Article Review Writing: Purpose, Process and Structure

Article review writing is among the most common assignments in college. As a rule, the purpose of an article review is to examine and estimate the research done by another scholar. Yet, it takes time and years of study to acquire good analytical skills. Hence, many students find it difficult to craft a decent review of an article. Similarly, one needs to apply evaluative skills to critique someone else’s ideas. More so, only those who have sufficient writing skills will receive good grades for the paper. Thus, it is not enough to thoroughly analyze the research, ideas and findings of a particular scholar. Reviewing an article takes a bunch of skills and abilities an average student may not have. The best solution is simple: turn to our article review service. We have experts who are ready to help you pass a perfect paper.

 

What is a Review Article?

Article review usually contains a brief summary of the manuscript, critical evaluation of its content and the way ideas are presented. A good review of an article should always reveal inconsistencies in the paper under analysis. Still, personal evaluation should be supported with evidence. The student is also required to provide recommendations based on the detected gaps and inconsistencies.

Outside colleges and universities, article reviews are written by the colleagues of the scholar who wants to publish their work in a scientific journal or magazine. Only the manuscript that presents original research and findings that are of outstanding scientific importance will be sent for peer review. This step is important as those reviewing the paper may detect mistakes or overlooked aspects. This means the author will have the chance to improve the work and to publish it in a reputable journal. Thus, article reviews are important tools to advance one's personal academic career.

Meanwhile, it is important for the scientific paper to be reviewed by those who are experts in the field of study the article contributes to. This ensures that published scientific works address important research questions, contain professionally done research and present accurate conclusions. Also, it encourages researchers to meet high scientific standards. A good review of an article helps to track the dissemination of research findings, avoiding inappropriate interpretations, biases and unwarranted claims.

Writing an academic article review presents significant difficulties to many students. Thus, we decided to provide a detailed guide addressing all possible issues and tricky aspects of this task.

How to Start a Review Article?

  1. To start with, you need to find the manuscript that meets your instructor’s criteria. Oftentimes, tutors give one source or a list of sources to choose from. To find an article that you consider appropriate for this assignment, you need to read abstracts of the offered sources. This will help you to understand what each article is about.
  2. Read the chosen article for the first time. Highlight the words and terms that are new to you. Use dictionaries to find the definitions of new terms and write them down. This will help you to understand every claim and idea when reading the article for the second time. Still have some questions regarding the content of the article- try to find answers on the web. As a last resort, you can turn to your instructor for advice and further explanations.
  3. Once you have gained an understanding of the ideas presented in the paper, start making a list of strengths and weaknesses. Screen the paper as many times as needed to make sure all aspects are analyzed. Then, boil down your list of issues to the most important ones.


Still wondering how to start a review article as you are assigned a research article to analyze? Just cover the aspects listed below:

  • Evaluate the choice of the topic.
  • Assess the author’s credibility.
  • Check the goals of the researcher (usually presented in the thesis statement) and if they are achieved.
  • Evaluate the evidence: is it properly employed? Is it accurate?
  • Is the methodology appropriate for the chosen type of research?
  • Check if ideas are organized appropriately.
  • Indicate any biases/biased language, if any.
  • Make your recommendations for improvement.
  • Comment on the significance of the research for its field and the overall impression the article makes.

Do not forget to structure your paper according to the list of questions presented above. Make sure to cover all the aspects outlined. Do not forget to support your subjective claims with evidence.

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Unsure about the Structure of Article Review?

To present a decent paper, one needs to follow the correct structure of the article review. More specifically, there are two ways to structure your paper. The first way is more general, and it looks like this:

  1. Introduction presenting the problem or the subject of the study.
  2. Explanation of the problem’s importance.
  3. The main findings and their meaning for the field of study.
  4. Personal impression, discussion of the drawbacks and strengths of the analyzed work.
  5. Conclusions.

Still, the presented plan is too simple for a college-level paper. It will be helpful to undergraduates and those who are new to this type of writing. The element of critique is limited in the plan.

To present a high-level paper, one needs to follow the structure of article review presented below:

  1. Introduction that presents the title of the paper and its author, your thesis statement (you should take a stance).
  2. A section that summarizes the paper: its purpose, issues discussed, intended audience, author’s thesis.
  3. A section of your critique and analysis:
  • the author’s credentials/credibility.
  • analysis of evidence, its accuracy and credibility.
  • analysis of the methods used.
  • analysis of the paper’s structure and the way the information is presented.
  • detection of prejudice/ assessment of objectiveness.
  • analysis of facts and findings.
  • comments on the achievement of the initial goal.
  • analysis of the drawbacks.
  1. recommendations for improvement and final conclusions.

