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how-to-critique-an-articleSooner or later, every student will have to write an article critique. This assignment is not very difficult for a person who knows how to analyze academic studies critically. However, undergraduate students sometimes struggle with such papers. Take a look at this article if you don’t know how to critique an article. It will surely be of great use to you.

How to Critique an Article: Your First Steps

A person who has to critique a journal article should pay attention to such aspects as research methodology, hypothesis, analysis of findings, and theoretical background of the study. This is a model that will help you analyze a study critically:

  1. First, you need to look at the hypothesis formulated by the researchers. You need to determine if it can or cannot be properly tested by research methods used in the study..
  2. Secondly, you need to look at the dependent and independent variables of the study. Can the relations between them be traced and measured? If the relations between these variables cannot be properly measured, this study is most likely to be flawed.
  3. Almost every study is based on some theory or even a set of theories. This is why you need to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of these theoretical models.
  4. Researchers can employ a variety of methods to collect and analyze data. So, you should assess these research methods and determine whether they fit this particular study.
  5. Think about the findings of the study and its potential implications. Does this study offer anything new about the topic, problem or question?

How to Critique an Article: Dos and Don’ts

When you write your paper, you need to stick to several rules that will help you write a good critique. These rules of thumb can be of great use to people who don’t know how to critique an article:


  1. First, you should avoid transforming your critique into a simple summary. Certainly, a critique has some elements of a summary, but its main purpose is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the critiqued work.
  2. If the author uses terms that you don’t know, you should look them up in the dictionary. Remember that improper word choice can greatly reduce the quality of your paper.
  3. Don’t criticize or praise an aspect of the article unless you can back up your claims with good examples. For instance, if you think that the author’s hypothesis is trivial, you need to explain why it is trivial.
  4. Don’t separate the research article your are critiquing from other studies done in the same area. Look at other research articles and determine whether they support the ideas of the author.

How to Critique an Article: Other Important Points to Keep In Mind

Finally, students should remember that an article critique is not another boring paper, but a great chance to show off your analytical skills and erudition. If you approach it as an interesting challenge, you’ll find this task easier. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of how to critique an academic article.

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