Chat with a Librarian
Skip to Main Content
ask a librarian email questions

Writing a Critique

Parts of a Critique

Depending on the source you are critiquing, your critique may not follow this exact format below. However, in general, critiques will be formatted in a similar way.


  • Give a summary of the source you are critiquing. Don't spend too much time on your summary, but give enough information so that a reader who is unfamiliar with your source will know what your source is about.
    • Include information such as:
      • The name of the source or event
      • What kind of source it is (book, film, lecture, etc.)
      • The name of the author or the speaker
      • The author or speaker's experience/expertise on the topic
      • The main argument in the source (or the thesis statement of the source)
      • The intended (target) audience for the source or event
      • The purpose of the source or the event


  • Give your evaluation of the source. Using specific examples from the source, you might consider talking about the following points. Keep in mind, depending on the source you are critiquing, some points may be more relevant than others.
    • Did the author/speaker well-support their thesis statement?
    • Did the author use any interest supports (stories, humor, examples, interactions, personal experience, etc.). Were they effective?
    • What kind of evidence did the author/speaker use in the source (statistics, facts, quotations, surveys, studies, interviews, expert opinions). Are these resources credible/reliable? Did the evidence add to or contradict the author/speaker's argument?
    • Did the source have quality content (avoiding fillers, presented newsworthy information, kept audiences interested)?
    • Did the source use any visual aids (PowerPoint, images, artwork, etc.). Did the visual aids match or enhance what the author/speaker was discussing? Were the visual aids clearly organized, spell-checked, and included citations?
    • Did the speaker move well through different topics?
    • If the source was a live event or a recording, was the speaker energetic? Did they talk to the crowd or did they look at their notes too much? Were you able to hear and understand the speaker?
    • If you're critiquing a film, were the film techniques used effective?


  • Close out your critique with some of your final thoughts. 
    • What was your overall impression of the source?
    • Would you recommend this source to others? Why or why not?
    • What are your final thoughts about the source?

Helpful Handouts