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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.

    Items you will need

    • Reading selection
    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.

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    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.

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