Tips to Writing a Professional Article Review
Published under Tips on writing On 24 Sep 2015
An article review is no different from a critique. However, it should not be confused with a summary. Your review should generally contain a synopsis of the main ideas of the author, followed by your evaluation of the work. A professional approach is paramount in writing an article review. Readers of your review might use it to make decisions concerning the article; hence your work should not be misleading! Remember, the audience of your review is most likely to be composed of persons that are either conversant or highly knowledgeable in the field. Below are steps to guide you to develop a professional, ethics based and non-biased article review.
Write within the Context of the Article’s Discipline
You may not be an expert in the field of the article you are reviewing. However, bear in mind that your expected audience is of knowledgeable people in the subject area. Hence, you may do a brief research on the topic of the article so you can be able to assess what the author has included or omitted in his work. Also, familiarize yourself with the jargon of the discipline!
Preview, Read, and Re-read!
Skim through the article, and take note of the topic, headings and subheadings. Most importantly, read the introduction and the conclusion. This will help you understand the structure and order of the author’s ideas. Now read the whole article, taking note of the jargon and/or concepts you don’t understand. Search the meaning and explanations of these terms and theories. By now, you fully understand the article. Read again, this time taking note of the important ideas, claims and arguments of the author. You can highlight them or write them down on a paper. Are the assertions well supported?
Outline your Evaluation and Views Concerning the Article
Examine each and every idea, claim or argument of the author. Assess whether the author was accurate, precise, and effective in his or her arguments. Note down an outline of your evaluation.
Essential tips to write an article review
Title and Citation
Your review should start with a title, followed by a complete citation of the article. The title can be direct; for instance, A review of Alice Walkers’ “Am I Blue". It can also reflect your general evaluation; for example, "We are All Equal: Am I Blue?" A complete bibliographic reference of the article should be written below the title. A formal referencing style should be used.
This is the first paragraph of your review. Start by an identification of the article; the title, author, the journal, year of publication. Also give a succinct overview of the author’s claims, and your thesis which is a sentence summarizing your evaluation. Hence, the introduction of an article review can be compared to a brief abstract of your work!
‘Review’ the article
In the second paragraph, give a summary of the article. Highlight the main points or ideas of the whole article including the author's conclusion. The summary should be brief and inclined to the main ideas only. Do not give details such as specific examples used by the author.
Write your Evaluation
What are your views on the accuracy and clarity of ideas and argument representation in the article? Are claims well supported with evidence? Did the author effectively communicate what he intended to? You may now give examples from the article to support your assessment.
You should restate the main ideas of the article. Your opinion, which is a summary of your evaluation, should also be given. In your conclusion, try also to answer the following questions; what is the scholarly usefulness of the article? Which audience can benefit most from the article? You may also suggest recommendations that may improve the utility of the article.