Purpose and Audience
When you write an essay that reviews the text of an author, your purpose is to evaluate the potential of their work to the community for whom the text is relevant. For example, if you are writing a critical review of an article in physics, then your commentary should be directed to members of that scholarly community. In writing your critical review, you are sharing your assessment of the text (whether it be an article, book, or book chapter) and supporting your evaluative position with evidence that is valued in the scholarly community. In other words, your critical review should speak into the issues and concerns of the academic community for whom you are writing.
In general, there are many ways that you can write a critical review, but the most common is to:
Provide an introduction that mentions the author and title of the work, along with a brief interpretive summary of his or her main point(s).
Present what you believe are the most important strengths and weaknesses of the text and explain why you believe they are positive or negative (remember, your explanation should be based on disciplinary information and evidence). Use examples from the article to support your claims, and add a statement about why you think this criteria matters.
Therefore, the outline for the Critical Review is:
a. Key Criteria
b. Key Criteria
a. Key Criteria
b. Key Critera
You do not need to come up with criteria about every aspect of the text, but focus on a select few that you believe need addressing. You should write the critical review as an argument; that is, you must be able to present your evaluative claims convincingly. You should use examples from the text itself or draw from other disciplinary sources (class discussions, notes, or readings) to support your claims about the value of the text.
This assignment will help you learn to recognize an author’s claims and the logic of his or her argument. It will also help you to begin to position yourself in relation to information in your major as you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with certain information or aspects of information over others. Finally, the critical review will help you begin to understand that in order to improve upon our current understandings of phenomena, scholars must dismantle the work of others to create new ways of thinking (theories, methods, etc).
For the purpose of this assignment, you should assume that your readers have not read the original text. Convince them that your evaluation is plausible by presenting enough detail and explanation that they can “see” the evaluation of the text as you do.
Your critical review should be 3 pages, typed, double-spaced, using 1″ margins and 12 point font. Add the course name, instructor name, your name, and date at the top (single-spaced). Please add page numbers and a Works Cited page.
In addition, address all of my comments from the Rough Draft assignment. Let me know if you have questions about this feedback, well in advance of the final due date.
Use subheadings throughout the essay to guide the reader, and make sure your paragraphs all include a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
See a Sample Critical Review here.
And here is a list of Criteria for the Critical Review Assignment.
This paper will be graded based on the following criteria:
Organization: Is the review organized logically? Is each section clearly marked with good transitions (or headings and/or subheadings)? Does the conclusion summarize the review ‘s main points?
Argument: Does the review have a clear claim that is supported throughout? Does each section have sufficient support with examples from the scientific article? Are examples sourced accurately with in-text citations?
Language: Is the review professional in tone, appropriate for publication in a scientific journal? Is the point of view third person (no I, we, or you). Is the wording clear and concise? Is the review free of errors in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, or spelling? Is the Works Cited / References page accurate?