The Basics of Writing an Article Review

An article review (article summary or article critique) is an academic writing task that requires students to summarize and critique journal articles written by other scholars. This task is often given as an assessment for certain University courses. Its objective is to teach students how to evaluate academic work and express their thoughts on it.

Reviewing academic articles is not as simple as reviewing fiction and movies, because it is not enough to say what the article is about and whether you like it or not. To do the task efficiently, you will have to respond actively to ideas expressed by the author of the article, as well as rethink and evaluate them.

To cope with the task, you should learn its basics, which are as follows:

Reading and rereading.

You will have to read the article you want to review at least four times to ensure that you fully understand every aspect discussed in it. When you read it for the first time, just scan through the heading, introduction, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion. Then, go back to the title, read the article carefully, and try to understand as much as you can. The third reading will require you read not only the article, but also additional reference sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, reference books, and the Internet to make sure you understand every specific term used by the author. During the fourth one, use a tip marker to highlight the most important parts, and a pen to make notes.

Doing additional research.

In most cases, it is necessary to spend some time researching the aspects disclosed in the article. This is to see the weaknesses and strengths of the author’s position to form your own opinion about it. Online resources, as well as traditional libraries, will be of great assistance at this stage.

Summing up the contents.

An article review often opens with a reference to the author, as well as the title of the article. Then, the compressed summary of the author’s ideas is provided. Make sure you use your own words to do this, and omit statistics and examples.

Critiquing the ideas.

Bear in mind that a critical response should include both negative and positive aspects. Write about whether the author managed to cast light on every controversial issue, if you agree or disagree with the arguments he or she supplied, and whether they are similar to other views you have learned about when researching the topic yourself.

Once you master the basics of article review writing, you will write them efficiently with little effort.