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Write a Critical Review of a Scientific Journal Article

What is a scientific journal?

A scientific journal is a publication intended to further the progress of scientific discovery by reporting novel research. Scientific journals publish both original research articles and review articles.

What is a critical review?

A critical review is an assessment of an original research article.  Writing a critical review of a journal article can help you improve your research skills. By assessing the work of others, you develop skills as a critical reader and become familiar with the types of evaluation criteria that will be applied to research in your field.

You are expected to read the article carefully, analyze it, and evaluate the quality and originality of the research, as well as its relevance and presentation. You should assess its strengths and weaknesses, followed by its overall value.

  • Do not be confused by the term critique: it does not mean that you only look at the negative aspects of what the researchers have done. You should address both the positive and negative aspects of the journal article.
  • If your instructor has given you specific advice on how to write a critical review, follow that advice. If not, the following steps may help you. 

This guide is divided into two parts. The first part, "Analyzing the Text," outlines the steps involved in evaluating a research article. The second part, "Writing Your Critique," discusses two possible ways to structure your review.​

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