Article Critique Essay

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By: Marie Fincher

August 03, 2015

Writing the Article Critique Essay

If you have not before writing an article critique essay, you may have some questions about how exactly to produce such an assignment. Many students seem to believe that it is really just a glorified book report but on a much shorter piece of writing. Nothing could be further from the truth and here’s why:

  1. Articles are almost always non-fiction and deal with important information or data
  2. Authors of articles have a thesis which they state openly in their opening
  3. A critique involves far more than a simple summary of what the author has written.
  4. If the piece includes research, you will then be engaged in a research article critique that will involve some research of your own.

Producing the Article Critique

If you are not sure how to write a critique essay, here are a few tips:

  1. Read the entire article through to get a good general impression of what is being said.
  2. Read the article a second time and be certain you understand the author’s thesis. Write that thesis down.
  3. Read the article a third time and evaluate each point made as pertaining specifically to the thesis and decide if it is a valid point or not. Write down your impressions of each point made.
  4. Research a bit about the author’s background – does that background suggest a certain bias? For example, suppose you are reading an article written by a scientist denying climate change. You conduct some research on that scientist and discover that his research is funded by a multinational oil company. Your critique must certainly include this information, as it totally skews the validity of the author’s claims.
  5. If research is cited in the article, do some research of your own on the topic. Has the author left out research that would support an opposing view? If so, this must be noted in your critique.

Organizing Your Points for Writing the Article Critique Essay

Like any essay, you will need to get organized by using some type of skeleton – an outline or a list of the points you intent to make. In general, you should plan your essay as follows:

  1. Introduction: You introduction should name the article and the author and the author’s thesis. You should then present your own thesis about his/her thesis. For example, “Dr. Jones makes a strong case for why the United States should not involve itself in another ground war in the Middle East. Having read his article and the historical research behind the opinions he has presented, I believe his argument is valid and should be strongly made to governmental leaders.”  
  2. Your first paragraph will provide a brief summary of the article and the background of the author. What makes him an expert on this topic? What biases does he have, if any?
  3. The rest of your body paragraphs should each discuss a single point made in the article, discussing its validity and/or importance.
  4. Your conclusion should repeat your thesis, stated in a new way of course, and perhaps recommend the article for reading or the trash can.
Marie Fincher

While being committed to a number of charitable causes, like volunteering at special events or giving free art lessons to children, Marie doesn’t forget her vocation – writing. She can write about almost anything but has focused on time management, motivation, academic and business writing.