Located all of the relevant research papers from your literature search?
Critical appraisal is the process used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the articles you have found. Critical appraisal allows your to critically assess the quality of the Authors work and make judgments on the information presented. For examples authors may exaggerate their findings or there may be flaws in their research. Critical appraisal assists you in making informed decisions about the quality of the research.
To start your appraisal process it can be useful to define the features within the article. It can be beneficial to use a guide which breaks down the journal elements into different categories, sometimes this is called a "top sheet" or a "review sheet". Check out our guide on Note Taking and in particular the factsheet on Journal note taking,
At higher levels of study critical appraisal is often carried out using checklists that help signpost areas to look for while reading a paper. There are different types of checklist depending on the type of research you are reviewing. For more information check out our guide on Systematic Reviews.