Quotation, Criticism & Review

Author: Hayleigh Bosher Illustration: Davide Bonazzi

Before October 2014, copyright law permitted use of a work for the purpose of criticism and review, but it did not allow quotation for other more general purposes. Now, however, the law allows the use of quotation more broadly. So, there are two exceptions to be aware of, one specifically for criticism and review and a more general exception for quotation. Both exceptions apply to all types of copyright material, such as books, music, films, etc.

For example, in order to critique or review a creator’s original work, the reviewer can use examples of the work to demonstrate to an audience the point they are trying to make. Similarly, extracts of copyright works can be used without permission for quotation in other contexts, such as using a short quote in a history book or an academic article.

There is a lot of overlap between the two exceptions, and both require that you meet a number of the same criteria. So, you can only rely on each of these exceptions if:

1) The purpose is really for quotation, criticism or review 2) The material used is available to the public 3) The use of the material is fair 4) Where practical, the use is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement

However, it is important to note that, as well as the four criteria set out above, the exception for general quotation also depends on satisfying one additional requirement:

5) Your use of the quotation must extend no further than is required to achieve your purpose

For example, the illustration above shows the famous painting of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, a lead figure of the ‘pop art’ movement. To write a review or critique on the ‘pop art’ movement it might be desirable to include examples of his work. To benefit from the exception the reviewer will need to explain to the reader the meaning and context of the review. Why is it important to use his work and this particular painting? In this case it is to position Andy Warhol within the context of other artists in the ‘pop art’ movement in order to explain how his work was interpreted by the public. Such a review piece may also touch upon other pieces of art in that period in order to explain why his work stands out from the rest.

The criteria needed for using both exceptions are explained in more detail below.

1. The reason for using the material is genuinely for the purpose of quotation, criticism or review

The law allows the use of quotation from a work for criticism or review, as well as for other purposes.

When quoting a work for the purpose of criticism or review, you can review not only the merit and particulars of the work in question but also the philosophy of the work or its moral / social implications. For example, you may wish to criticise the effects of a controversial film on society or use a digital reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica on your blog to discuss the Spanish Civil War through this painting.

You can also make use of material from one work to criticise or review a different work. For example, if you want to critique a magazine on its use of celebrity photographs, you might want to use other examples of celebrity photography to illustrate your point.

However, you cannot just reproduce the material without accompanying it with genuine critique or putting it into context, by way of discussion or assessment. For example showing a whole film and simply commenting that you liked it would not be acceptable.

2. The material you are using is already available to the public

You can use any material that is available to the public. This is generally when the copyright owner has issued copies, made the whole work available electronically, rented or lent copies of the work, or if there has been a performance, exhibition, or communication of the work to the public.

You cannot use work that has only been made available confidentially, no matter how many people this confidential transmission may include. So, for example, if someone were to share private letters with 100 people, but subject to confidentiality agreements, the material in the letter is not understood as being available to the public and therefore cannot be used.

3. Your use of the material is fair

You can select specific aspects of the material to quote or to use in your criticism or review, even if these parts are not representative of the whole work. For example, if you want to review humorous portions of an otherwise serious film, you can use examples of humorous scenes even if these parts only make up a small part of the film … just like the movie trailers do.

You can use the material to make positive or negative, and even unbalanced or hostile critique, without infringing the copyright of the creator of the work (although it will be important to be aware of defamation laws which you might be infringing).

You can take as much of the material that is fair to demonstrate your criticism, review or quotation. There is no legal definition of what is fair or unfair; it is at the courts’ discretion based on the individual facts of the case and the purpose for which the material is being used (see: ‘Legal language’ below). There may even be circumstances where it is fair to use the whole of a piece of work, for example, a short poem or a photograph.

Ultimately, for your use of someone else’s material to be fair, it should not conflict with the way in which they normally exploit their work. So, when thinking about whether your use is fair, ask yourself if your use of the copyright material is or would be in commercial competition with the copyright owner.

4. Where practical, you have provided sufficient acknowledgement

You must include an acknowledgement to identify the creator of the work and the title of the material. It is the author who should be identified and not the owner of the copyright. For example, if you are referencing a song you need to include the artist and the name of the song, not the record label. If you are making use of the work online, it is not enough to just link to the original material.

