My dissertation is cumulative, meaning that it basically consists of the following three sections: Introduction, Chapters, and Conclusions. The introduction gives an extended literature overview and describes the overall research question. The chapters are copies of my published research articles. The conclusion section typically has the following sub-sections: critical appraisal, relevance of work, and outlook.

Naturally my supervisor gave me some ideas what the critical appraisal should look like and I can also look for inspiration in previous theses. Nevertheless, I wonder what a critical appraisal normally is. It seems to be a term mostly used in medical research. I wonder:

  • Is this something typically used in academia?
  • Is there a definition or a generally accepted form?
  • What elements does a critical appraisal include?
  • Is there literature or guidelines on how to write a critical appraisal?

Could you provide some insights on what a good critical appraisal (for a thesis) should look like?

  • If your institution has no regulation for a cumulative thesis, then most likely it is not permitted to write one. Or do you mean they simply do not supply a readymade MS-Word template?
    – Karl
    Oct 30, 2016 at 19:26
  • Please update your question accordingly.
    – Karl
    Oct 30, 2016 at 19:36
  • critical appraisal of what? your own work?
    – user61996
    Oct 30, 2016 at 23:08
  • ps. shouldn't you advisor know the answer to that?
    – user61996
    Oct 30, 2016 at 23:09
  • @mobileink I tried to be more specific in the edits of the question.
    – n1000
    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:43


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