Critical analysis

Critical analysis

At degree level you will be expected to do more than just describe other author's theories and ideas in your assignments. Instead you should consider any sources of information that you use and any theories and ideas expressed within them critically (critical analysis):

  • Who has written this piece of information? Are they an expert on this topic?
  • What type of resource are you dealing with? Is it a book, a journal article? a website? Remember that no one resource is perfect - they all have their advantages and disadvantages. (See the section on Finding information to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each resource)
  • Are the theories and ideas expressed objective? Is there evidence of bias?
  • Are the theories and ideas supported by appropriate evidence?
  • Are proper references provided for materials cited? Has this information been cited favourably by other authors?
  • Is the information current? How old is the resource?
  • Is this information relevant to your assignment?
  • If you find two different authors with different opinions on the same topic whose arguments do you find more convincing and why?

Further help and general study skills

If you would like some more help with critical analysis and evaluating information or with study skills generally, such as:

  • Reading and note taking
  • Analysing an essay question
  • Essay construction
  • Computer skills
  • Referencing
  • Organisation and time management

Then please contact the Professinal and Academic Development (PAD) team.  Appintments with PAD tutors are free and are available throughout the year at the Park Square and Bedford campuses.

For an appointment at  Park Square please contact:
Tel: 01582 489202
Room: F203 (second floor of the LRC)
E-mail: PAD@beds.ac.uk

For an appointment at Polhill please contact:
Tel: 01234 793081
Room: R1.22
E-mail: PAD@beds.ac.uk

PAD also supply a number of free workshops throughout the year together with a range of helpsheets and study guides. For details see the PAD Breo site for details.

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