However, this requirement does not always have to be observed. There is no need to include an acknowledgement if this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise, if the work has been published anonymously, or it is not possible to identify the author of an unpublished work through reasonable efforts (see orphan works ).

5. Your quotation must be no more than is required to achieve your purpose

Just to reiterate, this fifth criterion only applies to the exception for general quotation, and not to the exception for criticism and review. So, you can rely on the exception for criticism and review by satisfying the first four criteria set out above, but to benefit from the general quotation exception you must also establish that the extent of your quotation is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used.

The relationship between this criterion and the requirement that your use is fair (see above) is obviously an important one. In theory, while your use might be regarded as fair it might still be more than is required to meet your purpose. Put another way, while the new exception for quotation gives everyone greater freedom to quote the works of others for purposes other than criticism and review, the scope for relying on this new exception is narrower.

What amounts to ‘no more than is required’ is not defined in the legislation. As with determining whether use is fair or unfair, what amounts to a reasonable or proportionate quotation under this fifth criterion is an issue that will be resolved by the courts on a case-by-case basis.

Another important issue concerns contractual terms that try to prevent you quoting from a work whether for criticism or review, or for some other purpose. Contractual terms of this kind are ‘unenforceable’ in law. In other words, the exceptions for quotation and for criticism and review cannot be overridden by contract.

Legal language:

This is a quote taken from a legal case, where the judge explains what is fair when considering the amount of material used for criticism or review.

Hubbard v Vosper [1972] 2 Q.B. 84

Lord Denning: ‘You must consider first the number of quotations and extracts. Are they altogether too long to be fair? Then you must consider the use made of them. If they are used as a basis for comment, criticism or review, that may be fair dealing. If they are used to convey the same information as the author, for a rival purpose, that may be unfair. Next you must consider the proportions. To take long extracts and attach short comments may be unfair. However, short extracts and long comments may be fair. Other considerations may come to mind also.’

Legal references:

The law on criticism and review in the United Kingdom is found in Section 30(1) of the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988, which you can read here:

The law on general quotation is now found in Section 30(1ZA) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. The new exception was introduced by the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 which is available here:

The Game is On! – Ep. 1

The Game is On! – Ep. 1

In a fictional land called London, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet a curious client: the toymaker Joseph …

Parody & Pastiche

Parody & Pastiche

Parody refers to a new creative work which uses an existing work for humour or mockery. Some parodies take aim at well-known artists or their work in order to make a critique.

Copyright Bite #3

Copyright Bite #3

Copyright Bite #3 considers how you can lawfully make use of, or borrow from, works that are still in copyright, but without having to ask for permission or make payment to the copyright owner.

criticism and review

Creators Discuss

Visual artist, public domain, public domain: duration, copyright bites, copyright in smes, lawful reuse, links & resources, creative process, copyright & creativity, copying & creativity, going for a song, rights & permissions, licensing & exploiting, using & reusing, getting permission, user-generated content, data scraping & data mining, terms & conditions, legal access, enforcement, parody & pastiche, news reporting, research & private study, private copying, orphan works, text & data mining, disabilities, the game is on, a-level media studies, prompt three, prompt four, intermediaries, teachers & students, myth-reality cards, copyright bite #1, copyright bite #2, methodology, video gallery.

criticism and review

Most of the original content on the Copyright User’s website is distributed under a  CC-BY 3.0  licence, meaning that you can share, remix, alter, and build upon Copyright User content for any purpose, as long as you  credit  the author of the content. Where content on Copyright User is not distributed under a CC-BY 3.0 licence, this will be indicated clearly.  

criticism and review

David Liebman

The critic dilemma: criticism vs. review, by david liebman.

For an artist in any field, the entire notion of being judged is daunting. Depending upon a variety of circumstances and one’s personality, it is never easy to be criticized and invariably it is wonderful to be praised. After all we are all human beings with sensitivities. True, as Miles Davis remarked to me, one can make it a practice to ignore all reviews. On the other hand, I recall an interview with John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy in which thy responded to the critics who labeled their music angry and negative. (To me, that is incredulous since Trane’s music was among the most spiritual I ever encountered!)  And then there is the statement by Gene Lees: “All criticism is self justification!”

