How to Critique a Research Paper: Guidelines for Dummies
If you have to do a peer critique or even evaluate your own paper, this can be a tough task. You would have to look at many things in the piece. Here are a few guidelines for dummies to help you:
- Use the highlighter system-if you highlight each main idea of the thesis statement in a different color; you can quickly see if the thesis statement is effective. You can then highlight the support that relates to the different main ideas in the corresponding colors.
- Scan and then deep read-for spelling and grammar errors, try the scan and then deep read method. You will first scan the paper for mistakes and mark them as you locate them. Then you will read it again at a much slower and a deeper pace looking for errors to mark. Some people will follow this with another quick scan in order to catch any missed errors.
- Look at content and then look at mechanics-you should read for the content and for the mechanics at different times. Trying to do the two things simultaneously will just create a mess. Separate each task in order to be more effective at the critique job.
- It’s all in the thesis statement-in order for the paper to be successful; the thesis statement has to be proven correctly and it has to have factual and credible support. If this is not accomplished, then the paper did not do the job. Finding out if the thesis is proven is the most important job of your critique.
- A rubric will help-look online for a rubric. There are rubrics for very style of writing. If you use the rubric as the guide, then you know everything that you are supposed to cover. It will make your job easier.
- Know the style: the teacher will dictate the style that the paper should have been written in, such as MLA or APA type. The paper must adhere to the style. If you do not know the rules of the form, then you will need to brush up on the style. Once you do that, you should be ready to look at and evaluate that part of the essay or research paper.
The next time you have to critique any type of writing, you can use this list for dummies in order to do a great job!
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