Writing a Critique
Writing a Critique
WRITING A CRITIQUE
What is a critique?
A critique is an analysis and an evaluation of a text. To “critique” a text does not mean to analyze in a negative way. A critique of a text can evaluate both the negative and the positive aspects of the text. A critique is not merely a summary. While a short summary is important, most of a critique should be analyzing and evaluating.
How do you analyze and evaluate a text?
Your analysis will help you and your readers gain an understanding of the text. To analyze the text, you should ask yourself several questions:
· What is the main point the author is making?
· Why is he/she making this point?
· What audience is the author writing for?
· How does the author argue his/her point?
· How does the author support his/her argument?
To evaluate a text, judge how well the author makes his/her argument. This is the part that comments on the strengths and usefulness of the text, as well as its weaknesses or omissions. As you evaluate, you might ask yourself the following questions:
· Does the author’s argument make sense?
· Is the text easy to understand or is it confusing?
· Does the author back up his/her point with
· Does the author take opposing viewpoints into
· Is the author reliable? Does he/she use reliable
TIPS FOR ANALYSIS AND EVALUTATION:
1. Take notes as you read the text.
2. Highlight or underline the most important points.
How do you actually write the critique?
When you write your critique, you might structure your paper as follows:
Introduce the text you are critiquing and provide a short summary of that text. Your summary can be as short as a few sentences and is usually no longer than a paragraph. Conclude your introduction with your thesis statement, which should state your main point(s).
In the main body of your paper you should address your main points of critique, pointing to specific examples from the text. This is where you can show how well you have analyzed and evaluated the text. The answers to the questions you asked yourself during your analysis and evaluation of the text could be good points to guide your discussion.
When you make your main points of criticism (positive or negative) you have the opportunity to discuss your own opinions and reaction to the text. However, you must remember to support your points with evidence from the text. When critiquing the text, avoid using the first and second person (I, we, you) unless your professor says otherwise.
You can conclude your critique by restating your main points and discussing their significance. Do not bring up any new points or information in your conclusion.
TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR CRITIQUE
1. Make a loose outline or list of the main points you want to discuss before you begin writing.
2. Double check your assignment sheet to make sure you are fulfilling your professor’s requirements.
3. Remember that your critique of the text is more important than the summary.