To be honest, I do feel that there can be something of value to be learned from a serious expert commenting on my work. One of the primary functions of art is communication and you can never be sure how the work is perceived “out there”. I have had reviews which did shed interesting light on some aspect and it has at times been illuminating as well as humbling. In any case, the whole subject of reviewing art raises timeless questions beyond one’s personal feelings, including the effect upon one’s career and the crucial problem as to whom is qualified to pass judgment.


The function of the critic became necessary as soon as civilization passed beyond the communal stage and not everyone was present at the same time for performance, be it ritual, celebration, oratory, etc. The general public needs information about events happening elsewhere in order to prioritize their leisure time. More importantly, elucidation about what to expect can heighten the layman’s appreciation of a performance, especially in an unfamiliar language, be it abstract painting, modern theater, jazz, etc. Being human means having opinions and therefore expressing one’s taste in mundane matters as to which cereal to buy to more important issues such as choosing one’s friends. It is virtually impossible to be 100% objective, try as you can. Even a skilled historian purportedly relaying incontestable facts about a past event, shades the presentation merely by deciding on which points to present or omit.

Though it may seem obvious, a critic should make it clear that (s)he is expressing a personal opinion. It might be helpful to state one’s own biases as objectively as possible, at least somewhere in the review. For example, I am not a great fan of a certain kind of approaches articulation by some saxophonists. Equally, I don’t enjoy an entire school of thinking in relation to tone on the horn. On the other hand, I love the use of space in an improviser’s lines, as well as admiring drummers who play an interactive rather than merely supportive role, and so on. It is only being fair to reveal one’s prejudices as clearly as possible.

It is a cliché that you cannot account for taste. What is pretty to one listener may be annoying to another. So the question remains: ”Why should I trust your opinion(referring to the critic) more than another?” Is it because some magazine hired you as a so-called expert? How do we sort this opinion/taste-objective/subjective dilemma out?


To answer this question I will describe what I perceive as the difference between a review and a critique. Curiously, the word critique has as its root the concept of negative opinion as in criticism. When the writer’s opinion and taste is the focal point, this constitutes a critique. On the other hand, a review should be the dissemination of information with the desired intention being elucidation. The idea is that with this information, the listener is equipped to form his own opinion.  The very act of review presupposes that the writer is recommending the work to be worthy of attention. In a review, there is no opportunity for negative opinion, because the gist of the writing should be objective information. In no case should a review turn personal. There is no purpose served when a reviewer negates an artist’s motives or personality. All that accomplishes is to reveal more about the writer than the subject. One’s ego shouldn’t become mixed with clear analysis.

A review should include some or all of the following aspects:

-An overview of the artist’s body of work with emphasis upon the recent past.

-Comment on how the work in question relates to the artist’s output.

-Insight into the technical and creative intricacies of the work with emphasis upon the artist’s concept. It might be helpful (time and space permitting) to question the artist directly or at least if notes are given, use them as source material. In other words, try to assert what the artist’s goals were.

-Any other relevant factors such as the other musician’s contributions, packaging, sound, etc.

-How or if the recording relates to the contemporary scene.

As a whole, the idea is for the writer to guide a reader through the work by highlighting various factors which shaped the piece in question. The challenge for the reviewer is to seriously consider the work and all its implications.


The stickiest question of all concerns who is qualified to write in the manner I have described. In many other fields of life including driving a taxi or even operating a crane, there are exams which supposedly have to be passed. But there is no test for being a reviewer or critic. I feel that the musicians themselves should be reviewers. The best qualified person is someone who understands the intricacies involved because probably they have encountered this in their own work or studies. Such a reviewer would serve the cause best by sticking more or less to his field of expertise. A musician who has primarily recorded in the fusion field should probably not attempt to review free jazz and visa versa.

