how do you write an article review

how do you write an article review

Writing an Effective Article Review

1. Introduction

An article review is a piece of writing where you summarize and assess someone else’s article. The goal of composing an article review is to try and look at what the author is saying with the idea that the reader can pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of the article. At the same time, the reader can decide whether or not to read the article based on the review. An article review gives scholars or students an opportunity to look at someone else’s work to better understand and improve their own work. When asked to write a constructive article review, with only a few instructions and an impending deadline, it is no surprise that many students and scholars turn to summaries available on the Internet. Unfortunately, this defeats the purpose of what an article review is supposed to accomplish. This is where instruction on how to write a quality article review comes into play. The instruction would afford the writer the opportunity to understand the how-to method and expectation of writing an article review. With recipe-like detailed instructions, the writer can then evaluate the original article and assess their own work. This is a much more effective way of understanding the content that is to be written about as well as improving one’s own writing. Effective evaluation is the key essence of an article review and providing instruction as to how to attain this can in turn form better writers.

2. Understanding the Article

Understanding the article is an extremely vital step to take before you start writing the article review. This is because if the article reviewed isn’t understood, reviewing it in terms of significance or content will prove to be a difficult task. To understand the article, there are a few important things that you must take note of. First off, every article has its abstract which briefly summarizes what the article is about. This is a good starting point to get an idea of what the article is about and whether it is relevant to what you are looking for. If the abstract is inadequate or there isn’t one, move onto the introduction if there is one. This will introduce the topic and may give a preview of the expectation of the reader. So if the article is a research article, it may display the purpose of the article and what the reader would achieve reading the article. The main idea or point of the article is also something to note. Most articles have a point or main idea that they are trying to portray. This could be a hypothesis or research question. Then there are details supporting the main idea and finally, there is a conclusion to tie everything together. Using a highlighter would be useful to highlight the main points and the details so they are easily identifiable. Another thing to note is language or terms that may not be well understood. It is important to jot these down and find out what they mean as they could be crucial to understanding the article. And lastly, is the article only the opinions of the writer, or is it evidence-based? All these questions lead to important pointers to understanding the article.

3. Analyzing the Article’s Strengths and Weaknesses

The key to analyzing an article effectively is to read the entire article in its entirety before summarizing or making notes. It is important to read the article carefully while noting down or highlighting any information that will be used in your summary. The reiterating stage may be used to avoid accidental plagiarism. Read the article to see if there is any unclear terminology or any questions that you may ask as you read. Make sure that these questions are answered by the end of the reading. It is often also beneficial to make preliminary notes after the initial reading or jot down some initial thoughts. Think about both the strengths and weaknesses of the article and how it may relate to any other articles summarized. At this stage, it may also be helpful to compare to any other resources on the same topic to ensure that all necessary information has been gleaned from the article in question. Once the article has been read in its completion, a second reading should be done to clarify that no information has been misunderstood and to finalize any notes. This stage is crucial to answering any questions to be asked on the article and ensuring that enough information has been obtained to fulfill the summary requirements. Strengths and weaknesses can be summarized by compiling a list of the article’s strong and weak points. This makes it easy to weigh the positive and negative in the article. This in turn will make writing a summary easier as turning a strong point into a sentence can represent an equal-sized passage of the article. Turning weak points into a strong point for a similar article may be a strategy to avoid losing reading strategic during the summary of the article. This categorized list will provide a quick reference to the article and its location, vital for summarizing. This can also help in deciding whether to use the article’s information if it is used as ammunition for an argument by the summarizer. Latest Articles

4. Providing a Balanced Evaluation

3. Pointing out the limitations of the study is potentially very useful for the author and reader alike, but this is often at the discomfort of the former. Many authors will be well aware of the limitations of their study but would prefer the reader not to notice! Limitations can often be discerned by a close comparison of the method and the result and looking at what is not stated by the author.

2. Considering the research question, one must focus on whether the data and interpretation really answer the question asked. A study may be well executed and the data valid, but it may be irrelevant to the research question. Often papers have weaknesses that are surmounted by a liberal use of speculation. It is important to differentiate between well-established ideas and those that are more speculative, although this may not be in the interests of the author.

1. Glossing over unfavorable data. Look at the title, abstract, introduction, and discussion first of all. It is here that many authors express their opinions on the topic of the paper and often the key interpretations are stated. Then examine the methods and results in detail. Compare what the author says has been done with what was actually done and whether the results support the stated interpretation.

A criticism is a necessary part of critical appraisal. It implies judgment – more or less favorable – and is based on the extent to which the data are convincing, the interpretation credible, and the basis for the interpretation explicit. Implicit judgment, often resulting from an overall impression, can be very unreliable. So a fair, objective, and informative critical appraisal is an important skill. A good way to arrive at judgments is to consider the evidence both for and against the hypothesis or interpretation that an author puts forward. Failure to consider alternative interpretations of data is a common shortcoming of many published papers.

5. Concluding the Review

This article has offered a comprehensive guide to conducting a critical article review. It has discussed the practical and theoretical aspects of article review and has been successful in providing a concrete process to follow. While the process is similar in its steps, each review is different based on the character of the article. The skill in critical review is to challenge the article’s argument and evidence, and not to let the article dictate terms to the review. The thinking should always be driven by the reviewer’s own evaluative and informative purposes. With practice, this can be achieved without being dismissive or overly negative towards the publisher’s work. Overall, the review should a tool for the article author to enhance his/her work. This in mind, it is important for the article to not simply plagiarize the article point for point; in other words to avoid producing a echo of the reviewed article. Instead, offer a higher level of analysis and evaluation. It is here where students and casual reviewers often falter in the review task. This guide however, provides a solid foundation to aid those interested in the challenging but productive process of disciplined article review and offers a healthy integration of theoretical essay with practical application.

In concluding one’s article review, a succinct summary that captures the salient points of the piece will suffice. Again, it may be useful to begin with a 1 or 2-sentence summary of the article. One should be careful not to repeat verbatim the themes of the article, in order to avoid accidental plagiarism. Then comes the author’s critical evaluation. At this point the reader should be clear about the critic’s final judgement of the piece. Finally, one should conclude by stressing the relevance and importance of the article’s contribution to the field, and possibly suggest directions for any future research.

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