How to Write an Article Critique without Stress (A Comprehensive Guide)

Last Updated: 16 March 2023

You are either in, or you are among those wondering what is a critique and how we write one. In a bit, you will be over this, and your transition to the club of those that understand writing academic critiques will be fast and seamless.

Life in college is forever full of academic writing tasks. If you are not handling a discussion post, then you could be out with friends but wondering how to write a critique on a scientific journal paper. Mostly, students find it hard to wrap their heads around writing a top-grade article critique.

In this wonderful blog post, we take you through the simple steps on how to write an article critique. We will cover how to begin critiquing a paper, the guidelines for crafting the body of an article critique, and how to conclude the critique paper.

We are doing this because we have had clients seeking our write my article critique for me, services. So, we felt we should help you learn how to critique an article with ease.

But before we go far, let us define an article critique.

What is an Article Critique?

By definition, an article critique, otherwise called a response paper, refers to a type of formal writing where the author evaluates a journal article, scientific content, or literary work. The major goal of an article critique is to assess and report whether the author has achieved the intended purpose of the article.

An article critique is written after a critical reading of a piece of research and entails the identification and evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the article in question.

If you are wondering how a research summary is different from an article critique, here is a distinguishing factor. While a summary of a research article only requires the author to share the major ideas in the article, a critique entails a summary, the central claims in the article, and the general approach in an evaluated and analyzed manner. The latter involves critical reading and reference to other sources while the former does not.

So, in short, article critiques present the author's main points, how the arguments shape up, and the strengths and weaknesses in the arguments.

Proven Steps on How to Write an Article Critique

Right off the bat, an article critique should be an objective analysis of a literary or scientific journal. Mostly, article critiques are written by students pursuing English, Literature, Psychology, History, Medicine and Health, Nursing, sociology, Social Work, Management, and any other field where the curriculum dictates so.

When writing an article critique essay, you should stick to academic writing conventions. This is to means that you can either format the critique in APA or MLA. Besides, your essay should be cogent, clear, critical, and concise. A top-grade critique essay is one that can give a reader deep insights into what an article entails without them reading the entire article.

We must say that albeit being a simple process, we have had students ask us, what is a research article critique? or how can I write an article critique in MLA/APA? we are very much aware of the tactics professors employ when assigning papers. Mostly, the instructions precede a light introduction with the assumption that you will research and write. Even with research, students still find writing an article critique a daunting task and a challenge that leaves them stressed. Not anymore, with the elaborate article critique definition above, let's drag our minds through the specific steps to follow when writing a great article critique.

First Step: Actively Read the Article to be critiqued

We insist that reading the article you are to critique comes first before research. Journal articles are lengthy, loaded with information, and structurally arranged. Therefore, reading a peer-reviewed journal should not be tough. However, reading closely means reading between the lines and making points as well as researching.

Majorly, you read through the article in three steps. The first reading is to familiarize yourself with the work before critiquing the research article. The second step is to have a close reading to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and parts of the article. Finally, you also have to read as you write the critique.

When reading, you should be keen on facts about the article. You should be able to spot the thesis of the author in the article you are to critique. Besides, it would help if you recognized the arguments and how they are structured. Luckily, you can use the different coloration features in most of PDF readers. Alternatively, a note-taking app can come in handy. However, if you are the old Billy, you will need a notebook and a marker as you read.

As you read through the paper, identify the different parts of the research journal such as:

As an article, critique is a complex academic paper, analyze the text with advanced understanding. Never forget any idea that should be included in the write-up.

Second Step: Preliminary Outline of the Critique

So, like any other type of essay, great scientific research or literary critique begins with a great outline. The notes should guide your drafting of the outline. We refer to this as a preliminary outline since you will depend on it the entire process of the critique. The outline should be the skeleton of your approach to the critique. We will cover more aspects of an article critique in the format section.

Third Step: What is the Author's Thesis (Main Argument)?

