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How To Critically Analyze A Research Paper Without Being too Harsh

May 20th, 2010

How to Critically Analyze Research Papers Is a Great Tool to Have

There is really only one thing in this world I am really good at. I can’t play an instrument or run really fast. I cannot draw or paint very well and math has never been my strong suite. But every since I was a little girl I was always good at writing. It was just something I could do. I won many awards and certificates for my writing. I knew I wanted to be a writer. When I was in college I took an advanced writing course. It was really a fabulous class and I learned so much from it. One activity we was criticizing everyone’s work. It was strange we would all have to write a research paper and then once a week one of us would bring in fifteen copies of our paper and we each had to evaluate the paper. It was a really bizarre feeling when your paper was on the chopping block. The truth is I didn’t know how to critically analyze a research paper. I think most students really didn’t either. The professor gave us the following instructions to help us give good constructive criticism on the research papers.

1.When trying to figure out how to critically analyze research papers first think, “is this something I would like to hear.” Use kind words. There is no reason to berate a person or make them feel stupid. Everyone makes mistakes. The truth is you just have to learn from them. So like in most things just watch your approach.

2.When learning how to critically analyze a research paper be sure your negative comments are coupled with positive ones. “ You pick great citations you just used APA instead of MLA.”

3.Make sure the general sentence structure is there. The introduction, tell them what you are going to talk about it the paper. Introduce the main ideas and themes of the paper. The proceeding paragraphs go into great detail on the main ideas you introduced. A general rule of thumb is to have one citation per main idea. The conclusion sums up your essay. If these points are not present a gentle reminder should be given.

4.Editing is very important. Make sure your research paper is free of all spelling and grammatical errors if not your paper will be very difficult to read and it will be very especially hard to give constructive criticism.

It if very difficult to learn how to critically analyze research papers. The most important thing is to look for things that will help the writer as oppose to hurting them. When I was getting my paper edited when during my Advanced Writing class it was hard not to talk back to the person criticizing my paper. I felt like they didn’t have my best interest in my mind. But if you utilize the above tips you can help the writer as opposed to hurting them.

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