Research Writing Support: How to write critically for critical reviews and evaluation

If you are currently writing your post-graduate research thesis (MSC, MBA, etc.), you may have come across situations where your Project Supervisor noted that your literature review is too descriptive, too story like, not critical and not balanced among other lexicons.

For most students, the next thing is to jump at the conclusion that the Supervisor is wicked or inhumane but that’s not the point. You can have a well-cited and referenced literature without it being critical. In other-words, you may just be justifying a particular line of argument while in essence, academic writings are meant to be critical, balanced and objective.

So what then is critical writing? Here’s an extract from Monaesh website:

A critical review requires you to evaluate an academic text e.g. an article, report, essay or book.  You are asked to make judgements, positive or negative, about the text using various criteria. The information and knowledge in the text needs to be evaluated, and the criteria that should be used can vary depending on your discipline. This means that management, sociology, information technology, or literature may use different criteria. All critical reviews, however, involve two main tasks: summary and evaluation.

Lets not bug you with too many stories. In a balanced or critical review, you are basically bringing out the weakness, bias and limitation of previously known facts as well as the positive angle to achieve a balance. So if in the African context, a Writer is stating that, “Obi is a boy”, then to balance up, you can either note that, “though Obi could sometimes be an elderly man” or bring up other findings which shows that “Obi is a lady”.

At Oliveserah Research, we handle broad spectrum of research writing with core competence in Social Science and Management Science Thesis. Depending on the scope and nature of the research, we also have competence in IT related research, Public Health and more.

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