Compare-Contrast Critique



One way to learn to write better is to analyze the way others write—to note the effectiveness of their writing style, as well as problem areas. Then, when you write your own essays, you can be sure to include elements that make a good essay and avoid those that don’t. Writing a review (critique) of another writer’s work also strengthens your analytical skills in general.

You are probably already familiar with how to review or critique something, since there are many popular “critics” around today—including movie critics, book critics, food or restaurant critics, and music critics. This assignment calls for you to do the same thing these other critics do—with two exceptions: (1) you will be critiquing articles; and (2) your audience will be scholars, rather than the general public, so you will need to maintain a formal level of language.


1. Find two magazine articles that address social issues (the same issue or different ones)
2. Read, annotate and analyze the articles

Special Notes:

• You may choose a newspaper article instead of a magazine article (The sources can be online source) —but only if it is a fairly long, detailed discussion of the social issue.
• Include a brief (2 or 3 sentence) summary of each article in the introduction of your paper.
• Include at least one paraphrased passage and at least one direct quote from the two sources (articles) in the body of your paper.
• Include an MLA style Work Cited page as the last page of your paper. The Work Cited page should have only two entries: one for each of the two magazine articles you are critiquing.

Grading Criteria:

1. Paper format
2. Organization
3. Thesis / Scope
4. Topic sentences
5. Basics / Sentence structure
6. Word choice / Level of language / Transitions
7. Focus / Effectiveness of argument
8. Introducing & parenthetically citing quote(s) and paraphrase(s)
9. Work cited page entries
10. Length / Development / Source selection

Special Notes:
In the Compare-Contrast Article Review paper, you will need to include:
• a brief summary of both of the articles (remember: your paper should NOT be just a summary of each article; you must “evaluate” how well the articles were written) at least one direct quote
• at least one paraphrased passage
• in-text citations (page number on which the quote or paraphrase appears unless it’s an internet source)
• a work cited page with ONLY two (2) sources: one for each of the articles