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What is Critical academic writing?

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Read this blog to learn what is Critical academic writing. This blog will provide you with all the knowledge you need about academic writing secrets.


It’s common for criticism of student writing to focus on the necessity for students to participate in more critical engagement with the source material. The majority of tutors will comment something to the effect of ‘too descriptive’ or ‘insufficient critical analysis.’ The goal of this Study Guide is to offer advice on how to improve your critical analysis skills in your writing. What is Critical Reading?, Critical What The Art of Editing and How to Use Paragraphs

The following are the primary traits that differentiate critical writing:

• a steadfast and unshakable refusal to accept the conclusions of others without first scrutinizing their arguments and evidence;

• a fair and balanced explanation of why other writers’ conclusions should be accepted or should be treated with caution;

This includes a clear presentation of your own evidence and arguments that lead up to your conclusion; as well as a clear presentation of your own evidence and arguments that lead up to your conclusion.

• a recognition of your own evidence, logic, and conclusion’s limits

What does it mean to write descriptively?

The main distinctive features of descriptive writing are that it will describe something, but only to the extent that it describes what appears to be there in the first place. To establish the following, for example: the context in which the study is being carried out;

A work of literature or art can be described in general as follows:

• A list of all the measurements taken;

• The time frame in which the study was carried out;

• A description of a significant figure in the discipline’s biographical information; or a combination of the two.

• A concise account of the events and decisions that led to a specific occurrence or decision

The following is a list of the differences between descriptive and critical writing:

You are not making an argument when you write descriptively; rather, you are establishing a backdrop against which an argument could be developed. You’re stating the problem as it is right now, without providing any analysis or commentary.

Descriptive writing is a straightforward type of writing. There’s also the risk of falling into the trap of utilising a big number of words from your word limit purely to provide a description, which is easy to do.

You’re presenting information rather than transforming it; you’re reporting thoughts rather than developing them in any way if you just give a description. A project that primarily relies on descriptive writing would score few points in this situation.

You are contributing to the academic dialogue by engaging in critical writing. This is a more difficult and maybe dangerous situation. Before making a choice, you must evaluate the evidence and arguments of others as well as your own. You must complete the following tasks:

• Evaluate the facts and arguments you’ve read in terms of their power and persuasiveness.

• Decide on the most significant positive and negative points to discuss;

• Assessing their relevance and use in regard to the argument you’ll be presenting for your assignment;

• Figure out how to incorporate them into your argument in the most effective way possible.

Critical writing certainly requires a higher level of proficiency than descriptive writing, as evidenced by the higher ratings given to critical writing over descriptive writing.

Learning how to articulate yourself as a thinker is an important skill to have.

You can build your distinctive academic voice within the context of your subject area through critical writing. Wellington and colleagues present some ways to distinguish between academic and non-academic voices in academic writing on page 84. The following people are proposed to be part of the scholarly voice:

Healthy scepticism is encouraged, but not cynicism.

• A sense of assurance… but not arrogance or cockiness

• An appraisal of the situation that is critical but not dismissive;

• Viewpoints… without coming across as arrogant;

• A careful review of previously published research… rather than firing at random targets in a series;

Being ‘fair’ means making objective appraisals of the strengths and flaws of other people’s ideas and writing… without prejudice.

Make an effort to develop the habit of critical writing as you read and write. Make sure that you include feedback in your work.

In a jumble, putting quotes together

It can be tempting to support an argument with a succession of quotes, believing that the more quotes you use, the stronger your case would be. It’s important to remember, though, that part of your role is to interpret the quotes for the reader, explaining their significance, discussing their validity, and illustrating how they relate to other pieces of evidence.

The usage of paragraphs should be done with caution.

When it comes to critical writing, there are a number of methods to make the paragraph work for you.

You can utilize paragraphs to create a clear and visual distinction between descriptive writing and critical analysis by transitioning to a new paragraph as you transition from descriptive writing to critical analysis and vice versa. This is useful in the following circumstances:

You can also show the reader a visual picture of their separation to emphasize that your article contains both description and critical analysis.

