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How to write and edit a critique paper

A critique paper is one which responds to or evaluates a theory, journal article, or book. Just as you would with any other formal academic paper, you want to use a formal academic writing style which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. When you are writing and editing a critique paper, you want to grab the attention of the reader right off the bat. Don't waste time by filling your essay with unnecessary words. "I believe" or "In my opinion" are useless. You are the author, so naturally it goes without saying that the content is "in your opinion" or something you believe. Be cautious about your vocabulary and make sure you are not using the same modifiers (read: adjectives) over and over. "The awesome party was full of awesome people who made it awesome" is just a waste of space and should be removed. And don't rely on the thesaurus feature to replace words for you.

As you review your draft and prepare for final submission, look over the page as a whole. Are there any unnecessarily large paragraphs? Do you have an introduction, a conclusion, some transitions in between, and a clear purpose?

Avoid writing in absolutes unless you truly mean it. This means words such as "always", "never", or "everyone".

Once your critique is written, you need to proofread. This is a time consuming process if it is done correctly. You should read the entire critique out loud to yourself, not just on the screen. As you do this, look for standard mechanical errors, typographical errors, and spelling errors. But also make sure you check for the basic grammar rules.

  1. Parallel Construction
  2. "I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and camping" rather than "I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and to camp".

  3. Subject-verb Agreement
  4. The woman goes. The women go. Don't fall victim to this.

  5. Semi-colon v. Colon
  6. If you don't know what you are doing with these, educate yourself before you wander off into the unknown. Simply reading aloud will help you determine if you used the comma in the correct place, or if another form of punctuation may have been better suited.

  7. Slang or Colloquialisms
  8. The reader of your critique is not your best friend. Switch your language choices so that you don't use something inappropriate in a formal or academic setting. This includes acronyms or abbreviations you would use in a text message or words that you might think are real due to their high propensity to be tossed around in class, but really are just slang.

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