Write a Critical Review of a Scientific Journal Article

What is a scientific journal, what is a critical review, more help with science writing.

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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.

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.

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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How to read a paper, critical review

Reading a scientific article is a complex task. The worst way to approach this task is to treat it like the reading of a textbook—reading from title to literature cited, digesting every word along the way without any reflection or criticism.

A critical review (sometimes called a critique, critical commentary, critical appraisal, critical analysis) is a detailed commentary on and critical evaluation of a text. You might carry out a critical review as a stand-alone exercise, or as part of your research and preparation for writing a literature review. The following guidelines are designed to help you critically evaluate a research article.

How to Read a Scientific Article

You should begin by skimming the article to identify its structure and features. As you read, look for the author’s main points.

What is meant by critical and evaluation?

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Introduction to Research: Humanities and Social Sciences

Writing Critical Reviews

What is a Critical Review of a Journal Article?

A critical review of a journal article evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of an article's ideas and content. It provides description, analysis and interpretation that allow readers to assess the article's value.

Before You Read the Article

Reading the Article: Points to Consider

Read the article carefully. Record your impressions and note sections suitable for quoting.

Prepare an Outline

Read over your notes. Choose a statement that expresses the central purpose or thesis of your review. When thinking of a thesis, consider the author's intentions and whether or not you think those intentions were successfully realized. Eliminate all notes that do not relate to your thesis. Organize your remaining points into separate groups such as points about structure, style, or argument. Devise a logical sequence for presenting these ideas. Remember that all of your ideas must support your central thesis.

Write the First Draft

The review should begin with a complete citation of the article. For example:

Platt, Kevin M.F. "History and Despotism, or: Hayden White vs. Ivan the Terrible  and Peter the Great." Rethinking History 3:3 (1999) : 247-269.

NOTE: Use the same bibliographic citation format as you would for any bibliography, works cited or reference list. It will follow a standard documentation style such as MLA or APA.

Be sure to ask your instructor which citation style to use. For frequently used style guides consult Queen's University Library's Citing Sources guide.

The first paragraph may contain:

The body of the review should:

The concluding paragraph may:

Revise the First Draft

Ideally, you should leave your first draft for a day or two before revising. This allows you to gain a more objective perspective on your ideas. Check for the following when revising:

You may make major revisions in the organization or content of your review during the revision process. Revising can even lead to a radical change in your central thesis.

NOTE: Prepared by University of Toronto Mississauga Library, Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre.

Additional Resources

Writing a Critical Review (Allyson Skene, The Writing Centre, U of Toronto at Scarborough)

The Book Review or Article Critique (Margaret Procter, Writing Support, University of Toronto)

Critical Reviews of Journal Articles (Herbert Coutts, University of Alberta)

Writing a Critical Review (The Writing Centre, Queen's University)

JEPS Bulletin

The Official Blog of the Journal of European Psychology Students

How to critically evaluate the quality of a research article?

how to critically analyse a research paper

So what’s the criteria to determine whether a result can be trusted? As it is taught in the first classes in psychology, errors may emerge from any phase of the research process. Therefore, it all boils down to how the research has been conducted and the results presented.

Meltzoff (2007) emphasizes the key issues that can produce flawed results and interpretations and should therefore be carefully considered when reading articles. Here is a reminder on what to bear in mind when reading a research article:

Research question The research must be clear in informing the reader of its aims. Terms should be clearly defined, even more so if they’re new or used in specific non-spread ways. You as a reader should pay particular attention should to errors in logic, especially those regarding causation, relationship or association.

Sample To provide trustworthy conclusions, a sample needs to be representative and adequate. Representativeness depends on the method of selection as well as the assignment.  For example, random assignment has its advantages in front of systematic assignment in establishing group equivalence. The sample can be biased when researchers used volunteers or selective attrition. The adequate sample size can be determined by employing power analysis.

Control of confounding variables Extraneous variation can influence research findings, therefore methods to control  relevant confounding variables should be applied.

Research designs The research design should be suitable to answer the research question. Readers should distinguish true experimental designs with random assignment from pre-experimental research designs.