It is the expertise in the area combined with time spent that to my mind qualifies a musician to be a reviewer. It is well known that to appreciate sophisticated art takes time and experience. My appreciation of some musicians has both gone up and down over the years, and in some cases these views are radically different that originally.

Of course, artists themselves are an opinionated lot. They have to be because part of the artistic process is the necessity to sharply define one’s likes and dislikes for purposes of self awareness. But I do think that a mature artist can be fairly objective and in any case his familiarity with the subject outweighs any prejudices which  might be revealed. In the final result, each review has to be judged on its own merits.

Outside elements are always going to affect the reviewer’s job. Matters such as the demographics of a magazine or newspaper’s readership, space allowed, fee paid, etc. But if musicians would take the opportunity when it presents itself to seriously write about music, the listeners would be better served. In turn, this can only help the art form to survive. Finally, if the reviewer truly doesn’t like the work under review, (s)he should just pass. There is enough work available which can inspire the writer, rather than having to be negative. Finally, it is very important that musicians answer critics when they feel that they have been wrongly interpreted. This is the only way to stop perpetuating wrong information.

Dave Liebman places in the70th DownBeat Critics Poll

Now Available

Ruminations & reflections – the musical journey of dave liebman and richie beirach.

feature item

Cymbal Press has released Ruminations & Reflections – The Musical Journey of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach. NEA Jazz Master saxophonist Dave Liebman and pianist Richie Beirach have enjoyed a … Continue reading Ruminations & Reflections – The Musical Journey of Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach →

The Art of Skill

feature item

A candid and fascinating exploration of the mental, psychological, and spiritual requirements towards musical mastery.   ORDER HERE:  

For information regarding bookings, contact:

Dave Love Listen 2 Entertainment Group [email protected] – (216) 272-1078

Visit the Liebman Archive of Historic Recordings featuring Lookout Farm, Quest, Solo Sax, We3 [Liebman, Nussbaum, Swallow]

How to Find Reviews

Reviews vs. criticism.

Need Help? Ask Your Librarian

Profile Photo

Though reviews of books, film, and theatre are called critics, there is a difference between reviews written at the time of a works release and historical or literary criticism.

Reviews --articles intended to describe and criticize a book, film, theatre production or other piece of art --are usually written shortly after the release or premiere of a work. Some reviews, especially longer, scholarly reviews (typically of scholarly works) may take a year or longer to appear.

To locate a review, it is therefore necessary to know the date the book was published.

Literary criticism , on the other hand, may be written long after the work is first completed, perhaps centuries later. This guide pertains only to reviews, not to criticism.



You May Also Like...

Second chance - giving games another try, salty tears - losing gracefully, let's face it - the joy of in-person gaming, slow death - player elimination in board games, teaching games - responsibilities as a learner, teaching games - responsibilities as a teacher, an ode to lazy karl, the complexity of depth, the deep blue - depth in board games, uncertain death - end game triggers, enough is enough - minimum board game review requirements, reviewing games - the importance of gameplay experience, winning at all cost, family fun - enjoying games as a family, face-off: interactions in two-player games, immersive resources.

Critical Reviews - What's the Difference Between a Reviewer and a Critic

(Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash)

I always wondered what the difference is between a reviewer and a critic, or even a review and a critique. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, sometimes they're describing two different things, but very often they seem to be used for things that have a lot of overlap and are very similar in many ways. In this article, I'm trying to grapple with those terms and decide for myself what I think they mean.

Let me start with review and critique, which I think are quite clearly defined – even though it’s not quite as simple as that, as we’ll see in a bit. Anyway, both are a way of evaluating and assessing a piece of work, which could be a piece of art, the product of someone’s creative work, a scientific discovery or something else. Reviews and critiques alike both look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the piece of work in question.

The main difference is, that a critique is written by an expert in the field, who will assess the piece of work much more objectively and usually from a more technical viewpoint, often with the aim of offering constructive advice and suggestions, while a review is often written by a layperson, which isn’t meant in a negative way, but simply describes that the person hasn’t had any formal training in the field, and a review is often more subjective and often results in an overall summary of the piece of work, usually a grade or rating of some sort.

