How to Write an Article Review: Complete Guide
An article review is a subcategory of a literature review. An article review aims to help you understand your assigned reading material or synthesize and critique various articles on an individual subject.
An article review is both a summary and an evaluation of another writer’s article. Teachers often assign students tasks to review articles to introduce them to the work of experts in the field. Experts also are often asked to review the work of other professionals.
The length of your summary for a critical review should only be about one quarter to one-third of the whole critical review. The main content and focus should be summarizing the main points, arguments, positions, and research findings and providing supportive evidence for your statements in this section—not on critiquing and evaluating them in detail.
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What Is an Article Review
It is a professional piece of writing that aims to appraise an academic or scientific article critically. This means that the writer should analyze, compare, summarize, and classify the information presented in the text of the article. The reviews are written in an orderly manner to understand the arguments they contain easily. Students can learn how to review article by first reviewing an example of one.
Types of Review
- A journal article review is a common assignment in college and graduate school. Reviewing different journals is ideal for learning more about a specific area of interest and how research is conducted. According to American Psychological Association (APA) standards, knowing how to do this helps prepare you to be a professional.
- A research article review differs from a journal article review because it evaluates the research method used and holds that information in retrospect for analysis and critique.
- Science article reviews are different once again, requiring careful inspection of the strengths of experiments and proper citation.
The difference between these types should be clear by now. However, there is a fourth type: A literature review. These reviews tend to be the most subjective, as they involve your interpretations and biases so allow yourself space for exploration when writing them!
All three types can help you refine your research skills, so try not to limit yourself to just one type!
Journal Article Review
The purpose of a journal article review (also called an “article review,” “review article,” or “critique”) is to provide a well-written and accurate critique of the journal article being reviewed. This section should include information on the author’s main conclusion, methodology, and results.
If you’ve never written one before, here are some tips:
- Keep in mind that your goal as a peer reviewer is to provide your own opinion on the quality of an academic paper. Your goal isn’t necessarily to make it easier for the researcher who wrote it to improve their work (although that’s always nice)—your goal is to provide constructive criticism about whether or not your peers may benefit from reading it.
- Be clear with your thoughts on what you liked and didn’t like about the article. Even if you found many things problematic, it’s still important not to leave out any good points! Make sure you have enough good things to say so that readers can see how much they would benefit from reading this piece of research!
Research Article Review
A research article review differs from the article review of the journal because it evaluates the research method used and holds that information in retrospect for analysis and critique. This type of scholarly work is written to improve scientific knowledge on a given topic and thus must follow a specific set of guidelines. You need to observe the following steps when writing article reviews:
- Start your review with citation information. In most cases, you should provide the full bibliographic citation for the article at the beginning of your review. Your professor will likely specify which citation style to use (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago). Each style has its formatting requirements for citations; follow these closely as you create your references section.
- Write a summary of the paper, including key points and your assessment of how well it was written. Reviewers often write about their evaluation of a paper through their summary, but this can be not very clear for readers who want more than one perspective on the article being reviewed. For this reason, we recommend writing separate sections for each part of your evaluation (summary, evaluation or critique, etc.).
Science Article Review
When writing a scientific article review, you must read the original research article. Most likely, it is a study conducted by another scientist on some topic related to your research. When you are reading an article review example, you can see that the author explains the main ideas and findings of the original papers. However, it is also important to include your critical analysis in this section when writing a scientific review article. What do you think about the validity of their arguments? Are there any mistakes or gaps in their methodology? What do other scientists have to say about their findings? You have to answer these questions and write them down in your academic paper.
Article Review Format
Most college and university students are required to review articles. These academic papers can be written in various styles, including APA style or MLA style. When writing review articles, you will use the standard format for these style guides, which include:
- The title page
- An abstract or summary of your review
- A body paragraph that explains the article you reviewed
- A reference list of all cited sources
Some instructors may also require you to use a specific citation style. However, before choosing any citation style, it is important to check with the instructor whether it is okay for you to use that particular one. Different institutions have different guidelines for citing sources in their academic papers. It would be frustrating if your instructor did not approve of the citation method used in your paper! For example, some instructors may require their students to use MLA (Modern Language Association) formatting, while others may prefer Chicago or Turabian style.
Using the APA Format
The APA style, outlined in the American Psychological Association Publication Manual, is commonly used for research papers and other academic projects. It provides guidelines that allow writers to write in a consistent format, which helps establish their credibility as authors and enables readers to focus on the content of the article. We have provided a comprehensive overview of this style so that you can use it appropriately in your review articles writing. You should note these essential components:
- The paper should be double-spaced throughout.
- You should use a title page, which includes the name of your paper and basic information about yourself as an author.
- The upper right corner of each page should feature a page header, which consists of the title of your paper. A corresponding page number should appear in the upper right corner as well.
Using MLA Format
When using MLA format, use the author-page method of citation. This means that the author’s last name and the page number (s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author’s name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase. Still, the page number (s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:
Wordsworth stated that Romantic poetry was marked by a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (263).
Romantic poetry is characterized by the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (Wordsworth 263).
Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).
The Pre-Writing Process
The first step is to, of course, find an article. You can probably find one that’s interesting enough on the first page of a Google search. But if your professor wants a specific topic, like “The impact of Soviet cartoons on children” or “African-American representation in reality television,” you will need more detailed research. Aim for 5-10 sources directly relevant and accessible (check with your teacher on how many she wants you to use).
