12 Steps for Writing an Article Review on Your Own

All students can sometimes struggle with a task as seemingly simple as article review. How can it be explained? Simple, writing an article review should be a well-balanced mix of both content and opinion.


Defining an Article Review

Ask yourself what an article review is. Can you formulate it quickly? Simply put, it is an academic form of writing that is supposed to present a logical evaluation of an article with a summary and a critical opinion.

Two basic types of article review

While a critical analysis provides scrutiny of a specific text, literature review presents a broader approach and focuses on several sources. Mainly represented amongst college and university levels, this type of assignment is now assigned to other academic levels as well. Generally, it is assigned within theoretical disciplines and is called to develop critical thinking and analysis.

How to Write an Article Review?

While writing a review paper, one should remember to focus on the task they were given in order to strike the balance between the article contents and the critique or evaluation provided. Trying to write a good article review requires a lot of effort, planning, and analysis.

  • Step 1: Understand the audience and purpose of the review

Typically, the readers of article review possess knowledge on the subject, meaning you have to focus on specific findings, rather than abstract ideas. Pay attention to co-authors and co-contributors, inspect their input and position.

Important: your article is called to analyze the given research, not initiate your own. Provide evaluation and summary of what is introduced in the article.

  • Step 2: Draft the structure of a review

In order to make the writing process easier, you need to plan and write an outline for the review. A constructive article review would consist of:

  1. A summary of the article. List the essential ideas and information provided by the author.
  2. Positive aspects. Discuss the strong point of this article, new insights or practical application of the theoretical knowledge.
  3. Knowledge gaps. Along with some misfortunes, point at inconsistencies or fallacies you can find in the article.
  4. Unanswered questions. If there are any questions left, make sure to address them in your review.
  • Step 3: Preview the article

At this step, you are going to take a second look at the article, scan title, headings, quickly browse through the content. Write down your first impressions and have a little break. Then, read the article carefully and compare impressions to your notes.

  • Step 4: Continue reading

Read the article paragraph by paragraph. Make a copy of the text to mark it down, highlight strong points, put the question mark next to weak ones or those that need further clarification. Check the references.

  • Step 5: Rephrase the article

Putting the article in your own words improves the overall understanding. Write down essential information clearly and logically. Review your summary and remove any irrelevant data.

Once you are done with planning, you can move on with writing.

  • Step 6: Come up with a title

A strong title, like a name for the ship, leads its way. You can go for a descriptive or interrogative or declarative title based on the main idea of your review.

  • Step 7: Cite the article

Right after the title, cite the article to give a clear understanding of what your review refers to. For example, in APA citation it would look like: Doe, J. (2018). Advocating the war crimes: XXI century tragic comedy in the court. Daily Crime, 6(221), 2nd ser., 7-12. Retrieved October 11, 2018.

  • Step 8: Introduce the article

In your first paragraph, make sure to name the article, state the author, journal and year of publication. In case with our example, it would look like the article titled “Advocating the war crimes: XXI century tragic comedy in the court” was written by John Doe, and was first published in the 221st issue of vol.6 of the Daily Crime.’

  • Step 9: Write the introduction

Similar to a typical essay, your review should bring the background information and finish with a strong thesis statement. Use passive voice for a more ‘authoritative’ style.

  • Step 10: Write the summary of an article

Summarizing the information presented in the article, highlight strong points, address every section and add occasional direct quotes.

  • Step 11: Write the critique

Start with a little overall evaluation. How well did the author cover the topic? Were the citing sources credible and was there enough proof to support the statements?

  • Step 12: Write the conclusion

Was the article sufficient? Was the message delivered explicitly? Can this article be used a knowledge source in the industry?

  • Step 13 (optional):

Once you are done with writing, let it sit for a while. Take a pause, or return to it the next day. Read it carefully. Does it represent the article’s content well? Have you addressed important aspects? Is your review objective. Try to treat the review, as it was someone else’s article. For students who might experience trouble understanding the requirements or finding the balance between the summary and critique, you might need to look for a similar and relevant article review paper example to serve as guidance.

As you can see, writing an article review is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of reading, review and multiple writing attempts. The last piece of advice: never write an article review at the night before the deadline.

Free Article Review Sample to Read

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