Critiquing a Journal Article

Critiquing a Journal Article – Common Mistakes You Must Avoid

Critiquing a journal article is a crucial part of a research which is incorporated in the literature review section. A critique is a formal assessment and evaluation of a text. Many students confuse critique with fault finding or negative judgement; however, it entails a fair evaluation that identifies academic discourse’s strengths and weaknesses. It is a philosophical tradition that adheres to the principle of dialectics, where statements are evaluated and subjected to rigorous analysis to ascertain their credibility and authenticity.

Similarly, critiquing a journal article is an analytical method of dissecting the text into several parts and assessing its strengths and shortcomings. Many students commit mistakes while critiquing a journal article; therefore, we have identified those common mistakes and will provide guidelines on how to correct them.

Critiquing A Journal Article: What Does It Mean?

A critique starts with an overview of the paper’s topic, but it differs from a simple summary in that it includes the writer’s analysis. The issues raised by the author, the study’s premises, goals, objectives, research methodology, and whether the inferences drawn from the data are reliable or just conjectured must all be noted when critiquing a journal article. Evaluation of the arguments, including any logical or factual errors and fallacies, is necessary for critiquing a journal article. Irony and ambiguity presented in the study may also be the objective of critical analysis.

A journal article’s content is evaluated objectively and critically for its scientific rigour and relevance to practical issues, theory, and literature during the critique process. It needs some familiarity with the topic area and the ability to read critically and apply analytical skills. A critique should highlight the article’s strengths as well as its weaknesses. Prioritising the article’s contributions to the development of literature in the relevant field should come first in a critique, which should then proceed to point out any flaws or shortcomings. A critique is a fair assessment rather than a personal attack.

Critiquing A Journal Article: Common Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Reading and Understanding

Reading and understanding are separate things. There are different reading strategies such as skimming, reading for ideas and specific details. Critiquing a journal article necessities critical reading skill, and until or unless you do not read a text properly, you cannot provide your criticism. Critical reading helps you comprehend the various components of a journal article. However, many students read the article briefly and formulate an opinion of the author’s argument, which is biased and one-sided. Remember to point out the following things while you are reading a research article:

Ascertain The Author’s Credentials

One of the important things to remember before you start critiquing a journal article is to ascertain the author’s credentials. You must ask the following questions:

  • Why is the author of the article regarded as an authority in his or her field?
  • Is the author an expert in his or her field or a novice researcher?
  • Does the author have sufficient knowledge of the subject matter?
  • What are the opinions of other subject specialists about the relevant article author?
  • Is the article author academically well-established or a frivolous individual?

Identify the Central Idea

Critiquing a journal article entails identifying the article’s central idea, which is the author’s key stance on the issue. You must ask the following things:

  • What is the article’s key point that the author wants to convey to the readers?
  • Is the main idea stated clearly and coherently? Or are there just a bunch of vague statements bundled without providing any specific details?

Identify the Text’s Audience

Critiquing a journal article requires identifying the text’s audience, and many students fail to identify the text’s target audience and misinterpret the author’s intentions. You must ask the following questions:

  • Is the article intended for laymen?
  • Or does the article cater to a knowledgeable audience who can understand the complex jargon and terminologies?

Strength of Arguments

You must evaluate the arguments and identify their strengths and shortcomings. Also assess whether the arguments are sound or invalid. You need to ask the following questions while critiquing the article’s arguments:

  • Are the arguments based on sound premises?
  • Are the premises sound and valid?
  • Assess whether the inferences drawn from the premises are valid or invalid.
  • Is there logical consistency between the arguments?
  • Does corroborating evidence support the arguments?
  • Is the data credible? Has the author used multiple sources to support the key points? Or does he or she only use one source to support the key assertions?
  • Are there any logical fallacies? What is their impact on the article’s findings?
  • What are the inherent biases and assumptions of the author in the article’s findings?
  • Did the author achieve the aims and objectives specified in the introduction section?

Analysis of arguments requires critical thinking skills and analytical abilities. It requires dissecting the text into several parts and analysing each part separately. Furthermore, it entails the identification of recurring themes and patterns throughout the text, which is not an easy task. If you experience difficulty critiquing a journal article, you can always reach out to experts at PhD dissertation help. You can get help from expert writers skilled at critical evaluation and examination of academic discourse.

Criticising Without Evidence

One of the common mistake students commit in critiquing a journal article is that they point out the flaws but do not substantiate their refutations with corroborating evidence. The reviewer must also provide proof to support their claims. It is not sufficient to state that the article is erroneous; you must also explain how and why. You must back up your assertion with evidence to show why, in your view, the reasons are insufficient or faulty. It is critical to be aware of the objectives of a critique. A critique does not equate to proving someone’s argument’s conclusion to be fallacious. Instead, it evaluates the arguments critically and assesses the strengths and shortcomings.


A student must read a research paper critically and then analyse it. The main objective is to determine the article’s strong and weak points and evaluate how effectively the author interprets the data. In a nutshell, critiquing a journal article requires assessing the validity and reliability of the author’s arguments. Also read about the benefits of CAPM certifications.

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