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How to write article critique in under 3 hours?

Article critiques are absolutely essential to many students looking for a degree or graduate degree in a scientific field. The idea is to read over a published article and then present a summary that culminates in your judgment of whether or not the author proved his point. Because these are such a common learning tool for students, they can be assigned often and by more than one professor. If you feel yourself overwhelmed or just burned out by all the demands to write article critiques, follow the instructions below and make sure you get yours done within three hours.

Skimming Through the Article

First, skim the article reading the introduction, the main points of each paragraph and the conclusion. After that, you can begin reading the actual article and will find it goes quicker because you’re already familiar with the points it is making.


Next, read through the article again, but this time highlight important information. The reason you do this the second time is now you have a full understanding of the article. You know what is worth highlighting and what isn’t worth remembering. Because this will end with a summary, and because we’re trying to keep the time involved low, we don’t want to waste time with information we’ll eventually feel is superfluous.

Thus your highlighting should notate what the thesis or argument is of the piece, the audience it is intended for, any citation of evidence, any places you see holes in the author’s arguments or where he or she contradicts themselves and then the parts of the conclusion you feel succeed or fail.

Final Read

Now read through again and either highlight parts you feel are important but that you missed the first time through or cross out sections you now realize are not important or crucial to your summary. It helps to have your own process of notes, even going so far as to have a key of symbols, so that it will be easier to draw out specific sections later.

Once this is done, make an outline of your overall opinion directly citing the information you have highlighted. When that outline is done, you can begin your article critique. First summarize the article you are now familiar with. When the summarization is done, add your opinion to the end using the outline you just made. Remember your opinion should be whether or not the article was successful in its argument and why or why not.