By Yerni Miss Endang Polly

Have you ever written a critical review over fiction or nonfiction? What criteria do you base your review on? I found information on the criteria we may use to critically review nonfiction, particularly article (Arnaudet and Barret, 1984). Hope it could be helpful for you. Here are the criteria (p.158-159).

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  1. The importance of the subject matter: Is the subject under discussion one which is central to the field, or is it one which is peripheral?
  2. The timeliness of the article: Is the subject of current interest, or is it an issue which has already been thoroughly discussed?
  3. The length of the article: Does the writer adequately cover the subject within the limits of the article? Should the ideas be developed more completely? Is it too long or too short? Is too much information included?
  4. The objectivity of the writer: If the writer intends to present the results of research (objective data), does he or she do so? Are personal opinions added? If so, are they clearly identified as such?
  5. The interpretation of data: Does the writer’s interpretation of data seem to be valid, or does it seem that data are manipulated to support preconceived opinions? Are the conclusions logical, based on the evidence presented?
  6. The thoroughness of treatment of the subject matter: Has the writer reported all of the pertinent data about the subject, or has important information been overlooked or deliberately omitted? (Notice that this criterion is related to that of length but can be dealt with separately.)
  7. The practicality of the suggestions:  Do the writer’s conclusions seem realistic, or do they seem too theoretical to have any “real-life” application?
  8. Other expert opinion: Do the ideas proposed contradict other information you may have read about the subject, or are they supported by most leaders in the field?
  9. Personal interest in the subject: Is the subject of the article of particular interest to you, or do you find it completely uninteresting or not applicable to your purposes in reading the article? Give specific reasons why it is or is not.

What is your experience? Do you use all the criteria mentioned here, or do you skip some, or do you not even use them? I would be so glad if you want to share your experience reviewing fiction/nonfiction, since I never have that experience.     


Arnaudet, M.L. and M.E. Barret. (1984). Approaches to Academic Reading and Writing. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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