Critical Review of an Article

Step – 1

❖ Title – of an article/paper is your own choice (must be in the area of your discipline and intended areas of research) and it should include the key words that will indicate to the reader what you are doing (critical review of selected paper/article or book chapter).

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Step – 2

❖ Introducing the Critical Review of the Paper/Article or Book Chapter – Your introductory paragraph begins with an initial identification of the paper/book or chapter title, author (s) name (s), source of publication (name of journal/book, date, volume number and other important details (do not provide the authors’ biography). Also, it should contain a statement of your purpose i.e. critically review the selected paper/article or book chapter as a contribution to answer your review question for ordering critical thoughts in the previous section (why am I reading this article?).

❖ Your introductory part must be very concise and precise and create interest for the reader to go into details.

Step – 3

❖ Introducing the Paper/ Book Chapter Being Critically Reviewed – what the author(s) was/were trying to find out and what they did (begin to build the warrant of your argument).

❖ A summary of the authors’ purposes for the paper/article and the kind of inquiry they engaged in, including an indication of the type of literature they produced (use your answer of question – 2, for ordering critical thoughts in the previous section e.g., what is the author trying to do in writing this) and their intellectual project (use your answer of question – 3, for ordering critical thoughts in the previous section e.g., what is the author saying that is relevant to what I want to find out?)

❖ A brief indication of why the selected paper/article is relevant to the review questions guiding your critical review (the answer of your question – 1, why am I reading this article?).

❖ A brief summary of how they went about their investigation (i.e., the methodology, research design, sample, methods of data collection and analysis). Here you should focus on the strengths and weakness of the paper/book or chapter. This could be followed by a brief summary of the range, contents and argument (s) of the paper/book or chapter (Wallace & Wray, 2009). Your summary may not more than two paragraphs.

Step – 4

❖ The Authors’ Main Claim – relating to the review questions in the previous section (continuing to build the warrant of your argument).

❖ A summary of the main claims made by the author (s) of the selected paper/book chapter, as relevant to answering your review questions (use your answer of question – 4 how convincing is what the author is saying?) – from the previous section.

❖ An indication of the range of contexts to which the authors claim, explicitly or implicitly that their findings may apply (i.e., they may imply that their claims apply to all contexts or do not specify any limits on the extent to which they may be universally applicable).

Step – 5

❖ Evaluating the Authors’ Main Claim – relating to the review questions in the previous section (continuing to build the warrant of your argument).

❖ You are supposed to critically evaluate the claims of the author’s and to assess that they are convincing for the context from which those claims were derived (answer to the review question – 5 “In conclusion, what use can I make of this” from the previous section and possibly referring to additional literature to support your judgment about the authors’ main claims).

❖ Your critical assessment of how far the claims made by the authors of the paper/book chapter may be applicable to other contexts, including your own experience, e.g., the prescriptions for practices emerging from this work are unlikely to apply directly to your context.

Step – 6

❖ Conclusion – your brief overall evaluation of the paper/book chapter, to assess its contribution to answering your review questions in previous section.

❖ For this purpose – your summary answer of the first and second review questions will enable you to make a logical conclusion. This will include a statement of your judgment, with reasons, about how far the findings and any broader claims are convincing and applicable to your professional context or for the context from which they were derived.

❖ More simply, in this section provide a summary evaluation of the overall contribution made by the authors (s) to the subject of investigation and your own understanding of the topic and to scholarship. Make sure you substantiate what you say by drawing on the paper/ book or chapter itself as evidence and other scholarly source.

Step – 7

❖ References – provide the full reference for the paper/article you have reviewed. If you refer to any additional literature, list the papers/articles to which you have referred.

Source for the Guidelines: Adopted from Wallace & Wray, (2009).

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