In the context of board games, a critique could be something a game designer tells another game designer after a playtesting session. It could also be a game developer explaining to a game designer how to improve their game or how to make it fit into a publisher’s catalogue.

A review, on the other hand, is something I write about a game, where I explain how the game made me feel when I played it, what bits I liked and what I didn’t – and why.

Of course, some reviewers know so much about board games that they are experts, but in the end, they’re still writing reviews, not critiques – except, of course, when they don’t. There are people in the board game community who could probably be board game designers, that’s how much they know about it. They actually create critiques of board games and not reviews. They explain how a mechanism works really well, for example, comparing it to similar implementations in other games and really analysing the game from a more functional viewpoint. They draw conclusions about why a game was, or wasn’t, enjoyable based on that much more objective analysis. So even though these people often call themselves reviewers, they’re actually experts in the field and what they write, or the videos they make, are critiques and not reviews.

Yet, for the person reading or watching them, they’re still very useful to decide whether a game is for them or not – and I think that’s quite an important point. As a consumer of board games, a review and a critique can be equally useful to me. Both will allow me to decide what’s good or bad about a game and decide if I want to buy it or not.

Now, I’ve already talked about reviewers and basically defined them as those people who write reviews. Yet, that doesn’t mean that critiques are written by critics. To me, what differentiates a critic from a reviewer is whether they do it professionally or not. Of course, that’s not completely true and the phrase “everyone is a critic” doesn’t help here either.

Yet, on the whole, someone who writes reviews professionally is going to be a critic. That would imply that everyone else is a reviewer, and I think many people would actually not agree with this, at least not fully, when we think about people writing reviews for a product they bought – and I don’t mean the so-called influencers or professional review writers who get paid to write a review in order to boost a product’s sales.

I’m talking about you and me who just bought a new set of headphones and who have fallen in love with them – or really hate them – and then take to the reseller’s website and leave a glowing – or passionate – review. Technically, that would make us all reviewers, but I think many of us wouldn’t call these people as such. I certainly don’t consider myself a reviewer just because I left a sentence or two on a reseller’s website.

However, someone who regularly writes, or films, a review of a game and shares it with the world is, in my view, a reviewer. If they do that work professionally, I would call them a critic – but that doesn’t automatically mean they also write critiques, because even critics usually write reviews.

So, there you have it. That’s how I’m trying to grapple with the terms, and I hope I haven’t confused things further. What do you think about those terms? How would you define them? Does it matter to you if something is a review or a critique? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear how other people use these terms.

criticism and review

Oliver Kinne aims to publish two new articles every week on his blog, Tabletop Games Blog , and also release both in podcast form. He reviews board games and writes about tabletop games related topics. Oliver is also the co-host of the  Tabletop Inquisition podcast, which releases a new episode every three to four weeks and tackles different issues facing board games, the people who play them and maybe their industry.

Articles by Oliver Kinne

fightcitymayor's Avatar

dysjunct wrote: To me: Analysis of the thing, how the thing fits into the historical and cultural context of similar things which have come before

Each issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, guest edited by scholars and experts in the field, presents more than 200 pages of timely, in-depth research on a significant topic of interest to its readership which includes academics, researchers, policymakers, and professionals.

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 900 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. A growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.

This item is part of a JSTOR Collection. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science © 1942 American Academy of Political and Social Science Request Permissions

criticism and review

University of Tasmania

Fair dealing for criticism or review

A staff member or student (or any other individual) may copy a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, or an audio-visual item without obtaining permission for the purposes of criticism or review under the "fair dealing" provisions of the Copyright Act (the Act). There are some limitations and conditions and these are discussed below.

The Act does not provide a definition of criticism or review. There is also no guidance within the Act as to the factors which should be considered in determining if a dealing is "fair". However, a number of cases point to the following factors when considering whether a particular use of copyright material is a fair dealing for criticism and review.

Criticism involves the evaluation or estimation of the qualities or character of a work or audio-visual item.

Criticism or review may relate to the work being used or to other material. For example you may copy an extract from one book for the criticism or review of another.

The criticism may be of the underlying ideas in the material or the material itself.

Criticisms and reviews do not need to be balanced and can be humorous.

