How to Critique an Article in APA Format


The social sciences require that academic and professional papers be formatted according to the guidelines developed by the American Psychological Association (APA). Articles written in APA format are structured to adhere to guidelines that extend from the appearance of the title page to how the entire paper is organized. When reviewing an article that is written in APA format, you must use a current resource that demonstrates proper APA formatting guidelines. These resources can be found on the Internet, as specialized manuals or part of grammar and style handbooks.

Review the article for proper APA format.The article should display the following standard APA sections: Abstract, Introduction, Method, Study, Results and Discussion. Consult your APA reference manual for information regarding what each section typically contains.

Read and review the article’s content. The content should be appropriate for the section, and all information should be presented in a logical manner.

Identify the purpose of the article and its relevance. Note the article’s primary argument or objective, and compare the article to past and current studies.

List the main points or arguments from each section.

Evaluate the article’s use of graphs, images or statistical data. Comment on each visual aid's effectiveness and ability to enhance the article.

List the strengths and weaknesses of the article. Focus on how well or poorly the article presents its argument.

Locate each of the article’s references, and compare them to the APA guidelines for formatting references, located in your reference manual .

Describe the advances the article proposes, and how the article may advance the field overall.


Consult your APA reference manual for detailed information about APA formatting guidelines. Avoid heavily summarizing the article whether you are dong a verbal or written critique. Create a checkoff list to mark off which APA elements an article has.

Consult your teacher’s instructions for your article critique. Teachers have the ability to require specific information in written article critiques.