How to Write a Critical Review Essay

by Jennifer Wagaman, Demand Media

A critical review essay requires a student to summarize and then respond to a selection or a book. A selection is a shorter piece of reading, often an essay or chapter out of a longer written work. Often a professor will assign a book or other reading and require a critical review of the piece as a way to encourage you to identify the writer's point of view and develop your own opinion of the topic.

Step 1

Read the selection carefully until you understand the author's point of view.

Step 2

Begin writing by summarizing the author's point of view about the topic and giving a brief explanation of the author's main points. This section of the essay must accurately portray the reading without adding opinions.

Step 3

Study other sources on the topic to obtain a thorough knowledge of the issues.

Step 4

Respond to the facts in the reading selection. Include information on the details the author uses, and provide missing information if applicable.

Step 5

Address the ideas or concepts in the reading. If you disagreed with the author, explain why, using factual and objective information about the opposing point of view.

Step 6

Provide alternate points of view. It is important to include all points of view on a given topic, regardless of their validity.

Things You Will Need

  • Reading selection

Tip

  • Remain objective even when disagreeing with the author.

About the Author

Jennifer Wagaman has been a writer for three years, and is widely published on the web. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Messiah College and is certified in both elementary education and special education.

Photo Credits