Critical reviews: what are they and how to do them? Definitive tips for you to write yours

Your teacher asked you write a critical review and you have no idea where to start? You've come to the right place! Every day, students from different areas of knowledge search the internet for the best strategies to critically review a film or critically review an article. You are not alone in this.

The first step in preparing this type of material is to understand that you will need to write a critical text, not just summarize what you watched or read. That's right: you must make a critical analysis of the work in question, gathering, in addition to your opinion, other coherent arguments from academic references, such as a book or a scientific article on the subject to be reviewed.

To follow or not to follow ABNT?

ABNT considers that the critical review can be called a critical summary. Some still call it academic review or thematic review. Remember to check with your professor what nomenclature he uses and if he expects anything specific to be present in his critical review beyond what is traditional.

Although many believe that it is a very free textual genre, the critical review must necessarily follow the ABNT guidelines. All citations must be properly standardized according to the most recent manual of technical standards. It is common for universities to have the standard structure of scientific papers, with cover, cover page and bibliographic references.

What your review needs to have

It is crucial to point out what the critical review is not:

● It is not a summary (you should not summarize the story and give your opinion at the end);

● It is not a synthesis (you should not summarize in a few sentences what you saw or read).

To start your critical review, keep in mind that the most important thing is to know how to intertwine your ideas well with those of the references you researched. Your task is to make an argumentative review, raising hypotheses on the topic, citing other authors and substantiating your point of view based on them. Do not only include authors you agree with; also opt for those who have thesis opposite to yours and present reasons that make it clear how reliable your conclusion is.

At the same time that you need to inform the reader of what the analyzed work is about (since he may not know it), your words are intended to expose positive and negative elements about this work, leading the reader to a reflection depth that will broaden his perspective on the world.

Can't concentrate to write? The problem could be the environment

Many, if not all, students have trouble putting their ideas down on paper throughout their lives. This is no different for those who are faced with the mission of writing their first critical review! There are many elements that can impede a student's concentration. and why this happens?

Our brain always seeks predictability, that is, it wants an environment full of comfort, so that it does not need to be alert all the time, tracking possible threats. Despite the process of human evolution, our brain is still programmed to pay attention to small noises that could mean a danger to our lives.

If you try to study in a place where there are a lot of people talking, construction noises, or even near a factory, a subway line or inside a busy hospital, your brain may be exhausted by the overload of visual impressions, auditory and even tactile that he is obliged to decode while you study. The brain needs environments that encourage studies.

Another strategy to make your brain more receptive to studies is not to study in bed or in your pajamas. That's because it's a place he understands as made for… sleeping! It will be much more difficult to learn something new in bed than sitting in front of the computer and wearing clothes that you would wear if you were actually in the classroom.

Factors that can still influence your focus are temperature and lighting. Is the place where you study very cold? Too hot? Does it get too little sunlight or too much sunlight? These are points that determine how long you will be able to stand in one place without feeling uncomfortable or irritated.

Pay attention to how your body reacts to changes in the environment and try to adapt your study space to what you feel most comfortable with. This will undoubtedly facilitate your ability to delve into a discipline that requires critical thinking and textual production. A final reminder: leave your phone on silent mode! Constant notifications are the biggest responsible for ruining a good study session.


See also other features