- Your school or university library is usually a good place to start when conducting research, as their databases provide verified, expert sources. Google Scholar can also be a good source for research.
Writing the Introductory Paragraph
- For a work of fiction or a published work of journalism or research, this information is usually available in the publication itself, such as on the copyright page for a novel.
- For a film, you may wish to refer to a source such as IMDb to get the information you need. If you're critiquing a famous artwork, an encyclopedia of art would be a good place to find information on the creator, the title, and important dates (date of creation, date of exhibition, etc.).
- For example, if you’re assessing a research article in the sciences, a quick overview of its place in the academic discussion could be useful (e.g., “Professor X’s work on fruit flies is part of a long research tradition on Blah Blah Blah.”)
- If you are evaluating a painting, giving some brief information on where it was first displayed, for whom it was painted, etc., would be useful.
- If you are assessing a novel, it could be good to talk about what genre or literary tradition the novel is written within (e.g., fantasy, High Modernism, romance). You may also want to include details about the author’s biography that seem particularly relevant to your critique.
- For a media item, such as a news article, consider the social and/or political context of the media outlet the item came from (e.g., Fox News, BBC, etc.) and of the issue it is dealing with (e.g., immigration, education, entertainment).
- The authors of research articles will often state very clearly in the abstract and in the introduction to their work what they are investigating, often with sentences that say something like this: "In this article we provide a new framework for analyzing X and argue that it is superior to previous methods because of reason A and reason B."
- For creative works, you may not have an explicit statement from the author or creator about their purpose, but you can often infer one from the context the work occupies. For example, if you were examining the movie The Shining, you might argue that the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's goal is to call attention to the poor treatment of Native Americans because of the strong Native American themes present in the movie. You could then present the reasons why you think that in the rest of the essay.
- For example, if you were writing about The Shining, you could summarize the main points this way: "Stanley Kubrick uses strong symbolism, such as the placement of the movie's hotel on an Indian burial ground, the naming of the hotel "Overlook," and the constant presence of Native American artwork and representation, to call viewers' attention to America's treatment of Native Americans in history."
- For a research article, you will probably want to focus your thesis on whether the research and discussion supported the authors' claims. You may also wish to critique the research methodology, if there are obvious flaws present.
- For creative works, consider what you believe the author or creator's goal was in making the work, and then present your assessment of whether or not they achieved that goal.
Writing the 3 Body Paragraphs
- If you have three clear points about your work, you can organize each paragraph by point. For example, if you are analyzing a painting, you might critique the painter’s use of color, light, and composition, devoting a paragraph to each topic.
- If you have more than three points about your work, you can organize each paragraph thematically. For example, if you are critiquing a movie and want to talk about its treatment of women, its screenwriting, its pacing, its use of color and framing, and its acting, you might think about the broader categories that these points fall into, such as “production” (pacing, color and framing, screenwriting), “social commentary” (treatment of women), and “performance” (acting).
- Alternatively, you could organize your critique by “strengths” and “weaknesses.” The aim of a critique is not merely to criticize, but to point out what the creator or author has done well and what s/he has not.
- For example, if you are critiquing a song, you could consider how the beat or tone of the music supports or detracts from the lyrics.
- For a research article or a media item, you may want to consider questions such as how the data was gathered in an experiment, or what method a journalist used to discover information.
- Does the author use primary sources (e.g., historical documents, interviews, etc.)? Secondary sources? Quantitative data? Qualitative data? Are these sources appropriate for the argument?
- Has evidence been presented fairly, without distortion or selectivity?
- Does the argument proceed logically from the evidence used?
- If the work is a creative work, consider whether it presents its ideas in an original or interesting way. You can also consider whether it engages with key concepts or ideas in popular culture or society.
- If the work is a research article, you can consider whether the work enhances your understanding of a particular theory or idea in its discipline. Research articles often include a section on “further research” where they discuss the contributions their research has made and what future contributions they hope to make.
Writing the Conclusion Paragraph and References
- Before you begin writing, take notes while you are watching or reading the subject of your critique. Keep to mind certain aspects such as how it made you feel. What was your first impression? With deeper examination, what is your overall opinion? How did you come to this opinion? Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- While the 5-paragraph form can work very well to help you organize your ideas, some instructors do not allow this type of essay. Be sure that you understand the assignment. If you’re not sure whether a 5-paragraph format is acceptable to your teacher, ask! Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Avoid using first and second person pronouns such as, “you”, “your”, “I”, “my”, or “mine.” State your opinion objectively for a more credible approach. Thanks Helpful 39 Not Helpful 14
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- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-critique
- ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/writing-article-critique
- ↑ http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/write/critique.jsp
- ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/book-review
- ↑ https://www.hunter.cuny.edu/rwc/handouts/the-writing-process-1/invention/Writing-a-Critique
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/esl/resources/writing-critiques/
About This Article
To write a 5-paragraph critique, provide the basic information about the work you're critiquing in the first paragraph, including the author, when it was published, and what its key themes are. Then, conclude this paragraph with a statement of your opinion of the work. Next, identify 3 central positive or negative issues in the work and write a paragraph about each one. For example, you could focus on the color, light, and composition of a painting. In the final paragraph, state your overall assessment of the work, and give reasons to back it up. For tips on how to take notes on the piece your critiquing, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write a Critical Essay
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- An Introduction to Punctuation
Olivia Valdes was the Associate Editorial Director for ThoughtCo. She worked with Dotdash Meredith from 2017 to 2021.
- B.A., American Studies, Yale University
A critical essay is a form of academic writing that analyzes, interprets, and/or evaluates a text. In a critical essay, an author makes a claim about how particular ideas or themes are conveyed in a text, then supports that claim with evidence from primary and/or secondary sources.
In casual conversation, we often associate the word "critical" with a negative perspective. However, in the context of a critical essay, the word "critical" simply means discerning and analytical. Critical essays analyze and evaluate the meaning and significance of a text, rather than making a judgment about its content or quality.
What Makes an Essay "Critical"?
Imagine you've just watched the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." If you were chatting with friends in the movie theater lobby, you might say something like, "Charlie was so lucky to find a Golden Ticket. That ticket changed his life." A friend might reply, "Yeah, but Willy Wonka shouldn't have let those raucous kids into his chocolate factory in the first place. They caused a big mess."
These comments make for an enjoyable conversation, but they do not belong in a critical essay. Why? Because they respond to (and pass judgment on) the raw content of the movie, rather than analyzing its themes or how the director conveyed those themes.
On the other hand, a critical essay about "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" might take the following topic as its thesis: "In 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' director Mel Stuart intertwines money and morality through his depiction of children: the angelic appearance of Charlie Bucket, a good-hearted boy of modest means, is sharply contrasted against the physically grotesque portrayal of the wealthy, and thus immoral, children."
This thesis includes a claim about the themes of the film, what the director seems to be saying about those themes, and what techniques the director employs in order to communicate his message. In addition, this thesis is both supportable and disputable using evidence from the film itself, which means it's a strong central argument for a critical essay .