The purpose of the criticism or review must be genuine. i.e. ulterior motives such as commercial gain and anti-competitive behaviour may cancel out the defence.

There must be sufficient acknowledgment

There must be sufficient acknowledgement of the original item for the purposes of criticism or review. The Act provides that "sufficient acknowledgement" in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artisticwork, includes "an acknowledgment identifying the work by its title or other description". Author names must also be acknowledged, unless they have previously agreed or directed that no acknowledgment is to be made.

Case law further provides that where an author makes a claim or provides a position it should be recognised.

Sufficient acknowledgement in relation to the use of audio-visual items for criticism and review is not defined within the Act.


Home » Language » English Language » Literature » Difference Between Critique and Review

Difference Between Critique and Review

Main difference – critique vs review.

Although the two terms critique and review are often used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between critique and review. The main difference between critique and review is the writer; critiques are written by experts in the relevant field whereas reviews are written by people who are interested in that particular field. Therefore, critiques are considered to be more reliable than reviews.

What is a Critique

A critique is a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory or work. A critique is usually written by a critic. A critic is an expert in a particular field, so he can comment on a particular theory or work in depth. Therefore, a critique is more reliable than a review.

A critique can look at separate components of a work as well as the overall impression of the work. A critique can be very technical since the critic has expert knowledge in the field.  It can contain information like techniques, trends in the field, etc. Sometimes, a person who doesn’t have any knowledge in that particular field may find it difficult to understand the critique properly.

Difference Between Critique and Review

What is  a Review

A review describes, analyses and evaluates a work. A review may give you the main information about a piece of work. For example, if the review is about a play, it’ll describe who created the play, who were the actors, where was the play performed, what genre is it, what is the theme of the play, etc. The reviewer will also comment on the quality of the work, overall impression, and his personal opinions. But he will not go into a deep, technical analysis.

This is mainly because a reviewer is a person who has an interest in the certain topic and had the freedom of voicing out his or her thoughts. He is not usually an expert in that particular field. For example, a book review or a film review can be written by anyone. But the review will help others to determine the quality of the said work. So, a review is mainly consumer-oriented.

Critique is written by a critic.

Review is written by a reviewer.

Knowledge of the Field

Critic is an expert in a particular field.

Reviewer is a person who has an interest in a particular topic.

Critique may contain in-depth analysis of the separate components of the work or theory.

Review may contain general information, overall impression, and personal opinion.


Critiques can be more reliable than reviews.

Reviews may not be reliable as critiques.

Critique may analyze a work technically, scientifically or academically.

Review is more consumer-oriented.

Ease of Access

Critique may not be read and understood by everyone.

Difference Between Critique and Review- infographic

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

​You May Also Like These

How to Write Critical Reviews

When you are asked to write a critical review of a book or article, you will need to identify, summarize, and evaluate the ideas and information the author has presented. In other words, you will be examining another person’s thoughts on a topic from your point of view.

Your stand must go beyond your “gut reaction” to the work and be based on your knowledge (readings, lecture, experience) of the topic as well as on factors such as criteria stated in your assignment or discussed by you and your instructor.

Make your stand clear at the beginning of your review, in your evaluations of specific parts, and in your concluding commentary.

Remember that your goal should be to make a few key points about the book or article, not to discuss everything the author writes.

Understanding the Assignment

To write a good critical review, you will have to engage in the mental processes of analyzing (taking apart) the work–deciding what its major components are and determining how these parts (i.e., paragraphs, sections, or chapters) contribute to the work as a whole.

Analyzing the work will help you focus on how and why the author makes certain points and prevent you from merely summarizing what the author says. Assuming the role of an analytical reader will also help you to determine whether or not the author fulfills the stated purpose of the book or article and enhances your understanding or knowledge of a particular topic.

Be sure to read your assignment thoroughly before you read the article or book. Your instructor may have included specific guidelines for you to follow. Keeping these guidelines in mind as you read the article or book can really help you write your paper!

Also, note where the work connects with what you’ve studied in the course. You can make the most efficient use of your reading and notetaking time if you are an active reader; that is, keep relevant questions in mind and jot down page numbers as well as your responses to ideas that appear to be significant as you read.

