How to Write A Critical Review Assignment
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
How to Write A Critical Review Assignment
The critical review is an assignment that asks you to summarize and evaluate a scholarly text. In this case, scholarly material written by academics on the theories and foreign policy and international relations. The critical review can be of a book, a chapter, or a journal article. Writing the critical review usually requires you to read the selected text in detail.
At university, to be critical does not mean to criticize in a negative manner. Rather it requires you to question the information and opinions in a text and present your evaluation or judgement of the text. To do this well, you should attempt to understand the topic from different perspectives (i.e. read related texts) and in relation to the theories, approaches and frameworks in your International Relations and Foreign Policy Analysis course.
What is meant by evaluation or judgement? Here you decide the strengths and weaknesses of a text. Evaluating requires an understanding of not just the content of the text, but also an understanding of a text’s purpose, its context, the intended audience and why it is structured the way it is.
What is meant by analysis? Analyzing requires separating the content and concepts of a text into their main components and then understanding how these interrelate, connect and possibly influence each other.
Critical reviews, can be both short (one page) and long (four pages), usually have a similar structure. You expected not to exceed 1500 words within reasonable limits (100 words above or below the limits can be accepted).
Introduction: You briefly summarize the key thesis of the text and provide a rationale for why you have selected this article or book.
The main body: You can also briefly explain and summarize the author’s purpose/intentions, concepts and key arguments throughout the text and you may briefly describe how the text is organized.
The critique should be a balanced discussion and evaluation of the strengths, weakness You can choose how to sequence your critique. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Most important to least important conclusions you make about the text.
- If your critique is more positive than negative, then present the negative points first and the positive last.
- If your critique is more negative than positive, then present the positive points first and the negative last.
- If there are both strengths and weakness for each criterion you use, you need to decide overall what your judgement is. For example, you may want to comment on a key idea in the text and have both positive and negative comments. You could begin by stating what is good about the idea and then concede and explain how it is limited in some way. While this example shows a mixed evaluation, overall you are probably being more negative than positive.
- In long reviews, you can address each criterion you choose in a paragraph, including both negative and positive points. For very short critical reviews (one page or less) where your comments will be briefer, include a paragraph of positive aspects and another of negative.
- You can also include recommendations for how the text can be improved in terms of ideas, research approach; theories or frameworks used can also be included in the critique section.
- More importantly explain to what extent the selected literature contributes to you’re a d general knowledge in the discipline.
This is usually a very short paragraph.
Restate your overall opinion of the text or texts.
- Compare strengths and weaknesses of the texts if you are reviewing several articles.
- Briefly present recommendations.
- Explain briefly to what extent these contribute to your knowledge and understanding of international politics.
- If necessary some further qualification or explanation of your judgement can be included. This can help your critique sound fair and reasonable.
If you used quotations from the selected texts in your review you should also include the page number of the references. Please include the full references of the texts you have selected. Author, the date, the title, the publisher or the name of the journal, use Harvard Referencing system.
Summarising and paraphrasing are essential skills for academic writing and in particular, the critical review. To summarise means to reduce a text to its main points and its most important ideas. The length of your summary for a critical review should only be about one quarter to one third of the whole critical review.
The best way to summarise is to:
- Scan the text. Look for information that can be deduced from the introduction, conclusion and the title and headings. What do these tell you about the main points of the article?
- Locate the topic sentences and highlight the main points as you read.
- Reread the text and make separate notes of the main points. Examples and evidence do not need to be included at this stage. Usually they are used selectively in your critique.
Paraphrasing means putting it into your own words. Paraphrasing offers an alternative to using direct quotations in your summary (and the critique) and can be an efficient way to integrate your summary notes.
The best way to paraphrase is to:
- Review your summary notes
- Rewrite them in your own words and in complete sentences
- Use reporting verbs and phrases (eg; The author describes…, Smith argues that …).
- If you include unique or specialist phrases from the text, use quotation
Some General Criteria for Evaluating Texts
The following list of criteria and focus questions may be useful for reading the text and for preparing the critical review. Remember to check your assignment instructions for more specific criteria and focus questions that should form the basis of your review. The length of the review / assignment will determine how many criteria you will address in your critique.
Criteria Possible focus questions Significance and contribution to the field · What is the author’s aim?
· To what extent has this aim been achieved?
· Does it contribute to your understanding and explanation of global politics?
· What does this text add to the body of theoretical knowledge in the field of Foreign Policy Analysis?
· What relationship does it bear to other works in the field?
· What is missing/not stated?
· Are arguments convincing?
· Are concepts used useful, interesting or even viable?
Approach · What approach was used for the research? (eg; quantitative or qualitative, analysis/review of theory or current practice, comparative, case study, personal reflection etc…)
· How objective/biased is the approach?
· What analytical framework is used to discuss the results?
Argument and use of evidence · Is there a clear problem, statement or hypothesis?
· What claims are made?
· Is the argument consistent?
· What kinds of evidence does the text rely on?
· How valid and reliable is the evidence?
· How effective is the evidence in supporting the argument?
· What conclusions are drawn?
· Are these conclusions justified?
Writing style and text structure · Does the writing style suit the intended audience? (eg; expert/non-expert, academic/non-academic)
· What is the organising principle of the text? Could it be better organised?
What do critical readers do?
- They questionas they read.
- They do not necessarily acceptwhat they read as 100% accurate or the only way of discussing an idea.
- They identify the positive(useful) and negative(less useful or weak) aspects of an argument.
- They analyze, evaluate and identify the component parts of arguments so that they can fully understand the author’s ideas.
- They look for content(basic facts), themes(overall ideas or arguments or claims), concepts (analytical categories, assumptions and definitions) and based on these they are able to raise issues about a text (how the ideas can be applied in practice or what the problems might be in practice or how these do contribute to knowledge).
- They find linksbetween authors. They can identify which authors are talking about similar ideas even when they sound different.
- They form opinionsabout what they have read.
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QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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