When you are writing a Critique, you need to demonstrate an understanding of the object of study and evaluate its significance. You will not be expected to make recommendations - see Case Study.

Therefore in a Critique you will need to describe the object of study and evaluate it. There are two main organisational structures for a Critique. In the first type, you describe one aspect of the object of study and then evaluate it, and then move on to the second aspect, and so on. In the second type, you describe all aspects of the object of study and then evaluate all the aspects. In both cases, you  need to end by giving your overall evaluation of the object of study.

Critiques are found in all subject areas and, depending on your subject, you may need to include tables and figures.

The structure of a Critique  can be quite complex. It is therefore very important to start by identifying the aspects of the object of study that you intend to discuss. You can then plan the structure of your Critique, showing the relationship between each of the points you make.

A simplified diagram of the Critique structure might be one of the following:

Structure 1

Introduction

What is the object of your study?

Which aspects of it are you interested in (1, 2, 3, ...)?

Description and Evaluation

Aspect 1

Description and Evaluation

Aspect 2

Description and Evaluation

Aspect 3

and so on

Conclusion

Summary

or

Structure 2

Introduction

What is the object of your study?

Which aspects of it are you interested in (1, 2, 3, ...)?

Description

of object of study

Evaluation

of Aspect 1 of object of study

Evaluation

of Aspect 2 of object of study

Evaluation

of Aspect 3 of object of study

and so on

Conclusion

Summary

Types of Critiques include:

  • academic paper review 
  • review of a book/film/play/website
  • business environment analysis
  • business/organisation evaluation
  • financial report evaluation
  • interpretation of results
  • critique of legislation or policy
  • product evaluation
  • programme evaluation
  • project evaluation
  • evaluation of a lesson, or teaching materials

Tasks 1, 2, 3 and 4 will give you practice in understanding the structure of Critiques.

Task 1

Drag the stages into the correct order - put the first one at the top.

Exercise

Task 2

Two possible structures are shown for a Critique. Drag the stages into the correct order for structure 1 - put the first one at the top.

Exercise

Task 3

Two possible structures are shown for a Critique. Drag the stages into the correct order for structure 2 - put the first one at the top.

Exercise

Task 4

Read the three examples of Critiques: Example 1, Example 2 and Example 3. Decide if structure 1, structure 2 or a mixture is used.

Exercise

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