English 102

Begin Critiquing Your Sources

Now is the time to begin critiquing your sources. This builds on the skills we practiced with the critique paper.

To begin with, you’ll want to provide a brief summary of the article. This can be as simple as identifying the thesis: “In this paper, the author argues that …” It can also be more complex, identifying main ideas, some of the most important supporting ideas, even key examples.

Next, critique the source. Focus on evidence and reasoning (assumptions).

Remember that a critique is an analysis and evaluation. Explain how the article is put together—this starts with the summary but can also include a description of the evidence or the assumptions and how they support the thesis. Either as part of the description or after it, give your assessment or evaluation of these different elements:

It is also worth considering the author’s credibility:

The critiques you write will form the core of your next assignment, the Literature Review. Continue critiquing your sources until you have a brief critique of all the sources you will include in that paper.

For more on how to critique your sources, including detailed questions to ask about the author and the evidence, see “Critically Analyzing Information Sources” at Cornell University.