How to Write a Critical Review
If you are preparing to do a critical review, know that the job is not difficult; it requires effort and dedication from the student. In this article, we have gathered some important information for you to learn how to do a critical review with excellence.
What is a critical review?
The critical review is a text that must be written objectively to summarize a work, film, or article. However, for the document to be valid, you need to critically analyze it while critically mentioning its positive and negative aspects.
Therefore, the critical review is still a purely informative text, but with details that highlight the reviewer’s opinion. The work is highly requested in the academic environment.
What to do before starting the critical review?
Before you start writing a critical review, some precautions need to be taken to present quality work. Following these steps, it will be easier to achieve a grade with excellence.
1. Read the work to be reviewed
To do a useful critical review, it is essential to read or watch the entire work, be it a film, a book, or a lecture. However, reading needs to be quick to get to know your subject better. So, leave notes for later and focus on reading.
2. Do a rereading
When you do your first reading, don’t think you understand everything because there may be elements that have gone unnoticed. Therefore, use the rereading to observe the most punctual aspects of the work, that most relevant topic.
If possible, use a pencil or highlighter to highlight the main ideas and start making connections. Use the question technique and write it down in the pages’ corner to get you started thinking about the content.
3. Stop to think
After reading and rereading the work, it’s time to stop and think about everything you’ve read and absorbed from the content. Therefore, review all your notes and try to form an opinion on the subject.
Check the possibility of looking for other sources of consultation to make some comparisons. Only after this process should you start writing the critical review. However, do not exceed more than 72 hours to start developing the text to forget everything you read and absorb from the content.
How to start a critical review?
To start a critical review, you need to answer some questions that will give you the foundation to start writing the text. We have highlighted some important questions for you to answer but understand that this is just a suggestion.
- What subject is covered in the book?
- Does the work have any special characteristics?
- How is the subject addressed in the book?
- What is the author’s thesis?
- What is the author’s intention with the work?
- What is the prior knowledge required to understand the work?
- Which author does the author direct his work to?
- Can you understand the topic?
- Was the book written interestingly and pleasantly?
- Do you believe that the illustrations were well-chosen?
- Was the book well organized?
- Do you think the reader finds the book useful?
- What conclusion did you reach when comparing this work with similar works and other works by the same author?
What is the step by step to do a critical review?
To keep your text well structured, the ideal is to follow a step by step. With that, the critical review will be presented in full. See the steps that we have identified for you to follow.
Identify the work
In the identification of the work, place all the bibliographic data of the book, film, article, or any other work that you have read or watched and where the critical review will be based;
Present the work
- Make a description of the content of the text you will review;
- Write the description in a few lines;
- The objective is to situate the reader with what he will read in his review.
Describe the structure
- Mention the division of the book, film, or article into chapters or sections;
- Talk about the narrative focus;
- Quote about the number of pages in the review.
Describe the content
- In the main part of the text, you need to summarize the book, article, or film;
- Do this objectively;
- Use 3 to 5 lines to talk about it.
- State your opinion about the work you read or watched;
- Try to argue based on the theories of other authors;
- Make comparisons;
- Use some explanations that were given by the teachers inside the classroom;
- Use a maximum of 3 paragraphs to make your analysis.
Recommend the work
- Recommend the work to those people who may find the content useful;
- Use elements such as age, income, education, social, and even pedagogical elements.
Identify the author
- Mention who is the author of the work you have reviewed;
- Talk a little about the author’s life;
- Put some information about the other works of the author;
- Insert the academic information, the author’s area of expertise, among other relevant subjects.
Sign and identify yourself
- Put the name of the author of the review, which in this case is you;
- Identify the academic course;
- Then, enter the name of the institution;
- Take as an example:
How to write the conclusion of a critical review?
The conclusion of a critical review is the field where you need to make your general assessment of the book, film, or article that served as a parameter for writing the review’s text.
Therefore, evaluate if, for you, the author of the work could supply the needs, reaching the proposed objectives. Also, write if the book, film, or article contributed to the area of knowledge you are studying.
To make it easier to develop the conclusion, consider some questions when writing the text:
- Check if the book, film, or article are appropriate to the author’s initial proposal;
- Confirm that the author can maintain the focus of the work;
- Note that in the works you used to compare the texts, the author failed to consider relevant aspects of his area;
- See if the author was able to meet the objectives, he set out to start the work;
- List what contributions the work brings to your study area or a specific group of readers;
- Check if you can justify the use of this work in the context in which it was indicated;
- Make a final comment about the work;
- Inform if you have suggestions for future research in this area;
- Score how the reading of the work contributed to its formation.
What are the tips for doing a good critical review?
Every review needs to be a very well written text, presenting a good vocabulary, being impersonal, impartial, maintaining conciseness and clarity, privileging the essentials, besides being something simple and objective.
Impartiality must be used when writing the text, leaving passion aside, and criticizing the work as it should be. The positive and negative aspects should be scored without needing to defend any side, leaving aside the friendship, opinion of teachers and colleagues, and publishers’ imposition.
Like any academic work, a critical review must have a scientific character. It must obey all the requirements that involve the objectivity and impersonality of this type of content.
3. Focus on the essential
Avoid going into details that are not relevant to the work. Focus your work only on what is important in the book, film, or article. Therefore, prioritize only what is essential for the reader to remain attached to your text.