What Is an Article Critique?

A write-up critique is definitely an assignment that needs a student to critically read a research article and reflect upon it. The key task is to identify the strong and weak sides of the piece and assess how well the author interprets its sources. Simply put, a critique reflects upon the validity and effectiveness of the arguments the article’s author utilized in his or her work.

The important thing to success in writing this paper is important thinking. The job of every composer of a research article is to convince readers of the correctness of their viewpoint, even when it is skewed. Thus, the sole ways to distinguish solid arguments from weak ones can be a good researcher, have the right tools to pick out facts from fiction, and possess solid critical thinking skills.

How exactly to write a critique paper – In this guide, we are going to just take you through the process of writing this sort of work detail by detail. Before we move on, it really is worth noting that the primary purpose of a good article critique would be to bring up points that determine whether a reviewed article is either correct or incorrect—much as if you would do while writing a Persuasive essay. Even though purpose is comparable, the structure of this article critique that people are going to address in this guide is slightly not the same as the standard 5-Paragraph Essay; but both formats are suited to convincing readers about the validity of your standpoint.

How to Critique an Article: The Main Steps

This form of assignment is naturally challenging and rather confusing. It is no wonder why students can start to feel overwhelmed with figuring out just how to write a write-up critique.

To acquire your task done with ease, we have prepared a simple 3-step guide on the best way to summarize and critique a write-up:

Step 1: Reading the Article

To start with, to critique the article, you'll need to read it carefully. For a better outcome, it is recommended to see the piece several times—until you completely understand the information presented in it. Next, you need to deal with the following questions:

1 ) Why is the article’s author considered a specialist in their field?
Why is a particular author’s opinion sound valid? May be the author proficient in the topic? What do other field experts say concerning the author? May be the article’s author covered in academic praise or maybe not taken seriously?

2. What is the author’s thesis/hypothesis?
What's the main message the author is wanting to convey? Is this message clear? Or are there just plenty of general phrases without the specific details?

3. Who is the article’s target audience?
Could be the article aimed at a general audience? Or does it attract a specific crowd and use language that's only understandable to that audience?

4. Are the arguments presented valid?
Will be the sources utilized by the author from all over the place? Does it look like some sources are extracted from places that share a cult-like vocabulary?

five. What are the logical fallacies in the author’s viewpoint?
What are the logical blindspots? How much do they affect the outcome?

6. Is the conclusion clear and logical?
Did the author get to a clear outcome in his or her work?

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Step 2: Collecting Proof

The initial step will help you read and comprehend the piece, look at it from the critical viewpoint, and reflect upon it. Now, if you have an idea about which way you should be heading in your critique paper, it is the time for you to start gathering evidence. Listed here are the main steps you should undertake:

- Define Perhaps the Author Is Following Formal Logic
Among the key what to look for when writing articles critique may be the presence of any logical fallacies. Establishing that the author’s general idea follows logic isn't easy, nonetheless it is an important step to coping with the duty.

Frequently , undereducated folks have some common logical fallacies. A good example of this is to simply accept certain information based on the feelings and/or emotions it evokes, rather than concentrating on the supporting arguments.

This is a list of some typically common examples of logical fallacies with brief explanations of each:

  • Ad hominem – when the author attacks a person who is expressing an opinion with the goal to discredit the other’s perspective.
  • Slippery Slope – when the author claims an action will always find yourself to function as worst possible scenario.
  • Correlation vs . Causation – if the author concludes that since actions 1 and 2 occurred one after the other, then action 2 ought to be the effect of action 1 . The situation with this kind of statement is certainly caused by because the author draws conclusions about the correlation between the two actions without looking deeper to begin to see the real causes and effects.
  • Wishful Thinking – when the author believes a thing that is not supported by any proof. This problem typically does occur when somebody believes the given information is true since it makes them feel good.

2. Search for Any Biased Opinions in the Article
Yet another step would be to evaluate the piece based on the presence of biased opinions. The thing is people usually pick sides of a disagreement based on the outcomes rather than the evidence. If the results makes them feel bad in any way, they are able to search for any proof that could discredit it and, hence, make them feel much better.

