Every day students have to grapple with different assignments, some of which are too complicated, or so they think. As such, it becomes easy for them to get lost in the rules and guidelines that come with every assignment. Academic assignments involve a lot of writing and research, which sometimes takes a lot of time and students have to divide their time evenly amongst all the academic tasks.
Most importantly, among the assignments that a student has to write is an article critique. As such, they need to have a clear understanding of the assignment before they can start writing. This piece of work presents an objective analysis of any piece of work although it does not depend on any genre. However, your article critique has to include your thoughts on the subject.
You have to show your personal opinion, back up with evidence and arguments and as such, you have to pay attention when reading the article you are about to critique and note known key elements from it.
Many students often fail in an article critique assignment simply because they give a summary of the analyzed paper, and they forget their approach and challenging their skills and knowledge. This is why it is easy to make one of the mistakes because they think they know how to write an article critique while in a real sense, they do not. Some of these mistakes include:
• Using negative critique only
Your main aim is to analyze the article but you ought to add more positive features to dilute the overall impression from the paper.
• Too much background information
Most of your audience knows what the article is all about as well as its author. You need not waste time providing boring information concerning the article critique subject.
• Excluding the main argument
This is one mistake that students forget about when writing their article critique assignment. Instead, they try to summarise their article but leave out the primary argument, which is an essential part of the work. It has to be included from the onset of your paper to ensure everyone is aware of your position on the subject.
If you can follow the steps of writing a better article critique, you are going to avoid the above problems, but first;
An article critique is an objective analysis of a scientific or literary piece that emphasizes whether or not the author supported the major points with reasonable and applicable arguments that anchor on facts. You need not get caught up summarising the points of an article without truly challenging it. If you write a good article critique, you demonstrate your impressions on the work as you provide more evidence to back up these impressions.
One of the ways of knowing how to write an article critique is to read actively. You do this through the following tips:
The first time that you go through the article gives you an understanding of the main argument made by the author. At this step, you note the author’s thesis.
You can use a coloured pen to mark important aspects of the article that stand out. Consider the following aspects when you are doing this:
- The author’s argument
- His purpose in arguing the said thesis
- The intended audience and if the article effectively reaches them
- If the author has valid and ample evidence
- Any holes in his argument
- Finding out if the author misrepresents evidence or is biased against the evidence
- Finding out if the author reaches a conclusive point
As you continue getting ready to write your article critique through reading, you can create a legend of your markings and use unique symbols that distinguishing parts of the text that might be confusing, crucial or inconsistent. This move allows you to quickly mark up the article although it might take a little bit of time you recognize your symbols. However, once they become ingrained in your brain, you will go through the article much quicker than before.
To add to your article critique legends, you can take notes as you get expanded thoughts through reading. For instance, if you see that the author’s claim can be refuted by noting a scientific study you read some time back, you can note it in the margins or a separate piece of paper. Do not think that you will remember the idea when it comes to your critique, which is why you ought to write it down.
Take time to write your necessary observations as you read. You will be glad that you did it when the time comes for you to put everything into your article critique.
You can form a vague opinion of the article. Evaluate the author’s overall argument two to three times and the cord the reactions in the text. Enumerate possible sources of evidence for your article critique and try to jog your memory for any literature you have read or documentaries that you have watched.
This is a crucial step in how to write an article critique, which ought to be taken seriously. You achieve this by:
Poking holes into the author’s argument to establish if it is logical
In your article critique, you need to test the hypothesis and make a comparison to other similar examples. Although the author may have done research and quoted respectable experts, you have to analyses the message in terms of practicality and real-world application. Look at the author’s introduction and conclusion to ensure they match up as convincing and complementary elements.
Look for any biases in the work, whether intentional or non-intentional
If the author gains from the conclusions in the article, it is possible that bias has been used. Bias can include ignoring contrary evidence, misappropriating evidence to make conclusions appear different than they are, imparting personal and unfounded opinions on a text. If the opinions are well sourced, they are okay, but the ones that lack academic support must be met sceptically.
Bias can also emanate from prejudice, for instance, it can come from ethnic, gender, class, the race of politics.
