How to Write a Neat and Compelling Article Review
Evaluating a published work requires an expert’s perspective. As part of your training, to be an expert in your respective field, your instructor may ask you to write an article review. If you want the best grade, your article review must be neat and compelling.
Nobody hits the ball with the first swing. As such, we’ve prepared a detailed guide that will give you a quick refresher on how to write an article review. Specifically, you will learn;
- What is an article review?
- How to write an article review step-by-step?
- How to structure an article review?
- How to make it compelling
Let’s start with the first item on our agenda.
What Is an Article Review?
An article review is a piece of work you write to give an evaluative and summary analysis of another author’s work. In brevity article review writing is all about:
- Providing the main point of the author’s work
- Assessing the supporting evidence of the work
- Providing considerable perspectives for further studies
Therefore, you need a thorough understanding of the central argument and the main points that the author presents.
Why Review an Article in The First Place?
Before you can start reviewing your article, do you understand why you’re doing it? What is the purpose of an article review? Well, an article review serves the following functions.
- It corrects vague terms and statements which are not discipline-compliant. The author can decide to change those terms to improve clarity
- It allows the author to remove the personal bias in their work through your views and perspectives
- It provides suggestion and criticisms that help the author improve the next edition or article
- It enables you to clarify questions, improve your written communication and knowledge in the field
Choosing an Article for Review
Sometimes the tutor may not assign you the material to review. Consequently, you’re left to find an article worth considering. The library, any relevant database, and the internet can help you in this case.
You have been to class sessions, right? Look for those major topics sections that you can find articles on in the information archive. Unless instructed so, never choose an item from the website or a newspaper. These sources may be relevant to the subject you have settled to review, except they lack evidence to support their opinions. Hence their credibility is questionable.
Search for the article from the academic databases instead. These articles give reliable evidence. Moreover, their structure is easy to explore when doing work with analytical aspects such as article review. You can, therefore, get a useful article review as you explore the assumptions, models used, method of analysis, and the results obtained.
Organizing a critique of the academic article is also not complicated since related works are available from the database.
Preparing for Reviewing the Article
For practical purposes, you may review a piece addressing a topic you’ve never encountered. Apart from the material relating to your field, only a few details are easy to understand. The article could also contain concepts beyond that are your learning. Thus you need a thorough preparation before writing your essay.
Below is the step-by-step guide on how to write an article review.
1. Read the Article
Read the topic to get a hint of the theme. Proceed to read the abstract and the headings in every section. You are now ready to continue to the introduction and the conclusion.
When done with these parts, proceed straight to the first sentences of each paragraph. Your next step is to read each opening paragraphs of each section thoroughly. This initial reading gives a conception of the overall theme of the article.
You may have to note or highlight the:
- Concepts you did not understand
- Questions fleeting the mind while reading
During this initial reading, check out for the meaning of the jargon and any phrases. Never assume anything to leave it without understanding. The author could have used ideas from a related field to explain concepts in the article.
What’s more, you want to ensure that you understand the material you’re reviewing before you start writing your essay. To that end, you should do the following.
Having the central theme with you, read objectively in the subsequent readings. Note down the main parts that carry the weight of meaning. When the temptation to note down everything knocks, make comments on the paragraph margins. The sticky notes will help you establish connections between the ideas in the paragraph.
The emphasis on reading multiple times is because the initial only gives a hazy understanding. The attitude that the article is difficulty masks you from comprehending. New perspectives keep on outpouring into your mind as you read subsequently. The concepts get familiar, and a connection kindles between the class concepts and ideas in the article.
Besides the notes, scribble whatever you learned in class or during your research. During the evaluation, determine whether the ideas agree or contradict your knowledge. Highlight the differences and similarities between the article ideas and your previous learning.
Other things to consider at this stage of preparation are:
- The article’s degree of completeness. For instance, did it start by formulating a problem and end by offering a solution?
- The relevance of the material as it tries to a problem hinted in the topic
- The accuracy of the bibliography so that the in-text citations correspond to the reference list
- The editorial requirements of the academic discipline papers
- The scientific quality of the content
All in all, never leave any section without understanding. You can only review an article when you know all about it.
Understand the Audience
Understanding the audience of your audience is essential. For this purpose, you tailor the article review content to all their needs. The following could be some of the members of the audience:
- Decision-makers who depend on your reviews. They are out to get the pool of evaluations from experts like you
- Experts in the specific fields on the broader discipline
- Students and novice scholars who are experts in making
Here you will write to address all their needs according to their levels. They will thus be expecting you to do the following:
- Identify the trends patterns in the field of study
- Synthesize, organize and evaluate the additional literature provided in the article
- Identify the research weaknesses and gaps for improvement in future research
Thus the audience will feel involved in the following ways:
- The decision-makers will have a more enriched basis to make decisions
- The novice researcher improves their knowledge and knows the untouched areas of research in the discipline
- The experts identify gaps to concentrate on to establish their authority in the field and solve problems
Since the audience is generally knowledgeable, the article review will be more than just an opinion. Instead, you will present to them your response to the author’s ideas. You will dwell on the author’s positions and arguments by unveiling their effectiveness in the blend of critique and evaluation.
Lastly, give the audience only evaluative and summary discourse. You should not include any new information outside the article you are reviewing. The only exception for additional information is the dire need to correct misleading points and incoherent ideas.
