Guidance on how to construct your essay
This should state your intention (to critically evaluate/critique) the selected article, and suggest why this is an important skill to acquire and demonstrate within nursing.
You may wish to include consideration of what makes a meaningful critical review/critique.
You should also include here the framework you have selected to undertake your critique, reference it, and tell the reader why it is the appropriate framework to use for the selected article.
Using the critiquing framework that you have selected to use, the main body of your essay should be made up of paragraphs that present your position in terms of whether you think that the evidence you are critiquing is of value to practice or not.
A critical review/critique is a systematic examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the way in which the researchers have designed and conducted the work.
You will have to both describe what the researchers have done AND then go on to say whether the approach can be said to be consistent with the intentions of the researchers, AND if it was the best approach to use in comparison with other possibilities.
To judge value you will be looking at whether the study is valid, reliable/ credible, confirmable, and applicable in practice.
You will need to consider the following; but importantly for each point you make you will also need to know how you came to that judgement and include references to what had guided you in forming that opinion.
• Was the presentation of the article clear, logical and in line with expectations of the audience/s?
• Did the article convey clearly the context/background for the study in the introduction and in its review of literature? Was the literature review of a type that fitted the design of the research undertaken?
• Have the researchers shared the aim of their research? And if they have, does the design of their research fit with that intention?
• Was the method (or methods) they used to collect their ‘data’ one that you would judge to be appropriate? Why? Would you have suggested another way of collecting the same data? Or perhaps would you have suggested that other data would have been more useful to collect?
• Was the method (or methods) for analysing the data consistent with the aims of the study? Was the analysis the correct analysis for the type of data? Was the analysis then shared clearly?
• Was there evidence in the article that ethical principles surrounding the process of research have been adhered to?
• Were the results presented and discussed in a way consistent with the design of the study and what it set out to do?
• Did the researchers share any consideration of any limitations of their own study? Would you agree or disagree with their considerations? Why?
• Were the results considered in connection with what the researchers were setting out to do? (E.g. If the researchers were setting out to explore a concept then they may say how that exploration can inform future research. If the researchers were setting out to see if one treatment is better than another, then do they discuss the degree of certainty that the study has been able to produce)
You should include in your conclusion a summary of what was most useful or interesting about the article.
Gaps and weaknesses/strengths should be summarised.
The application to practice should be made clear.