The presented outline should be tailored to the specific requirements of your instructor. The length of your paper will depend on the scientific discipline and instructions, too. On average, a review paper is about 4-5 standard pages long.

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An Often-met APA format Article Review

Formatting requirements are an important aspect and those who don’t want to lose points should not ignore it. APA, MLA and Harvard are among the most widely used formatting styles. Still, students may be instructed to write a paper using Chicago or Oxford style too. Note, an APA format article review is a common type of assignment.

Still, to determine the right format for your paper, you need to carefully check instructions. If the assignment requirements do not mention this aspect, you should ask your instructor. School learners are mostly required to use Modern Language Association style. Those who are in college or university, should be ready to use a variety of styles. Thus, a visit to a writing centre may be helpful. Also, you can visit your college website. As a rule, reputable educational institutions place formatting guidelines there.

Here is a short recap of the three main formatting styles. The knowledge of the main differences will help you to choose the style and format your paper correctly.

APA

  • The easiest style, also called “author-date” style.
  • Mostly used for papers on Education, Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology.
  • The recent edition of APA differs from the previous version in terms of cover page requirements;
  • The front page has no running head now. It presents only the title of the work, student’s name, institutional affiliation, course and code, instructor, and due date.
  • Research papers longer than 5 pages usually have an abstract, presented on a separate page. Still, this aspect will surely be mentioned in your paper requirements.
  • The font should be Times New Roman 12 pt, double spaced.
  • The list of sources is titled “References.”

Students often work with article review APA style, as this style is widely used for writing such papers.

Harvard

  • This is also an “author-date” style as in-text citations contain the last name of the author/authors and the date of publication.
  • Mostly used for Business and Economic assignments.
  • The variations in Harvard style depend on your country of study: US, UK, or Australia. So you should better clarify the version of Harvard to be used in your paper. Ask your instructor or your classmates or, again, turn to the writing centre for help.
  • Requires one to present the running head: the shortened title of the paper, flush right.
  • The cover page presents the capitalized title of your work, your name three lines down, the name of the class, instructor, institution, city, and date.
  • The list of sources is titled “Reference list.”

MLA

  • This is an “author-page” style: in text citations present the last name of the author and the page where the statement can be found.
  • Papers on Humanities and Liberal Arts are usually formatted in MLA.
  • There is no separate title page. Instead, in the upper left corner of the first page you should indicate your name, professor’s name, course title, and date.
  • The list of sources is titled “Works Cited.”

When formatting your paper, you should keep in mind two things: in-text citations and the works cited page.

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Useful Tips for Writing Article Review

Preparing to craft your review, you should know what to avoid in your paper. There are certain elements that will surely result in a lower grade if found in your work. Thus, once the paper is written, check it for the following aspects:

  1. Biased and abusive language, radical statements - these should be excluded from your paper.
  2. A mere retelling of the article under discussion - you are to shortly summarise the manuscript, but you should not retell it. This is unprofessional. Readers can read the text themselves - this is not what they are looking for.
  3. A subjective point of view that is not supported by evidence should not appear in your paper.
  4. Generalizations, abstract and lengthy reflections should be boiled down to more precise claims.
  5. Paying too much attention to secondary issues will signal that you cannot distinguish important things from secondary ones. Simply delete statements dealing with minor things.
  6. The reviewer should clearly understand the topic at hand. There should not be any factual inaccuracies. Spelling and grammar mistakes are unacceptable.
  7. Failure to discuss strengths would mean a hostile and biased attitude towards the author of the article. And your low professionalism, of course.
  8. Avoid overly general recommendations.

Use these tips for writing article reviews to sound professional and not to be considered a biased reviewer. Still, to make sure that you know how to review an article, we have compiled a list of useful recommendations.

How to Review an Article Like a Professional

Following standard do’s and don’ts is needed to receive high grades for your paper. But if you want your work to be published in a professional journal, you need to consider the peculiarities of this type of writing. Thus, the following aspects should be considered:

  1. Be as brief as possible about the issue under discussion and its relevance. Be accurate.
  2. Indicate your main thesis precisely and concisely: minor subtleties should be avoided.
  3. Summing up the research under scrutiny, highlight the author’s major findings and hypotheses that were either confirmed or refuted.
  4. Explaining the drawbacks and weaknesses of the research, be precise.
  5. Be sure to reiterate the strengths of the article towards the end of your paper.

These guidelines will help you publish your article review in a magazine or on an authoritative website.

Article Review Essay Example

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