The Structure of Writing an Article Review
Devising the article review template enables you to write a review article quickly. The model minimizes the possibility of being jumpy, discussing points mediocrely, and retrogressing to prior ideas. The structure is developed by considering the following aspects:
- The stipulated goal of the article under review
- The theories used to explain the phenomenon in the article
- The clarity of the author in the definitions of concepts and jargon
- The relevance of the evidence used to describe the building points of the central theme
- The significance of the article in the field of study
- The new aspects of the knowledge that the piece adds to the field
- The effectiveness with which the author conveys their thoughts
Consideration of all these and making notes on them will render the article review format a reasonable guide when doing real writing.
Composing the Article Review Title
You should choose a topic that gives a hint of the focus of the article review. The title accomplishes the primary goal of what you want to inform the audience. It can take the following forms:
- Descriptive by expressing your main focus based on the ideas on the article
- Interrogative by being inquisitive on methodology or the central argument of the author
- Declarative, for instance, in a way to approve or disapprove a position on the article
A topic should include a complete citation of the material under review. Reading an article review example would make writing a topic more vivid.
What are the Main Parts of an Article Review?
The introduction gives a brief gist of the article you are reviewing. This brief introduction should capture your audience and invite them to read further. Consequently, the audience understands your expert perspective on the piece.
The thesis of the article under review follows this hooking statement. Sometimes the author may not have stated the thesis coherently. You, therefore, need to deduce it by reading the article extensively when preparing.
Additionally, furnish the introduction with the key argument and theme explored in the whole article. The opening is wrapped up by your catchy thesis. Your thesis could be, for instance, the most influential idea and notable drawback in the piece. The introduction should, therefore, never go beyond 25% of the total article review.
Give a Background of the Article Under Review
Sometimes the audience is not aware of what prompted the study in the article under scrutiny. Instead of surprising your reader with a non-familiar topic, you should provide a background. The background could be the circumstances that prompted the study, such as the author’s motive, funding, and need in the discipline that existed before the research. Use direct quotes from the article under review sparingly.
Other useful aspects are the background information on the author. These could be things like academic achievements and their practice in the discipline. These establish to the reader the author’s authority in the field. The reader thus appreciates the author’s intellectual legitimacy to write an article worth reviewing.
If available, also include other works that are relevant or related to the thematic concerns under review. The works could be belonging to the author or not.
A formal academic tone of writing is expected all through article review. The third-person point of view explains the ideas as opposed to the first person. Present the criticism and evaluation analysis that are research-informed. Nothing ought to be opinionated.
Citing the Article Under Review
Importantly to note, you should cite the article under review. The citation should appear as your tutor will choose. If it is within your discretion to decide, you can opt for either MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, among other citation styles.
Citations inform the readers on the
- Title of the journal
- Year of publication
From these details that are compulsory in the citation, the audience can accomplish the following:
- Search for newer editions of the article under review
- Check for the possibility of other versions of the publication that the author has responded to suggestions and criticism of earlier reviewers.
- Search for works with topics closely related to the theme that gives other details the author overlooked
- The audience can also check out other reviewers who preceded you
The article review format should be consistent throughout the article review.
The Body Section
The assessment of the clarity and insight of the article is in-depth at this stage. The evaluation should move according to the arranged ideas in your notebook. Discuss each point separately by giving substantial evidence. Inform the audience about theories used to discuss all these points if there be any.
After presenting the points dwell on the bias that you may have noticed. Alternatively, you may write any incongruent idea or poorly explained idea and the shortcomings in the research. Generally, mention information that weakly built the central theme.
The last step of writing paragraphs is giving personal judgment on the article. Give your view on how the author contributes to understanding the main subject in their work. The audience is always after reading an explicit critique developed from the article.
Apart from showing the overall importance of the article, highlight what you disagree with or agree with the author. Give sufficient reasons for your position by citing other authors’ writings on the same ideas covered by the article. It is not a personal opinion per se that is needed here. Instead, give your stance on the relevance of the material under review.
Avoid writing complex sentences when writing a review article. However, the correct terminologies, as applied in the discipline, are mandatory. If you doubt the relevance of a jargon, check it out before using it. As you seek to analyze optimally, remember this is a scientific work. Therefore, humor and creativity are irrelevant.
Have the Audience in Mind
Remember your audience well when writing. Even the most novice section of the audience knows the basic facts, background information, and statistics. The audience seeks an accurate description of the author’s article from the elevated point of the expert.
A logical arrangement is necessary here. Using paraphrases and facts discuss the article coherently. Answer the questions the audience has regarding the work. They need to have a practical sense of article review definition.
Conclude the body section by telling the audience what they can obtain from the article under review. Do not add any new information that is irrelevant but instead stick to the article review template.
The Article Review Ending
It is a brief restatement of the main points. You should also echo your judgment on the significance and how well written the article is. Based on the weaknesses and gaps in the researches, you should advise for further study.
Give comments also on the accuracy of concepts and the clarity of their presentation in the article. Hint to the audience on what new research would supplement the material and expound the author’s main idea.
Be careful not to write a lengthy article review conclusion. A conclusion should only be 10% of the entire article review content.
Proofreading the Article Review
After completing the initial draft of the article review, you need to fine-tune it. The best thing to do is giving yourself time to refresh. This rest would enable you to look into the error, such as:
- Spelling and grammar errors due to typing errors and the wrong choice of words
- Punctuation errors
- Facts-related errors
Some bit of editing is required to remove the irrelevant details included initially. The information on evidence is supposed to be up to date. In this case, you can summarize the main ideas into three or four, but you should consider the tutor’s rubric also. These four points are what you extensively and excellently presented in the body section.
Need Help Writing an Article Review?
The above are the guidelines that would give you an excellent grade in your article review. You need to internalize the instructions right from the article review definition. It is also recommended you read at least one article review sample.
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