Getting inside the mind of an expert management researcher
Your learning through the two-way process of academic discourse
Who do we think you are?
Who do you think your audience is?
What’s distinctive about researching management?
Induction into a western tradition of academic scholarship
What’s your ‘academic comfort zone’, and how could you expand it?
Official expectations that you will develop your critical frame of mind
Expectations check-up
How well does your work match-up to your assessors’ expectations?
Are you a more critical thinker than you realise?
Experiences of thinking critically in your academic work
Helping yourself learn to think like an expert management researcher
Comparing lists of Dos and Don’ts
Maximising your learning by linking critical reading with self-critical writing
How does your critical reading link with your self-critical writing?
Networked Cranfield > AIM Research > Introduction > How does your critical reading link with your self-critical writing?

How does your critical reading link with your self-critical writing?

Here is an exercise which encourages you to make a strong link between developing a critical approach in your academic reading and developing a self-critical approach to your academic writing. Whatever you are looking for as a critical reader of the literature, your assessors - as critical readers of your work - may also be looking for the same things in what you write for assessment. The elements of self-critical writing relate to meeting your readers’ needs, so they can understand what you’re trying to communicate. Equally, these elements help you to make your argument convincing to your readers.

The exercise is based on matching each element of critical reading with its corresponding element of self-critical writing. Try completing it now.

Linking your Critical Reading with your Self-Critical Writing

1.       Tick each element of critical reading in the list that you habitually use when reading academic literature.

2.       Tick each element of self-critical writing that you habitually use in your academic writing.

3.       Add up the number of ticks for each column.

As a critical reader of academic literature, I:


As a self-critical writer of assessed work, I:






  • consider the authors’ purpose in writing the account


  • state my purpose in what I write to make it clear to my readers


  • examine the structure of the account to help me understand how the authors develop their argument


  • create a logical structure for my account that assists me with developing my argument, and makes it clear to my reader


  • seek to identify the main claims the authors make in putting forward their argument


  • state my own main claims clearly to help my readers understand my argument


  • adopt a sceptical stance towards the authors’ claims, checking whether they support convincingly what they assert


  • assume that my readers adopt a sceptical stance to my work, so I must convince them by supporting my claims as far as possible


  • question whether the authors have sufficient backing for the generalisations they make


  • avoid making sweeping generalisations in my writing which I cannot justify to my readers


  • check what the authors mean by key terms in the account and whether they use these terms consistently


  • define the key terms I employ in my account so that my readers are clear what I mean and use these terms consistently


  • consider whether and how any values guiding the authors’ work may affect what they claim


  • make explicit any values that guide what I write


  • distinguish between respecting the authors as people and being sceptical about what they write


  • avoid attacking authors as people but am sceptical about what they write


  • keep an open mind, retaining a conditional willingness to be convinced


  • assume that my readers are open-minded about my work and are willing to be convinced if I can adequately support my claims


  • check that everything the authors have written is relevant to their purpose in writing the account and the argument they develop


  • sustain my focus throughout my account, and avoid irrelevancies and digressions in what I write


  • expect to be given the information that is needed for me to be in a position to check any other literature sources to which the authors refer


  • ensure that my referencing in the text and the reference list is complete and accurate so that my readers are in a position to check my sources


Total number of ticks


Total number of ticks


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