How to Critique an Article: Key Points

When we are dissatisfied with something, we become passionate critics, point out errors, and demonstrate our awareness of each issue at the professional level. So, in some cases, we have experience of how to criticize, or, it is better to say, we are critics only from our point of view. The demonstration of better knowledge or poking at the failures of others is hard to name critique. However, real experts in this field can subtly hint at wrong issues by providing facts and arguments for their opinion.

Perhaps, we often met critiques of literature pieces while studying at school, college, or university. For most learners, the professional paper critique was like insight and helped to understand things that seemed unclear. However, there are different types of literary analysis, and becoming a master in this field is not a matter of an hour. So, what about an article critique?

What Is an Article Critique?

An article critique is a type of academic writing that critically evaluates an article by providing a detailed analysis and delivering it in the form of a summary. After reading an expert critique, the audience understands the author’s ideas and intentions better. At the same time, it reveals the strong points and weaknesses of the paper from different perspectives. 

Concerning general requirements, it must be written using formal language according to the definite structure. Like most other writings, it should contain an introduction, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Although the form is quite typical, there are some stylistic peculiarities. In addition, only experts with profound knowledge of the subject can cope with assignments at a top level. So, we will reveal several secrets to becoming good at article critique by giving useful tips.

Purpose of Paper Critique Writing

Each writing has a purpose and serves to assist, explain, or clarify some issues. When an author writes a paper critique, it is not just to showcase weaknesses and announce them to the whole world. But the chief purposes of the professional review are the following:

  • Define the author’s main ideas.
  • Showcase the intentions of the writer and their creation.
  • Provide a deep analysis of worthy points from the article and explain them to the reader.
  • Estimate the importance of writing and emphasize the debatable issues, providing evidence.

Depending on the discipline, critique may also emphasize the meaning and practicality of certain phrases or samples or question their strengths.

How to Critique an Article: Main Steps

So, if you decided to try on the role of professional critic or got an assignment from your tutor to write an article critique, don’t worry. We are ready to help you with a detailed plan of writing. After following these simple steps, you will reach new tops at mastering new critique skills.

Read the Article You Will Work on

Don’t hurry up to hit the road and start your writing immediately after receiving a task with instructions. Since article critique is one of the tasks, writing even a paragraph without thorough preparation is impossible. So, stop looking for paper and pen; concentrate on reading your article from beginning to end without skipping the lines. While reading, you have to find answers to several questions:

  1. Is the author an expert in the discussed field? The author’s name may be well-known and not evoke any questions. But if you hear the author for the first time, it is worth finding some facts that testify to an expert level of the writer, like research, studies, dissertations, etc.
  2. What message does the author provide? You should clearly understand the article and grasp the text’s main idea to present in your article critique.
  3. Who is the article for? The writer addresses their writings to certain readers. So, try to identify the target audience. Moreover, you may pay attention to the used language if it is general or specific to understand the scope of background knowledge or presupposed readers.
  4. Are the arguments credible? Try to recognize or identify the source or sources the author refers to and define if they are worth believing or if it is a mix of references from various or even controversial sources. 
  5. Is the author logical? It is good that you may trace the writer’s idea from the first paragraph and have a clear understanding of discussed issues after reading. 
  6. Consider a conclusion that must be based on the investigations or facts from the text.

So, you may move to the next part when finishing with precise reading and a clear understanding and outcome. But, of course, while reading, it is not forbidden to make notes on or from the article to emphasize the most important or controversial moments to cover in your article critique

Proof Collection for Article Critique

When deeply understanding the author’s intentions and having enough background knowledge, it is high time to collect evidence you will use in your critique paper. So, follow the next steps to do everything right.

  • Does the author stick to formal logic making a conclusion or presenting information? Sometimes, they may just express their feelings or thoughts, and the reader may mistakenly accept it as a general truth. So, be careful if you notice any logical fallacies. The expert writer should not be aggressive concerning other writers who express opposite meanings or mistakenly consider two sequential actions to cause and effect ones considering time but not for reasons. But most often, we may meet an ignoramus who makes us believe in information, presenting it as a fact, but it may be their own belief.
  • Try to find if there are biased opinions in the article before writing an article critique. It may sometimes happen that the author sticks to the convenient point of view instead of believing in facts and evidence. So, we could still think that the Earth is flat with the same success. 
  • Consider if the writer takes the side of other influential people or writes independently, expressing information objectively. There should be no propaganda or glorification of the viewpoints or achievements of another person or group of people. The text must be emotionally neutral.
  • Check resources. If the author uses citations in the text, they must be only from trusty resources, no amateur publications or yellow pages.
  • Pay attention to language. The writer should avoid poor language, racial expressions, and other strange or unacceptable words. 
  • Is there research or novelty in the article? If you are writing an article critique of serious scientific writing, you should define if the author makes a discovery. Do not miss the details like the number of people in research groups, research methods, statistical results, etc. 

