Your review should show that you can recognize arguments and engage in critical thinking about the course content. Keep questions like these in mind as you read, make notes, and then write the review or critique.
1. What is the specific topic of the article? What overall purpose does it seem to have? For what readership is it written? (Look in the acknowledgements, reference list, and index for clues about where and how the piece was originally published, and about the author's background and position).
2. Does the author clearly state an explicit thesis? Does the author have a specific point of view? Is the article “persuasive”? If so, please explain.
3. What exactly does the work contribute and relate to the overall topic of your course and/or assignment? What general problems and concepts in your discipline and course does it engage with?
4. What kinds of material does the work present (e.g. primary documents or secondary material, personal observations, literary analysis, quantitative data, biographical or historical accounts)?
5. How is this material used to demonstrate and argue the thesis? (As well as indicating the overall argumentative structure of the work, your review could quote or summarize specific passages to describe the author's presentation, including writing style and tone).
6. What theoretical, ethical issues, and topics for further discussion does the work raise?
7. What are your own reactions and considered opinions regarding the work?