How To Critique An Article
This Videojug film will give you basic, easy-to-follow tips for how to create and organize an effective critique of an article.
In this video I'd like to give you some tips on how to critique an article. The word critique means that you're not just going to summarize the article, you're going to evaluate it and analyze it. So, what do you need to look for? One of the key things is the content and whether it's accurate.
So, did they get their facts right? That's a very basic thing and frankly, you'd be surprised perhaps by how often magazines and newspapers get their facts wrong. So, you may want to crosscheck any facts that you think are doubtful and see where they got it right. That's a very big one.
Another one is does the article express itself clearly? In other words, is it written in a way that's easy to understand and has a flow of information that's logical? And also, of course, you want to look at the style in which it's written. Is the style appropriate for the target audience? So, if it's written for children, then use of long words, for example, obviously, is a mismatch. So, you're looking for that kind of thing.
When you find problems or weaknesses or errors, then you want to quote in your critique what they were. Use portions of the original article to show what's wrong with it. When you do list errors, start with the big ones first.
In other words, a factual error, if they got some basic fact wrong, that's a much bigger mistake than the fact that perhaps the story ends with a weak pun or a bad joke or something like that. Organize in order of priority of mistakes. And also, although I'm talking about mistakes a lot, don't forget in your critique to mention what the author got right because that's also part of the critique, what does work, not only what doesn't work.
Just to summarize, when you are critiquing an article, there are several things you are looking for. One of them is the content, the factual content. Did they get their facts right? You also want to look at the style that they used.
Did they express themselves clearly and make it easy to read? If it's a feature article, you're looking for the entertainment value or the added value to the factual content. And when you're actually organizing your critique, you start with the biggest mistakes or weaknesses first, but also, don't forget that also it's part of the critique to talk about what did work, not just what didn't work. And when you've done that, you will know how to critique an article. .