Characteristics of a Critical Essay
Critical essays are written across many academic disciplines and can have wide-ranging textual subjects: films, novels, poetry, video games, visual art, and more. However, despite their diverse subject matter, all critical essays share the following characteristics.
- Central claim . All critical essays contain a central claim about the text. This argument is typically expressed at the beginning of the essay in a thesis statement , then supported with evidence in each body paragraph. Some critical essays bolster their argument even further by including potential counterarguments, then using evidence to dispute them.
- Evidence . The central claim of a critical essay must be supported by evidence. In many critical essays, most of the evidence comes in the form of textual support: particular details from the text (dialogue, descriptions, word choice, structure, imagery, et cetera) that bolster the argument. Critical essays may also include evidence from secondary sources, often scholarly works that support or strengthen the main argument.
- Conclusion . After making a claim and supporting it with evidence, critical essays offer a succinct conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the trajectory of the essay's argument and emphasizes the essays' most important insights.
Tips for Writing a Critical Essay
Writing a critical essay requires rigorous analysis and a meticulous argument-building process. If you're struggling with a critical essay assignment, these tips will help you get started.
- Practice active reading strategies . These strategies for staying focused and retaining information will help you identify specific details in the text that will serve as evidence for your main argument. Active reading is an essential skill, especially if you're writing a critical essay for a literature class.
- Read example essays . If you're unfamiliar with critical essays as a form, writing one is going to be extremely challenging. Before you dive into the writing process, read a variety of published critical essays, paying careful attention to their structure and writing style. (As always, remember that paraphrasing an author's ideas without proper attribution is a form of plagiarism .)
- Resist the urge to summarize . Critical essays should consist of your own analysis and interpretation of a text, not a summary of the text in general. If you find yourself writing lengthy plot or character descriptions, pause and consider whether these summaries are in the service of your main argument or whether they are simply taking up space.
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How to Structure and Write an Effective Critique Paper
Critique papers are an essential part of academic writing, especially in the fields of humanities and social sciences. They involve analyzing a piece of work and objectively evaluating its strengths and weaknesses. Writing a critique paper can be challenging, requiring careful reading, research, and analysis. Yet, it is possible to produce a high-quality essay with careful planning and attention to detail.
This article will teach you how to write an article critique by explaining the types of critique essays, their structure, and the steps involved in how to write a critique essay. The article also provides essay tips for producing a well-written and effective critique.
What is a Critique Paper?
A critique paper is an academic paper as a response to a body of work, such as a play, concept, scholarly article, poetry, book, or research paper. Its purpose is to objectively assess the work in question, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. But also to provide a detailed analysis of its content, structure, and methodology.
This kind of essay can be one of the trickiest assignments, and not everyone can produce a well-scrutinized, original piece of writing. That’s why many students reach for assistance from analytical essay writing services that guarantee to handle the job with the help of professional writers and experts. These services proved to be of high quality and effective support to many schoolers who chose to try them in a variety of different disciplines.
Knowing how to write an article critique requires careful reading, analysis, and an evaluative approach. A well-written critique paper example demonstrates the writer’s ability to analyze and evaluate works. It should also be organized logically, guiding the reader through the analysis. Additionally, writers should be aware of their biases and assumptions and strive to critique objectively. On a final note, it’s essential to review the guidelines and follow the required structure. This is to ensure that the article critique meets the assignment’s expectations.
Types of Critical Essays
There are several types of essays of this kind, each with its approach and focus. To follow we have a list of the most common ones.
A descriptive critical essay combines elements of descriptive writing with a thorough analysis. In this type of essay, the writer describes a particular work in detail and then evaluates it based on certain criteria. They can provide a deep and insightful understanding of the work using sensory details and descriptive language.
An evaluative essay consists of a personal judgment to evaluate the value or effectiveness of a particular work or idea. In this type of essay, the writer analyzes the work and expresses their opinion on its merits or shortcomings. At the same time, they must avoid personal bias and focus on facts rather than one’s opinions or feelings. However, it’s also essential to provide a personal perspective and interpretation of the work as long as it’s supported by evidence.
This type of essay involves analyzing and interpreting the meaning and significance of the work being evaluated. It delves deeper into the themes, symbolism, and underlying conveyed messages. When writing an interpretive essay, it’s important to be clear and concise. Avoid confusing the reader by using jargon or unnecessarily complex language.
Structure of Critique Paper
The structure of a typical critique essay example includes an introduction, a summary, an analysis, and a conclusion. The paper format is a crucial element. Just like when you write your research papers , a critique benefits from a clear one to guide the reader. Therefore, work on defining the critique essay outline before starting the writing process. One of the most common formatting styles to adopt is the APA format (APA: American Psychological Association), which has specific rules and guidelines. And keep in mind that some specific elements should be included in each section:
Introduction: The introduction’s function is to provide background relevant information. It should also include the thesis statement, which is the writer’s main argument or position on the topic. The thesis statement should be clear and specific and presented in a way that engages the reader.
Summary: The summary provides an overview of the text. It must be objective, unbiased, and accurately summarize the piece’s main points. The summary has to be brief and to the point and should only include the most important details of the work.
Analysis: The analysis is where the writer provides their evaluation of the text being critiqued. This section is the most detailed and extensive part of the paper, containing the facts that prove your main argument and support your thesis. The analysis should focus on the thesis statement and provide a clear and logical argument.
Conclusion: In the conclusion, the paper’s main points are summarized, and the thesis statement is restated to emphasize the writer’s main position. It should provide a final evaluation of the work and include recommendations for improvement.
Essential Steps to Write a Critique Essay
Critique writing requires a thoughtful and detailed approach. You can find below the essential steps to follow:
Read and observe the work:
Before beginning the essay, you should read and observe the work, taking notes on its relevant elements. It is crucial to pay attention to details and to identify both strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to analyzing the work, you need to research the author, director, or artist and the work’s historical and cultural context. This step can be time and effort-consuming. That’s why as a student who’s probably stuck with many assignments, you can consider to pay for research paper , which will solve the problem most efficiently. The research can provide valuable insights into the work and help you develop a more informed critique.
Develop a thesis statement:
Based on the analysis of the work and any research conducted, you should develop a clear and specific thesis statement that accurately presents your main argument or evaluation of the piece.
Write your critique:
Once you have your thesis statement, you can begin writing your critique essay. Begin by providing some background information on the work in an introduction. In the body of your essay, provide evidence and analysis to support your evaluation. Use specific examples and quotes from the text to support your arguments. Consider including external sources to provide additional context or compare the work to similar works. Finally, end your essay with a conclusion summarizing your main points and restating your thesis statement.
Revise and edit:
After completing the first draft of your essay, you should revise and edit it carefully. Pay attention to your argument’s structure, clarity, and coherence. Also, ensure that your essay logically progresses from one concept to the next. It’s important to note that when you format an essay , considerations may vary depending on the assignment’s specific requirements. Some may require additional sections, such as a discussion of the author’s background or a comparison to other works.
How to start a critique paper?
