8 Things To Know About The Dissertation Critique Format

Writing a dissertation is one of the longest, most arduous projects that most students will complete in their lifetime. This type of writing is designed to test and develop the students critical thinking, research abilities and logical thinking abilities. Throughout the process, students will need to keep a few things in mind to make sure that their critique is formatted properly.

  1. Be Recent
  2. The best critiques are based on papers that have been published within the last five years. Older publications have already been covered, so students need to find something new to demonstrate their ability. Ideally, the publication should include empirical research and primary data analysis.

  3. Length
  4. Unless the professor specifies a different length, students should try to keep their critique to about five pages. Anything shorter will not cover the publication properly, and anything longer than five pages means that the student is not being concise enough in their writing.

  5. Focus on the Writing Style
  6. One of the first things that students can do when writing is to focus on the way that the author writes. Is he or she clear, coherent and logical in presenting their argument?

  7. Innovations
  8. As the students writes, they should consider the way that this work contributes to current research in the field. Does it just rehash everything that has already been discovered, or does it offer new insights?

  9. Interpreting the Results
  10. Although some empirical data is straightforward, other data sets can be interpreted in a variety of ways. As the student reads through the author's work, they should consider the various ways the data can be interpreted. Is the author being fair in their interpretation? Is it possible for the data to be interpreted in an entirely different way?

  11. Strengths and Weaknesses in the Methodology
  12. Results matter, but it is also important to consider how the results were obtained. For the data to be relevant, the author must have used the correct methodology. Students can work on critiquing ways that the methodology could be improved or if it matches the questions asked during the research process.

  13. Spelling and Grammar
  14. Ideas matter, but the spelling and grammar must be good for the reader to actually understand them.

  15. General Impressions
  16. Students should always sum up their general impressions of the work. Do they believe that the author has made the right conclusion? What do they really think of it? Although general impressions ultimately need to be backed up by analysis, they are a great way for students to get a handle on the work they are trying to discuss.