Best dissertation writing service postgraduate researchers find the abilities to write a proper critical evaluation essay more important. This skill is particularly pertinent to the production of literature reviews, where a critical appraisal or analysis of the literature is required.

Factors to consider about authors:

  • Are they acknowledged experts in the subject area?
  • Are they respected and reliable sources?
  • Are their views controversial?
  • Have they been frequently cited by other authors in the field?

To find out whether material has been frequently cited requires either prior knowledge or a citation search.

  • Are they known to have a particular perspective on the topic?

Factors to consider about sponsoring organizations:

  • What type of organization is it? Commercial company, voluntary organization, statutory body, research organization?
  • How well established is the organization?
  • Does the organization have any vested interests in the subject area being researched?

Factors to consider about the method of publication:

  • Any individual can publish anything on the World Wide Web or post to a discussion list. This has to be judged on its own merit and with reference to the author’s credentials.
  • What do you know of the editor and/or the editorial board and how their editorial policy influences what will be published?
  • Is the journal well regarded? Does it have a high rating in the Journal Citation Reports? Does this matter?
  • Is the information peer reviewed? Many electronic journals do not have a peer review process.

Relevance

Relevance is an important aspect of information quality. It is not a property of the information itself, but rather of its relationship to the need you have identified. It may be a piece of high quality information but not relevant to the question you are asking or the scope of your search. There are a number of ways in which the information may or may not be relevant to your needs.

  • Geographical (it may relate to countries or areas which you are not interested in).
  • Level (it may be too detailed/specialised or too general/simple for the level at which you are working).
  • Emphasis (it may not contain the kind of information you are seeking – this is often a question of emphasis, which may not be identifiable from the abstract).

Method

For this aspect of PROMPT we do not refer to the evaluation of research methods per se, but to the information produced as a result of using particular methods. With your knowledge of the methods used in your subject area think about the following.

  • Is it clear how the research was carried out?
  • Were the methods appropriate?
  • Ask some basic questions about sample size and nature, use of control groups, questionnaire design.
  • Are the results produced consistent with the methods stated?
  • Are the methods suitable for your needs? Do you need the methods to be the same as yours or different to yours?

Do not assume that because a research report has been accepted for publication, it is error-free and meets a certain standard. There have been cases of fraudulent research that have successfully fooled the research establishment and been published in high profile journals.

Timeliness

The date when information was produced or published can be an important aspect of quality. This is not quite as simple as saying that ‘good’ information has to be up to date; it depends on your information need.

Factors to consider include:

  • Is it clear when the information was produced?
  • Does the date of the information meet my requirements?
  • Is it obsolete? (Has it been superseded?)
How to write a Critical Evaluation