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Write Critical Evaluation Essay

A Brief Introduction To Critical Evaluation Essay Writing

The main purpose of a critical evaluation essay is a paper that is written about the value or quality of a book, an article, or another piece. You can write it about any of these things. But in order to do so, it is so important for you to make sure that you understand how to write this type of essay. It is more than a summary, but rather an analysis or evaluation. Here are the steps that are needed to write an effective critical review.

Step One

Read the piece over in its entirety. Look for the thesis. Look over the structure and the methodology. You will need to read through it critically to find the reasons and how they are presented. Write down what you think the text is saying.

Step Two

Examine all of the elements in the text. You have to look at the reasons, methods, and evidence that is used to support the text and to present the ideas. You want to identify the logical connections between these elements.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of text are you reading?
  • What are the various sections and how do they work together?
  • Are there any sections that are ineffective?
  • Is the research qualitative or quantitative?
  • What are the weaknesses in the methodology?
  • How is the hypothesis addressed?
  • What sources are used as evidence?
  • What reasoning is used?
  • What type of evidence is used?
  • Does the data support the conclusion?
  • Do the interpretations make sense?
  • Does the piece contribute to the overall knowledge in the field?
  • What assumptions are made?
  • Does the argument have any flaws?

Step Three

The third step involves the writing section of the writing process. You will start by formulating a thesis statement which will be the overall evaluation of the piece. It will acknowledge the piece’s strengths and weaknesses. You will write an introduction that introduces the piece for those that have not read the piece. Then you will present your thesis which concentrates on the main point. The body will present evidence to support the thesis. And the conclusion will restate the thesis and wrap it all up. You should create an outline to make sure that you are presenting your evidence in the best order to get the most out of your paper.

Step Four

Edit your rough draft. You have to make sure that it says what you want it to say and that it flows nicely from one section to the next. Make sure that it is not choppy by adding transitions.

Critical reviews, both short (one page) and long (four pages), usually have a similar structure. Check your assignment instructions for formatting and structural specifications. Headings are usually optional for longer reviews and can be helpful for the reader.

Summarising and paraphrasing are essential skills for academic writing and in particular, the critical review. To summarise means to reduce a text to its main points and its most important ideas. The length of your summary for a critical review should only be about one quarter to one third of the whole critical review.

The best way to summarise is to:

  1. Scan the text. Look for information that can be deduced from the introduction, conclusion and the title and headings. What do these tell you about the main points of the article?
  2. Locate the topic sentences and highlight the main points as you read.
  3. Reread the text and make separate notes of the main points. Examples and evidence do not need to be included at this stage. Usually they are used selectively in your critique.

Paraphrasing means putting it into your own words. Paraphrasing offers an alternative to using direct quotations in your summary (and the critique) and can be an efficient way to integrate your summary notes.

The best way to paraphrase is to:

  1. Review your summary notes
  2. Rewrite them in your own words and in complete sentences
  3. Use reporting verbs and phrases (eg; The author describes…, Smith argues that …).
  4. If you include unique or specialist phrases from the text, use quotation marks.

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