Please note: The length of your introduction and overview, the number of points you choose to review, and the length of your conclusion should be proportionate to the page limit stated in your assignment and should reflect the complexity of the material being reviewed as well as the expectations of your reader.

Write the introduction

Below are a few guidelines to help you write the introduction to your critical review.

Introduce your review appropriately

Begin your review with an introduction appropriate to your assignment.

If your assignment asks you to review only one book and not to use outside sources, your introduction will focus on identifying the author, the title, the main topic or issue presented in the book, and the author’s purpose in writing the book.

If your assignment asks you to review the book as it relates to issues or themes discussed in the course, or to review two or more books on the same topic, your introduction must also encompass those expectations.

Explain relationships

For example, before you can review two books on a topic, you must explain to your reader in your introduction how they are related to one another.

Within this shared context (or under this “umbrella”) you can then review comparable aspects of both books, pointing out where the authors agree and differ.

In other words, the more complicated your assignment is, the more your introduction must accomplish.

Finally, the introduction to a book review is always the place for you to establish your position as the reviewer (your thesis about the author’s thesis).

As you write, consider the following questions:

Provide an overview

In your introduction, you will also want to provide an overview. An overview supplies your reader with certain general information not appropriate for including in the introduction but necessary to understanding the body of the review.

Generally, an overview describes your book’s division into chapters, sections, or points of discussion. An overview may also include background information about the topic, about your stand, or about the criteria you will use for evaluation.

The overview and the introduction work together to provide a comprehensive beginning for (a “springboard” into) your review.

Write the body

The body is the center of your paper, where you draw out your main arguments. Below are some guidelines to help you write it.

Organize using a logical plan

Organize the body of your review according to a logical plan. Here are two options:

Questions to keep in mind as you write

With either organizational pattern, consider the following questions:

Keep your opinions distinct and cite your sources

Remember, as you discuss the author’s major points, be sure to distinguish consistently between the author’s opinions and your own.

Keep the summary portions of your discussion concise, remembering that your task as a reviewer is to re-see the author’s work, not to re-tell it.

And, importantly, if you refer to ideas from other books and articles or from lecture and course materials, always document your sources, or else you might wander into the realm of plagiarism.

Include only that material which has relevance for your review and use direct quotations sparingly. The Writing Center has other handouts to help you paraphrase text and introduce quotations.

Write the conclusion

You will want to use the conclusion to state your overall critical evaluation.

You have already discussed the major points the author makes, examined how the author supports arguments, and evaluated the quality or effectiveness of specific aspects of the book or article.

Now you must make an evaluation of the work as a whole, determining such things as whether or not the author achieves the stated or implied purpose and if the work makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge.

Consider the following questions:

criticism and review

Academic and Professional Writing

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Analysis Papers

Reading Poetry

A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis

Using Literary Quotations

Play Reviews

Writing a Rhetorical Précis to Analyze Nonfiction Texts

Incorporating Interview Data

Grant Proposals

Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal: The Basics

Additional Resources for Grants and Proposal Writing

Job Materials and Application Essays

Writing Personal Statements for Ph.D. Programs

Resume Writing Tips

CV Writing Tips

Cover Letters

Business Letters

Proposals and Dissertations

Resources for Proposal Writers

Resources for Dissertators

Research Papers

Planning and Writing Research Papers

Quoting and Paraphrasing

Writing Annotated Bibliographies

Creating Poster Presentations

Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Thank-You Notes

Advice for Students Writing Thank-You Notes to Donors

Reading for a Review

Critical Reviews

Writing a Review of Literature

Scientific Reports

Scientific Report Format

Sample Lab Assignment

Writing for the Web

Writing an Effective Blog Post

Writing for Social Media: A Guide for Academics


Film & Media

Reviews & criticism.

The following sources will help you locate film reviews and criticism. In order to find a film review, you need to know the film title and film release date. If you do not have this information, consult either Halliwell's Film Guide , the Oxford Companion to Film , the International Directory of Films and Filmmakers (Vol. 1) or the Motion Picture Guide .