Starting a critique paper requires careful consideration and preparation. It is important to read and understand the subject thoroughly, including its purpose, structure, and context. Once you have a clear understanding of the subject, you should identify specific criteria to use in your evaluation, such as style, structure, effectiveness, relevance, and accuracy. Taking notes on the subject’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement will help you organize your thoughts, and creating an outline that includes the introduction, analysis, and conclusion will ensure a well-structured paper. Finally, a strong thesis statement that clearly states your evaluation of the subject and the criteria you will use to evaluate it is crucial to the success of your critique paper.
How can I write a critique paper on a research article?
To write a critique paper on a research article, it is essential to consider key areas such as the research question and hypothesis, methodology, results, and overall evaluation. Firstly, determine whether the research question is clear, relevant, and testable. Secondly, evaluate the methodology used in the study to determine whether it’s appropriate for the research question. Thirdly, analyze the results presented in the research article to determine whether they are consistent with the research question and hypothesis. Lastly, evaluate the overall quality and contribution of the research article to the field. By considering these areas, you can provide a comprehensive critique of the research article.
What is the difference between summarizing and critiquing an article?
Many students struggle to distinguish between the two. They often summarize the work, neglecting to adopt a personal approach and use analytical skills. In such cases, custom essay writing service Edusson is the best option to handle the job for you. It also helps you improve your critical thinking and practical skills.
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Writing a Critique Paper: Seven Easy Steps
Were you assigned or asked by your professor to write a critique paper? It’s easy to write one. Just follow the following four steps in writing a critique paper and three steps in presenting it, then you’re ready to go.
One of the students’ requirements I specified in the course module is a critique paper. Just so everyone benefits from the guide I prepared for that class, I share it here.
To standardize the format they use in writing a critique paper, I came up with the following steps to make their submissions worthwhile.
Since they are graduate students, more is expected of them. Hence, most of the verbs I use in writing the lesson’s objectives reside in the domain of higher thinking skills or HOTS. Developing the students’ critical thinking skills will help them analyze future problems and propose solutions that embody environmental principles thus resonate desirable outcomes aligned with the goal of sustainable development.
Table of Contents
Step-by-step procedure in writing a critique paper.
I quickly wrote this simple guide on writing a critique paper to help you evaluate any composition you want to write about. It could be a book, a scientific article, a gray paper, or whatever your professor assigns. I integrated the essence of the approach in this article.
The critique paper essentially comprises two major parts, namely the:
1) Procedure in Writing a Critique Paper, and the
2) Format of the Critique Paper.
First, you will need to know the procedure that will guide you in evaluating a paper. Second, the format of the critique paper refers to how you present it so that it becomes logical and scholarly in tone.
The Four Steps in Writing a Critique Paper
Here are the four steps in writing a critique paper:
To write a good critique paper, it pays to adhere to a smooth flow of thought in your evaluation of the piece. You will need to introduce the topic, analyze, interpret, then conclude it.
Introduce the Discussion Topic
Introduce the topic of the critique paper. To capture the author’s idea, you may apply the 5Ws and 1H approach in writing your technical report.
That means, when you write your critique paper, you should be able to answer the Why , When , Where , What , Who , and How questions. Using this approach prevents missing out on the essential details. If you can write a critique paper that adheres to this approach, that would be excellent.
Here’s a simplified example to illustrate the technique:
The news article by John Doe was a narrative about a bank robbery. Accordingly, a masked man (Who) robbed a bank (What) the other day (When) next to a police station (Where) . He did so in broad daylight (How) . He used a bicycle to escape from the scene of the crime (How) . In his haste, he bumped into a post. His mask fell off; thus, everyone saw his face, allowing witnesses to describe him. As a result, he had difficulty escaping the police, who eventually retrieved his loot and put him in jail because of his wrongdoing (Why) .
Hence, you give details about the topic, in this case, a bank robbery. Briefly describe what you want to tell your audience. State the overall purpose of writing the piece and its intention.
Is the essay written to inform, entertain, educate, raise an issue for debate, and so on? Don’t parrot or repeat what the writer wrote in his paper. And write a paragraph or a few sentences as succinctly as you can.
Analyze means to break down the abstract ideas presented into manageable bits.
What are the main points of the composition? How was it structured? Did the view expressed by the author allow you, as the reader, to understand?
In the example given above, it’s easy to analyze the event as revealed by the chain of events. How do you examine the situation?
The following steps are helpful in the analysis of information:
- Ask yourself what your objective is in writing the critique paper. Come up with a guidepost in examining it. Are you looking at it with some goal or purpose in mind? Say you want to find out how thieves carry out bank robberies. Perhaps you can categorize those robberies as either planned or unplanned.
- Find out the source, or basis, of the information that you need. Will you use the paper as your source of data, or do you have corroborating evidence?
- Remove unnecessary information from your data source. Your decision to do so depends on your objective. If there is irrelevant data, remove it from your critique.
We can use an analogy here to clearly explain the analysis portion.
If you want to split a log, what would you do? Do you use an ax, a chainsaw, or perhaps a knife? The last one is out of the question. It’s inappropriate.
Thus, it would be best if you defined the tools of your analysis. Tools facilitate understanding and allow you to make an incisive analysis.
Now, you are ready to interpret the article, book, or any composition once the requisites of analysis are in place.
Visualize the event in your mind and interpret the behavior of actors in the bank robbery incident. You have several actors in that bank heist: the robber, the police, and the witnesses of the crime.
While reading the story, it might have occurred to you that the robber is inexperienced. We can see some discrepancies in his actions.
Imagine, his mode of escape is a bicycle. What got into him? Maybe he did not plan the robbery at all. Besides, there was no mention that the robber used a gun in the heist.
That fact confirms the first observation that he was not ready at all. Escaping the scene of the crime using a bicycle with nothing to defend himself once pursued? He’s insane. Unimaginable. He’s better off sleeping at home and waiting for food to land on his lap if food will come at all.
If we examine the police’s response, they were relatively quick. Right after the robber escaped the crime scene, they appeared to remedy the situation. The robber did not put up a fight.
What? With bare knuckles? It makes little sense.
If we look at the witnesses’ behavior, we can discern that perhaps they willingly informed the police of the bank robber’s details. They were not afraid. And that’s because the robber appears to be unarmed. But there was no specific mention of it.
Narrate the importance of each of the different sections or paragraphs. How does the write-up contribute to the overall picture of the issue or problem being studied?
Assess or Evaluate
Finally, judge whether the article was a worthwhile account after all. Did it meet expectations? Was it able to convey the information most efficiently? Or are there loopholes or flaws that should have been mentioned?
Format of Presenting the Critique Paper
The logical format in writing a critique paper comprises at least three sections: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. This approach is systematic and achieves a good flow that readers can follow.
Include the title and name of the author in your introduction. Make a general description of the topic being discussed, including the author’s assumptions, inferences, or contentions. Find out the thesis or central argument , which will be the basis of your discussion.
The robbery example appears to be inappropriate to demonstrate this section, as it is so simple. So we level up to a scientific article.
In any scientific article, there is always a thesis that guides the write-up. A thesis is a statement that expresses what the author believes in and tries to test in his study. The investigation or research converges (ideally) to this central theme as the author’s argument.
