Critical Reflections Essay Example

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Critical Reflections


Critical reflections attempt to make justifications for the foundation of issues or problems. In this article we are going to look at critical reflections on a research paper done as well as critical reflections on the reviews conducted by my peers and lecturers. Being critical means that a person is capable of challenging one’s own presuppositions or another party takes the role of challenging established theory or perceptions (Mezirow, 1990).

Critical Reflections

A critical reflection from a peer or a peer review refers to a thorough evaluation of an article from a person or a group of persons that have similar competences as the writer or producer of the article. Peer reviews are conducted to improve the standards of quality of the article as well as give the article credibility. The final score is as a result of a summation of the scores given in every section for both reviews (Benos, 2007).

According to the review given by my peers the score was 45/100 which is quite a dismal performance and the reasons for such a low score include lack of use of focus questions todirect the flow of the conference paper. They also challenged the critical reviews of other literature in the field. They also assessed that the connection of the article to the literature used was not very useful in the development of understanding in the topic being addressed that is factors affecting teaching of sciences in secondary schools. The peer review also deduced that the conference paper lacked a research design as well as data, the writer found the identification of a research design and data to be irrelevant to the conference paper.

The peer review also deduced that data analysis was not used in the conference paper which the writer or producer considered irrelevant. However, other aspects of making a good conference paper were well covered such as the importance of the topic identified, the relevance of the topic was also evident as well as the paper had clarity in its findings and the discussion was very well done. There was also clarity in the conclusions of the conference paper and the standards of communication were above average among other critical qualities.

A professor’s review on the other hand refers to ratings and evaluations on the work done by students. According to the review of the lecturer or the professor the paper had a dismal score of 42.5% with the strong points being pointed on a good establishment on the importance of the topic, the professor also scored the conference paper well on critical qualities but considered average the review on other literatures and the clarity of conclusions. However, the professor also challenged some aspects of the conference paper by giving them low score of below 5 such as relevance of topic. The professor did not see the relevance of the topic in the conference paper, also according to the professor there was lack of use of a design for data analysis as well as lack of data. The findings and discussions conducted in the paper were also below average. The professor recommends that the issues identified in the topic should be organized in an argumentative narration and not in a descriptive format (Hartley, 2008).

Looking at the two reviews by my peers and my professor there are quite a number of issues that are causing a conflict of interests. The professor gives an average score for the importance of the topic that is being addressed while my peers give an above average score. Even more interesting is that the professor gives a zero score in the relevance of the conference paper to the topic being addressed while my peers give an above average score of 7/10. Another interesting issue being evident in the review is that the professor gives an average score of 5/10 for importance of topic yet the paper is considered irrelevant. This score is quite conflicting to the student.

However, after going through the reviews there are many issues that are brought up in the way the review was conducted. These issues include; the scoring system used by the reviewers which focused on only ten issues which are the importance of the topic identified by the writer or producer, relevance of the topic being addressed, the questions to be used to direct the focus of the conference paper, critical review on literature used, research design and data, data analysis, the findings and discussions conducted, the conclusion, the qualities of the paper as well as the quality of the communications used in the paper. However, other issues are being neglected by both the professor and my peers and some of these issues include; the authors of the article, the audience for the article, the time of the article and its relevance to the past, current and future. The reviews by my peers as well as the professor did not consider the content of the article but instead focused on the structure of the conference paper (Panel, 2006).

The content is important for any type of paper and the content includes why the conference paper was being written, the sources used in the articles, the references used in the paper, illustrations used in the paper such as graphs, charts, tables as well as bibliographies among others(Panel, 2006).


Reviews as it has been discussed are very important to provide credibility for the article as well as to improve the article’s standards of quality. Reviews can be conducted by peers who possess the same level of competency as the article’s writer or producers or it can be conducted by professors who teach in the topic established in the article. Reviews are meant to help the writer challenge his own works by looking at the comments of other parties before presenting the articles to the desired audience and in this context teacher that teach sciences in secondary schools as well as the various stakeholders in the education sector. Reviews can either be positive or negative but they are meant to be constructive criticism in nature.


Panel, D, J. (2002). Prose, Psychopaths and Persistence.Personal Perspectives on Publishing.Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 101-116.

Charry, A, A., Murray, P, R and Parton, K, A. (2004). The Process of Standardized Refereeing of Professional Publications: AReference Framework for the Panel of Refereesof the AFBM Journal, AFBM Journal, vol. 1, pp. 6-13.

Panel, D, J. (2006). How to Review a Journal Article: Requirements, Tips and Strategies, Discussion Paper School of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia.

Benos, D, J. (2007). The Ups and Downs of Peer Review, Advances in Physiology Education, vol. 31, no, 2, pp. 145-152.

Mezirow, J. (1990). How critical reflection triggers transformative learning.In J. Mezirow (Ed), Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Hartley, J. (2008). Academic writing and publishing: a practical guide. New York: Routledge