How to Critique an Article
An article critique is a type of academic system that involves reading a research article and reflecting upon it. The main objective of an article critique is to reflect upon the validity and effectiveness of the arguments.
To succeed in article critique writing, you need to use critical thinking. Use it to distinguish solid arguments from weak ones from an article.
In this article, we’ll explain the process of writing this type of assignment step-by-step. Here is the 3-step guide on how to summarize and critique an article.
Step 1: Read the Article
First, read the article carefully and understand it. You can read it severally to ensure you capture all the information presented. Next, ask yourself these questions.
- What makes the author’s opinion sound solid?
- Does the author know about the topic?
- What do other experts in the field say about the author?
- Is the author an academician or just a blogger?
- What is the main message the author is trying to portray?
- Is the message clear and precise?
- Who is the target audience of this article?
- Is it for a general audience or a specific audience?
- Are the arguments presented valid?
- What are logical fallacies in the author’s viewpoint?
- How do they affect the outcome?
- Is the article’s conclusion clear and precise?
Step 2: Collecting Proof
After the first step, it’s now the time to gather evidence. Here are the main steps to undertake:
Figure out whether the author follows a formal logic.
One of the things to look at when writing an article critique is the presence of any logical fallacies. Often, un-educated people in specific fields have some common logical fallacies. They focus on information based on the emotion it invokes rather than focusing on the supporting arguments.
Here are some common examples of logical fallacies and their examples;
- Slippery slope. When the author claims action will end up in the worst scenario.
- Ad hominem. It is when the author attacks someone with an opinion. The goal here is to discredit the other person’s point of view.
- Wishful thinking. It is when the author says something that is not scientifically authentic. The author simply believes in something that makes him feel good.
- Correlation versus causation. It is when the author concludes the correlation between two actions without showing causes and effects.
Look for any Biased opinions in the article.
Evaluate the article and identify the presence of biased opinions. Some authors usually pick a side of an argument based on outcome rather than evidence. They select the outcome that makes them feel better. If the outcome makes them feel bad in a way, they look for proof to discredit it.
Pay attention to how the author interprets other texts
Does the author look at others’ viewpoints through inappropriate political lenses?
You need to pay attention and learn to recognize the fingerprints of all political slants in the article. To grasp the context, let’s look at the subject of animal studies. People who write about animals genuinely love them. Their work can be at risk of being biased towards the animal. They may portray the animal in a particular way that gives their topic more importance than it deserves. This same applies to political affiliations.
Re-read the article severally. Try to find cases where the author overstates the importance of some things due to his own beliefs.
Review the cited sources.
Identify the sources that the author uses in the article. Check whether they are trustworthy sources of information. Doing this is not easy at all. It requires a lot of experience.
For example, let’s look at the Breibart news. How would you know whether it’s trustworthy or not? To determine whether it is trustworthy you need to look at its history and how it presents or distorts information to suit its far-right agenda. This requires you to pay attention to national and international news to understand it. If you’re not careful, you may likely have a biased view of it without proper understanding.
Evaluate the language used in the article
Closely pay attention to the language the article author uses.
Some words contain cultural meanings attached to them. This can create a sort of confrontation in the article. Some words can lead to the “us” versus “them” scenario.
Look at this example.
If a conservative person refers to an opponent using the word “woke” one may consider it an attack on the message rather than the message itself. The same applies if a person calls another person “bigot”
The use of language is a clear sign of logical fallacies. The author may try to discredit the opponent based on who they are rather than their opinions.
Questions about the research methods in scientific articles
If you’re conducting a critique on scientific articles, evaluate and question how the author did the research based on the following questions
- How is the study design? Are there any errors in it?
- How does the article explain the research methods?
- Is there a controlled group used for research?
- Are there any sample size issues?
- Are there any statistical errors?
- Is there any possible way to recreate the experiment in a laboratory setting?
- Does the research have any value in the scientific field?
Step 3: Formatting your Paper
Just like any other academic paper, make sure to format your critique well. Usually, a standard critique contains consists of four parts: an introduction, summary, critiques, and conclusion.
- Name of the author and title
- The author’s main idea
- A brief and clear thesis that explains what your article is all about
- The article’s main idea
- The main arguments presented in the article
- The conclusion of the article
- State the strong and weak sides of the article
- Show a well-articulated and educated opinion regarding the clarity, the article’s relevance. Support your answers with direct examples from the article
- Summary of the article’s key points
- Conclusion on the relevancy of the research
- If you find the research to be relevant, write a statement about what further study in this field can be useful.
Are you still struggling to grasp the concept?
Writing an article critique is not easy at all. It requires a lot of time to do background research. Not everyone has the time to put into learning volumes about the many sides of an issue. Here at homework mules, we have a team of expert writers that will assist in article critique writing. Contact them and get a high-quality critique article writing.