Whenever a professor is marking your article critique, they first want to see if you have identified the author's main argument. It helps distinguish if you have delineated the critique from a research summary. To identify the main message in an article, you sometimes must research. You should identify whether the message is clear, logical, and identifiable. Mostly, by just reading the abstract, you can be clear on what the author is trying to achieve. If the abstract is not clear on the main argument, sink into the introduction and conclusion. Evaluate the practicality of the message and critically assess whether the author has maintained consistency in presenting it. As you identify the message, evaluate if there is any bias that might affect the entire research goal.

Fourth Step: Critique the parts of the Scientific Journal/ Research Article

In the body of your article critique, you need to focus on:

Research methods: evaluate whether a good research method was chosen given the findings and limitations. Besides, also check whether the methods are consistent with similar research journals. Check the data collection instruments and state their strengths as well as weaknesses. It is also at this point that you evaluate the data analysis method and its suitability. Sometimes, you will need to evaluate the research philosophy that the research adopted.

Participants: ask yourself if the participants were representative of the target population. Also, evaluate the consistency and relevance of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Still, focus on how the participants were divided to enable the progress of the research process.

Findings: Summarize the findings of the research in a simplified version. Avoid quoting the numbers, if possible. However, some professors prefer to include the findings with complex numbers.

Conclusion: evaluate the conclusion made by the researcher (s). Mostly, the conclusion should be critiqued using similar articles with the same purpose or scope. For instance, if an article is about the link between employee motivation and performance, find articles reporting on similar research and evaluate the strength of the conclusion.

Finally, evaluate the overall strength and weaknesses of the article. The weaknesses are mostly present in the limitations of the articles, which are sometimes stated by the author.

So, a good research article critique should follow the article critique template and sample provided.

Fifth Step: Writing the Article Critique like a Pro

By this time, you have notes, a loaded essay outline, and a clear mind. It is about time you put rubber to the road. At this stage, your outline should guide your writing process. So, first, you will include the full citation of the article you are to critique either in MLA, APA, or Harvard.

  1. The introduction: Your introduction paragraph must feature a thesis statement of the research critique. If you are wondering how to write a thesis statement for an article critique, you should not. Just like normal essays, an article critiques thesis entails your overall response to the main argument in the article, .it can also be a suggestion of further considerations that would make the article great.
  2. The Body of your Article Critique: The body of your article critique essay should talk about the strengths and weaknesses presented in the article you are critiquing. Each of the body paragraphs must have a topic sentence, facts, arguments, and a closing sentence. When transitioning to the next paragraphs, use correct transition words. Use necessary citations in the body. There are many visual guides on how to write the body of a critique
  3. Conclusion of the Critique: This should be a summary of your argument and a statement of the potential implications. Recap your main points in your APA or MLA article critique of a scientific journal. Explain to the reader why the article was relevant, its weaknesses, its strengths, and the implications given the main message. You can always suggest an improvement area for the authors at this stage.

Components of a Great Article Critique Essay

Even though we have gone through how to write a critique essay for an article, either a scientific journal or a professional article, we must look at what makes an article critique tick. Here are some qualities of a great article critique:

  1. Includes the full bibliographic information of the article being critiqued after the heading. The bibliographic information should be in APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard formatting.
  2. It does not just summarize the contents of an article. Instead, it has a critical analysis of the contents of the article based on readings from other sources.
  3. Presents unique points in the introduction, body, and conclusion. Your critique should be cogent, concise, and candid.
  4. It is written in the proper tense. Mostly, critiques can be written in the past or present tense. That depends on your approach and the rubric.
  5. Never uses the first person. It is not a matter of giving your opinion like in a reflection or reaction essay. Instead, you should use the third-person perspective and ensure you cite externally used sources.
  6. One that has every claim backed up with proper evidence. Avoid plagiarism when writing an article critique.
  7. Identifies the main idea of the article, clarifies the background, and mentions the place of the article in practice given the purpose.
  8. Devoid of grammatical mistakes, errors, and omissions. Always strive to maintain a good word count while factoring in everything. The standard word count of an article critique is not set, but most are 1000 words plus.

Parting Shot

Writing a top-grade critique of an article is tasking. Professors rank writing an article critique as one of the toughest academic writing tasks for students. It is also important at the same time as it hones your writing, creativity, and reasoning skills.  Well, you might need help, even after reading the entire article.

Related: Psychology research paper topics.

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