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How to write a critique

Guidelines for writing a book critique

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How to write a critique

  1. 1. How to Write A Critique OrgCom Supplement
  2. 2. What is a critique?  A critique is a paper that gives a critical assessment of a book or article.
  3. 3. Steps    Begin by reading the book or article and annotate as you read. Note the author’s main point/thesis statement. Divide the book/article into sections of thought and write a brief summary of each thought in your own words.
  4. 4. Introduction  Start your critique with sentences giving the following information:  Author’s name Book/Article title and source Author’s thesis statement  
  5. 5. Summary  Summarize the author’s purpose and main points/evidence cited that are used for back up.
  6. 6. Review & Evaluate  To critically review the piece, ask the following questions:  What are the credentials/areas of expertise of the author? Did the author use appropriate methods to gather the evidence? Was the evidence used by the author accurate? Does the author’s use and interpretation of this evidence lead the reader to the same conclusion? Did the author build a logical argument? Is there other evidence that would support a counterargument?     
  7. 7.  Are the article and the evidence still valid or are they outdated, leading to an invalid conclusion?  Was the author successful in making his/her point?
  8. 8. Conclusion  Wrap up by:  Stating whether you agree with the author.  Back up your decisions by stating your reasons.  Give a general opinion of the work.
  9. 9. Other Tips & Tricks of the Trade  Read the entire book. Do not rate a book unless you can read it in its entirety. It's not fair to the author, and your review will be slanted because you have not given the book a 100 percent chance.  Write pros and cons in your review. A review with only compliments is suspicious to other readers and a lame way of critiquing. Nevertheless, do not dwell much too on the cons. The key point is to do a balanced review.
  10. 10.  Make your review clear. "This book rules," or "This book bores" does not tell a reader why you liked or didn't like the book. If the book bored you or fell short of your expectations, explain what you didn't like in the book and where you became lost. If you enjoyed the book, point out what the author did to keep you reading or what was the ultimate reason to make you want to continue reading the book.
  11. 11.  Do not give the entire summary of the book. Doing this is like someone telling a person how a movie ended, and it takes all the fun out of a potential reader checking out the book. Common sense will play into this. Anything that you feel was a surprise to you will probably be a surprise to the next reader, so either don't mention it, or be very careful with your words.

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Guidelines for writing a book critique


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