What are the differences between film reviews and film criticism?

Film reviews are written for the general public by usually journalists or other non-academics and appear in newspapers, magazines or online around the time the film is released in theatres. Their purpose is to describe the plot, characters, director, etc in order to help determine whether or not a film should be seen.

Film criticism is the study, interpretation and evaluation of a film with regard to issues such as historical context, theory or technical analysis. Film criticism is written by academics and is published in books or scholarly journals. It may sometimes address a specific apsect of a ilm or focus on the work of a particul director or genre. Critical reviews may be published many years after a film is released.

Databases for Finding Reviews & Criticism

Film and Television Literature Index Comprehensive bibliographic database to film and television literature

Additional Review Resources Online

Movie Review Query Engine (MRQE)

Web Resources

Print resources.

Magill's Survey of Cinema: First and Second Series


ENGLISH: Research Guide

Your Librarian

Profile Photo

In This Section

In this section, you'll find:.

Book Reviews

Book reviews describe and analyze the contents of a book, and often make a recommendation about whether or not to read or purchase the book. Reviews vary in length from single paragraphs to full-length essays (remember writing book reports in middle school?).

Reviews of nonfiction books analyze the topics and/or arguments of the book. Reviewers judge the effectiveness of the authors' support for their arguments and assertions. An author should have some form of authority - they should have a credible reason for writing on the subject. Thus, a book review should cover the authors' credentials. Typically, book reviews compare the book to similar books on the subject. Pay attention to what reviewers consider to be important omissions and any potential biases.

Book Reviews - Fiction & Popular Works

UJ Library Subscription

Book Reviews - Nonfiction & Scholarly Works

Literary Criticism

Literary criticism is the term given to studies that define, classify, analyze, interpret, and evaluate works of literature. There are many types of literary criticism:

Literary criticism may examine a particular literary work or it may look at an author's writings as a whole. 

Literary Criticism in Academic Journals


  1. Haters And Trolls: How To Deal With Online Criticism

    criticism and review

  2. Quotation, Criticism & Review

    criticism and review

  3. Criticism Write A Review · Free photo on Pixabay

    criticism and review

  4. 4 Strategies to Handle Criticism Well

    criticism and review

  5. CRITICISM. Stock Photo

    criticism and review

  6. Academic criticism

    criticism and review


  1. Theoretical criticism

  2. literary criticism new criticism meeting 5

  3. Vedikkettu Movie Opinion

  4. How to Handle Criticism

  5. Basic Features of New Criticism

  6. 3 Opinion/Thought Changed


  1. Quotation, Criticism & Review

    When quoting a work for the purpose of criticism or review, you can review not only the merit and particulars of the work in question but also the philosophy of

  2. The Critic Dilemma: Criticism vs. Review

    Curiously, the word critique has as its root the concept of negative opinion as in criticism. When the writer's opinion and taste is the focal point, this

  3. Reviews vs. Literary Criticism

    Though reviews of books, film, and theatre are called critics, there is a difference between reviews written at the time of a works release

  4. Critical Reviews

    To me: Review: analysis of the thing itself and how or poorly well it meets its goals. Critique: much broader in scope. Analysis of the thing

  5. Reviewing and Criticism

    by reviewing and criticism in today's ... We speak in one breath of literary critics and book reviewers, and apply ... world of events, the newspaper review.

  6. Fair dealing for criticism or review

    Criticism involves the evaluation or estimation of the qualities or character of a work or audio-visual item. · Criticism or review may relate to the work being

  7. Difference Between Critique and Review

    The main difference between critique and review is the writer; critiques are written by experts in the relevant field whereas reviews are

  8. How to Write Critical Reviews

    When you are asked to write a critical review of a book or article, you will need to identify, summarize, and evaluate the ideas and information the author

  9. Reviews & Criticism

    Film criticism is written by academics and is published in books or scholarly journals. It may sometimes address a specific apsect of a ilm or

  10. Book Reviews vs. Literary Criticism

    Reviews of nonfiction books analyze the topics and/or arguments of the book. Reviewers judge the effectiveness of the authors' support for their