Writing critically 

As stated on the previous page, the following resources are designed to complement the support and advice of Academic Schools and Departments. Please follow your department's guidelines and only use the materials offered here to supplement these.

Note: these resources are listed in alphabetical order.

Student writing 




Links to Study Resources for Writing Critically
Resource TitleDescription of ResourceSource

University of Nottingham resources


Book reviews: how to read and write book reviews 

PDF file icon  Book reviews - an overview of what they are; where they are published; how to keep up to date with reviews and publications; why book reviews are useful; how to write a book review 

University of Nottingham 

Critical thinking skills

PDF file icon How to look for reasoning and evidence in texts, and the characteristics of critical writing

University of Nottingham

What How Significance

PDF file icon  Advice on evaluating sources and applying critical thinking to your own writing - how to address "What?" "How?" and "Significance".

University of Nottingham


Other resources


'Be more critical!'

PDF file icon   A practical guide on improving critical writing skills, using examples from Health and Social Care.  An expanded version is available as a book from the University library (log-in required to access NuSearch).

Oxford Brookes University

Book review template

PDF file icon  Outline and structure for writing an academic book review (e.g. for a journal)

University of Brighton, ASK Academic Study Network in association with Learn Higher

Book reviews and article critiques

PDF file icon  How to write a commentary/evaluation of a book/article (e.g. for a journal)

University of Toronto

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP)

How to critically appraise evidence-based research for Health and Social Care: covers Systematic Reviews, Randomised Controlled Trials, Qualitative Research, Economic Evaluation Studies, Cohort Studies, Case Control Studies, and Diagnostic Test Studies


Critical thinking animations

A series of six short linked video animations covering developing arguments, broken logic, fallacies and other elements of developing critical thinking

Bridge8 for TechNYou funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE)

Critical thinking and reflection resources

Includes a visual model of how to think critically and questions to help reflection


Critical thinking guide


Assignments at university (e.g. essays, reports, presentations and dissertations) all require you to show only evidence of researching and understanding the topic, but also depth of thinking and expression of critical analysis

University of New South Wales

Critical Thinking Model Flyer

PDF file icon Visual and text overview of prompt questions to generate critical thinking, especially useful for writing reflectively

University of Plymouth / Learnhigher

Description vs analysis

PDF file icon  The key differences between the characteristics of descriptive writing and analytical/critical writing

University of Plymouth / Learnhigher