3. Pay Attention to what sort of Author Interprets Others’ Texts. Does She or he Look at Others’ Viewpoints through Inappropriate Political Lenses?
It requires a lot of experience and many years of research practice to understand to recognize the fingerprints out of all the political slants that are on the market. To grasp the idea, let’s go through the subject of animal studies. To begin with, it’s worth noting that some individuals become involved using industries because of their emotional involvement in their related topics. Like people who write a lot about animals have become likely those that genuinely love them. This may put their work at threat of being biased towards portraying animals in a manner that gives their topic more importance than it deserves. This is a clear example of what you ought to be searching for.

When reading and re-reading the content, find and highlight cases in which the author overstates the value of some things as a result of his or her own beliefs. To polish your mental research instruments, return to point 1 of this list to review the list of logical fallacies you are able to look out for.

4. Check Cited Sources
Yet another big step to writing a perfect critique paper would be to identify if the author of this article cited untrustworthy sources of information. Doing this isn't easy and requires certain experience.
Like let’s go through the Breitbart news. How can you define whether it's an untrustworthy source or not? To rate trustworthiness, one should find out about its long history of distorting facts to suit a far-right agenda. Learning this involves paying plenty of attention to local and international news.

5. Evaluate the Language Used in the Article
Language plays an important role in most article, regardless of field and topic. For that reason while taking care of your critique, you should seriously consider the language the article’s author uses.
Simply to give you a clear example of what you need to be trying to find: some words have cultural meanings attached with them which could create a kind of confrontation in the article. Such words can place people, objects, or ideas to the “them” side in the “us versus them” scenario.

For example, if someone conservative refers to an opponent utilizing the word “leftist”, this can be considered a form of attacking the messenger and not the message. An identical concept pertains to a case when somebody progressive identifies an opponent using the word “bigot”.

The utilization of such language in an article is a clear sign of logical fallacies. Authors put it to use to discredit their opponents on the merit of who they've been, rather than what they say. This really is poor word choice since the debate doesn't get resolved.

six. Question the investigation Methods in Scientific Articles
This isn't always always mandatory, but if you should be writing a write-up critique for a scientific piece, you might be expected to question and evaluate how the author did their research.

To do this, ask the following questions:

  • How is the design of the research? Are there any errors in it?
  • How does the piece explain the research methods?
  • Was there a control group used for this research?
  • Were there any sample size issues?
  • Were there any statistical errors?
  • Will there be a way to recreate the experiment in a laboratory setting?
  • Does the research (or experiment) offer any real impact and/or value in its field of science?

Step 3: Formatting Your Paper

The same as any other written assignment, a critique paper should be formatted and structured properly. A regular article critique consists of four parts: an introduction, summary, critique, and conclusion. Below is a clear checklist that will help you grasp the notion of how a good paper must be formatted:

  • The name of the author and title of the article.
  • The core idea of the author.
  • A clear thesis that reflects the direction of your critique.
  • Summary
  • The main idea of the article.
  • The main arguments presented in the article.
  • The conclusion of the article.
  • Critique
  • Highlight the strong and weak sides of the article.
  • Express an educated opinion regarding the relevancy, clarity, and accuracy of the article. Backup your claims with direct examples from the piece.
  • conclusion
  • Summary of the key points of the article.
  • Finalization of your conclusion with your comments on the relevancy of the research.
  • In the event that you claim the investigation is relevant, make a statement of why further study in this field they can be handy.

How to Critique a Journal Article

Therefore , you were assigned to write a critique paper for a journal article? If you are uncertain where to start out, here is a step by step guide on how best to critique a journal article:

1. Collect basic information
Whatever the subject of the article you are likely to critique, your paper must contain some basic information, including the:

  • Title of the article reviewed.
  • Title of the journal where it is published, along with the date and month of publication, volume number, and pages where the content can be found.
  • Statement of the key issue or problem unveiled in the piece.
  • Purpose, research practices, approach, hypothesis, and key findings.
    For that reason the first step is always to collect these records.

2. Read the article once and re-read after
First, get a synopsis of it and grasp the general notion of it. A good critique should reflect your qualified and educated opinion concerning the article. To shape this opinion, you must read the piece again, this time around critically, and highlight precisely what can be useful for writing your paper.

