Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SOCW 380 Foundations of Practice, Laci Leichliter

A guide to help students in SOCW 380: Foundations of Practice complete their journal article critique.

Journal Article Critique Assignment

Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)
Introduce and provide an overview of the article summarizing the main points 

Critique  (1-2 paragraphs)

  • Name the points in the article that you agree with, and the points that you do not agree with and state your reasoning.  For example; if an author states parents should not use spanking for disciplining their children – do you agree and why? Or do you disagree and why? 
  • Did this help you?  Confuse you?  If you were a member of this population would this approach have been helpful to you?  Why or why not?  
  • What do you think?  What does this knowledge mean to your practice?  Critiques do not have to be negative; in fact a well thought out demonstration of critical thinking incorporates the positives and negatives of a research article or scholarly work in light of additional information that the student brings to the topic.  

Connect to client population or situation  (1-2 paragraphs)

  • Compare the authors’ work and their points to what you know about the target population.  How does their work compare with what you already know: for example have you worked with this population and the author’s knowledge matches what you know?  Do the authors’ points appear to not apply to the population as you know it? Why/ why not?
  • If you have not worked with this population, how does the authors’ work or conclusions compare to the knowledge you already had about how to approach this type of client?  

Summary  (1-2 paragraphs)

  • How does this article contribute to your knowledge base of social work practice with a population?  What else do you want to know about this topic or population?
  • Bring it all to a close; make suggestions for new directions in the research, etc.  This should be more than “I like this article”, or “this needs more research”.  State why you like it, or what area should be the next research focus.  For example; if the author researched how spanking effects the behavior of kindergarten age males in an inner city school, would you like to see the authors’ ideas applied to females also? Other ages of children? Rural schools? Why?