Critical review: what it is and how to do it

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THE critical review is a text from the journalistic universe whose main characteristic is the presentation and critical analysis of a work. Its purpose is to persuade the reader to consume or not that cultural product, and, for that, it makes use of arguments and information to defend its point of view.

Currently, it is possible to find the critical review both in written texts published in printed newspapers or digital media and podcasts or audiovisual publications on social networks or messaging services instant.

Read too: Synthesis — text that proposes to present another text in a summarized and impersonal way

Topics in this article

  • 1 - Summary about critical review
  • 2 - Video lesson on critical review
  • 3 - What is a critical review?
  • 4 - Characteristics and structure of the critical review
  • 5 - Step by step to make a critical review
  • 6 - Difference between critical review and summary

Summary about critical review

  • It is a predominantly argumentative text in which the author defends a point of view about a movie, a series, a show, etc., in order to convince the reader of his opinion.

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  • As it is an argumentative text, conciseness, denotative language and the use of the standard norm of the language prevail in it.

  • To prepare a good critical review, it is important to read and write down the main aspects of the product to be analyzed; raise possible arguments in defense of a point of view; prepare a good introduction thinking about people who don't know the work; make your opinions clear; and review the text.

  • The difference between abstract and critical review lies in the fact that the abstract is a descriptive and impersonal text and the review is an opinionated text.

Critical review video

What is critical review?

A critical review is a text characterized by the information, description and argument about a given work - film, book, play, show, etc. —, presenting its main elements and characteristics.

So, the review aims to analyze a cultural product, being able to recommend it, or not, to its readers. That textual genre is considered predominantly argumentative because it defends, in its analysis, a thesis accompanied by favorable or unfavorable arguments about the cultural product in question.

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Characteristics and structure of the critical review

As it is an opinionated text, the review has as its main resource the construction of arguments in defense of its thesis — whether or not this is a defense of the analyzed film or series, for example. Therefore, the characteristics of this genre are:

  • brevity: in predominantly argumentative texts such as the review, it is important to say only the essential, avoiding repetition and excess of information.

  • denotative language: in a critical review, denotative language prevails, that is, it is avoided to leave doubts to the reader regarding the arguments used and the thesis defended.

  • Use of the standard language norm: the critical review is usually published in mass-circulation vehicles, printed or digital, and therefore follows formal Portuguese.

About the structure, the critical review, usually consists of a title, introduction, development and conclusion. The title in the review can resume the name of the work, anticipate the main analysis of the text or arouse curiosity in the reader. In the first part, the introduction, the reviewer presents a summary of the work to be analyzed.

In the development, the author must present the arguments that correspond to the vision about that cultural product, being able to be favorable or not to the produced material. Finally, in the conclusion, the reviewer can make a general review of the main points. Another possibility is to end the text with a statement of greater impact, recommending or not the product analyzed.

Read too: Open letter — public textual genre with the function of positioning itself on a theme

Step by step to do a critical review

To do a review, it is essential:

  • Read and write down the main aspects of the cultural product to be analyzed. If necessary, rewatch the movie or series, for example, that you want to review.

  • Raise possible arguments in order to defend (or not) that cultural product.

  • In the first part, the elaboration of the introduction, remember that the review it can be read by people who have never had contact with that production, and, therefore, try to bring succinct and easy-to-understand information.

  • Make your opinions clear. Your reader can have no doubts about what you thought of the film, for example, at the end of the text.

  • Revise the text to correct minor grammatical errors or in the elaboration of ideas.

Difference between critical review and summary

As mentioned, the critical review is a predominantly argumentative text.In other words, criticism, comparisons and opinion prevail in him. The abstract, in turn, is a descriptive text marked by the impartiality of its author and that does not make judgments or evaluations.

It can be said that, in every review, there is a summary of the work (in its introduction) followed by analysis with the opinions of the reviewer. On the other hand, the summary, as it does not contain the essential element of the review (the analysis), differs from it, despite composing it. To learn more, read: Differences between critical review and summary.

By Rafael Camargo de Oliveira
Writing teacher

Would you like to reference this text in a school or academic work? Look:

OLIVEIRA, Rafael Camargo de. "Critical Review"; Brazil School. Available in: Accessed on August 25, 2022.


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