Three Stages in Critical Appraisal

  1. Complete a quick read through to decide whether the study is relevant to the topic you are investigating.
  2. Read the article in-depth, identify the different parts of the study and how they relate to the whole article overall. Appraise each part of the study using a critical appraisal tool (see Appendix 3) as a guide. The tool includes a number of questions to help you appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the study.
  3. Review your appraisal of each part of the study and draw these together to identify the relationships between the different parts and form conclusions about the whole study. Consider the relevance of the findings for practice.

There are a number of frameworks available to support the critical appraisal of a wide range of papers, such as Moule and Goodman (2014) and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP):