Generally, when critiquing an essay or article, we drift towards pointing out the negative points and what is wrong with the text by being as critical as possible. However, it is not the case, and our article will help bust a few misconceptions and answer questions related to how to critique an article adequately. With proper definition, explanation and an example, you too can quickly learn how to critique an article.
What is an article critique?
By definition, an article critique is used to provide an unbiased, sufficient and critical evaluation of an article. It will contain a summary of the article in question and provide information on the author’s background. But it should not just be a list of the contents. By being able to successfully and efficiently critique an article, you will be able to guide the readers through the ideas and objectives of the author. The main aim of critiquing an article is to point out the several strengths and weaknesses of the text without any bias. It is wise to follow a general academic writing pattern since an article critique follows a strict structure and has to be written formally. This structure includes three main sections; introduction, body and conclusion, to sum up things.
Read through the essay more than once and highlight how you feel about the text, context, academic value and objective. When learning how to critique an essay, you will have to describe the author’s main idea when speaking about the purpose of the said essay. First, provide a brief description of its importance in your specific context; next, mention all the important elements that reveal the article’s value. Next, describe the author’s vision and intention behind the essay to your readers. In the final part of the article critique, summarize the primary purpose. When you are learning how to critique an article or essay, it is essential to remember that the conclusion is where you offer your views on the author’s ideas and vision. Provide supporting thoughts and references from other academic sources or from the article itself.
Step-by-step guide on how to critique an article:
Though it might seem quite complex at first, writing an article critique is quite simple if you work by the basics. The only primary necessity is knowing when to start and align your arguments and critique for complex academic writing properly. Follow the steps mentioned below and effectively learn how to critique an article.
If external sources or references have been used in the critique apart from the said article, mention them on the Reference/Bibliography page.
The format and structure of an article critique:
When learning how to critique an article, unless instructed otherwise, you should follow the following structure:
Though you might not be asked to write in a similarly exact structure, the above structure strikes a perfect balance between expressing your findings and opinions. Remember critiquing is not only about the negatives. Ensure to describe the positive aspects of the text when learning how to critique an article.
How to critique an article: research vs journal article
There is a significant difference in approach when dealing with research article critique and general journal articles. Research articles are often represented as primary or empirical sources, and therefore when learning how to critique an article, especially in the case of research articles, you will need to consider the introduction that is provided by the author, the methodologies used to obtain the results as well as the samples and surveys when deciding your critique style.
In the case of general review articles, when learning how to critique an article, they are mostly considered secondary information sources that provide specific data. Here you should be able to work with the topic and convey its importance to the readers. Therefore, it is good to provide a general summary in case of general review articles and not any academic research work. For research article critique, properly analyze the problem and try to find any statement made by the author. Then, focus on the research questions or hypotheses set by the author of the relevant literature.
Though you might have learnt how to critique an article, it is essential to remember to review the information from the bibliography section to verify if all the information has been appropriately referenced and explain whether it is important. Also, remember to cite sources for quotations and resources in proper format like MLA, APA, Chicago etc., to avoid plagiarism.
Example of an article critique.
Now that you have a brief idea about how to critique an article, this example will help eliminate any doubts you might have. For this example, we will consider the article titled “Contribution of Psychoacoustics and Neuroaudiology in Revealing Correlation of Mental Disorders with Central Auditory Processing Disorders” presented by S. Lakovides and V. Iliadou in 2003.
This article is an exciting representation of innovative research about the field of Psychoacoustics. The article’s focus is not only on the elements of Neuroaudiology but also deals with the auditory pathways’ electrical activity. The challenges of Central Auditory Processing Disorders have been effectively dealt with by the authors helping it relate with the field of Psychiatry. The MEDLINE research, in particular, has been conducted by compiling data from 564 papers, which helped the authors establish the methodology and offered them samples that aided them in maintaining the importance of psychoacoustic elements from the perspective of mental or neurological disorders. The article’s authors have properly referenced all the sources and offer sufficient background on the reasons for highlighting particular scientific aspects.
The authors strike a brilliant balance between electrophysiologic and psychoacoustic tests based on the lesion type chosen. It is also important to note that several mental disorders have also been considered to help provide well-weighted research. The article meets its objective of giving diverse research-based on skilled professionals from Neurology, Neuropsychology, Psychiatry and Paediatric Psychology, among several other specialities. The article’s worth is justified thanks to its impressive ability to address several challenges linked to learning like ADHD, Autism and dyslexia by exploring the auditory aspect in greater depth. As the article is more based on evidence, there is enough space for relevant scientific research despite the educational aspect being briefly mentioned.
Now that you are adept at critiquing an article, you can clearly understand that its primary purpose is to highlight the importance of a specific article and what makes it unique. The good idea is to quote or paraphrase from the article in question to offer related evidence.
It is common for colleges and schools to assign students to critique an article. It demonstrates the student’s ability to analyze and comprehend an article and provide critical thoughts and views relevant to the article.
Critiquing an article does not mean only highlighting the various drawbacks and problems of the article. The author of the critique must provide unbiased opinions on the article, positive or negative.
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