How to Critique a Research Article Professionally

You may have already created such a piece of writing also known as a reaction paper. When producing an article critique, one is supposed to assess a specific article, book, or any other work. The publications you may be assigned to evaluate may cover various topics. In the course of analysis, you will need to state whether the author provides enough facts to uphold the presented position on the discussed matter. Such a task does not seem easy, does it? However, with our helpful prompts, you will determine how to critique a research article properly.

As soon as you discover all the peculiarities of a research article critique, you will see that there is nothing complicated in producing such a project. Actually, this is the reason for which the majority of professors do not give students any additional directions for fulfilling this type of task. It is worth admitting that the final outcome depends on your capability of identifying the chief point of the scrutinized article and the evidence supporting it.

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If you want to make the process of preparing a critique easier, pick the article covering the topic which you consider engaging and discuss it with your friends. In this way, it will be easier for you to realize what to start your critique with.

Down below, there is a list of useful points which you should pay attention to when creating your article critique essay:

  • A critique differs from a summary. You are supposed to critique the problems raised in the article and not just highlight them.
  • Your subjective opinion about the explored matter is not what readers expect from you when reading your critique. You have to put forward sound evidence supporting your viewpoint.
  • Do not focus on the key point only. Apart from stating the purpose of your critique, provide some basic data about the evaluated issue.

Guidelines about How to Critique a Scientific Article

Though the process seems quite easy, many students still wonder what an article critique is and how to make a proper article critique format. However, professors do not consider such an assignment complex and, therefore, do not provide any extra explanations. Under the circumstances, students decide that they are just supposed to read a specific article and critically assess it. The general concept is right, but one should realize that everything is a little bit more complicated.


It is impossible to critique a research article without carefully reading it. That assigned publication may include unknown terms and notions. That is why it is essential to understand everything fully before starting writing. You may even need to conduct additional research to fully comprehend the concepts described in the article.

At this stage, you should single out a chief idea and important details. Additionally, you should identify the evidence the author provides to back up the expressed viewpoint.

When reading your publication, take notes not to overlook any significant points.

Consider the following research article critique checklist not to miss the aspects that have to be identified in the course of reading:

  • Main problems and purpose
  • Hypothesis
  • Research techniques
  • Participants of the survey
  • Variables
  • Key results
  • Conclusion

You may need to read your article a few times to grasp its essence. Thorough reading will help you detect not only the facets that has to be presented in your critique but also the methods of evaluating the text.

As to the notes you are going to take while reading, ensure your sentences are written in full without any shortenings. The point is that a critique of a research article is a complex piece of writing demanding thorough preparation. When making detailed notes, you will not forget any essential points which you intend to highlight in your paper. Though it takes much time, the final result will be outstanding.

Create a Basic Outline

Once everything is clear about the article, you may begin transforming the taken notes into a coherent outline. Why is the outline called basic? The thing is that the evaluation process is not finished yet. This outline is the so-called preparatory plan demonstrating the way you intend to discuss the chief aspects of the article.

Debate the Author’s Chief Ideas

When reading critique papers, professors desire to see whether students can distinguish between a summary and evaluation. A critique is not a review of the major points of a specific article but its critical analysis. Though your key goal is not to persuade readers of something, you still need to initiate a persuasive discussion.

In order to engage readers in your discussion, you have to ensure the author’s message is presented clearly. Moreover, you need to examine the hypothesis produced by the author and give good examples to either support or deny it. Additionally, it is necessary to identify the areas where the author’s ideas may be implemented. You are also supposed to scrutinize the introductory and concluding parts of an article to make certain that they are strong enough to catch readers’ attention.

By using the following article critique guide, you will see what aspects of the article has to be analyzed alongside its key message:

  • Research techniques
  • Findings
  • Discussion
  • Stylistic devices

Stylistic devices play a crucial role in constructing a clear picture of an article under examination. In case the author’s style is confusing, use this fact as one of the components of your critique.

Bear in mind that a critique does not necessarily has to be negative. If you accept the author’s ideas, your critique will have a positive character. If your position on the discussed matter is neutral, you will need to highlight both positive and negative points of the article. No matter your stance, you are supposed to uphold it with powerful arguments.

Scan the Article for the Author’s Prejudice

  • If there are obvious benefits for the author from specific conclusions or positions presented in the article, then a certain bias may take place. The items pointing out the said bias, i.e. the disregard of the opposing arguments and its misappropriation, are considered a serious obstacle for the one discovering how to critique a research article. The reason for being biased is that the authors of some articles want their concluding statements to seem different from what they really are.
  • It should be admitted that the mentioned bias can be deducted from a narrow viewpoint. When analyzing the article, try to link the author’s prejudice to gender, ethnicity, race, etc. These are the first steps to beginning preparing your critique.

Write Your Critique

At this point, you have a considerable amount of information about your article what can make you think “Oh, an article critique: how to do it properly?” However, you should not worry, as you just need to arrange your notes into a consistent outline. Once it is done, you may commence writing.

  • Highlight Your Key Point in the Introductory Part

Producing an introduction is not as complicated as it may seem. You need to present the title of the article you are examining, its author, the journal it is published in, and the date of publication. Afterwards, state what the article is concentrated on.

The majority of academic papers include a thesis statement in the introductory unit. As to the article critique, its introduction should also highlight your main statement giving readers a basic understanding of the key idea of your work.

  • Construct a Body Section

Each paragraph of this section should be concentrated on one idea. In order to make the body more comprehensible, you may create subheadings. In case your article critique is rather short, no subheadings are to be inserted.

Every paragraph should begin with a sentence presenting its key point that will be discussed further. You have to make certain that the paragraphs of the body section are connected logically.

  • Encapsulate Your Points

Your conclusion should present a summary of your critique and put forward helpful suggestions as to how your ideas may be applied in a real life.  In this section, you may advise readers to continue exploring the issue with the purpose of discovering new facts about it and improving the work of the author you have been evaluating.

Revise Your Critique

This stage is essential! When producing your article critique, you have to show your ability to critically evaluate the text and prove your viewpoint with the help of arguments. Without revision, you may miss some flaws that can make readers think that you are not fully aware of the matter you are discussing.

Mind the citations! Edit your bibliography! If you are not good at formatting, address us and we will give you professional article critique help.

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