What is a Critical Review?
A critical review is an evaluation of an academic text eg: an article, report, essay or book. You
are asked to make judgments, positive or negative, about the text using various criteria. The
information and knowledge in the text needs to be evaluated, and the criteria that should be
used can vary depending on your discipline. That is, management, sociology, information
technology, or literature may use different criteria. All critical reviews, however, involve two
main tasks: summary and evaluation.
Summary / Description: Evaluation / Judgement:
When evaluating the text you could answer
some of the following questions. The
underlined terms are possible criteria:
• Is the question the text tries to answer
relevant, interesting, new, useful?
• Who will find the text useful?
• Does the text give new answers to an old
• Is the text detailed, or brief? Simple or
• Is the evidence presented to support the
answer extensive? Strong? Weak?
• Are the conclusions reached final, or
YOUR judgment about the quality or value
of the text (for other researchers, or to
practitioners in the field, or to students).
An evaluation of the text using criteria,
appropriate to your discipline.
A description of the text:
• The topic, or the main question it
proposes to answer.
• Why does the author think the
question(s) is important?
• The arguments (answers with reasons)
that it makes.
• The structure of the text or the method
used to answer the question.
• The evidence used to support answers.
• The conclusions reached in the text.
• Any further questions raised, but not
answered in the text.
Be careful not to give too much detail,
especially in a short review.
Process of writing a review:
- Skim read the text – note the main question or questions the text tries to answer and the
main answers it gives.
- Think of evaluation criteria. Talk about the text and criteria with classmates.
- Read the text again and note the important points in detail such as the subject, question,
arguments and/or evidence, and conclusions made, and your evaluation using your
- Read related texts, note differences, similarities.
- Outline critical review, matching points of description with evaluation criteria.
Type of service: Academic Paper Writing
Type of assignment: Critical Essay
Number of Sources: 5
Academic level: Undergraduate
Paper Format: APA
Line spacing: Double
Language style: UK English