Consider the author’s interpretation of the text
As you get ready for your article critique, you need to ascertain if the author makes claims about another work. You read this original work to ascertain if you agree with the analysis provided in the article. You need not have a complete agreement at this point but establish if the author’s interpretation is defensible. You also need to note the inconsistencies between your interpretation of the work and that of the author. Such a conflict can be helpful as you establish how to write an article critique assignment.
See also, what other scholars have to say about the work. If several scholars from different backgrounds have a similar opinion on the text, this opinion ought to be emphasized a lot as opposed that an argument with no sport.
Check to see if the author used untrustworthy evidence
One of the epitomes of writing academic papers is the usage of trustworthy sources. When it comes to writing your article critique, ascertain if the author used trustworthy sources of not. Find out if he cites a text from 50 years ago that hold no water in the discipline at hand. if there are unreliable sources, that would greatly diminish the credibility of the article.
Do not ignore the stylistic elements completely
One of the tricks of how to write an article critique is to consider the stylistic elements used in the text. The content of the article is the most important aspect of your article critique. However, you are not supposed to ignore the formal or literary techniques used by the author. Pay attention to the obscure choice of words and the author has used in the works. This is essential especially in the non-scientific articles that deal with aspects of literature. These aspects can reveal deeper issues in the larger argument. You also need to look up definitions of unfamiliar words because its definition can alter the meaning of the sentence especially if it had several definitions. Question why that word was chosen by the author because it might reveal something new about the argument.
Question the research methods in scientific articles
If your article critique anchors in an article that has scientific theories, you can eluate the research methods behind the experiment. Pay attention to aspects such as:
- If the author’s methodsare detailed thoroughly
- If the study is devoid of any major flaws
- If there is a problem with the sample size
- If there was a group created for comparison
- The accuracy of the statistical calculations
- If you are able to duplicate the experiment in question
- The significance of the experiment for that particular field of study
Formatting your critique
When writing your article critique, feel free to use any article critique example in the writing process to help you with the formatting.
Outline your argument on the introduction
Your article critique introduction should not go beyond two paragraphs and should lay out the basic framework of this critique. Start by noting the failures or successes of the article and give reasons. Include the author’s name, article title, journal, or publication in which the article appeared, date of publication and your thesis statement. Do not provide evidence in your introduction. Make your purpose perfect in the first paragraph.
Provide evidence in the body paragraphs
As you write your article critique, you have to provide enough evidence and further expand your idea in a new direction. Every paragraph must have a topic sentence, which is then supported by other sentences. Put transitional words in your body paragraphs to indicate moving to a new idea.
Complicate your argument towards the end of your critique
So far, you have an idea of how to write an article critique. As such, you need to include a dramatic way in which you can twist or make your argument more enhanced to suggest possible implications. You can do this in the final body paragraph of your article critique. This should happen before your conclusion to leave the reader with a final memorable argument. At this point, you can utilize a counterargument where you anticipate a critique of your critique and reaffirm your position. You can use words like “admittedly” or “it is true that” and so on as a way to identify the counterarguments.
You can then answer these counters as you return to your strengthened argument with words like “but,” “yet” or “nevertheless.”
Use an objective and well-reasoned tone to present your arguments
Those who know how to write an article critique understand that you have to use an objective tone that is also well reasoned. Do not sound overzealous or obnoxiously passionate tone because it can turn off-hour audience. Your passion ought to shine through your ability to research thoroughly an articulate yourself effectively.
Write your conclusion by summarising your argument and suggest possible implications
In the concluding paragraph of your article critique, you can revisit your major points throughout the article. However, you also need to let the audience know the meaning of your article critique to the discipline at large. Let them know if there are broad implications for the field study under assessment. Tell them if your article critique simply attempts to debunk the bad work of another scholar.
You ought to do your best to make a lasting mark in the concluding paragraph of your article critique. Use assertive language to demonstrate the importance of your work.
Writing an article critique is no easy using the above steps. Students will write an academic paper at one point in their studies. If they know how to write an article critique using the above steps, the assignment will not be a problem anymore.