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Sooner or later, every student will have to write an article critique. This assignment is not very difficult for a person who knows how to analyze academic studies critically. However, undergraduate students sometimes struggle with such papers. Take a look at this article if you don’t know how to critique an article. It will surely be of great use to you.

Do you remember the first question you’ve asked? That was probably the famous “What’s this?” As you grew up, you asked it less and less often. Instead, others started asking you that same question and many others… And one of the most notorious questions you are asked might be: “What is critique?”

Where can you learn the answer to that? Dictionary, dictionary, dictionary … and thesaurus. Bo-ring! The definition dictionary provides such a dry explanation… Well, you can learn the answer here – it’s way more enticing!

1. Fantastic Suggestions

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As a matter of fact, there are several ways to define critique – whatever you choose, you hit the bull’s eye! Before writing your “define critique essay,” check these critique definitions:

Critique is…

  • … a research project including formal analysis of your paper’s topic;
  • … a critical review and/or commentary of a certain topic;
  • … a critical discussion of the subject in question (a way to define art critique);
  • … the art and/or act of criticism;
  • … an essay that analyzes and criticizes another work (of art);
  • … a critical comment concerning some issues.

All in all,

Critique means identifying and discussing the positive and negative features of a certain (art-)work.

There’s really nothing to it. And after you define critique, paper writing is really easy!

2. Read Unbelievable Examples of Essay Writing

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Do you want to see really cutting-edge papers?

Once you define critique, analysis writing turns out to be extremely easy – check this piece:

Critique on Hamlet

[…] Johnson claims that Hamlet lost his spirit in the fight and was willing to lay down and die. However, a single line from the play is enough to prove Johnson’s point wrong – the Prince is rather a vigilante, confused at first, fierce afterward. He dares to speak to a ghost and knows that he can be killed, yet nothing stops him from opposing “the sea of troubles” (Shakespeare, para.1750) […]

Do you see now that you’re only a few steps away from a perfect essay? Check these tips!

3. Learn Efficient Pieces of Advice, Reach Success

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Now that you know what critique is, take a look at these pieces of advice:

Be objective: If you dislike someone’s work, it’s okay. However, don’t let emotions get in your way – mention both the negative and the positive!

Offer sufficient background information.

Check examples:

  • Bad: “I want to review a book in a yellow cover.”
  • Good: “I am going to talk about Dickens’s Domby and Son.”

Provide text extracts to illustrate your ideas.

Do you have a peculiar remark to share with the readers?

  • Bad: “I think that Professor Moriarty is very bad.”
  • Good: “Professor Moriarty is obviously the evil genius of the novel, elusive and frightening. As Arthur Conan Doyle says, ‘The existence of Moriarty is unknown by nearly everyone except Holmes (1951, vii)”

And don’t forget to quote according to your citation style!

Be original!

Think big – and even bigger! Express every original idea that comes to your mind – and give your ideas some character!

Boring Cutting edge
I think that Iago is the most negative character in Shakespeare’s works. Reading only a few of Iago’s lines is enough to understand that he is an epitome of evil.
Hugo’s works are not really funny and are mostly sad. As most critics say, despite the passion and emotions in Hugo’s works, in most cases, his novels are comedy genocide.
When reading David Copperfield, I felt that the comic moments were not quite necessary. One of the most notorious features of David Copperfield is the awkward comic relief.

Now watch out for the pitfalls! Remember the important differences between critique and other types of papers.

4. Remember the Difference between Various Notions

Phew! You’ve dealt with the definition of critique and its elements – so let’s see what shapes critique can take. Check every dictionary definition of each type of critique and define a synonym or two!

5. Type of Assignment and Specific Features

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  • Objective evaluation;
  • Respectful attitude;
  • Writing assessment;
  • Detailed analysis;
  • Use of sense of humor.


  • Short summary;
  • Personal opinion;
  • Positive/negative evaluation;
  • Catchy phrases.


  • Short summary;
  • Statistical data;
  • Background information;
  • Peculiar facts.


  • Background information;
  • Short plot information;
  • Characters description;
  • Ideas and conclusion.


  • Background information;
  • Data interpretation;
  • Objective evaluation;
  • Listing the results.


  • Pinpoints negative aspects;
  • Mentions lacking elements;
  • No sense of humor intended;
  • Writing and author assessment.

Your First Steps

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A person who has to critique a journal article should pay attention to such aspects as research methodology, hypothesis, analysis of findings, and theoretical background of the study. This is a model that will help you analyze a study critically:

  1. First, you need to look at the hypothesis formulated by the researchers. You need to determine if it can or cannot be properly tested by research methods used in the study..
  2. Secondly, you need to look at the dependent and independent variables of the study. Can the relations between them be tracked and measured? If the relations between these variables cannot be properly measured, this study is most likely to be flawed.
  3. Almost every study is based on some theory or even a set of theories. This is why you need to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of these theoretical models.
  4. Researchers can employ a variety of methods to collect and analyze data. So, you should assess these research methods and determine whether they fit this particular study.
  5. Think about the findings of the study and its potential implications. Does this study offer anything new about the topic, problem, or question?

Dos and Don’ts

When you write your paper, you need to stick to several rules that will help you write a good critique. These rules of thumb can be of great use to people who don’t know how to critique an article:

First, you should avoid transforming your critique into a simple summary. Certainly, a critique has some elements of a summary, but its main purpose is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the critiqued work.

  1. If the author uses terms that you don’t know, you should look them up in the dictionary. Remember that improper word choice can greatly reduce the quality of your paper.
  2. Don’t criticize or praise an aspect of the article unless you can back up your claims with good examples. For instance, if you think that the author’s hypothesis is trivial, you need to explain why it is trivial.
  3. Don’t separate the research article your are critiquing from other studies done in the same area. Look at other research articles and determine whether they support the ideas of the author.

Be aware that there are numerous custom writing services offering help with article critique writing. See the full list of trusted websites on

Other Important Points to Keep In Mind

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Finally, students should remember that an article critique is not another boring paper, but a great chance to show off your analytical skills and erudition. If you approach it as an interesting challenge, you’ll find this task easier. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of how to critique an academic article.