• Motivating you to write the critical analysis paragraphs that are required, particularly if you find that your description paragraphs are always longer or more frequent than your critical analysis paragraphs

It’s a good idea to provide your readers with the option of checking that they’re following your logic when reading an argument that’s more than one paragraph long. If your paragraphs are too long, readers may be compelled to hold too much information in their heads at once, forcing them to reread the content before they can figure out what you’re trying to say.

It’s also possible to use paragraphs to push oneself to combine critical writing with descriptive writing or a reference. Consider each paragraph to be its own mini-essay. In each paragraph, you would include the following:

Introduce your case in broad terms in your introduction.

• establish your claim and back it up with evidence;

• Reflect critically on the subject at hand

It is critical to explain why anything is essential enough to include.

It is critical to express your views and feelings, particularly in the early phases of an essay, assignment, or dissertation. Beyond that, there’s a risk that too much descriptive writing can eat up valuable words from your word limit, leaving less room for the analytical writing that will help you achieve better scores.

A useful habit to acquire is to make sure that when you describe evidence that is relevant to your argument, you also explain why that evidence is significant to your argument to the reader. Your explanation’s logic contributes to a crucial component of your writing, which is the key component of your writing.

So, while a single line or two may suffice to summarise and reference the evidence, it is insufficient on its own. The next few sentences should explain how this evidence connects to the argument you’re making in your article. It may appear at first that you are repeating yourself or explaining something obvious; however, it is your responsibility to ensure that the reader understands why the evidence is relevant; you should not assume that the reader will follow your logic or that the reader will simply figure out the relevance of the quote or data you have described.

In a single line, you can make an argument.

So far, this Study Guide has considered the finer qualities of your writing. The overall organization of your piece of writing is one of the most significant aspects to consider in critical writing. To be as successful as possible, your work should have a line, or a series of lines, of argument running through it from the Introduction to the Conclusion.

You must assess the sequence in which those paragraphs appear within the overall structure of your critical writing assignment, just as you did on a micro-scale to portray your critical writing. The idea is to carefully take your readers through your argument’s thread, culminating in a well-supported ultimate conclusion.

An example of effective criticism writing

The text that follows is an example of excellent critical writing based on essay material provided by the University of Leicester’s School of Psychology.

The author mentions the evidence that is presently available, but he also assesses its validity and determines how much of a contribution it can actually make to the whole issue.

Because of a variety of inherent methodological obstacles, evaluating treatment success in this field is challenging, resulting in controversy in the research literature on treatment outcomes for this particular type of criminal (Marshall, 1997). While it is undeniable that a reduction in the rate of re-offending is the most important measure of treatment effectiveness (Marshall et al., 1999), reconviction data alone does not provide a true picture of real-world re-offending by demographic. The rates of re-offending and re-conviction are found to be significantly different, with the latter significantly underestimating the number of offences committed. This is common knowledge (Grubin, 1999). Offenders commit a large number of crimes, yet only a small percentage of them are documented, and even fewer are tried and sentenced to prison time (Abel et al., 1987).

You can see how the author is considering not only the available facts, but also the limitations of that evidence, and how he or she will factor all of this into their findings.

Checklist for assessing your writing in its entirety

It’s usually a good idea to take a critical look over your own writing before submitting it for review. The following are some examples of the kinds of inquiries you could ask at that point:

It’s tough to strike a balance between descriptive and critical writing.

While some background information is essential to set the stage for your analysis, the most significant aspect of academic writing is the emphasis focused on the analytical component. Using two different coloured pens and indicating whether the lines are descriptive or critical in character in the margin is a simple way to guarantee that this balance is maintained in your own work. The balance will alter at different points in the composition, but you must ensure that there is enough of the colour that represents critical writing throughout the piece.

What I’ve just stated should persuade the reader, but why should he be persuaded?

“Why should I trust what I just read?” you might be wondering. Remember that your readers will be asking themselves the same question about what you’ve written. It’s likely that a critical reading of your own work will reveal gaps in your logic, which you can then correct before submitting it for peer review.

Is my preceding analysis and argument sufficiently followed and supported by my conclusion? Do you agree with me?

Examine your conclusions, and then look for and confirm the supporting evidence you gave previously. This is a great way to make sure you haven’t forgotten to include an important piece of supporting documentation. It also ensures that when your reader reaches the conclusion of your work, the conclusions are logical and not a surprise or an implausible leap of logic.

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