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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

How to Write Critical Review of a Journal

Emma Charlotte
Critical Review of Journal
When you are required to write down a critical review, you will need to do two main things: summarize and evaluate a text. The critical review can be of a book, a chapter or a journal article. You are usually asked to read the selected text in detail and also other related texts so as to gift a rational and sensible evaluation of the selected text. Being critical does not simply mean criticizing during a negative way. Instead, it requires you to question the text, and to present your judgment or evaluation of it reasonably.

Critical reviews, both short (one page) and long (four pages), usually have an identical structure. Although critical reviews might have different evaluation criteria depending on your discipline, they usually have a similar structure. As recommended by a PhD dissertation writing service, to write the review correctly, you should check your thesis instructions with regard to formatting, discipline-specific criteria and other requirements.

What Is A Critical Review Of A Journal Paper?
A critical review of a journal paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of a paper's ideas and content. It provides description, analysis and interpretation that allow readers to assess the paper's value.

Some Questions To Ask When Starting To Write A Critical Review Of A Journal Paper:
  • What is the main area under review discussion?
  • Where will the writer’s information and evidence come from?
  • What are the main issues raised by the writer?
  • What are the main interpretations created by the author in terms of the issues raised?
  • Is the text balanced? Fair? Biased?
  • How well does all this relate to other literature on the topic? Your own experience?
  • How can you summarize all of the above points?
  • The Content Of A Critical Review: A critical review is generally one to four pages in length and has a structure similar to the one given here.
  • Introduction: Starts with opening sentences that state the writer, the title and give a brief explanation of the topic of the paper. The aim of the text and a summary of the main findings or key argument are presented. At the end of the introduction, a brief statement of the evaluation of the paper is given.
  • Summary: Gives a summary of the main points of the article and a few examples. A short explanation of the writer’s purpose and also the organization of the text can also be added. This section of the critical review should be not than one third of the whole.
  • Main Body (Critique): Discusses and evaluates the strengths, weaknesses and vital features of the paper. The discussion should be based on specific criteria and include other sources to support it (with references).
  • Conclusion: Concludes the review with a restatement of the overall opinion of the paper. It may include recommendations and some any explanation of the judgment to show that it's fair and reasonable.
  • References: A list of references should be included at the end if other sources have been used.

Summarizing and Paraphrasing For The Critical Review:
Summarizing and paraphrasing are essential skills for academic writing and in particular, the critical review. To summarize means to reduce a text to its main points and its most important ideas. The length of your summary for a critical review should only be concerning one quarter to one third of the whole critical review.


The Best Way To Summarize:
Following are the points to summarize the paper in a superb way:
  • Scan the text. Look for information that can be deduced from the introduction, conclusion, title, and headings. What do these tell you about the main points of the article?
  • Locate the topic sentences and highlight the main points as you read.
  • Read the text and make separate notes of the main points. Examples and evidence do not need to be included at this stage. Usually, they are used selectively in your critique.
  • Paraphrasing means putting it into your own words. Paraphrasing offers an alternative to using direct quotations in your summary (and the critique) and might be an efficient way to integrate your summary notes.

The Best Way To Paraphrase:
Following are the points to paraphrase the paper during the best way:
  • Review your summary notes
  • Rewrite them in your own words and in complete sentences
  • Use reporting verbs and phrases, e.g. 'The author describes…', 'smith argues that …'.
  • Use quotation marks if you include unique or specialist phrases from the text.

Emma Charlotte / Author & Editor

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