Studying in HE - University of Brighton

Study Skills Workshops
Essays & Assignments:
Critical Analysis
Session Outline
• What is critical analysis and why is it
• What’s the difference between descriptive
and critical/analytical writing?
• How do you write critically?
• Top tips and useful resources
What does the term 'critical analysis'
Being negative and over opinionated
Weighing up the arguments for and against
Trying to find fault
Forming your own judgement
Carefully and objectively considering the evidence
Describing a problem
Showing an element of original thought
Critical analysis: why is it
Not just regurgitating facts
Advancing boundaries of knowledge
Provides work with academic rigour
Your opportunity to offer your own
Developing Critical Thinking
When you read:
• What is the main argument?
• Where is the evidence?
• Is there a hidden agenda?
• Are referenced sources reliable?
• Is there any bias?
• What are the conclusions?
What is the difference
between descriptive
writing and
How to think and write critically...
Critical Writing Checklist
• Have you reproduced your lecturer’s words or examples?
• Have you copied information from a textbook?
• Have you used too many quotes? (More than three per A4 page, for
• Have you allowed a quote to make your point?
If yes to any of the above:
• Use your own words to paraphrase rather than over quote
• Expand on the idea that the quote provides (discuss, link, question,
compare, provide examples)
• Make sure your own voice can be heard throughout your writing
Gillett, A., Hammond, A. and Martala, M. (2009). Successful Academic Writing. Harlow: Pearson
Education, p 99
Top Tips for Critical Analysis
Check out the University of Reading’s study skills
website for top tips on critical analysis:
Avoid unnecessary description
Interpret your evidence
Be specific
Use counter-arguments to your advantage
• ASK website:
• Learn Higher website:
• University of Reading website:
• Gillett, A., Hammond, A. and Martala, M. (2009).
Successful Academic Writing. Harlow: Pearson

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