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Critical Writing




Critical writing evaluates the pros and cons of anothers work – ranging from the essay, through art and literature, to scientific theory etc. To be convincing, it is vital for the critic to have extensive knowledge of the topic.

To be critical is to be fair. The meaning of the word critical is often taken to be negative, but here, judgement can be either positive or negative depending upon an evaluation of the works style, data, method, logic, coherence, artistic quality, and so on. After reviewing the target work, it is judged honestly according to its merits and/or faults.

The audience is first and foremost the author and his supporters. For your work to have standing it is vital to understand them and their interests. Others include other critics, or perhaps most often, your university professor.


Summarise the author – who he is

Outline the work: its theme or idea / reasoning / purpose

Look at the results / conclusion / suggestions

Evaluate: accuracy / relevance

Determine relevant omissions

Determine the soundness of the work in relation to its stated purpose

Add your own slant

Think: How might the author or his supporters want to counter your critique

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Last modified: 02-11-2013