This plan provides guidance to the library media teacher when teaching how to write an article critique.
Explain to students that there are five rules for writing a summary:
- Eliminate the trivia, i.e. details
- Eliminate the redundancies, i.e. repetitions, summaries
- Use generic terms for specific terms, i.e. flowers for roses, daisies, carnations and tulips
- Locate and use the author's main ideas
- If there are no main ideas, create your own based on the text
Further explain that in order to write the summary, the student will need to read the article several times. They will need to keep the following questions in mind while reading:
- What does the author want me to know about this topic?
- What information does she/he give me about this topic?
The student should proceed with the composition as follows:
- Without consulting the article, write down the information you remember from reading.
- Next, using the article, look for important ideas that you have forgotten. Write them down.
- Using the list of ideas you've written, evaluate each one according to the rules listed above. Ideas that are subsumed under others are probably details that should be eliminated.
- The paragraph that can be constructed from the list will not necessarily be a smooth flowing, cohesive one, like you are accustomed to writing.
Note: A tip for articles that explain a method or technique: tell what the method is; explain briefly how to do it; and, tell what advantage it has.
The critique is not a reaction to the article or the material in it. It is not an explanation of the material, nor an amplification of it. Nor is the critique an editorial, a defense of the material from your standpoint. The critique is your evaluation of the article and how it is presented to you.
The questions to keep in mind while writing it are:
- If I were an editor receiving this article for publish in my professional journal, would I print it?
- Does it have a logical format? Is it written well?
- Does it have- a research base? Is the research base timely (5 years or less)?
- Is the article timely?
- Is the material practical and feasible? If not, what is the problem?
- What are the strengths of the article?
- What are its weaknesses? Will the weaknesses make the article, unworthy of publish?
- What text aids are there for the reader of the article? What is missing?