The General Structure of a Critical Review

Many times a critical review is interpreted as literature review section of writing or research. This is completely a different type of text where one discusses single article or book with the consideration of all its details. No doubt literature review also requires to critically analysis previous researchers but it considers plenty of academic or non-academic resources instead of choosing one of them. So if you have an assignment to critically analyse an article or book then read the required book or article for as many times that give you the complete understanding of each chapter or detail so you can critically analyse each section.

In this article, the basic structure of critical review is going to be discussed in detail. The critical review can be both the short one that can be of one page and the length that requires writing on four to five pages but usually, both have the same structure. First of all read the assignment instructions carefully that tells you about some specific structure and formatting guidelines that you need to follow. Headings are usually optional and it is helpful for the reader for reading longer reviews. These are the key headings that you can add in your critical review paper;

  • Introduction
  • Summary
  • Critique
  • Conclusion
  • References

Following this structure of review writing requires you to summarise the article or book by first introducing the topic of the chosen academic source then summaries the main concept. Further is adding critiques that you have or of professionals in all terms including the critique of the topic, methodology, finding and structuring. This format is required even if you are not adding any heading but the sequence of writing should be as above described. So for writing a critical review, the main thing to learn is summarising and paraphrasing skills.

Summarising and Paraphrasing for the Critical Review

These two are the basic skills required for both academic and professional writing, especially for writing a critical review. Summarising means reducing text into a small piece, that clears each point of the whole paper in a few sentences. Summary section of critical review writing must be the one quarter to one-third part of the complete writing. These are some best ways to follow for writing a summary in critical review;

  • Scan the content of article or book by searching for the information from an introduction, main body and conclusion chapter of the article. To develop a list of main points described in headings
  • Find out the topic sentence from the introduction chapter of in the main body that gives you a path to identify the main points and for writing summary each main point must be discussed with a sentence that you can call as topic sentences for these subtopics.
  • Again read the content and develop notes of each point here I do not mean to add examples but use them in critiques section. These notes will help you write a conclusive statement at the end of critical review writing.