Article Critique Format
For the purpose of completing the article critique assignment please follow the format described in this handout. The article critique is to be one-page, word processed, size 12 font, in Times New Roman style. Use the four area headings found below to organize your critique. Place these headings at the left margin, bolded, just as you find them in this descriptive format paper. Please allow for one inch margins on your pages.
Your review and critique of the article you have been provided will address the following four areas:
- Evidence (or in some cases Findings)
After reviewing the assigned article, find and state the thesis of the article. The thesis is the main point the author is trying to make. In many articles (but not all), the thesis is found in the last paragraph of the introduction. The purpose of the thesis can be to make an assertion or an argument, or in an informative essay or research piece, to set up the direction and sequence of the writing. Examine the following passage from Michael Doyle and Robert Meadows (1997):
The purpose of criminal justice education is to develop in students the knowledge,
judgment, values, and ethical consciousness essential to becoming responsible citizens
and leaders in the criminal justice system. Equally important is preparing students to
critically evaluate and analyze justice issues through a variety of writing
assignments By exposing students to a number of reflective, documentary, and
analytical writing assignments, a better understanding of the justice process is
The essential thesis by Doyle and Meadows in this writing is the last sentence. They are asserting that by exposing a student to various forms of writing, the student will better understand the process aspects of the criminal justice system.
As you are reading the article, also think about the intended audience of the writing. Why is the author writing this work? Why does she or he think it is important?
If you have to hunt for the authors thesis, feel free to comment on that fact in this section of your critique. Hopefully, you will remember the frustration you experienced in looking for the thesis and adjust your own writing so that you do not become a perpetrator of that same crime.
How did the author go about the task of investigating the topic he or she has chosen? How did they support their thesis? In some cases, they may have used the review of quantitative or qualitative research. In other cases the author may have conducted original research and is reporting the findings in the article. In yet other cases, you may find an author using a review of the existing literature and a variety quantitative or qualitative methods (like an observation or an interview). If you have even a mild exposure to evaluating research, you should answer two questions in this section; did the authors approach to supporting the thesis make sense? Were the selected methods used properly?
Evidence (or Findings)
If you have informed us about the how the author went about the task of investigating the thesis in the previous section, now inform us what she found! What evidence or findings can you, as a reader of this research or essay, identify that supports the authors thesis? List it and inform us about how well these findings work in that support.
Summarize your evaluation of the article. Up to this point, you have summarized much of what the author has written. You have been using her or his words. Now it is your turn. Answer some of these questions:
What did you learn from this article?
Who would benefit from reading this article?
How would that person or group benefit?
How did you like or dislike the article? Why?
If the article is based on the authors research, is there some questions he left unanswered? Should the study be replicated?