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Critically appraising a document is central to understanding its contribution to the field of research. It is a systematic approach used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of research, so the validity of the findings can be established. Some key steps in the critical appraisal process include evaluating the appropriateness of the chosen study design for the specific research question, assessing the rigour of the methodology and suitability of statistical methods for the data and subsequent interpretation, ensuring that the conclusions are indeed supported by the data and have not been extrapolated. Addressing any conflicts of interest is also important. Subsequently, the extent to which the study influences clinical practice and its overall importance should be established. Considering the significance of an evidence-based approach to research studies, we present a guide to aid in evaluating research papers so that their true contribution to the medical field can be assessed.