Step 1. Write a summary of the article you plan to critique:
First you need to give a summary of the article and especially address the key areas of concern discussed in the article. To reach the goal of identifying the key areas of concern, the following questions will help you analyze the text:
What is the author’s main point?
What is the author’s purpose?
Who is the author’s intended audience?
What arguments does the author use to support the main point?
What evidence does the author present to support the arguments?
What are the author’s underlying assumptions or biases?
You may find it useful to make notes about the text based on these questions as you read.
Step 2. Evaluate the text After you have read the text, you can begin to evaluate the author’s ideas. The following questions provide some ideas to help you evaluate the text:
Is the argument logical?
Is the text well-organized, clear, and easy to read?
Are the author’s facts accurate?
Have important terms been clearly defined?
Is there sufficient evidence for the arguments?
Do the arguments support the main point?
Is the text appropriate for the intended audience?
Does the text present and refute opposing points of view?
Does the text help you understand the subject?
Are there any words or sentences that evoke a strong response from you? What are those words or sentences? What is your reaction?
What is the origin of your reaction to this topic? When or where did you first learn about it? Can you think of people, articles, or discussions that have influenced your views? How might these be compared or contrasted to this text?
What questions or observations does this article suggest? That is, what does the article make you think about?
Step 3. Plan and write your critique Write your critique in standard essay form. It is generally best not to follow the author’s organization when presenting your analysis, since this approach lends itself to summary rather than analysis. Begin with an introduction that defines the subject of your critique and your point of view (see step 1). Defend your point of view by raising specific issues or aspects of the argument. Conclude your critique by summarizing your argument and re-emphasizing your opinion.
You will first need to identify and explain the author’s ideas. Include specific passages that support your description of the author’s point of view.
Offer your opinion. Explain what you think about the argument. Describe several points which you agree or disagree with.
For each of the points you mention, include specific passages from the text (you may summarize, quote, or paraphrase) that provide evidence for your point of view.
Explain how the passages support your opinion.
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