3. Write your critique on the basis of the evidence you have collected
Listed below are the main questions to address when writing a journal article critique:

  • Is the article’s title clear and appropriate?
  • May be the article’s abstract presented in the correct form, relevant to this content of this article, and specific?
  • May be the purpose stated in the introduction clarified?
  • Any kind of errors in the author’s interpretations and facts?
  • Is the discussion relevant and valuable?
  • Has the author cited valid and trusted sources?
  • Did you find any ideas that have been overemphasized or underemphasized in the article?
  • Would you believe some sections of the piece need to be expanded, condensed, or omitted?
  • Are all statements the author makes clear?
  • What are the author’s core assumptions?
  • Gets the author of this article been objective in his / her statements?
  • Would be the approaches and research practices used suitable?
  • Are the statistical methods appropriate?
  • Is there any duplicated or repeated content?

How to Critique a Research Article

If you should be wondering just how to critique an investigation article particularly, below we’ve outlined the important thing steps to follow along with.

Before you start writing:

  • Select a piece that meets the instructions of one's professor.
  • Read the whole article to grasp the main idea.
  • Re-read the piece with a critical eye.

While reading:

  • Define how qualified the author is on the chosen topic. What are the author’s credentials?
  • Think on the research practices used. Would be the methods mcdougal chose appropriate and great for answering the stated research question(s)?
  • Assess the results. What are the signs of the generalizability of positive results?
  • Try to find any bias in the content. Is there any conflict of interest or proof of bias?
  • Define the overall quality of the investigation work. Does the article seem relevant or outdated?
  • Look closely at the sources used. Did the sources back up their research with theory and/or previous literature associated with the topic?

Desperate for the strong and disadvantages that can shape your critique? Here is a simple checklist to assist you understand what to critique in a research article (separated by sections):


1. Problem

  • Does the author make a problem statement?
  • Does the problem statement correspond with the focus of the analysis?
  • Is the problem stated researchable?
  • Does the author provide background information regarding the problem?
  • Does the author discuss the significance of the problem?
  • Does the author mention variables and their correlations?
  • Does the author have decent enough qualifications to execute this particular study?

2. Review of the Relevant Literature

  • Is the review of literature comprehensive?
  • Are all references cited properly?
  • Are most of the sources used by the writer primary sources?
  • Did the author analyze, critique, compare, and contrast the references and findings contained in them?
  • Does the author explain the relevancy of his / her references?
  • Is the literature review well organized?
  • Does the review competently inform the readers about the topic and problem?

3. Hypothesis

  • Does the author specify key research questions and Hypotheses?
  • Is every hypothesis testable?
  • Are typical hypotheses and research questions clear, logical, and accurate?


1. Participants

  • Does the author describe the size and main characteristics of participant groups?
  • When there is a sample selected, does the writer specify its size and characteristics?
  • Can there be enough informative data on the method of selecting a sample used by mcdougal?
  • Any kind of limitations or biases in the way the author selected participants?

2. Instruments

  • Does the author specify the instruments used?
  • Are the chosen instruments appropriate?
  • Do the instruments meet general guidelines for protecting participants of the experiment?
  • Did the author obtain all of the permissions needed?
  • Does the author describe each instrument in terms of reliability, purpose, validity, and content?
  • If any instruments were developed specifically for this study, does the author describe the procedures involved in their development and validation?

3. Design and Procedures

  • Can there be any information given when it comes to the research design used?
  • Does the author describe all of their procedures?
  • Would be the specified design and procedures appropriate to analyze the stated problem or question?
  • Do procedures logically relate to each other?
  • Would be the instruments and procedures applied correctly?
  • Could be the context of the research described in detail?


  • Did the author present appropriate descriptive statistics?
  • Did the author test all of his or her hypotheses?
  • Did the author make the inductive logic used to produce results in their qualitative study explicit?
  • Are the results clear and logical?
  • Did the author provide additional tables and figures? Are those easy to understand, relevant, and well-organized?
  • May be the information from the presented tables and figures provided in the written text as well?

Discussion, Conclusion, or Suggestions

  • Does the author discuss every finding with regards to the original subject or hypothesis to which it relates?
  • Does the author discuss every finding with regards to its agreement or disagreement with previous findings obtained by other specialists?
  • Are generalizations consistent with the results?
  • Does the author discuss the possible effects of uncontrolled variables in the findings?
  • Does the author discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings?
  • Does the author make any suggestions regarding future research?
  • Does the author shape his or her suggestions based on the practical significance of the research?

