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A critical review is an evaluation of an academic text eg: an article, report, essay or book. You are asked to make judgments, positive or negative, about the text using various criteria. The information and knowledge in the text needs to be evaluated, and the criteria that should be used can vary depending on your discipline. That is, management, sociology, information technology, or literature may use different criteria. All critical reviews, however, involve two main tasks: summary and evaluation.
A description of the text:
Be careful not to give too much detail, especially in a short review.
Source: Language and Learning (2008) Monash University www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/quickrefs/26-critical-review.xml [accessed 23 January 2008] with minor amendments.
Your reader will want to know that you have understood the article/chapter, and will see this from your summary/description. If you follow the outline in the left hand column, you will normally achieve a pass grade. If you are looking for a higher grade, you need to ‘add value’ to the basic outline, and include thoughtful comments on the sorts of issues suggested in the right hand column. These bullet points are suggestions – you may be able to think of a better set for your subject.