You can find the thesis in the paper’s hypothesis section. That’s because a hypothesis is a tentative thesis. Hypo means “below or under,” meaning it is the author’s tentative explanation of whatever phenomenon he tackles.
If you need more information about this, please refer to my previous post titled “ How to Write a Thesis .”
How is the introduction of a critique paper structured? It follows the general guidelines of writing from a broad perspective to more specific concerns or details. See how it’s written here: Writing a Thesis Introduction: from General to Specific .
You may include the process you adopted in writing the critique paper in this section.
The body of the paper includes details about the article being examined. It is here where you place all those musings of yours after applying the analytical tools .
This section is similar to the results and discussion portion of a scientific paper. It describes the outcome of your analysis and interpretation.
In explaining or expressing your argument, substantiate it by citing references to make it believable. Make sure that those references are relevant as well as timely. Don’t cite references that are so far out in the past. These, perhaps, would not amount to a better understanding of the topic at hand. Find one that will help you understand the situation.
Besides, who wants to adopt the perspective of an author who has not even got hold of a mobile phone if your paper is about using mobile phones to facilitate learning during the pandemic caused by COVID-19 ? Find a more recent one that will help you understand the situation.
Objectively examine the major points presented by the author by giving details about the work. How does the author present or express the idea or concept? Is he (or she) convincing the way he/she presents his/her paper’s thesis?
Well, I don’t want to be gender-biased, but I find the “he/she” term somewhat queer. I’ll get back to the “he” again, to represent both sexes.
I mention the gender issue because the literature says that there is a difference in how a person sees things based on gender. For example, Ragins & Sundstrom (1989) observed that it would be more difficult for women to obtain power in the organization than men. And there’s a paper on gender and emotions by Shields et al. (2006) , although I wouldn’t know the outcome of that study as it is behind a paywall. My point is just that there is a difference in perspective between men and women. Alright.
Therefore, always find evidence to support your position. Explain why you agree or disagree with the author. Point out the discrepancies or strengths of the paper.
Well, everything has an end. Write a critique paper that incorporates the key takeaways of the document examined. End the critique with an overall interpretation of the article, whatever that is.
Why do you think is the paper relevant in the course’s context that you are taking? How does it contribute to say, the study of human behavior (in reference to the bank robbery)? Are there areas that need to be considered by future researchers, investigators, or scientists? That will be the knowledge gap that the next generation of researchers will have to look into.
If you have read up to this point, then thank you for reading my musings. I hope that helped you clarify the steps in writing a critique paper. A well-written critique paper depends on your writing style.
Notice that my writing style changes based on the topic that I discuss. Hence, if your professor assigns you a serious, rigorous, incisive, and detailed analysis of a scientific article, then that is the way to go. Adopt a formal mode in your writing.
Final Tip : Find a paper that is easy for you to understand. In that way, you can clearly express your thoughts. Write a critique paper that rocks!
Master Content Analysis: An All-in-One Guide
Ragins, B. R., & Sundstrom, E. (1989). Gender and power in organizations: A longitudinal perspective. Psychological bulletin , 105 (1), 51.
Shields, S. A., Garner, D. N., Di Leone, B., & Hadley, A. M. (2006). Gender and emotion. In Handbook of the sociology of emotions (pp. 63-83). Springer, Boston, MA.
© 2020 November 20 P. A. Regoniel
Crabbing: a sustainable livelihood in the coasts of magsaysay, examples for research design development, qualitative interview designs, about the author, patrick regoniel.
Dr. Regoniel is a multipotentialite whose skills, knowledge, and interests span many areas of life.
Thanks for sharing tips on how to write critique papers. This article is very informative and easy to understand.
Welcome. Thank you for your appreciation.
This is extremely helpful. Thank you very much!
Thank you..for your idea ..it was indeed helpful
Glad it helped you Preezy.
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How to Write a Good Critique Essay
How to Write a Close Reading Essay
The word "criticize," has by definition and perception largely negative connotations attached. Students may dread having their creative writing critiqued in a group setting. However, a fair assessment of any text, object, place or experience deeply analyzes all component parts and then renders judgment. When writing a critique essay, your readers need to understand how and why you arrived at your conclusion. A thorough and analytic critique provides them with an understanding of the critic’s values.
Describe Author and Work
Describe the work and its creator in the first paragraph. Do not assume that readers know the work or author prior to reading the critique. It is necessary to place the work in context so the reader has a sense of what is happening. Determine if the text is a first outing for the author or the latest in a long series. Does the author have a reputation or expertise in a certain field? Is the work controversial or well-known or little-known, and why? What is the intended audience for this work? By answering these questions, the reader has a stronger base of information to add clarity to the rest of the critique.
Write an accurate summary of the work’s main ideas in the second paragraph. Do not mingle your own evaluation with this summary. Instead, use the summary to explain the most important ideas the author tried to convey in the entire work and any other literary details that might guide or enlighten your reader.
In this section, critique the author’s presentation. Ask yourself a series of questions as you write the critique. Did the author present accurate and relevant data in a logical manner? Did the author clearly define important terms or jargon? Did the author offer sound interpretations? Focus in this paragraph, on whether the author achieved his or her purpose for creating the piece of writing.
State Your Opinion
Here, you will state both your own agreements and disagreements with the author. Develop your ideas by explaining why you agree and disagree with the author’s ideas. To further support your critique, cite other critics who support your interpretation.
In the last paragraphs, compose the conclusion that restates the main agreements and objections to the work. This conclusion is often the shortest paragraph in the critique but may also be the most important as it sums up the entire critique. In the closing, do not mention any new idea that does not already appear in the body paragraphs. The final paragraph is included to give an overview of the entire essay by restating its main ideas.
How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay
How to Write Prose Commentary
Guidelines for a Reflection & Summary Paper
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- Goshen College: Essay Critique Guidelines
- Massey University: Article Critique
- Writing Forward: How to Critique Other Writers' Works
- College Essay Tips: How To Write A Critique Essay for College
- Document in instructor-recommended citation style all quotes, paraphrases and summaries.
- Write a detailed summary of the text before writing the critique.
Patricia Hunt first found her voice as a fiction and nonfiction writer in 1974. An English teacher for over 27 years, Hunt's works have appeared in "The Alaska Quarterly Review," "The New Southern Literary Messenger" and "San Jose Studies." She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from American University and a doctorate in studies of America from the University of Maryland.
Writing a critique essay or critique paper is one of the most common assignments in academic writing. The essay aims to provide an objective evaluation of a certain product, service, or phenomenon. It often happens that when you are asked to write a critique paper on something that interests you, you don’t know where to start.
In this essay writing guide, you will learn:
- What Is a critique paper.
- How to write a critique essay step by step.
- Types of critique essays.
- How to format and structure a critique paper.
Let us get started with the definition of a critical paper.
What is a critique essay?
