Critical reviewing

What is a critical review?

Critical Reviews are essays based on scholarship. You will be asked to find and read the literature on a topic and add your own considered arguments and judgements about it. This involves both reviewing an area, and using critical thought and judgement. It is quite a good idea to write with fellow researchers as your imagined audience, this will help you to avoid assuming that the reader knows everything so you needn't explain much. You need to show that you understand the topic. If you write clearly enough so that a fellow researcher both understands and is interested by your paper, then it should look good your supervisor.

Your goal is:
  • To show that you can critically analyse the literature
  • To show that you can synthesise (put together) the key findings and present them in a logical way
  • To show that you can pass on the findings to your profession

The first step is to find relevant literature to review. Your lecturer will give you guidance on your topic and what type of literature to include.

Creative Commons Licence
PILOT - Writing a critical review by Steve Draper, Glasgow University, Dr Jane McKay, GCU modified by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at