How to write a critique Summary

How to write a critique

First of all, It is important to have a thorough understanding of the work that will be critiqued, before you start writing.

Study the work under discussion.
Make notes on key parts of the work.
Develop an understanding of the main argument or purpose being expressed in the work.
Consider how the work relates to a broader issue or context.

Second, there are a variety of ways to structure a critique. You should always check your unit materials and blackboard site for guidance from

your lecturer. The following template, which showcases the main features of a critique, is provided as one example.
Introduction

Typically, the introduction is short (less than 10% of the word length) and you should:

Name the work being reviewed as well as the date it was created and the name of the author/creator.
Also describe the main argument or purpose of the work.

Moreover, explain the context in which the work was created. This could include the social or political context, the place of the work in a

creative or academic tradition, or the relationship between the work and the creator’s life experience.
In addition to that, have a concluding sentence that signposts what your evaluation of the work will be. For example, it may indicate whether it is a

positive, negative, or mixed evaluation.

How to write a critique Summary

Furthermore, briefly summarize the main points and objectively describe how the creator portrays these by using techniques, styles, media,

characters or symbols. This summary should not be the focus of the critique and is usually shorter than the critical evaluation.
Critical evaluation

This section should give a systematic and detailed assessment of the different elements of the work, evaluating how well the creator

was able to achieve the purpose through these.

For example: you would assess the plot structure, characterisation and setting of a

novel; an assessment of a painting would look at composition, brush strokes, colour and light; a critique of a research project would

look at subject selection, design of the experiment, analysis of data and conclusions.

In addition to that, critical evaluation does not simply highlight negative impressions. It should deconstruct the work and identify both strengths and

weaknesses. Besides that, it should examine the work and evaluate its success, in light of its purpose.

Examples of key critical questions that could help your assessment include:

Who is the creator? Is the work presented objectively or subjectively?

What are the aims of the work? Were the aims achieved?

What techniques, styles, media were used in the work?

Are they effective in portraying the purpose?

What assumptions underlie the work?

Do they affect its validity?

What types of evidence or persuasion are used? Has evidence been interpreted fairly?

How is the work structured? Does it favour a particular interpretation or point of view? Is it effective?
Does the work enhance understanding of key ideas or theories? Does the work engage (or fail to engage) with key concepts or other works

in its discipline?

In other words, this evaluation is written in formal academic style and logically presented. Group and order your ideas into paragraphs. Start with the

broad impressions first and then move into the details of the technical elements. For shorter critiques, you may discuss the strengths

of the works, and then the weaknesses. In longer critiques, you may wish to discuss the positive and negative of each key critical

question in individual paragraphs.

Also, to support the evaluation, provide evidence from the work itself, such as a quote or example, and you should also cite evidence from

related sources.

Furthermore, explain how this evidence supports your evaluation of the work.
Conclusion

This is usually a very brief paragraph, which includes:

A statement indicating the overall evaluation of the work
A summary of the key reasons, identified during the critical evaluation, why this evaluation was formed.
Also, in some circumstances, recommendations for improvement on the work may be appropriate.

Reference list

Finally, include all resources cited in your critique. Check with your lecturer/tutor for which referencing style to use.

How to write a critique

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