I need some help with writing a critical review

A critical review is a type of essay which has the purpose of evaluating all, or part of, a research article, an artwork or some other type of work. It requires you to:

  • accurately summarise all or part of the work.
  • have an opinion about it. Appropriate types of opinion could include pointing out some problems with the work, proposing an alternative approach which would be better, and/or defending the work against the critiques of others.
  • provide evidence for your point of view. Depending on the specific assignment and the discipline, different types of evidence may be appropriate, such as logical reasoning, reference to authoritative sources and/or research data.

To write a critical review you need the same skills and knowledge as for persuasive essay writing, plus you need critical thinking & writing skills. In brief, you need to:

  • 1) identify some important choices made in the work (e.g. the main interpretations, the assumptions, the methodology)
  • 2) think of some alternatives to those choices (e.g. a different interpretation, different methodology)
  • 3) take a position on the alternatives (i.e. which is better and why), and
  • 4) provide appropriate evidence for your position.

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