Article Critique Paper based on Research Articles




Article Critique Paper based on Research Articles


Each student is required to write article critique paper based on one of the research articles present on Blackboard (only those articles listed on Blackboard can be critiqued – if you critique a different article, it will not be graded). The article critique paper will account for 140 points. In addition to deepening your understanding of conceptual issues discussed in lectures, this critique assignment is designed to improve critical thinking and writing skills.  Please follow the instructions and guidelines below. If you are unclear about any of this information, please ask.

What is an article critique paper?

An article critique is a written communication that conveys your understanding of a research article and how it relates to the conceptual issues of interest to this course.  There are five elements emphasized in this critique: The title page (in APA formatting), summary of the article, critique of the article, appropriate referencing for the article, and writing quality. 


This article critique paper will include 5 things:

1.Title Page 1 page (5 points)

  • Use APA style to present the appropriate information:  
    • A Running head must be included and formatted APA style 
      • The phrase “Running head” is at the top of the title page followed by a short title (no more than 50 characters) that is in ALL CAPS.

This running head is left-justified (flush left on the page)

  • There must be a page number on the title page that is right justified o Your paper title appears on the title page. This should be 12 words or less, and the first letter of each word is capitalized. It should be descriptive of the paper (You can actually use or paraphrase the title of the article you are critiquing. It can be the same title as in the Running head or it can differ – your choice)  
    • Your name will appear on the title pageo Your institution will appear on the title page as well
    • An author note can be added, but it is not expected and will not be graded  o Hint – See the first page of these instructions!  

2.Summary of the article: 1.5-2 pages minimum, but no more than 3 pages – 60 points) An article critique should briefly summarize, in your own words, the article research question and how it was addressed in the article. 

  • The running head should also appear on the first page of your paper, but it will NOT include the phrase “Running head” this time, only the same title as the running head from the first paper in ALL CAPS
  • The same title used on the title page should be at the top of the page, centered 
  • For this paper, add the word “Summary” below the title, and have it flush left.

Then write your summary of the article below that

  • The summary itself will include the following: (Note – if the article involved more than one experiment, you can either choose to focus on one of them specifically or summarize the general design for all of the studies, which are often similar)
    • Type of study (Was it experimental or correlational? How do you know?)
    • Variables (What were the independent and dependent variables?)
    • Method (Was there a random sample of participants? Was there random assignment to groups? What did the participants do in the study?)
    • Summary of findings (What were their findings?)

3.Critique of the study: 1.5-2 pages minimum (but please no more than 3 pages – 60 points)

  • This portion of the article critique assignment focuses on your own thoughts about the content of the article (i.e. your own ideas in your own words). For this section, please use the word “Critique” below the last sentence in your summary, and have the word “Critique” flush left. 
  • There are a number of ways to demonstrate critical thinking in your writing. Address at least four of the following elements: 
  • 1). In your opinion, how valid and reliable is the study? Why? (make sure to define what reliable and valid mean)
  • 2). Did the study authors correctly interpret their findings, or are there any alternative interpretations you can think of?
  • 3). Did the authors of the study employ appropriate ethical safeguards?
  • 4). Briefly describe a follow-up study you might design that builds on the findings of the study you read how the research presented in the article relates to research, articles or material covered in other sections of the course
  • 5). Describe whether you feel the results presented in the article are weaker or stronger than the authors claim (and why); or discuss alternative interpretations of the results (i.e. something not mentioned by the authors) and/or what research might provide a test between the proposed and alternate interpretations
  • 6). Mention additional implications of the findings not mentioned in the article (either theoretical or practical/applied)
  • 7). Identify specific problems in the theory, discussion or empirical research presented in the article and how these problems could be corrected. If the problems you discuss are methodological in nature, then they must be issues that are substantial enough to affect the interpretations of the findings or arguments presented in the article. Furthermore, for methodological problems, you must justify not only why something is problematic but also how it could be resolved and why your proposed solution would be preferable.
  • 8). Describe how/why the method used in the article is either better or worse for addressing a particular issue than other methods 
  • References – 1 page (5 points)
    • Provide the reference for this article in proper APA format (see guidelines in the “Writing Research Paper” presentation )
    • If you cited other sources during either your critique or summary, reference them as well (though you do not need to cite other sources in this assignment – this is merely optional)
  • Writing quality (10 points)