A critique essay or paper is a combination of a review essay and a research paper. It means that you have to do a thorough literature search, read various sources and then provide your own opinion about them along with the critical evaluation. A critique essay may prove or disprove certain thesis or theory putting forward new questions that can be resolved in further studies. In most cases, a student is supposed to criticize, analyze, and provide an overall assessment of some phenomenon such as a product, service, idea or event.
The definition of the word “critique” in English from Oxford Dictionary: [noun]
- a detailed criticism or analysis of something , especially one based on close attention to relevant details : a literary critique
- a judgment of the merits and faults of something or somebody : the report is a serious critique of Government policy
Critique papers are usually given to students by their teachers in order to encourage them to think critically about whatever they have studied so far. The purpose of this type of assignment is not only to provide you with analytical skills, but also improve your communication skills.
The Structure of a Critique Paper
Many essay writing services suggest that the structure for any critical essay should have the following components:
- Introduction with thesis statement;
- Literature review;
- Pro and contra arguments;
However, we would like to point out that this formula may not work for all types of essays and it is better if you follow the structure you are most comfortable with.
There is not much difference here between the introduction of any other essay and a critical one, except that in this case you should mention the main problem or the thesis statement right in the beginning. Remember that in order to convince your reader that you fully understand what you are writing about, you need to provide them with some background knowledge on the topic. It means that in your introduction, you will include points like:
What was the author’s main purpose in writing the paper (or producing the product or service) What is your opinion on this issue Why did you choose to make this topic the subject of your critical essay
This part of your critique essay will provide readers with all necessary information they need in order to understand what your essay is about. As a rule, a literature review should provide some historical context and highlight different views on a certain topic. It means that if you are going to write a critique argumentative essay, for instance, you have to include things like:
What has been written about this problem so far? Who said what on this subject? Is there any consensus on this issue among experts from various fields? What has been done to solve this problem thus far?
Pro and Contra Arguments:
In order to properly evaluate a subject, you have to take the point of view of both sides. Therefore, you should provide readers with arguments from all sides in your critique essay. In addition, if possible, try to find examples which would help to better explain different points of view.
Those who support this idea provide us with __________ as an evidence Those who disapprove it argue that __________ may happen instead What is more important is that __________ Some people even claim that __________
As every other type of essay writing assignment, when you are asked to write a critical paper it always ends with a conclusion. However, you should not just summarize what you have already said. Your concluding remarks must be an argumentative piece of writing which:
- Refutes possible counterarguments and strengthens your overall opinion;
- Evaluates all sides of the issue and provides readers with a final assessment;
- Suggests further research on the topic.
Unfortunately, there is no universal format for critical essays as each assignment requires its own approach depending on the subject matter and the author’s point of view. That is why it may be challenging to write such papers at times, but do not despair – we hope that this guide has helped you understand what things to take into account when writing such essays!
How to write a critique essay in 7 steps
Now that we have gone through the basics of a critique paper, let us review 7 important steps in writing a great critique paper for school or college students.
Step 1: Decide on the purpose of the critique essay.
Before you can start to write your critique paper, it is important to decide the purpose of writing the paper. Is it to evaluate a work of art, or is it to offer a critical analysis of a text? The purpose determines the content of your essay.
For instance, you may be asked to write a critique essay on the novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” In this case, your main purpose would be to offer critical analysis of the book. You may also choose to analyze or evaluate it in relation to other literature or its bearing on society as whole. Your paper might include examples from other texts and compare and contrast them.
You can even choose an object for your critique. It could be a certain painting, building, literary work and so forth. For example, you could write a critique paper about Michelangelo’s David or Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France. To make your paper more interesting and focused, try choosing an object that is familiar to you.
You might choose the aforementioned paintings since they are available in books which you can easily research if needed. If you want to focus on a building, for example Notre Dame du Haut chapel, then head to Google and find everything about that building or even visit it in person. This will help with your description skills which you need when writing a critique essay.
Step 2: Do background research if necessary.
For most types of artifacts like paintings, buildings etc., background information is readily available on the internet, books or other sources. You may also take pictures of these objects or send someone else to do so for you in order to illustrate your paper later on. However, when writing a critique essay about literature like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” you will need to research more.
It may mean that you should read at least one book review on the novel, or find articles that offer critical analysis of it. You can also search for similar novels and compare them if needed. For a clear idea of how these books are written, see what elements they have in common and how they differ from other types of fiction writing. Consider all angles before presenting your own thesis.
Step 3: Select a viewpoint and thesis statement for your critique essay.
Of course, you may have been asked to adopt a certain viewpoint when writing this type of paper so stick to it as best as possible throughout your essay. In other words, if your instructor told you to write from a certain thesis or position (e.g. that “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is overrated) then stick to it and do not sway from your point of view no matter how much evidence you find against your initial thesis.
Step 4: Write the introduction of your critique essay.
Generally speaking, many people start their academic papers with an introduction but this does not mean that this step is optional in case of a critique essay since one major aim of writing this type of paper is to offer critical analysis/evaluation on something. You should use hook words or sentences that create interest t o attract readers attention right away at the beginning of the first paragraph. However , keep in mind that you do not want to be too vague in your introduction (e.g. “I am going to tell you how brilliant this piece of literature is”) since this type of paper requires some critical thought before coming up with an objective conclusion or statement of evaluation/ analysis .
Focus more on the process of analysis, rather than just stating your thesis right away. Try using quotes from other sources if needed and introduce them briefly for clarity purposes, especially if they are foreign authors or philosophers who wrote something relevant to what you are writing about. Also , try creating a smooth transition between the introductory paragraph and the body paragraphs so that readers do not get lost while reading your essay.
Step 5: Write body paragraphs for your critique essay.
As in any academic paper, this part should contain a minimum of three body paragraphs each with a topic sentence that clearly states what you are talking about. However , remember that the main purpose of writing a critique essay is not to summarize or explain something but rather to offer critical analysis/evaluation based on evidence from previous literary works.
This means that instead of telling readers what to think about an object or text, you should try asking questions throughout the body paragraphs so that they stay interested and motivated until the end of your critique essay. The last sentence of each paragraph should also relate back to the thesis statement in order to keep everything cohesive and focused .
Step 6: Write conclusion for your critique essay.
Start by restating your thesis statement followed by a brief summary of the evidence you used to support your analysis. On the other hand, try not to be repetitive with previous points and include only new material in this final section of your paper.
Finally, write a strong closing sentence that leaves readers with something memorable after they finish reading your critique essay . After all , it is not enough for you to just say how bad or good an object is;you should try delving into why these things are liked or disliked in order to offer more weight on what you are saying (i.e. What makes this text/object popular? Why has it received so much attention?).
Step 7: Proofread and edit your critique essay.
This last step is especially crucial since you want to make sure that your writing is free of any grammatical mistakes or typos that could distract readers (spell check may not always be enough).
However, make sure to incorporate your own voice and style in the paper by using words and phrases you are familiar with. Also , avoid using passive voice as much as possible since it is usually admittedly weak. On the other hand, if omitting certain details (or even parts) will keep readers confused about what you are trying to say then do not hesitate to break up long sentences into smaller ones.
