In my class on Intellectual Property for Engineers, I've been asked to write a critical analysis paper on A literature review of intellectual property management in technology transfer offices: From appropriation to utilization by Holgersson & Aoboen. The essay I must write should be about 2500 words exclusive of footnotes, captions, bibliography etc..

Generally speaking, I don't know how to write a critical analysis of a literature review, which is itself a critical analysis paper. I hope to get your insights.

  • 1
    Welcome to Writing.SE! What sort of insights are you hoping to gain? I think this might be too broad in its current form.
    – F1Krazy
    Dec 14, 2020 at 15:12
  • I want to know how I can think critically with regards to this paper, and maybe the reason I can't start is because what aspects of the paper should I think critically about? It's intimidating to critique a published article by an academic.
    – Abeer
    Dec 14, 2020 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


At the core of this review would be the text given. Just by glancing at its abstract you can find out what you could critically reflect, though, there are many other areas.

Just focussing on the topic:

The literature review shows that previous studies of IP management in TTOs tend to adopt a simplistic view of IP management, recommending that all valuable inventions should be patented. Moreover, academic research into TTOs and actual TTO practices both appear to focus on improving efficiency and outputs measured in terms of numbers of patents, licenses and spin-offs.

  • You could analyze if the premise of the paper is correct: that ... adopts a simplistic view
  • You could analyze if all ... should really be patented (or if there are exceptions)
  • You could analyze if the mentioned practices really do improve effiency and/or outputs

Apart from content, you could analyze if the literature being used has been

  • sufficient or one-sided
  • current or old

You could analyze the style (judgmental / drawing conclusions), the subject (too broad / too narrow), the assumptions (illogical / implausibel / logical / plausible), if the ideas can be compared to something similar and there is a different strategy being used...

As you can see the areas in which you could write a critical analysis are rather broad. If you have been given the task to solely write a critical analysis, you should be able to choose what you want to focus on and you‘d highlight that in your introduction, then proving your point in the main body and in the end concluding how you view the text given after having analyzed it.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


  • Yup, this definitely helps, although I submitted it way before your answer! But I definitely did something along what you wrote. I discussed in some detail cases where TTO practices, such as commercialization, are necessary and had practical benefits, like in medicine (something the original paper didn't build on). I also commended the systematic method for their literature review, which "made the research results reproducible" (according to the original paper), because they defined the terms they used in their review, and defined its scope clearly.
    – Abeer
    Dec 28, 2020 at 23:24
  • Got 24.5 out of 30, but could've gotten 26.5 if I had submitted on time :'-)
    – Abeer
    Dec 28, 2020 at 23:26

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