The ability to write well is an important skill that also psychologists should master. Thus your writing quality will be assessed in this assignment. I want to make sure that you can both organize and present your thoughts in a grammatically appropriate manner. If you think you might need some help with writing, then I recommend seeking help from the FIU writing center. Set up an appointment with them to go over your paper. But do not wait until the last minute to do so! You want to make sure your paper is in on time, or you will lose 10 points for each day it is late. 


The key point is that your experimental paper should describe a “position” that you have taken with respect to the content of the article. Please note that you do not need to refer to any other sources other than the article on which you have chosen to write your paper. However, you are welcome to refer to additional sources if you choose. 

Other guidelines for the article critique papers

  • 1). Pay attention to the page length requirements – 1 page for the title page, 1.5 pages to 3 pages for the summary, 1.5 pages to 3 pages for the critique, one or two paragraphs for the brief summary, and 1 page for the references page. If you are under the minimum, we will deduct points. If you go over the maximum, we are a little more flexible (up to a half page or so), but we want you to try to keep it to the maximum page. 
  • 2). Page size is 8 1/2 X 11” with all 4 margins set at 1”. You must use a 12-point font. 
  • 3). When summarizing the article in your own words, you need not continually cite the article throughout the rest of your critique. Nonetheless, you should follow proper referencing procedures, which means that: 
    • If you are inserting a direct quote from any source, it must be enclosed in quotations and followed by a parenthetical reference to the source. “Let’s say I am directly quoting this current sentence and the next. I would then cite it with the author name, date of publication, and the page number for the direct quote” (Winter, 2013, p . 4). 


1. Note: We will deduct points if you quote more than once per page, so keep quotes to a minimum. Paraphrase instead, but make sure you still give the original author credit for the material by citing it or using the author’s name (“In this article, Smith noted that …” or “In this article, the authors noted that…”)

  • If you choose to reference any source other than your chosen article, it must be listed in a reference list. Such sources must be cited in parentheses (and enclosed in quotes if it is a direct quotation)  
  • 4). PLEASE use a spell checker to avoid unnecessary errors. Proofread everything you write. I actually recommend reading some sentences aloud to see if they flow well, or getting family or friends to read your work. As mentioned above, writing quality will be graded in this paper, so make sure your paper flows well in terms of grammar and spelling!
  • If you have any questions about the articles, your ideas, or your writing, please ask. Although we won’t be able to review entire drafts of papers before they are handed in, we are very willing to discuss problems, concerns or issues that you might have.

Grade Rubric – Article Critique Paper

Each student will write an article critique paper based on one of the article provided on blackboard. This paper is worth up to 140 points. Below are grading criteria for your paper.  


  1. SUBSTANTIAL: Your paper should relate to the subject matter and provide information, opinions or questions about that subject matter. They may relate the subject matter to something personal, but they should remain academic in their focus.
  2. CONCISE: Do not get wordy. Focus on your main points, and convey the thoughts in a concise manner. Try to get the point and focus of your message across so that it is clear what you are saying.
  3. PROVOCATIVE: The paper should draw the reader in, making him (in this case, your grader) eager to see where your paper is going. If something surprised you, then hopefully you will be able to give the reader that same sense of surprise as you explain your point of view.  5. LOGICAL: A good paper should be logical. This means that it contains clearly stated reasoning throughout that is supported by either the article you are critiquing or an opinion that is well founded and not based on pure whim or conjecture.

6. GRAMMATICAL: A good, clear, concise paper should be well-written and free of typos and sentence fragments.