Finally, follow the required number of pages for this type of essay along with additional instructions from your instructor or editor before submitting it for grading. Also, remember to have a title or phrase that will grab readers attention so they know what the essay is about before reading it.
In conclusion, writing a critique essay does not always mean you will find something negative to say about an object or text since this type of paper focuses on analysis and assessment as opposed to interpretation. What makes this literary analysis different from those that focus on summarizing texts or simply explaining them is that your opinion should play a major role in making people understand how you came up with your final statement on an object/text.
To summarize, include these elements in order to make your critique essay more effective:
- Body paragraphs
- Transitional sentences
- Critical thinking questions
- Proofreading and editing your essay
Types of critique essays
There are a few types of critique essays that you can write, and the most common include:
- Book critique essay: In a book critique essay, you will be critiquing a book that you have read by discussing its strengths and weaknesses.
- Movie critique essay: In a movie critique essay, you will be critiquing a movie that you have seen by discussing its strengths and weaknesses.
- Art critique essay: In an art critique essay, you will be critiquing an artwork that you have seen by discussing its strengths and weaknesses.
- Article critique essay: In this essay, you will be critiquing an article that you have read by discussing its strengths and weaknesses.
- Museum exhibit critique essay: In this type of essay, you will be writing about a museum exhibit or display that you have seen. You need to discuss the purpose of the exhibit/display, what it is trying to convey, its effect on your thinking.
- Critique poems: This type of critique essay requires you to critically analyze one or more poems in order to determine their meaning and significance. You need to discuss how these poems are interpreted by readers based on their opinion, impressions, reactions etc., then evaluate whether these interpretations are legitimate or not.
- Speech critique essay: In this type of essay, you will be writing about a speech that you have seen or heard. You need to discuss the purpose of the speech, its strengths and weaknesses in conveying the message effectively.
What do I write a critical paper about?
To help with that, we’ve put together this list of 10 potential topics for a critique paper and some guidelines on how to choose the best option.
10 Critique Paper Topics to Consider
- Your favorite or least favorite book, film, or album ever. Think about it: why did you like (or dislike) this piece of art? What makes it (or them) worthy of praise (or criticism)?
- Any scientific paper, study, or experiment that you feel has been widely misunderstood and/or misrepresented in the media and popular press. You might want to explain how it was misinterpreted and then give your own interpretation of the findings.
- A scientific discovery that you think is truly revolutionary and game-changing. For example, the discovery of the Higgs boson was widely covered by TV networks and newspapers around the world. You might want to say why you think it’s really important, even if not everyone agrees with you.
- A product or service that has had lots of negative press coverage lately (for example, Uber). How can its problems be solved?
- A really popular social media app such as Twitter that you don’t like and think has harmful effects on society. Why do you think that? What changes could be made to make it less bad?
- An object or artifact in your house, school, or office that you consider ugly or unnecessary (like a stapler, for example). Explain why it’s bad and what would be better in its place.
- A TV show, article, blog post, etc. that makes an argument about something controversial (for example, maybe it claims GMOs are healthy, or that chocolate doesn’t lead to breakouts). Then explain the flaws in the argument(s) made by the creator.
- A company, organization, or institution that you think has a serious PR problem. How can it solve these issues? What should be done differently?
- A person whom you respect for their work but don’t agree with all of his/her viewpoints (for example, Elon Musk). Why do you still think highly of them? Why might other people not like them as much as you do?
- Your favorite website (such as Reddit) and your least favorite website. Compare and contrast the design and content of each one to determine which one makes a better argument for its viewpoint(s).
- Writing a Critique (Critical Analysis)
- Writing a Critique – Hunter College
- How to write a critique – QUT cite|write
- Lists of Free Writing Critique Websites – Christopher Fielden
- Critique handout
- TUTORING SERVICE RESOURCE – Writing a Book Critique
- Writing a Critique | IOE Writing Centre – UCL
- Writing a CRITICAL ANALYSIS (Critique) – Centralia College
- How to Write Critical Reviews – The Writing Center – University of Wisconsin Madison
- Writing a Critique (Summary & Response)
Critique Paper Writing Help
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What are your thoughts on how to write a critique essay?
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Essay Critique Guidelines
Whenever you read an essay, use the following questions to guide your response.
First, keep in mind that, although you may not be a writing expert, you are THE reader of this essay and your response is a valid one . I have found that almost every reader, regardless of experience, can identify the primary strength and weakness in an essay, although their method of describing those issues may be different. The author will welcome your response and your ability to explain your reaction in a new way. Although the author is not required to, and really shouldn’t, respond to everything you say, he or she will take your comments seriously and consider how the essays has enlightened or confused you. Therefore, comment freely, although respectfully. Keep in mind that it is better to begin by noting the strengths of the essay before pointing out the areas that need improvement. I would always include a personal response to questions like the following: What about the essay most connects with your experience? Moves you? Provokes you? Entertains you?
So that is how to respond. So how do you critique? For every essay, regardless of the mode, consider the broad categories of content, organization, style, and correctness.
- Content : Consider the topic (its appropriateness and interest for the assignment as well as a clear focus suitable to essay length) and the way the topic is developed (clarity sufficiency of its argument, its scope, subcategories, amount and type of examples, anecdotes, evidence, etc.).
- Organization : Consider how the essay is introduced and concluded (especially looking for a “frame” to the essay, where the intro and conclusion refer to the same idea), whether the thesis is located in the most helpful place (direct or implied), how the essay is structured, whether the order or extent of development is successful, as well as how individual paragraphs are organized (clear topic sentences, appropriate and concrete evidence, logical organization of evidence).
- Style : Style can refer to the overall style of an essay: whether the tone is appropriate (humorous, serious, reflective, satirical, etc.), whether you use sufficient and appropriate variety (factual, analytical, evaluative, reflective), whether you use sufficient creativity. Style can also refer to the style of individual sentences: whether you use a variety of sentences styles and lengths, whether sentences are worded clearly, and whether word choice is interesting and appropriate.
Rolling around in the bottom of the drawer, Tim found the missing earring. [certainly the earring was rolling, not Tim!]
You could also easily tell that the following sentence actually contains two sentences that need punctuation between them:
The new manager instituted several new procedures some were impractical. [You need to add punctuation (period) after “procedures” and capitalize “some.”]
Further Directions for Specific Assignments
Below are more detailed questions to consider when responding to individual types of essays. First, make sure that you have reviewed the description of the essay mode in the Essay Assignment Guidelines. Use at least one or two of these when responding to an essay. Do not simply answer yes or no; offer specific evidence from the text and elaborate on the reasons behind your answer.
Personal Essay Critique:
- Does the writer have a clear but understated purpose to the essay?
- Does it avoid being overly moralistic or heavy-handed?
- Does the essay contain suspense or tension that is resolved in some way?
- Do you have any suggestions for organizing the essay, such as focusing in on one event rather than many, providing more background, turning explanation into action, etc.?
- Does the essay make good use of concrete description, anecdote, and dialogue?
- Does the essay help you to feel the emotions rather than just describe the emotions of the author?
- Does the essay reveal a significant aspect of the writer’s personality?
- Does the writer seem authentic?
