How to critique a journal

Updated June 13, 2017

Writing a critique on journal article gives the piece a description of its nature. Your review should aim and succeed in summarising and evaluating the journal article in a useful and professional manner. Your critique should be sharp, readable and fair.

Familiarise yourself with the journal article. Read the journal article several times to get familiar with its content and build up a basic idea of what it is about. Glance over the introduction and conclusion of the article to find out more about the research questions and objectives. Study the whole article, so you can pick up on the central theme and argument. Observe the relevancy of the bibliography and the value of the sources it makes reference to.

Start your critique. Make a list of all the pros and cons you can identify in the article, and think about how you are going to support your claims. When making your critique, consider the most important ideas in the article, its strengths and weaknesses, the way it is written and whether it has a formal or informal style. Consider whether or not the conclusion relates adequately to the main content.

Evaluate the journal article further. Once you have developed an understanding of the article and you have built an overall critique of the piece, it is time to study any related literature that may help you support your claims. While reading, ask yourself questions regarding the author's position in comparison to other similar authors. Compare arguments made to similar arguments in other articles. Think about the originality of the article and assess its value as an addition to literature.

Structure your critique. To structure your review, start by identifying the author, the title of the article and the date it was published. Give a brief summary outlining the aim of the article, analyse various topics of choice (method, discussion) and give support for your critique.

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About the Author

Angeliki Coconi started writing in 1999 with the theater comedy "Loop," produced in Athens. In 2001 she wrote and produced another comedy, "Modern Cinderella." In 2006 she was awarded a Master of Science in literature from the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 Coconi obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Screenwriting from Napier University of Edinburgh.