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How to Write a Critique

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Many students are under the notion that critique writing is only about pointing out mistakes in other’s works. But, that’s not the case. It is a systematic analysis of a scholarly book or article. Many universities ask their students how to write a critique based on a novel or even a movie. It is quite interesting only if you know how to write a critique.

A Precise Description Of Critique Writing

A critique is a form of academic writing which summarises and also critically evaluates a famous work or concept. You can be asked to criticise the following:

  • Creative work– novels, images, films, poetry, etc.
  • Media– news reports and feature articles  
  • Research– monographs, theories, systematic reviews and journal articles

 You may not find it really hard to write a critique since the format is almost similar to that of an essay. You need to use an academic essay writing style along with a clear structure.

What Is The Importance Of Writing A Critique?

 Many students flinch even at the mere idea of writing a critique. Do you experience the same feeling? Then check out these three importance of writing a critique paper. Your professors want you to be successful in your niche and hence they ask you to write a critique. Here is why writing a critique is important for all the students.

  • In-depth knowledge of the subject area and related works – You will get to know about the in-depth details related to the work.
  • Understand the work’s purpose and intended audience- Writing a critique will help you understand the purpose and different types of target readers.
  • Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the work- Practise writing a critique and you will be able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of any work in no time.

Checklist For Writing A Critique

Your professors may ask you to conduct a critical analysis of another piece of writing. It can be a book, a journal article or even an essay. No matter what type of work you have been asked to criticize, make sure your write-up consists of the following elements.

  • Introduction

Your paper should have an introductory paragraph to draw the attention of your target readers. The opening paragraph is supposed to have:

  • The author’s name and the title of the article
  • The main point or the central message intended by the author to convey
  • A compelling thesis statement that previews your analysis

Remember that the introduction determines whether your readers will even go through the rest of the paper.

  • Summary

You need to discuss the following after writing the introduction.

  • The main points of the article
  • All the arguments present in the paper
  • The findings of the article

The article critique shouldn’t be lengthier than the book itself. Do not include jargon and summarize all the important points in your own words.

  • Critique

After you are done summarizing the body paragraphs, you need to critique the work with the utmost precision.

  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the work that you noted down
  • State your opinions regarding the clarity, accuracy and relevance of the work.

No matter what you say, make sure you use specific examples to support your arguments. The examples should be relevant to the work that you have been asked to critique.

  • Conclusion

Now you need to end your critique with a strong conclusion that consists of the following:

  • The main points as mentioned in the article.
  • The main points according to your perspective
  • Significance of the work that you have been criticizing.

Once you include all these four elements in your critique, you will be able to nail the piece of writing like a pro. Also, this is the right format that your professors expect you to follow in critique writing.

Some Easy Tips To Write A Critique Like A Pro

There are two main stages when it comes to writing a critique. The first one is the pre writing stage and then comes the final writing stage.

  • Prewriting stage

In this stage, you need to analyse the work that you have been asked to criticise thoroughly. Say you have been asked to critique a book. Ask yourself the following questions before starting to write.

  • What kind of book am I reviewing?
  • What about the primary findings and the limitations, as stated in the book?
  • Did the author raise important questions and did he/she address those questions well?
  • Are the author’s sources updated?
  • Is there any kind of bias in the book?
  • What do the other reviewers have to say about the book?

In case you have been asked to critique anything apart from the book, just replace ‘book’ with your work in the above questions.

  • Writing stages

This is the active stage where you need actually to write the paper. Take your time to craft a perfect critique and make it completely error-free. The steps included in this stage are:

  • Read and read the work again

Make sure you completely understand the context, purpose and structure of the work that you will criticize. Note down the author’s or the writer’s misconceptions and mistakes.

  • Create an outline

Now it’s time for you to create an outline for the critique based on the notes that you have taken while analyzing the work. Make sure the outline meets all the criteria of an ideal critique as instructed by your professor.

  • Summarize your opinions

You are already aware of the format of your paper. Just pen down your thoughts in a proper sequence, so that it makes sense to readers. Make sure your critique is not only about the flaws but also about the good things in the work.

  • Crosscheck your findings

At times, students tend to make faulty claims and end up losing valuable marks. Thus, it is always better to crosscheck your claims to ensure that they are valid. Check your sources again and again before submitting your paper to the professors.

  • Conclude critically

The conclusion of a critique should be able to convey the real message of the work. You can’t write the conclusion with a sentiment for or against the author. You can’t let your readers misinterpret the message of the real work.

Implement these tips and hopefully, you will be able to deliver an impeccable paper in no time. Ensure that you meet all the points in the critique checklist mentioned in this blog. Don’t panic if you still find it hard to write the paper. Get help from your seniors or talk to your professors. They will certainly help you out.

Examples of Critique Writing

Here are some examples of a good critique. Have a look at these and get some inspirational ideas.

Examples of Critique in Literature

Example #1: The Guardian (By Philip Hope-Wallace)
In The Guardian, critic Philip Hope-Wallace has portrayed Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, as “inexplicit and deliberately fatuous.” He also claimed this play to have “bored some people acutely.
[while] Others found it a witty and poetic conundrum.” Godot would possibly be a God, and the dresses of tramps are like Chaplinesque zanies in a circus. Both speak futile cross talks like music hall exchanges. This play bored audience acutely, while others consider it as a poetic and witty conundrum.
Finally, he calls the plays a dramatic vacuum. It is without any plot, climax, denouement, beginning,
middle and end.

Example #2: The Washington Post (By The Washington Post)
A famous writer, Jonathan Yardley, gives a complete analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s popular novel, The Great Gatsby in The Washington Post. He calls the novel an enormous achievement in Fitzgerald’s career. It is his masterwork and seems that no other American novel could ever come close to its literary artistry.
This novel is very popular, and its every passage is famous, thus there is no need to retrace its details and familiar background. Fitzgerald has written it with unusual subtlety and sustained that tone in the entire novel. In the end, he says that this novel is “the most beautiful, compelling and true in all of American literature. “Then he says, “If from all of our country’s books I could have only one, The Great Gatsby, would be it.

Example #3: Hamlet: Poem Unlimited (By Harold Bloom)
In his book, Hamlet: Poem Unlimited, Harold Bloom declares William Shakespeare’s Hamlet as
“unlimited,” coming “of no genre,” because its greatness “…completes only with the world’s scriptures.”
This amazing significance cannot emerge from a work, which is about tendentious and politicized

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Sienna Kelly

Hi, I am Sienna Kelly, a food and drug inspector by profession. I had always been interested in chemical substances and their applications in real life. When I am not on duty, you can either find me reading a novel or busy solving an essay writing task. Well, yes. Writing is my new found love, and I have spent years improving my writing skills, discovering the weirdest tactics to craft killer English essays and assignments. I work part-time as an essay writing specialist with and have been helping out students with their essays to earn top grades for eight years now.

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