Yes, such a profound search for proof requires a lot of time and effort. But it gives lots of new information and understanding of the article’s value in the academic world.

Formatting Issues

Formatting may be a rather puzzling part of article critique writing since you should follow a certain structure and other requirements. For example, a standard article contains an introductory part, a summary, a critique, and a conclusion. So, what exactly must be there?

  • Introduction. Provide information about the object of your critique, indicate the article’s author and title, and identify the article’s chief intentions and thesis that reflect the aim of your analysis.
  • Summary. Specify the article’s idea and argument. Indicate the achievements and findings of the article.
  • Critique: Start your review pointing out the strong and weak points of the article. Evaluate clarity, trustworthiness, and relevancy. Do not forget to support your statements with samples from the article.
  • Conclusion. Summarize the crucial moments concluding the article’s value and the research’s urgency. If you consider analyzed investigations worth attention to, offer ideas for further studies. 

Remember that you should not provide only negative revisions pointing to the failures. Good article critique provides versatile evaluation and constructive feedback. Moreover, when citing the author, you should give direct quotations to avoid plagiarism accusations. And finally, criticize in the third person. Such useful tips will help to reach independent and qualified critique.

Select a Type for Your Critical Essay

So, when working on article critique, you should also stick to a certain type of writing following its requirements. Your choice depends on the way you want to criticize. So, before writing, define the most suitable type for your article critique.

  • Descriptive writing. This type is focused on the description of the text. When selecting this type, you should consider some features of the work, contrasting it to the classical samples. So, when sticking to this type, try to be more descriptive, delivering the article’s main message backed with the right examples to the reader. 
  • Evaluative writing. Your primary task is to value the text working on such article critique. But it should not be a simple positive or negative sentence based on your feelings. Pay attention to the stated thesis and the writer’s ability to explain or prove it. Moreover, you should consider all the requirements, relevancy, and importance of article research.
  • Interpretive writing. You should provide answers to the questions concerning the author’s intentions based on the arguments they use to deliver the essence of the paper.

Try to be logical in your writing and follow one of the chosen types. However, do not mix them altogether not to confuse the reader, but clarify the idea, message, and importance of the article you are working on. 

How to Write Article Critique: Helpful Tips

So, when dealing with such a tricky writing type, you need a strict plan to follow. So, we offer you some helpful tips not to get lost in formatting and ideas.

  1. Get aware of article critique writing requirements before reading the article to figure out key points.
  2. Take notes while writing, even if you will not use all of them.
  3. Have evidence for each statement.
  4. Use direct quotations from the article.
  5. Outline each part not to miss important issues.
  6. Check the sources the author refers to.
  7. Do not be negative only.
  8. Be convincing and clear.
  9. Use formal language.
  10. Search logic in an article and be logical yourself.

Article critique is not a matter of one hour or even a day. You should dig deeper to reveal the real message of the writing and clarify it with strong arguments. So, be concise and follow requirements and instructions.

Summing up

Students need practice in writing some types of assignments. Since some of them, like article critiques, are quite challenging, they may require helpful tips and a good plan to follow. Remember that only diligent and hard-working writers may achieve success by practicing and listening to useful advice. So, we hope that our tips are a helping hand for article critique writing on the level of experts.


How do you start an article critique?

Before starting the article critique, you should thoroughly study the article, making notes and defining the main message of the writing to explain it to your readers. 

What is the format of the article critique?

The article critique format is quite similar to other academic writings since it has an introduction and conclusion. But the body of the text is separated into the summary and critique parts.

What are the 5 steps in writing a critique?

The article critique process consists of steps like prewriting(making notes), outlining, draft preparation, writing, proofreading, and editing.

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Margaret Vizenor
Sociology & Literature
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