Criteria and criteria measures The criteria measures must demonstrate reliability and validity for both, the independent and dependent variable.

Data analysis Appropriate statistical tests should be applied for the type of data obtained, and assumptions for their use met. Post hoc tests should be applied when multiple comparisons are performed. Tables and figures should be clearly labelled. Ideally, effect sizes shou

ld be included throughout giving a clear indication of the variables’ impact.

Discussion and conclusions Does the study allow generalization? Also, limitations of the study should be mentioned. The discussion and conclusions should be consistent with the study’s results. It’s a common mistake to emphasizing the results that are in accordance with the researcher’s expectations while not focusing on the ones that are not. Do the authors of the article you hold in hand do the same?

Ethics Last but not least, ere the ethical standards met? For more information, refer to the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2010).

References American Psychological Association (2010, June 1).  American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct . Retrieved July 28, 2011 from

Meltzoff, J. (2007). Critical Thinking About Research. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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Research Analysis Paper: How to Analyze a Research Article [2023]

Do you need to write a research analysis paper but have no idea how to do that? Then you’re in the right place.

Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for $13.00 $10.40/page

While completing this type of assignment, your key aim is to critically analyze a research article. An article from a serious scientific journal would be a good choice. You can analyze and interpret either quantitative or qualitative research.

Below, you’ll find a how-to guide on research analysis paper writing prepared by our experts. It contains outlining and formatting tips, topics, and examples of research articles analysis.

🔗 References

🔎 how to analyze a research article.

This analysis will be beneficial for you since it develops your critical thinking and research skills. So, let us present the main steps that should be undertaken to read and evaluate the paper correctly.

Now, let’s figure out what an analysis paper should include. There are several essential elements the reader should identify:

You can use free paper samples for college students before you work with your own writing to get a feel of how the analyzing process goes.

Step 1: Scan the Paper

First, briefly look through the found paper and evaluate whether it’s appropriate for your research. Scanning helps you to start the content analysis and get the general idea of the study.

To scan the paper effectively, follow these simple steps:

Have you completed these steps of your research paper’s critical analysis? Now, you should be able to answer these questions:

After completing this step, you should have a clear image of the text’s general idea. Also, here you can decide whether the given paper is worth further examination.

Step 2: Examine the Content

The next step leads to a deeper understanding of the topic. Here, again, you can try the following course of action to take the maximum benefit from the evaluation of the source.

Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.

Sometimes, even after the second step of evaluation, the writer’s perspective is not evident. What to do in this case? There are three scenarios:

Step 3: Check the Format and Presentation

At this stage, analyze the research paper format and the general presentation of the arguments and facts. Start with the evaluation of the sentence levels. In the research paper, there should be a hierarchy of sentences. To trace the research paper structure, take a look at the tips:

Your research paper analysis should also include format evaluation. This task might be challenging unless you have the formatting style manual open in front of your eyes.

Figure out what citation style the author applied and check whether all the requirements are met. Here is a mini checklist you have to follow:

Step 4: Critique & Evaluate

This step requires attention to every detail in the paper. Identify each of the author’s assumptions and question them. Do you agree with the author’s evidence? How would you support the arguments? What are your opinions regarding the author’s ideas?

Just $13.00 $10.40/page , and you can get an custom-written academic paper according to your instructions

For starters:

Try to re-implement the entire paper from your perspective and see how your version differs from the initial work. This trick will help you to determine the strong and weak sides of the work.

Then, move on to criticism. An effective way to evaluate a research paper consists of asking the right questions and assessing the crucial aspects, like:

✅ Research Analysis Paper: Key Questions

As you can see, the task requires a lot of time and effort. That is why we’ve prepared a list of questions you should ask while analyzing a research paper. Use them as a ground for critical reading and evaluation.

Congrats! Now you know how to write a research paper analysis. You are welcome to check out our writing tips available on the website and save a ton of time on your academic papers. Share the link with your peers who may need our advice as well.

I would be grateful if you kindly upload a sample of research papers analysis in order to make the points mentioned tangible.

Custom Writing

Dear Mustafa, There might be one available on our free essays page – you are welcome to check it out and find out more about the available sample papers that we have! Have a great day!

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