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How to Write an Article Review: Introduction

26 November 2019

We all love reading reviews and recommendations to decide whether something is worth our attention. For example, when a new movie comes out, we go to the IMDB website or similar ones and read what other people have to say. The same happens when a new book is published. We don’t want to waste our time on a piece that is boring.

We also read reviews on singers, actors, new music albums, locations, services, video games and much more. The goal of an academic review is the same: this type of paper helps to give readers a better understanding of the reviewed piece and to render a personal opinion about it.

However, your article review should be based on arguments and not solely on your subjective opinion of the given source (either it is a novel, a science article, a piece of art, etc.) Avoid judgments and instead provide reasonable arguments and thorough analysis with evidence and claims.

Unfortunately, this assignment is not the simplest one and has a variety of specific requirements and demands that you must follow. That is why in today’s article we will give you detailed information on the task itself, will tell about formatting styles and parts of an article review that you must include to your text.

On top of it, we will give you an article review example of the most important parts and will teach you how not to lose your confidence, when facing the most challenging aspects of the assignment!

Article Review Step-by-Step

The main goal of a review is to analyze a given article from different perspectives. In the majority of cases, articles have a particular topic or sphere, so you not only need to analyze the source but also to use all of your skills, including critical thinking, to show that you are competent

However, you must be really attentive. When you are working on a review, you should avoid personal opinion or correcting the author’s mistakes – at first you act like a side observer, noticing all the details and analyzing how the data was provided by the writer. Only by the end of your review, you can come up with your own conclusion.

If you are not sure how to write the assignment, you can download example of an article review on a similar topic. This will give you a direction and will show what elements should be included. However, to save time and to avoid the temptation of simply copying someone else’s work (and risking of being accused in plagiarism) we offer you a step-by-step guide on writing an article review:

1. Summarize

At this stage, you need to collect the main information. This includes the title of the publication, name of the author, topic, structure of the article and other general details.

2. Critique

Next, you need to criticize and evaluate the article. This includes the importance and accuracy of claims, the contribution of the author to the subject and area, and so on. How the local community reacted to the article? Was it appealing?

3. Suggest

If you have anything to add after the previous stage or want to discuss a particular issue, the third section is able to cover your needs. Here you can offer ways to improve the author’s ideas or highlight possible mistakes or inconsistencies the author has made. However, you need to remain in the professional field without becoming personal.

4. Final thoughts

At last, you need to summarize everything that has been stated above and provide a statement, where you indicate whether you agree with the author’s ideas or not. In case you have worked thoroughly on the previous sections of your review, this stage will be really simple to complete.

It doesn’t matter what your topic is: the sections above are a skeleton of a perfect article review on any subject and it will help you to show all of your skills. Just remember that evaluation of the sources should be based on three pillars: understanding the topic, your skills and a chance to provide credible arguments.

Even if you want to tell about your own emotions and feelings, they must be first backed with arguments and facts. If you want more inspiration, there are plenty of videos and performances on creating an article review. Just watch a few and you will easily become an article review expert.

Article review format: APA article review and other styles

If you get familiar with a review article example or even with a few of them, you may notice that they are slightly different considering formatting. This happens because there are various formatting styles that can be applied.

Most likely your tutor will give you information on what style to use, how to format pages and references, how many articles should be analyzed and so on. That is why you should always start writing your review (or any other paper) with approaching your tutor. If your teacher gives you the freedom to choose any formatting style you want, you can either find out what the accepted style of your educational institution is or simply choose the one you like more.

Here are the four most popular formatting styles:

  • Apa format article review;
  • MLA;
  • Chicago;
  • Harvard.

All of them have different requirements considering built-in citations, references, sources and much more. Luckily, there are official guidelines online. Make sure you apply all of them properly not to risk your grades. In case you worry that you will miss something out, there are on-line checkers or professional editors, who are always ready to help!

How to write an article title and introduction

Once you have chosen an article to review and have created an outline of the future work, it is the right time to start writing. You should always start any assignment with an introduction. It is an important part of your review because it familiarizes readers with the subject and gives an overview of the article you are going to discuss.

Sometimes you may be asked to start with a title page, so you should always be attentive to the tutor’s requirements. Here are the things you need to include in your introduction:

  • A few sentences that tell readers about the topic of the analysis;
  • Several sentences about the writer and the ideas that he or she conveys to the audience;
  • Structure’s peculiarities.

After reading your introduction the audience should understand what you are going to discuss later in the review and why you have decided to choose a particular subject. That is why it is crucial to give enough arguments from the beginning.

However, try to avoid the juiciest and specific details, because you will discuss them later in your analysis. Even if you want to tell about your own opinion, you need to back it with proper arguments and facts. An article review is not a place for a subjective opinion without reasoning. So when writing the assignment, keep the following questions in mind:

  • Was the author able to contribute to a certain field through his or her article?
  • Were the arguments fully covered and properly organized?
  • Were the questions and addressed issues relevant?

Don’t forget to use transition words to make all the paragraphs smooth and easy to read. If you doubt that your introduction is good enough, download critical review example of a journal article and get inspired!

How to write an article review main parts

So how to write a review paper? If you lack ideas or don’t know where to start, you should always turn to your outline. Even though many students think it is not important, an outline can greatly save your time and eventually improve your grade.

Use an outline to create a few paragraphs showing whether the author managed to address the topic properly. Tell whether the source was clear and useful in covering the topic. These elements make up the skeleton of your review.

You should also evaluate whether the author was able to contribute to the field and whether his or her ideas were important and relevant. Don’t forget to back all of your claims with arguments and facts from the article. Think whether points of the author were able to prove the argument and if not, explain what the article lacked.

Think about whether you agree with the author’s ideas and don’t forget about objective argumentation. At the end write who may find the article useful. Remember that your body paragraphs must consist only of related facts and critique. Every argument must reflect your thesis statement and should interlink with the rest of the paragraphs.

Here are a few other tips that you can use:

  • Support your claims with arguments from the text: use quotes or paraphrase important sentences;
  • To help readers understand your ideas, you should make the main arguments of the article clear in the summary;
  • Keep in mind that article review is not about your own tastes and preferences: it is about the source’s importance and relevance;
  • Every opinion and claim you make must be supported with facts and relevant information. The best pattern is to start every paragraph with a claim and then write several sentences with supportive arguments;
  • If you lack ideas or not sure whether you are writing the assignment correctly, download a journal article review example. Samples are always a great source of inspiration!

When your body paragraphs are written, it is the right time to work on the conclusion. The conclusion is a summary of the article’s key points and your own opinion on whether the source was accurate and clear. If possible, you can make predictions about whether additional discussion or research could be started.

The conclusion should occupy not more than 10% of the whole essay. In such a way it won’t bore the reader and will end your review on a logical note.

Finally, when your draft is ready, it is necessary to proofread it. Take your time and pay careful attention to every sentence, looking for any sort of mistakes. You should also paraphrase, switch places or even delete sentences, which contain irrelevant information.

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