How to write a critique?

+43 votes
asked Apr 4 in Education by ShadEdmondso (280 points)
edited Aug 12
I must provide a critique of a new book that should be both fair and accurate. I have tried my best to search online on how to write a critique with no avail. Can anybody here help me?

3 Answers

+10 votes
answered May 23 by TerriMcGavin (360 points)
edited May 27
First off, you should know what a critique exactly is. A critique is the careful analysis of a published work, such as a book, poem, article or theory. You analyze the work and give your opinion about what makes it good or bad.

Read up on what makes a good critic so that you know how to approach writing. There are certain qualities that the best critics pinpoint from the beginning. For instance, the best movie critics have checklists of the elements they look out for.

As for the advice for writing a book critique, I can only suggest you gain a complete understanding of the work before you write your opinion. Remember, a big part of writing well is reading well.
+2 votes
answered Apr 28 by CeliaChristi (220 points)
edited May 11
A critique looks like an essay, but it is shorter, less factual and more opinionated. This paper is set up in a format that includes an intro, a body of text and the conclusion. It usually does not include bulleted points, charts or images. It consists of words that state how one person feels about a literary piece of work.

You must write the critique in a formal way of speaking. You cannot use too many colloquialisms or make references that few people understand. The way you discuss a book to your friends is not the way you discuss it in formal writing. Use complete sentences, include details and remain courteous to the writer.

Examples are the most important parts of written critiques. For people who have not read the book, include examples or snippets to help them understand your interpretation. For instance, if you want to talk about certain characteristics of Hamlet, such as his courage or cleverness, include scenes to prove your point. The more examples you include, without giving away the spoilers, the more illustrated your writing becomes.
commented Oct 15, 2015 by FinnO6396138 (110 points)
I can’t agree with you more. This is exact what I would say to any of my students who wants to know how to write a critique.
+1 vote
answered Jul 16 by EricaKrause5 (220 points)
edited Jul 30
Although complete in itself, a critique is not a long essay – so make it both concise and detailed. Start by listing everything you have learned about the work you are critiquing. Note the main ideas, themes and people along with the introduction and conclusion. Then, take note of everything you love and hate about the work. Start by creating a draft, which would save you a lot of thinking time.
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