Writing a summary and critique of an article can seem like a daunting task because a good review requires both organized and objective critical thinking as well as the contribution of your personal opinion. The process can be divided into simple steps, including brainstorming to form a list of questions, answering these questions one by one and then finalizing your review in a structured and readable form.
Read the subject and title of the article you are reviewing. Before reading any of the text body, write your subjective opinion on the subject and basic points you would write about if you were the author of the article. These first impressions of the title will help you to form your critique and personal opinion at the conclusion of the review.
Create a list of analytical questions about the subject and title that will help you form an objective analysis of the writer's technique. For example, are all the key words in the title addressed? Is the author generally objective or very biased? Are the claims substantiated by valid arguments that can be confirmed?
Formulate an outline of your review based on the answers to your analytical questions. Show how you justify your objective points based on specific ideas and quotes from the article. Use other sources if necessary to challenge what may be erroneous points.
Write a conclusion summarizing key points of your analysis, as well as some of your personal insights into the subject and how it was handled. It is helpful if you are an expert on the subject and can write with a sense of authority.
Review your analysis one last time to look for any errors and add any more touches you believe will create a helpful review. While it is good to pepper your analysis with a touch of creativity, it is important that the overall impression is that of an objective review.
- When writing a critical review keep in mind the word critical means analytical not negative. You can write a critical review that is entirely positive in tone.
- Sometimes reviews are written for a specific audience and require a specific format. Is it an intellectual, academic article or a creative, artistic one? Check on these points and consider if the length of the article, the vocabulary and the overall tone and voice are appropriate for the audience and purpose.
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