For more on analysing and evaluating texts see - Some general criteria for evaluating texts.
Here is an example paragraph from the body of a student's essay (reproduced with permission).
For more on note-making see - Notemaking written text.
You should always write your own assignments, but you can improve your understanding by discussing ideas and information with your peers and your tutors. Write regularly about your own ideas, thoughts and feelings on a topic.
For example, you may be expected to learn the names and properties of chemical elements (knowledge), understand why some react with others (understanding) and conduct experiments (application).
At these levels, memory and comprehension are necessary, and remain so at university. Markers often write comments on assignments which only communicate these lower levels of thinking, such as; "this is just description", "analyse this in more detail", or "you haven't understood the issues".
Critical thinkers test what they are told and what they read.
At high school, most learning occurs at the levels of Knowledge, Understanding and Application.
Critiques usually include strengths as well as limitations. For more on understanding the task see - Answering assignment questions.
This is a positive activity that updates and builds knowledge. Look at the title, abstract, summary, introduction, and conclusion of your readings to decide whether you need to read all of the text, only some of it, or whether you can skip it altogether.