When you’ve got your outline ready to go, it’s time to dig into the introduction and body sections. Check out our other helpful article, How To Write An Essay Outline, for even more pointers and examples!
Steps for Writing an Article Review
To review article, start by reading the article to understand the research. Then, reread it more closely to identify and analyze the main points. In your introduction, briefly state the main idea of the article using only one or two sentences. Next, summarize each section or free written paragraph in one concise sentence. For example, “section one talks about …” or “the author states that …” Finally, provide your critique of the article by discussing whether you think it is convincing and whether you agree with its conclusions. Write your conclusion next, followed by your critical analysis of what you think about the article.
Once you’ve written all that out, proofread it to ensure there aren’t any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors and that everything flows smoothly from point to point.
Step 1: Write the Title.
A perfect article review title accomplishes the same goal as any other academic paper title: It informs what the paper is about and makes an argument. More specifically, a good article review title should be exciting and engaging for the reader to want to read on. It should also be concise, accurate, and precise. The title shouldn’t exceed 12 words.
Step 2: Cite the Article.
Cite the article here.
- For a journal article, list the author(s), year of publication, the title of the article without quotation marks and with only the first word, proper nouns, and words after colons capitalized, name of the journal italicized with all major words capitalized, volume number italicized, issue number in parentheses without italics, and page numbers:
- “Article Title.” Journal Name Volume Issue (Year Published): Page(s).
Smith, John. “Article Title.” Journal Name Volume Issue (Year Published): Page(s).
Note: You can also include DOI or website information at the end if you review articles online. You will often include a DOI or URL with your assignment instructions. If it is not included there, though, you can use this format: DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.09010
Step 3: Article Identification.
Now it’s time to identify the article you’re reviewing. Do your best to pick out the essential details, such as:
- The title of the article
- Who wrote it (the author)
- Which journal it was published in
- When it was published (date)
- How many words are in the article (word count)
- How many references are included in the article (citations and bibliography section)
- How many tables and figures are included in the article
Step 4: Introduction.
The introduction should give a summary of the article. Make sure to point out any issues you have with the article’s writing style, how it fits into the conversation about its topic, or anything else you want to point out. If two or more scholars are writing about your topic, do they agree on how to define their terms? To write an effective review article, you will need to become familiar with the content of what has been written on your topic to use it as a foundation and justification for your findings.
This section should be brief and straight to the point. It should summarize all the main ideas, arguments, and conclusions presented in the reviewed work. The goal is not to state whether or not you liked the paper; instead, explain whether or not it did an excellent job at presenting information on its chosen subject matter.
Step 5: Summarize the Article.
Remember, you’re neither summarizing for a third-grader nor someone who hasn’t read the article. It’s good practice to assume your reader has read the article, but even so, make sure your summary is complete enough to stand on its own. You don’t have to include every little detail—just hit the high points. Most summaries are between four and six sentences long.
When writing an article review, a good rule of thumb is to use at least two examples to support each claim you make in your paper. This will strengthen each claim and help you earn a higher score for this test section.
Step 6: Critique It.
A critique is a well-reasoned evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of an article. It involves identifying, evaluating, and interpreting the author’s arguments as presented in an article. You’ll have to evaluate how well the author addressed the subject matter and then articulate that assessment persuasively. To write a convincing critique essay, you will need to back up your assertions with evidence from the article.
Your critique should be objective, so avoid using pronouns like “I” or “you.” Instead of saying “The author seemed biased,” say “The author was biased” (if you can prove it).
Although it might sound challenging at first glance, skillful writers often find that organizing their thoughts into effective critiques comes naturally when they familiarize themselves.
Step 7: Craft a Conclusion.
Conclusions are often the most challenging part of an essay because many writers feel they have nothing left to say after writing the paper. A writer must keep in mind that the conclusion is often what a reader remembers best. Your conclusion should be the best part of your paper.
A conclusion should:
- Summarize all main points
- Avoid introducing new information and quotes
- Give recommendations for future research in the field (if applicable)
- This is especially important for researched essays with several parts (i.e., an argumentative essay)
- Remember, this part takes longer than it seems; don’t rush it!
The Post-Writing Process: Proofread Your Work
As with any other piece of writing, you’re very likely to have made mistakes while writing your article review. Here are some things to check for:
- Read through your work out loud.
- Ask someone else to read it aloud. They may be able to spot something you didn’t.
- Use a professional editing service. You can find many online, and they will often edit your work for free or at a low cost.
- Make sure you’ve followed all instructions given by the publication or journal!
Your instructor will be looking for both a summary and critical analysis when you review article.
Before you begin writing, make sure that you understand the assignment. If you have questions about what an article review is or are unsure how to structure your work, ask. Your professor will be glad to help.
The first paragraph of your article review should include the following:
- A summary of the author’s main points
- The theme of the text (or its genre)
- Logical evaluation of the central theme of the article
The second paragraph should include any personal opinions or reactions, such as whether your own experiences agree with the author’s points. You will also include your thoughts on how well the author presented their ideas here. It is important that this part of your paper remain objective and stick to the facts rather than offering personal opinions on these facts. There are many ways to review articles, but most research articles follow similar content patterns. Reviewing journal or research articles is ideal for learning more about a specific area of interest and how research is conducted. According to American Psychological Association (APA) standards, knowing how to do this helps prepare you to be a professional.
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