Writing an Article Review
Begin with the Basic Things. If your task is to write an article review, then you know who your target audience is. In most cases, you will produce your article review for those, who know at least something about your topic and subject. In any case, do not underestimate the role of proper audience in writing an academic article review.
Another thing to remember is that all article reviews must include implications of their contents for practice and research. You cannot simply summarize and evaluate the consistency of the article's argument. You must be thorough in your statements. You must look beyond the basic argument. Try to reach your audience, by telling them how the future will benefit from the information provided in the article you have selected for a review. At times, you may need to do some additional research. However, in most cases, it is unnecessary.
Consider the Structure and Organization of the Article
Before you try to understand what the author writes and means in your article, you may look at the way it is structured and organized. This being said, it is better to write your article review, following a simple outline:
- Summarize the article. Emphasize the focal point or the key message of the writer. Try to emphasize the most important things and leave out unimportant ones. Do not forget to mention the author's name and his or her credentials.
- Analyze the strong and weak sides of the article. You need to convince the audience that the writer has been or has not been successful in accomplishing his or her purpose.
- Analyze any gaps in the author's logic. See beyond his or her argument and try to analyze the implications the message will have for future professionals. Propose questions to be answered in future studies.
Preview the Article. Begin the process by reviewing the article, its contents, and its argument. Imagine that you are scanning the article, starting with the title and up to the very last word written by the author. When you are done with that, return to the first paragraphs of the article and compare the information provided with that in the conclusion. Do you see any inconsistencies? Are there any questions the author fails to answer? Can you create a whole picture of the article, by looking simply at its introduction and its conclusion? Make some notes to help you write a perfect article review.
Read Through the Article. This is the moment when you need to read the article one more time.
Scan it more thoroughly. Focus on the key points. Follow the notes you have already made to speed up the whole process.
- This is the moment when you can reconsider the information retrieved from the article in the context of your prior knowledge and professional experience. Do you see that the knowledge provided in the article echoes the knowledge you have already accumulated in your field of study? Prove it. Use any course readings you may have at your disposal to support your point.
- Can you see anything between the lines of the article, as you are reading it? Do not miss this opportunity to point to any underlying meanings the author might have included in this study.
Tell Your Readers What the Article Is about. You can do it in a single paragraph. Your task is to summarize the article's contents in your own words. Make it simple and understandable to your audience.
- Create a brief outline and follow it. In your outline, cover the most valuable information provided by the author. Use evidence to support your claims. Do not express your feelings or opinions. Be objective and thorough in your judgments.
- Now you need to make a decision about what is meaningful and not meaningful in your article. Prioritize among the numerous aspects of the article's contents and select the most important ones. It is possible that this information comes from only one chapter of the article, or it is possible that each page of the article you have read contains something important for your audience.
- Finally, you can review the draft of the article review you have just created. Refine and improve it. Revise it as many times as needed to make it perfect. Check if you have followed the outline and make the corrections needed to produce a flawless writing piece.
Evaluate the Article Critically and Consistently. Now you need to apply your critical thinking skills to evaluate the article itself and its contribution to your field of study. You must decide if the author has been successful in meeting the goals of writing. Do not make bold claims. Support them with evidence. You may want to stress the strongest parts of the article and their importance for the audience. You may also want to look on the weakest parts of the article and justify your claims. It is not enough to say that you do not like the article or that the article does not meet the needs of its audience. In this sense, you may want to do some additional research. You may find other opinions or empirical evidence, which contradicts the claims made by the author. Use the questions below to help you improve the quality of your article review writing:
- What was the purpose of the article?
- What did the author intend to accomplish, by writing the article?
- Did he/she use any theoretical framework to guide his/her judgments?
- Was the author consistent in his/her claims?
- Did the author use sufficient evidence to substantiate his/her statements?
- Was the evidence used credible, valid, and reliable?
- Can you see any weaknesses in the author's argument?
- Can you see that the article can improve future research and practice?