How to Write an Article Review

Article reviews are common practice in academia, and because of their importance, they need to be performed properly. Anyone can review articles as long as they understand the art. To learn how to write an article review, you should first understand what reviewing means.

What is an Article Review?

It refers to an analysis of the content, quality, and significance of another writer’s article. The publication could be a research article, a journal article, a literary essay, or even an editorial.

The reviewer gives their personal opinion of the meaning or purpose of an article. In most cases, reviewers discuss the following:

• How well they think the research was conducted and what they make of its contributions to their field.
• How they think the writer of the article made their points
• What kind of impact they believe the article will have on its intended audience
• What they think the writer of the article was trying to achieve

The Pre-writing Process

• Pick an article to review
• Summarize the article
• Analyze the introduction and the conclusion first
• Note down the strong points
• Identify gaps and contradictions
• Identify unanswered questions
• Review each individual section of the article

Before writing an article review, you need to do a logical evaluation of the article, which happens in the pre-writing process. The steps involved here are as follows:

  1. Identify the article you’d like to review. The article you choose depends on what you want to achieve.
  2. Do a summary for the whole article. In this step, you’ll note the author’s s main points and how they are presented.
  3. To capture the juicy details better, analyze the the introduction and the conclusion first. These two sections always carry the main ideas in every article.
  4. Take note of all the strong points and the key arguments the author has made.
  5. Identify gaps and contradictions as they will form a big part of your review
  6. Identify whatever unanswered questions the author left in their article
  7. Review every section of the article. Start from the title through the introduction, headings, subheadings, all the way to the conclusion.
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The Steps of Writing an Article Review

After the pre-writing process, you’re now well-equipped to start writing the review in your own words.

Step 1: Writing the title

This title shows your article review’s main focus. It could either be descriptive, interrogative, or declarative.

Step 2: Citation

You need to cite the reviewed article in your work to give credit to the original author.

For example, an MLA citation would be:

The author’s last and first name. The article title. Journal’s title and issue(date of publication): page(s). Print
Luke Mathew. “The miles.” Atlanta summer stories 60.3(1998): 124-64. Print

Step 3: Article identification

Even after citation you need, to identify your article of review. Include the following article details in the first paragraph of your review.

• Article title
• Author’s name
• Journal’s title
• Publication date

Step 4: Write an introduction

In your article review’s introduction, make sure to give a summary of the reviewed article. You need to include at least three points from the article to include it in the other parts. The introduction also needs to reveal what your article review’s main focus is.

Step 5: Write a summary of the original article

Summarize the article you’re reviewing by giving the main points in a simplified form. If you’re writing a literary article review, mention what the author wrote about and how they did it.

Step 6: Your critique and argument

In this section, you need to evaluate the reviewed article. Make your critique by presenting the strengths, shortcomings, and dilemmas brought up by the author.

Give your own opinion about the article, like what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy. Or you can also comment on the article’s importance in your field. Address all the gaps you have identified in the pre-writing process.

Step 7: End your article review

End your article review with a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the whole article. Keep your words simple and use straightforward sentences.

Article Review Outline

The following are the parts of an article review paper:

  • A pre-title page(article author title page): This part includes the title, author’s name, and credentials, and publication date.
  • Corresponding author details: include the author’s name, fax, phone number, email, and address.
  • The running head: This part is included when using the APA format. It’s your article title shortened into less than 40 characters.
  • The summary page(optional): This page is included when using the APA format. It includes your name, date of submission, and article review title.
  • Title page(your review article title): This part has the review article’s title, your name, and credentials.
  • Introduction: It includes the article’s thesis and what your article review will focus on.
  • Body: This is where you expand on the points mentioned in the introduction. You give your critique of the article’s strengths, shortcomings, and dilemmas.
  • Conclusion: It includes a summary of your article review in 3-5 sentences. The conclusion condenses the article’s main points.
  • References/work cited: you include works cited, references, or any other notes after you’ve finished writing your article review.
  • Suggested reading page(optional): In some academic circles, it has become an expectation that writers include a recommended reading list at the end of their works.
  • Tables and figures(if instructed): If asked to use tables, graphs, or pictures, then this part is included at the end.

How to Write Bibliographical Entries for Review Articles

A good article review should be well-cited for credibility. Below are guidelines on citing the article in APA and MLA formats for journals, newspapers, and web sources.

APA Format

Journal: Author’s last name], [First and middle initials]. (Year of publication). Publication Title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.

Web: [Author’s last name], [First and middle initial]. (Year, Month Date of publication). Title. Retrieved from {link}

Newspaper: [Author’s last name], [First and middle initials]. (Year, Month, Day of publication). Publication Title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.

MLA Format

Journal: Last, First M. “Publication Title.” Journal Title Series Volume. Issue(Year of Publication): Page(s). Database Name. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.

Web: Last, First Middle Initial. “Publication Title.” Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.

Newspaper: Last, First M. “Publication Title.” Newspaper Title[City] Date, Month, Year Published: Page(s). Print.

Types of Article Reviews

There are three main types of article reviews: research article review, journal article review, and science article review.

