Critiquing an Article

Task Ahead

As a student, you will always be presented with a load of assignments to do including presenting them in summary form to your assessor. Quite often, you will be asked to critically present the original writer’s work in accordance with your review. This is the art of critiquing. Importantly, you should remember that the process of critically carrying out the task is procedural and has some rules that you must observe.

Well, the process of successfully critiquing an article will require you to understand the assignment and all that it concerns. You must realize that your arguments will purely be based on your own opinions. However, your personal opinions must be factual and can be full of proof. The credibility, as well as the authenticity of the document, will be your task to present. Attention to details in the course of your initial reading is paramount because it will determine the quality of your final article. As you read, it is advisable that you also jot down key points and the elements that will eventually inform your argument.

Importantly, the task is an opportunity for you as a student to test your knowledge by challenging it. It is not merely a presentation of a summarized or a paper that has been analyzed. The personal touch or input will ensure that the article is given a new perspective and it is not altered.

What then is Critiquing?

The definition of “critique” is to objectively analyze an article irrespective of its genre. Mostly, the assignment of critiquing requires one to carefully study the content and structure them in a way that highlights his though on the document itself.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While you engage in the process of writing your article, once again, you are reminded to thoroughly and thoughtfully read through the original article. This will not only give you an idea of the best approach to take but also the opportunity to know where to start from. Failure in doing so will yield to mistakes. Among the errors that can occur include:

  •  Unbalanced critiquing whereby you only use positive or negative approach. In essence, critiquing requires you to give both sides. This will ensure that your argument is balanced and that you also understand what it means to critique. Notably, a lot of students take critiquing to mean analyzing the article negatively.
  •  Dwelling on information that is not necessary. This includes the background information. You should strive to avoid overburdening your readers with information that they already know. All they want is your opinion based on that article. Additionally, information such the author’s biography, his or her life and the year he made his publication may not be necessary.
  •  Omitting the main points of the debate or the discussion. Always think of what will drive your article and not just a summary of it. In the beginning, it is advised that a well-stated argument becomes the point that will attract a reader to your work. Never forget that there is no substitute for the main argument in an article to qualify as a good critique of the original.

Adherence to a proper procedure that keeps you away from making the above-mentioned mistakes will give you a head start in being an awesome critique.

Critiquing an Article: The Format and Writing Approach

The final document must be organized in a way that is academically acceptable. That is why it is imperative that you pay keen attention to the formatting styles that your institution has adopted. You will realize that styles such as Harvard, Chicago, APA, and MLA are the most applied styles in writing, citing your sources and referencing your work. APA, for example, requires students to apply times new Romans font size twelve and either double space or use one and a half spacing. It also has its own way of citing and referring to your sources.

Below is an APA Format for Critiquing an Article

  1.  The abstract. This section provides a shortened version of the most important points that your critique article contains. It also highlights some important methods and techniques that a writer used or will use to critique an article. The reader must be aware of how you arrived at your opinion. Usually, the maximum word count should be 16 to 251. The term is center aligned.
  2.  The body. This section is characterized by comments that are well balanced and which take into consideration both the strength and the weaknesses of the analyzed article. Equally, it is advisable that the technique that one uses to do his analysis is also explained in this section. As you do this section, remember:
  •  The identification of the purpose of your article should be done. As you that, it is equally important not to ignore your opinion about how you perceive the document as you give your potential readers the idea of what the information you are relaying.
  •  You must carry out an evaluation of the article, its assumptions and how you understand it. Additionally, it is important to show the relevancy of the article to the field it covers. For example, if the article critique is about sports, you must show how it will impact it. Another crucial point that you must consider is the position of this article as compared to similar articles that address the same subject.
  •  Offer a response. This section basically. This can as well be termed as the heart of the whole matter. At this juncture, you should be able to communicate your personal assessment. The approach should entail highlighting important issues that the article subject to review is communicating, some of the points that you think are equally paramount but not considered by the article and for that matter, you’d recommend.

Given that the idea of this style is to ensure that you are in synchrony with the article through engagement so that you can avoid giving out a summary instead of a review, a comprehensive review is recommended. You should check on how the document is formatted, the information it contains as well as checking keenly all the important details that may not be so obvious.

Furthermore, you must understand that your document should be free of personal feelings but should be backed by facts and proof. It must also abide by all the rules that are spelled out in the style that you are using, e.g., APA.

References and Summaries

According to APA style, summary comes before the summation or the conclusion. In this case, your summary should highlight the major points that your document covered. This will serve as a reminder to your readers so that they will be able to tell what your critique was all about without having to go back to the content to establish your purpose. A conclusion serves to emphasize on key areas that the reader will not require a lot of time to explain after they have read your article. The reference part should contain all your sources. These sources could include journal articles, websites, books, newspapers, and even articles that are reliable, credible and most of all well researched. More so, the in-text citation must be consistent with the content of your reference otherwise any inconsistency will show that your work is not genuine.

Conclusion

A good critique is equal to the task. You must realize that you are communicating with your readers and that your thoughts must be informative and not biased. For your article to pass as a critique article, you must read and gain knowledge; you must be able to understand new information that probably did not know so that when you put in your ideas, you will not mislead your readers but put them in a new plane of understanding. A paper that is jumbled up may fail the test of appeal and for that reason; your article should be organized in a manner that is compliant to acceptable writing styles.

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