- Is this a passionate piece? Is it creative?
Critical Review Critique
- Does a direct thesis convey both the subject and the reviewer’s value judgment?
- Does the review provide a summary or description to help you experience the film, music, event, etc.? Note places where the author provides too much or too little detail.
- Does the essay clearly identify relevant criteria for evaluation? Are they appropriate, believable, and consistent?
- Are any important features of the reviewed subject omitted?
- Logos (logic, content) : Does the essay provide sufficient, relevant, and interesting details and examples to adequately inform and entertain?
- Ethos (author) : Does the author’s judgment seem sound and convincing?
- Pathos (emotional appeals) : Does the author responsibly and effectively utilize emotional appeals to the audience?
- Does the author include adequate reference to the opposition and respond to that opposition appropriately?
Information Essay Critique : The questions posed about an informative essay will vary, depending on the purpose and strategy of the essay. The SMGW suggests evaluating for the following issues:
- Is topic clearly explained and sufficiently focused?
- Does the content fit the audience?
- Is it organized effectively?
- Are definitions clear?
- Are other strategies (classification, comparison/contrast, analysis) used effectively?
- Are sources used sufficiently, effectively, and appropriately?
You might also assess the following criteria:
- Does the author utilize vivid detail, interesting examples, and lively language?
- Does the essay avoid emphasizing judgment over explanation?
- Does the essay have a clear focus or implied thesis?
Comparison/Contrast Essay Critique
- Is the purpose for a comparison or contrast evident and convincing?
- Does the essay identify significant and parallel characteristics for comparison?
- Does the author adequately explain, analyze, or reflect on the comparison or contrast?
- Does the author provide appropriate transitions words to indicate comparison and contrast?
- Is the treatment of each side of the comparison or contrast in balance?
- Does the essay provide sufficient, relevant, and interesting details?
Feature Article Critique
- Does this article interest you? Do you think it will interest the intended audience? Can you suggest ways to increase interest?
- Can you tell what the “angle” or implied thesis is? Does the author avoid editorial judgment on the subject while still keeping the purpose clear?
- Has the writer done sufficient research? What questions have gone unasked or unanswered? Whose point of view or what information would add further to the completeness of the feature?
- Is the subject presented vividly with sensory images, graphic detail, and figurative language? Do you have suggestions of details or images to include?
- Does the writer use an appropriate mixture of anecdote, quotation, description, and explanation? Would more or less of one of these improve the essay?
- Are the beginning and ending paragraphs interesting and appropriate for the specific audience? Consider the need for a “lead sentence” if intended for a newspaper.
Documented Argument Critique
- Is the thesis clear, argumentative, and effective? Why or why not?
- Are the topic and thesis are reasonable for the assignment, audience, and context of the essay?
- Does the author define his or her terms and provide sufficient background information? What ideas or terms are undefined or inadequately explained?
- Is the thesis supported by clear reasons? Are the reasons clearly worded and supported sufficiently?
- Do the reasons fit logically together and are they placed in the right order?
- Does the author adequately address the opposition? What is another opposing argument he/she should or could have addressed?
- Has the author done adequate research?
- Are the works cited adequately introduced and explained before citing from them?
- Does the paper contain an appropriate blend of well-placed quotations within a context of the author’s own words and paraphrases from other sources?
- Is the writer clearly in charge, naturally introducing and interacting with sources rather than merely reporting on them?
- Do you find the argument convincing? What might you add or omit?
Business Writing Critique
- Does the memo begin with the most important information?
- Does the memo build rapport by involving the reader in opening paragraph?
- Does the memo provide sufficient, relevant, and interesting details? Is it focused and brief?
- Does the memo focus each paragraph on one idea?
- Is the memo informed, accurate, demonstrating the author’s grasp of the situation?
- Is the final paragraph calling for a specific action? Is it brief? Does it build good will?
- Is the memo form correct, with concise subject line, initialed name, correct spacing?
- Is the information arranged (indentations and numbering) in a way that makes it easy to skim and still get central information?
- Does the first paragraph identify who the author is, briefly state why he/she is writing, and refer to how he/she found out about the job?
- Does the second paragraph highlight specific strengths, special abilities, or features of the résumé to be noted?
- Does the third paragraph make a specific request of the reader or address what action is to be taken?
- Does the letter provide sufficient, relevant, and interesting details to make the request convincing?
- Is the letter brief and focused? What elements could be eliminated?
- Does the writer achieve his or her purpose? Does it make you want to consider the résumé more carefully?
- Is the tone of the letter courteous without being too formal, relaxed without being too familiar?
- Is the letter’s form appropriate (heading, spacing, greeting, salutation)? Is the letter addressed to a specific person rather than a general “Dear Madam/Sir”?
- Does the résumé contain the necessary features for the position (name/address, position desired, education, work experience, achievements, relevant personal information, references)?
- Does the résumé contain only essential, relevant information for the position required?
- Does the résumé emphasize the applicant’s strengths?
- Does the résumé emphasize what is unique about this person’s experience? Does it demonstrate a common interest or ability (leadership, teaching experience, dedication, creativity, etc.)?
- What additional information might you like to have about this applicant?
- If you were leading an interview based on this résumé, what are two questions you might ask?
- Does the résumé look neat (appropriate spacing, clear headings, good quality paper)?
- Is the résumé easy to read?
- Is the information presented as concisely as possible?
- Are the elements of each section of the résumé presented in a parallel format and style (begin w/ active verbs, put date in consistent place, use of parallelism for elements, consistent underlining or italics)?
Starting Your Critique Essay
When starting your critique essay, take care not to start with your introduction —this part should give the reader a general view of what is to come. This is difficult to do if you don’t have the body of your essay yet. The best thing to do while you’re starting your critique essay is to come up with a good thesis statement: what is your main conclusion or analysis about the work? What specific thing do you want to focus on?
If you aren’t sure about this, yet you can begin by brainstorming or listing down different possible thesis statements and ideas. From here, it’s important to note what your audience will be interested in and also what you’re capable of writing the essay . Once you determine this, getting started on your critique essay should be easy! You can also start writing your critique essay by ordering a well-written custom essay from us—this gives you an immediate springboard of ideas to start with. Keep reading for more interesting information on critique essay writing, how to get organized and where to get help for your writing .
Reflective Essay Page Navigation
Organizing your critique essay, how to develop critical thinking, where to look for help with your critique, how to write a critique on a movie, how to write a critique on a book, download a free sample of a critique essay.
Another great tip when organizing your critique essay is to use sub-headers. By labeling each of the sections of your paper, it’s easier for the reader to understand your point and there are fewer chances of you losing your train of thought. You might also opt for ordering a custom essay: this gives you strong, solid and orderly framework off of which you can base the rest of your work.