Abstract or Summary

  • Did the author restate the problem?
  • Is the design used in the research identified?
  • Did the author describe the type and number of instruments, and subjects?
  • Are all performed procedures specified?
  • Did the author restate all of their key conclusions and findings?

Overall Impression

  • The structure of the article – Is the work organized precisely? Are all titles, sections, subsections, and paragraphs organized logically?
  • The author’s style and thinking – Could be the author’s style and thinking easy to understand, clear, and logical?

As you undergo all of these steps, you can transition to writing. When writing your critique paper, you ought to make a vital evaluation of the research article you have read and use the evidence collected from the piece. To help you structure your research article critique precisely, here is a sample outline of a critique of research for the content The Effects of Early Education on Youngsters' Competence in Elementary School:

1. Bibliographic Information

  • Author(s): M. B. Bronson, D. E. Pierson & T. Tivnan
  • Title: The Effects of Early Education on Kids' Competence in Elementary School
  • Year of publication: 1984
  • Source: Evaluation Review, 8(5), 143-155

2. Summary of the Article

  • Problem statement: Do early childhood education programs have significant and long-term impacts on kids’ competencies in elementary school?
  • Back ground: To perform well in elementary school, kids need to have a very variety of competencies.
  • Hypothesis: Early childhood education programs decrease the rate of kiddies who fall below the minimal competencies defined as required for effective performance in the 2nd grade.
  • Dependent Variables: mastery skills, social skills, and use of time; Independent Variables: Brookline Early Education Program; Controlled Variables: mother’s degree of education.
  • Research Design: A Quasi-experimental design, with a post-test only comparison group design, without random collection of children, assignment to treatment, or get a grip on group.
  • Sampling: The study engaged 169 students into the BEEP program. Students were selected randomly from the same second-grade classrooms and matched by gender. Also, the group was split into children who continued their BEEP program (104) and the ones who moved elsewhere but were still tracked (65).
  • Instrumentation: For the investigation, the authors used a specially developed tool – the Executive Skill Profile – to greatly help detect and track students’ mastery, social, and time use skills.
  • Collection/Ethics: The observation took place in Spring, through the students’ second-grade year. On different days (between three and six weeks apart) the observers recorded behaviors of all young ones for six 10-minute periods. Duration and frequency of behaviors were also recorded.
  • Data analysis: The researchers conducted a series of tests to examine any significant changes in mastery, social, and time use skills between matched pairs of kiddies (those have been engaged in BEEP and people who moved elsewhere).
  • Authors’ findings: The research showed that children have been engaged in the BEEP program performed better on tests and showed better mastery and social skills. There were no significant changes in students’ time use skills. Early education program made a significant difference at all three quantities of treatment for students whose mothers have college educations. However , the exact same program made a difference only at the most intense level for students whose mothers don’t have academy educations.

3. Critique

  • Possible Threats to the Internal Validity
  • History: Was not controlled as the comparison children could have not spent their entire lives in the same area as the treatment students.
  • Maturation: Controlled. Students were matched by gender and grade.
  • Testing: The observers recorded students’ behaviors within 3-to-6 week periods. This fact might have influenced their behaviors.
  • Instrumentation: The tool used might have been a subject to bias from the observers' perspective.
  • Selection bias: All selected students volunteered to participate in the research. Thus, the findings might be affected by self-selection.
  • Experimental mortality: Students who left the area were still tracked as a part of the therapy group, though they should have now been evaluated separately.
  • Design contamination: It will be possible that young ones in the comparison group learned skills from the students in the treatment group since they all were from the same class room.
  • Possible Threats to External Validity
  • Unique features of this system: The program was available both for community residents and nonresidents.
  • Experimental arrangements: Brooklin is an affluent community, unlike many others.

4. Conclusion

  • Is the reviewed article useful?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Do the findings of the analysis look convincing? Explain.
  • Does the study have any significance and/or practical value because of its respective field of science?

Video Guide: How to Write an Article Critique

Article Critique Example

Now, as you know how exactly to write this sort of assignment step-by-step, we are going to share an example of journal article critique to help you grasp the idea of the way the finished work should look.