• Research article review
• Journal article review
• Science article review

Research article review

It is used to review the various methods used in research and also compare the study to others. Conducting a research article review helps the reviewer understand how a particular study was performed and what data was used. Below are some of the aspects involved in this review.

  • Understanding study methodologies. What was studied and how it was done. This could range from experiments, the use of tools, or even surveys or tests.
  • Checking the study results, analysis, and interpretation. The reviewer will check how the researcher combined all their facts by using statistical methods.
  • Assessing the significance of an article. Evaluate whether the article meets certain criteria. These criteria include whether it is significant, accurate, up-to-date, clear, and transparent.
  • Making further research suggestions. After doing an all-around critique of the article, the reviewer makes ay necessary suggestions for future research.

Journal article review

This type of review is similar to a research article review, but it focuses on articles published more recently in journals. Academic institutions often use journal article reviews to measure how well they publish their journals or periodicals.

Doing a journal article review helps the reviewer understand how an article was written and what it tries to encourage others. They also use this review to find areas in which the journal needs improvement. Here are some of the things that a reviewer may consider during this type of review.

  • How well is the journal written? Is it reader-friendly and easy to follow?
  • Are the articles of good quality and up to standard?
  • What are the current issues of the journal?
  • Are there any new or updated advances that could be included to make it more relevant to readers?
  • Is there potential for the journal to have a wider outreach or reach?
  • How well-written is the journal when compared to other periodicals?

Science article review

A science article review is used to analyze how well research is done and how it contributes to science. Some of the things that a reviewer may consider during this review include, but are not limited to, the following

  • From a theoretical point of view, does the research add value to the existing literature?
  • Can it be used as a reference point for future studies?
  • Is it an original study, and is the quality of research acceptable?
  • What could be improved? Is there a way it can be made better to contribute more to the scientific world?
  • Is it up-to-date and applicable to readers?
  • Does it link to other research within the field? How?
  • Does it include sufficient information on the methods and tools used in their study?
  • How accurate was the researcher when analyzing data and interpreting the results?

The Benefits of Article Reviews

Reviewing articles is a useful academic exercise for the following reasons.

• It broadens the writer’s exposure in their field of research.
• It provides an opportunity for the writer to improve on their work and writing skills.
• It shows the writer’s interest and commitment to their work and its contribution to their field of study.
• It provides a platform for the reviewer to share their expertise.
• It helps the reader and the next writer by giving them something new to think about and use as a reference.

Useful tips for conducting a good review

  • Capture all the author’s main points. During the pre-writing process, ensure you take note of all the key points and arguments since those will form the basis of your review.
  • Make a clear and concise review. This will contribute to its easy understanding by readers.
  • Make insightful observations. Deliver your opinions well by emphasizing the negative and positive aspects of the original article.
  • Convey your genuine and honest opinion. Don’t make it too formal or impersonal; use your own words and describe your feelings about the article.
  • Provide examples from the article to support your claims. Use your experience as a reviewer only if it adds value to the review and will help readers understand more about the article.
  • Make sure to use reputable sources of information. Be careful not to copy verbatim from the article but if you must, then paraphrase the information and give credit to the author.
  • Analyze the article early on to know how you’re going to structure your review. It’s always better if it’s already divided into sections and sub-sections, and you just have to fill in the details.
  • Make your introduction count. Don’t waste it by writing about the article’s background. Include only relevant information and use it to introduce your main points concerning the article.
  • Give a detailed conclusion. Sum up all that has been discussed and, if possible, provide suggestions for the author and the reader.
  • Confirm the meanings of unfamiliar terms and names. You cannot adequately review what you don’t understand, so make sure you know the meanings of all technical terms.
  • Take your time. Don’t rush through the process of writing a review to just get it done. Make sure that you have read the article carefully and thoroughly.
  • Avoid biases. Don’t let your feelings get in the way of providing a fair review. Always be objective and have an open mind when considering all sides of an argument.
  • Use the present tense. Refer to the article in your review, so the use of the present tense is necessary.
  • Use the third-person narration. Although you are writing the review about your opinions, it is still necessary to maintain objectivity, so avoid using ‘I’ words.
  • Apply lists and bullet points wherever possible. It makes your review easier to read and understand.
  • Get someone else to read it for you before publishing it. Choose a friend or fellow writer who has an eye for detail. You are then assured that there are no spelling or factual errors in the review.

Characteristics of a Well-done Article Review

• A good article review provides an in-depth analysis of the original article.
• It gives insight into the writer’s perspective and the context within which their research was conducted.
• A good review describes how the original article contributes to our current knowledge and understanding of a particular subject.
• It offers an objective and fair discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the article.
• It’s interesting and well-written about an article that has already been published in a reputable journal, magazine, or even a newspaper.
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Article reviews provide a summary of an original article. A review details the author’s purpose and objective, the context in which the article was written, its strengths and weaknesses.

An article review is an analytical process that demands accuracy. It’s important to take your time and have someone else check your work before posting it up on a website or publishing it in a journal.

Writing a good review takes time and effort. You need to prepare and follow the rules applicable in this type of writing. Understand the review structure, then get a well-done article review template to make your work easier.

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