How to Write a Critique What is a critique?
What is a critique?
- A critique is a paper that gives a critical assessment of a book or article
- A critique is a systematic analysis of a piece of literature that discusses its validity and evaluates its worth
- Its main purpose is not informational, but analytic and persuasive
- In analyzing the content and context within which the book (or article) was written, the writer of a critique argues whether it is worth reading or not
Writing a critique (also known as a
- Writing a critique (also known as a
- critical response, critical book review or
- book review)
- A good review should provide critical commentary on the quality of the book
- It contains:
- The thesis and major argument
- The organization and style
- The author’s values and assumptions
The review should pay more attention to evaluating the strengths and the weaknesses of the book
- The review should pay more attention to evaluating the strengths and the weaknesses of the book
- It should ultimately answer the question:
- Is this a good book/story that would be worth reading?
Use the following checklist as a guide for writing a critical book/story review
- Use the following checklist as a guide for writing a critical book/story review
- What does the book cover? Summarize briefly. When reviewing fiction, never give away the ending or the intricacies of the plot that are meant to surprise the reader.
- Who is the author and what are his or her biases?
- What are the major points that the author makes in the book?
4) Do you think these ideas are correct? Do you accept them? Why or why not? Specifically:
- 4) Do you think these ideas are correct? Do you accept them? Why or why not? Specifically:
- 4.A. Does the author substantiate his or her points satisfactorily with information, logic, examples?
- 4.B Do the author’s ideas agree with your experience and knowledge?
- 5) Are there special features about this book which interest or disturb you, such as unusual information or new ways of looking at an issue?
- 6) Are there questions raised for you in this book which the author does not answer?
7) If you have read other books on the same general topic, how does this book differ from that of the others?
- 7) If you have read other books on the same general topic, how does this book differ from that of the others?
- 8) Are there any additional comments you should include in order to make the essence of this book understood by someone reading your review?
- These questions may be answered in any order, but all of them should be addressed, however briefly.
- A book review, like any other piece of
- writing, should observe the basic require-
- ments of literary discourse. There should
- An introduction that includes either a thesis or a premise from which your thesis will later emerge
- A middle section in which you give a brief synopsis of the book and develop your arguments
- Brief conclusion
- Clarity, style, grammatical accuracy are key if you want your reader to understand what you are saying.
Read A Lesson Before Dying Review in groups of three and analyze its structure. Consider the following sections:
- Read A Lesson Before Dying Review in groups of three and analyze its structure. Consider the following sections:
- Summary of the Content
- Analysis of Text
- Evaluation of the Text
- Is there a general description of the book? Are there any details about who the author is and where he stands in his field?
- Is there a brief summary of the purpose of the book? About its theme? About for whom the book is intended?
- Is there a stated thesis statement?
Summary of the Content
- Does the author of the review summarize the important points in the book? Where?
Analysis of the Text
- Does the review mention the writer’s style?
- Does the review mention whether his book achieves its goal?
- Does the review mention how this book compares to others on the subject?
- Does the review mention what specific points are/are not convincing?
Evaluation of the Text
- Does the review refer to the strengths and weakness found in the book?
- Does it evaluate the book’s overall usefulness to the audience it is intended for?
Critique: Steps to write an article review
- Begin by reading the book or article and annotate as you read.
- Note the author’s main point/ thesis statement.
- Divide the book/ article into sections of thought and write a brief summary of each thought in your own words.
- Start your critique with sentences giving the following information:
- - Author’s name
- - Book/ Article title and source
- - Author’s thesis statement
- Summarize the author’s purpose and main points/ evidence cited that are used for back up.
Review and evaluate
- To critically review the piece, answer the following questions:
- - What are the credentials/ areas of
- expertise of the author?
- - Did the author use appropriate
- methods to gather the evidence?
- - Was the evidence used by the author
- - Does the author’s use and
- interpretation of this evidence lead the
- reader to the same conclusion?
- Did the author build a logical argument?
- - Did the author build a logical argument?
- - Is there other evidence that would support a counter- argument?
- - Are the article and the evidence still valid or are they outdated, leading to an invalid conclusion?
- - Was the author successful in making his/ her point?
- Wrap up by:
- - Stating whether you agree with the
- - Back up your decisions by stating your
- Give a general opinion of the work.
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