In order to write a good critical essay, you should firsts learn how to develop critical thinking. And learning how to develop critical thinking begins with learning to value objective reality. Before you can form an opinion about something, you have to first see it through a more or less unbiased eye. Set aside your initial judgment and look at the thing you’re critiquing: how does it look? What does it do? What effect does it have on the outside world? How do other people view it? What does it contribute to the world in general? Analyzing these aspects of whatever you’re critiquing will help you form a sharp mind. You should also take care to utilize as much wasted time as possible. This means analyzing certain things that occur around you during your day to day life—whether you’re at the supermarket, the bookstore or in transit look at the way things work, try to evaluate what makes certain systems effective and what doesn’t. One of the best ways to figure out how to develop critical thinking is to keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to change your opinion on something—make sure that you make judgments based on facts and not on biases or prejudice.
If you are not sure whether you’re able to complete a critique essay successfully or not, ask the specialists at ProfEssays.com to help you. ProfEssays.com is always ready to write the best custom essay, following all of the requirements and customer’s demands. You may also learn more about cause and effect essay writing and get narrative essay assistance offered by ProfEssays.com.
A writer who has to develop a critique essay should remember that they do not need to be professional writers (nor can they be such). Writing critique essays can take a lot of time—watching or reviewing the material itself may take days of extensive research, not to mention the actual process of writing itself. On days when the deadlines are too tight and you just don’t have the energy or the hours to work in, you can always get quality help through us. Our experts are always ready to offer essay writing help. Enhance your critical mind— place your order now!
Looking for an exceptional company to do some custom writing for you? Look no further than ProfEssays.com! You simply place an order with the writing instructions you have been given, and before you know it, your essay or term paper, completely finished and unique, will be completed and sent back to you. At ProfEssays.com, we have over 500 highly educated, professional writers standing by waiting to help you with any writing needs you may have! We understand students have plenty on their plates, which is why we love to help them out. Let us do the work for you, so you have time to do what you want to do!
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How to write a compelling 1000-word essay in under two hours
The Canary 12 November 2023
The clock is ticking, and the page is still blank – the dread of every student with a looming deadline. But how to write a 1000-word essay in under two hours? It’s about intelligent preparation, a focused environment, and a clear game plan. Here’s how you do it.
Preparation: laying the groundwork for a 1000-word essay
The foundation of a well-written essay is in understanding what is asked of you. Start by thoroughly analyzing the essay prompt to grasp the question’s core. Identify key themes, words, and instructions that outline the scope of your response. This step ensures that your essay remains relevant and focused.
Next, dive into quick research and information gathering. This doesn’t mean reading every article thoroughly but skimming through reliable sources for pertinent information. Take notes of any statistics, quotes, or theories directly related to your prompt. Remember, at this stage, breadth over depth is your strategy – you want a comprehensive view of the subject to draw from.
With your research at hand, construct a bullet-point outline. Break down your essay into an introduction, body, and conclusion, and under each section, list the main points you plan to cover. This outline will serve as your roadmap, guiding you from one argument to the next and ensuring you get all critical components.
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Setting the right environment
With your groundwork laid, it’s time to create the optimal environment for writing. Choose a workspace free from distractions – a quiet room, a library, or any place you associate with focus and productivity. Inform others of your intention to work undisturbed to minimize interruptions.
Before you start the timer, make sure all necessary materials are within reach. This includes your outline, research notes, laptop charger, or any books you need to reference. Having everything in one place means you can dedicate your time to writing, not searching for a lost article or a missing link.
Now, manage your time effectively. Allocate specific blocks of time to each part of your essay – for example, 20 minutes for the introduction, one hour for the body, and 20 minutes for the conclusion and revision. Being disciplined with your time prevents the panic that comes with the sight of sand running low in the hourglass and helps maintain the quality of your writing under a tight deadline.
Writing a good essay for uk students, brighton university’s management sink to new lows with union busting of the ucu, writing the introduction.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay, so it’s crucial to start strong. Begin by crafting a clear and concise thesis statement in your paper introduction . This is your essay’s anchor, and it should convey the central argument or point in a single sentence. The thesis should provide a roadmap for your essay and set the stage for the arguments to follow.
An engaging hook can draw your reader in from the very first line. This could be a surprising statistic, a provocative question, or an evocative quote that relates directly to your thesis. The hook is the bait, and your compelling writing will reel the reader in.
Despite the urge to explain everything upfront, keep your introduction brief but informative. Provide enough background to orient your reader, but reserve the in-depth discussion for the essay’s body. The introduction should ignite curiosity, not satisfy it.
Building the body
The body of your 1000-word essay is where you make your case. To ensure you cover all points without rushing or dragging, allocate a set amount of time per point. This will help you maintain a steady pace and avoid spending too much time on one aspect at the expense of others.
Expand each bullet point from your outline into a whole paragraph. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea, then follow with evidence, examples, and analysis that support your point. Ensure that each paragraph flows logically to the next, building a cohesive argument.
Above all, every paragraph should support your thesis. Each point should be a pillar that, when combined with others, upholds your central argument firmly. This cohesion is what makes your essay compelling and persuasive.
Formulating the conclusion
Your conclusion is the final act of your essay and should leave a lasting impression. Begin by summarizing the main points you’ve made, but don’t simply repeat what you’ve already said. Instead, synthesise the information, showing how your arguments come together to support your thesis.
Robert S Hicks, a creative writer and college professor, suggests:
Reinforce your thesis statement here but with the weight of your now-presented arguments behind it. The reader should nod in agreement, convinced by your well-laid-out discussion.
Finish with a thought-provoking final sentence. Whether it’s a call to action, a rhetorical question, or a prediction, it should give the reader something to ponder long after reading.
Revising and editing
First, take a quick break – then return to your essay with fresh eyes for self-editing. Start by reading through for clarity and coherence. Check for and remove any repetitive points or unnecessary jargon that might confuse the reader.
Use grammar and spell-check tools as your first defense against technical errors, but rely on them only partially. These tools can miss nuances that a careful human eye will catch.
Finally, trim any fluff. Conciseness is critical in a 1000-word essay . Ensure you meet the word count, but remember that every word should serve a purpose. If it doesn’t add value, cut it out.
Final review and submission of your 1000-word essay
Read your essay aloud to check for flow and clarity. Hearing your words can help you catch errors and assess whether each sentence smoothly transitions to the next.
Ensure your essay adheres to all the guidelines provided. This includes formatting, citation style, and word count. Overlooking these details can detract from an otherwise excellent essay.
With everything in place, it’s time to submit your essay. Do this with confidence, knowing that you’ve put in the work to craft a concise, compelling, and well-argued piece.
Writing a compelling 1000-word essay quickly is a skill that takes practice. Remember, the key strategies are preparation, focus, and a clear structure. So, the next time the clock’s ticking down, take a deep breath, plan your approach, and start typing. Efficiency in writing not only saves time but can also lead to producing work of surprising depth and clarity.
Featured image via Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s . What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
I was wondering why this supposed leftwing news and comment site had begun running irrelevant ‘articles’ such as this one. Then I turned off my adblocker and it became clear. These are support pieces for advertisers – ‘advertorials’ in effect. Shame on Canary.
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The Canary , 1 November 2023
Kathryn Zacharek , 10 October 2023
While management hide, students occupy part of Brighton University campus in solidarity with staff
Kathryn Zacharek , 22 September 2023