How to Write a Critique Paper

writing a critique

When you are asked to do a critique paper, it is imperative that you first understand what it really means. Critiquing does not simply mean analyzing every flaw and negative aspect of the subject, usually a literary piece. The tips can apply to most subjects though. It means deeply analyzing and pointing out both positive and negative aspects. Also, you may have to set aside all your biases and previous knowledge about the piece as well as the author/creator. You have to be unbiased and objective; that way, you can come up with an honest and a well-structured critique paper. If you are unfamiliar with how to write a critique essay, here are a few tips that you might find helpful.

  1. Analyze the Work
  2. When doing a critique paper, it is necessary to understand the piece really well. It enables you to put more thought into your essay. Make sure that you deal with biases or assumptions made by the author in his book (they may be hidden) as this can definitely help you write a better paper.

  3. Evaluate the Work
  4. This tip on writing a critique essay may sound very similar to the aforementioned but to evaluate is much different. To evaluate means to confirm and disprove all arguments, point of views, and assumptions that the author may have had. You will have to do some research as well to prove and disprove some points made. You should confirm if the facts stated are authentic and real. You should also see to it that sources and other information to back claims written are sufficient; if they are not, you can point that out.

  5. Evaluate the Work, not the Writer
  6. It is imperative that you set aside all your biases about the author when writing a critique paper. All the complements you have to say and all the complaints that you want addressed should be about the product (the literary piece) and not the one who produced it (the writer). For example, if the subject is a literary piece, you can point your critiques toward the characters of the story, the development of the plot, the dialogues, and how the narratives were written – the critiques should not be about the person who wrote it.

  7. Plan and Start to Write
  8. A coherent plan on how you will write your essay is important to help you organize your thoughts. An outline will help you create a smooth and seamless paper that will help your readers understand your thoughts better.

  9. Be Honest
  10. The key to a well-written and well-structured critique essay is honesty. If you find something negative to say about a part of the piece, don’t be afraid to say it. Likewise, if you find something commendable about the piece you are reading, don’t be afraid to say it as well.

These tips on how to write a critique paper can help you make the best critique paper for your course or subject.

About the author:

Elena Dorabji is a lecturer at the Department of Political Science at San Jose State University. Her main area of specialization was comparative politics with emphasis on South Africa. Contact Elena via her Facebook page regarding her research work and other questions.