IOE Writing Centre


Critical Analysis

What does the term 'critical analysis' mean in the context of academic writing?

Showing critical analysis in academic writing could mean:

  • Demonstrating your understanding of reading / evidence (This appears to demonstrate that…This implies…This could result in…);
  • Showing reasoning and conclusions from your reading / reflections (Therefore…As such…);
  • Considering questions such as ‘why’, what if’, and ‘so what’;
  • Showing you understand how  different ideas / evidence / perspectives relate to each other (This is linked to Smith's concept of X…Building on Jones (2012), Green (2016) suggests…);
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how theories or research apply in your practice / context;
  • Identifying possible limitations of research / theory and how these relate to your own arguments or own context (In the context of international development…In terms of learning in the Science classroom…);
  • Identifying how something could be interpreted or done differently (in relation to your reading and / or practice).