• Introduce text and author.
• State author’s main idea/argument
• Identify author’s purpose (to inform, persuade, entertain?)
• Background information, e.g.:
• Biographical information about author
- Intended audience of text
- Circumstances in which text was written
- Why subject is of current interest
- Why controversy about the text or the subject
- State own opinion, points you will make about the text
• Sum up main points made by author
• What arguments used?
• What evidence presented?
• Any underlying assumptions/biases?
• Your response to the text. Consider the following:
• Text well organised, clear, easy to read?
• Terms clearly defined?
• Argument logical?
• Sufficient evidence for arguments?
• Do arguments support main point?
• What assumptions made?
• Information accurate/significant used and interpreted fairly?
• Opposite views presented/addressed?
• How does text compare with other material/views on the subject?
• Any issues overlooked?
• Text appropriate for intended audience?
• What kind of language used?
• Is a calm, reasoned tone used?
• What are the author’s credentials?
• Author associated with well-known/respected authority?
• Evidence of peer review?
• What is the value of the text in general?
• Reminder of strengths/weaknesses of text.
• How well does the text achieve its purpose?
• How far does it contribute to understanding of the subject?
• What questions/observations does it suggest?
Critiquing a piece of research – other aspects to consider
• Validity – does the research test what it set out to test?
• Reliability – would the same results be obtained if the research was repeated in the same conditions?
• Suitability of methods used
• Researcher bias