Written Critiques of Assigned Reading


To teach you how to evaluate what you read and to give you the ability to extract deep understanding from original research papers.

What's a critique?

Each critique shall reflect what you learned and thought about the paper. It includes a short summary, but most of the critique will contain your original thoughts about the paper and what you learned.

You should choose a couple of points about the work that you found interesting. Examples of questions that you might address are:

  • What problem does this paper solve, and what are the strengths and limitations of its approach?
  • Is the evaluation fair? Does it achieve it support the stated goals of the paper?
  • Does the method described seem mature enough to use in real applications? Why or why not? What applications seem particularly amenable to this approach?
  • What good ideas does the problem formulation, the solution, the approach or the research method contain that could be applied elsewhere?
  • What would be good follow-on projects and why?
  • Are the paper's underlying assumptions valid?
  • Which important issues in the field does this paper illuminate and how?
  • Did the paper provide a clear enough and detailed enough description of the proposed methods for you to be able to implement them? If not, where is additional clarification or detail needed?

No more than one page long.

Your critique should be typed (single space, 12 points, Arial font) and should list the title of the paper and its authors at the top, along with your name.

The critique should include the following sections:

  • Summary
  • Strength(s)
  • Weakness(es)
  • Anlysis discussion

Avoid unsupported value judgments, like "I liked..." or "I disagreed with..." If you make judgments of this sort, explain why you liked or disagreed with the point you describe.

Be sure to distinguish comments about the writing of the paper from comment about the technical content of the work.