How to Write an Article Review


Everyone must have experienced stress when they didn’t know how to write a review of an article. Do not panic, because you can gain skills with active writing practice. Everyone understands that this task is not easy, but it will help you improve your reading, writing, and analysis skills.

Before you start writing a review of an article, you should familiarize yourself with what it is in itself. In short, an article review is doing research on someone else’s article, where you compile and access the material.
Amicia Florenc

You can also rate the topic of the article, which includes a preliminary reading of this article. This may be a critical review or a literature review. You can agree with the exact point of view of the author or, on the contrary, condemn it. In critical analysis, a particular article or book, as well as any work of art, is extensively considered. There are some types of article reviews:

  • Journal article review – in this type of article, the reviewer evaluates the weaknesses and strengths of the articles. And from qualified journal authors, readers get an analysis that shows the purpose of the article;
  • When reviewing a research article, the author evaluates the research method used in the article. But always check the accuracy of the information when writing such articles;
  • When reviewing a scientific article, all possible topics from science are included. Usually, such texts are written on the basis of background information to be used during the assessment;
  • A critical book review is a detailed analysis of a selected book or review of someone else’s article;
  • A literature review is a more extensive type of document review.

A review of an article, like an assessment or a summary of someone’s work, has a specific writing format. To do this, there are certain recommendations that you can follow when writing a review. Writing a review of an article should include judgments, comparisons, generalizations, evaluation, and classification.

Note! In each of the reviews, add certain ideas, theories, and studies that relate to the area of the article. You should not include new information in your article of this type, but evaluate the quality of the work of another person.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

Peer review of an article is essential when writing because readers are thus familiarized with unknown terms. When reviewing, you analyze the text, which works as a cumulative effect and helps to do better work next time.

research pyramide

Preparing to Write a Good Article Review

Before you start writing a review of someone else’s article, you need to do some preparation to make at least a template. This preparation will include the following steps.

To inspire you to write your article review and learn how to choose the most interesting topic, then look at the work of other writers and check them through:

Article Review Topics & Ideas to Follow
10 Facts for an Article Review on Social Science and Crime Prevention

First Step

You need to understand what exactly an article review is. You need to be prepared for the fact that those people who will read your review are likely to be deeply familiar with the material and have enough knowledge on the topic. This is most likely a narrow audience.

First, you should look at the topic broadly, identifying all the main ideas of the reviewed material, the thoughts of the author, and other works on similar specifics. Your task is to criticize the matter and the effectiveness of the task area. In the review, you respond to the research of other authors with your point of view, but do not give new ideas. You make an assessment and sum up, taking into account the intended idea of the author of the original text.

Second Step

It is also worthwhile to initially determine the organization of your review article. Even before you start writing, you should understand how you will begin and how you will end your article. It will also give you a picture of how to read other people’s articles to increase the effectiveness of the review. Summarize the material of the whole article and focus on the main information and points. Look at the positive points of view on the article and think about what the author of the text did really well.

But at the same time, do not relax and pay attention to problems and contradictions in the text. You also have the right to check whether enough research has been done by the author on the topic discussed in the text. See if there are any questions left that you haven’t answered.

Third Step

Preview the article, its abstracts, and introduction. Also, analyze the headings for each paragraph of the work and evaluate the conclusion that the author made. The first few paragraphs can give a rough picture of what the author wants to say and understand what the article will be about. Such steps give a brief idea of what will be said in the article. You look more broadly at the subject of the article and the message that the author conveys. This in turn will give a hint of the purpose of the argument.

After you begin to understand what the article is about, you can take adequate notes, and the questions will be formed that will help the analysis. The most interesting part is identifying unfamiliar terms and words in order to read about their meaning and put them together in the overall puzzle of the article you are reviewing.

discussion elements

Step Fourth

Try to provide yourself with a calm and quiet place to read your text carefully and make sure you don’t miss any of the main points the author is focusing on. Do a few readings and add notes to the main sections. Highlight what you think are the main points and what details are present. Then compare these notes with what you have read.

Pro tip

Do not ignore the content of the article. Don’t stop at the level of semi-knowledge, because that’s the worst. If you do not understand completely, then you run the risk of adding guesses and your unreasoned opinion to the text.

Fifth Step

After you have read the article, try to rewrite it in your own words. When you have written out all the important points, then you are quite ready to write an article in your own words. Write all the main points accurately and logically – this way you make it easier to get any information from the article. Review them to determine which of these elements are really redundant.

Sixth Step

Once you have completed all the previous steps and have the text written in your own words in front of you, then you are ready to draw up a review plan. You already have all the information about whether the author was right or not.

Write down all possible options for your plan (you can even make a supportive ppt). Also, identify those that need improvement. Write down the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s idea of the original text. Strengths can be, for example, a clear generalization of a specific issue. A weakness, on the contrary, is information that is of no value to readers. Also, one that contradicts the facts. Next, ask yourself questions that will help you analyze and critique the source text:

  • What is the essence of the author in his/her article?
  • What is the theoretical structure of the article and what are the assumptions?
  • Did the author manage to clearly define the concepts?
  • Is the evidence satisfied?
  • Is the article easy to read and how transparent is it?
  • Does the article specialize in a particular subject (pharmacy) or is it common knowledge (law, medicine)?

Without structure, it is hard to get oriented in the writing process. You can use the rough plan for writing an article review, which consists of:

  • Title page;
  • Title (this is the title of the article);
  • Your name;
  • Date of writing;
  • Abstract, which will be 200-300 words long and will include a brief description of the review question, the review conducted, and the conclusion of this study;
  • Introduction, where you provide the information that is contained in the article. This paragraph will give the reader hints about what your text will be about (background information). So your reader will understand everything.
  • The body of your text contains all the main points, painted in detail.
  • In conclusion, you summarize the final conclusion of the points that you discussed in your review of the article. You also remind readers what the purpose of the article was.
  • You should definitely add citations to your work using styles such as APA or MLA.

Article reviews are commonly used in newspapers, scientific journals, and websites, so formatting rules must be adhered to in order for your work to be accepted by the editors.

Citation Styles

Among the most used formats are APA and MLA for citation. The American Psychological Association’s Guide to Publications defined this format, which is currently in its seventh edition. And the MLA citation format is in the tenth edition, which can be found in the MLA Handbook (as defined by the Modern Language Association). In common, these two formats consist of:

  • There is a brief in-text quotation in brackets in the text;
  • Full citation at the end of the article;

But each of the quotes will look different, depending on the style in which you write your work. There will also be different rules about capitalization, author names, or where to place the date. There is also a difference in layout and formatting.

Differences between MLA and APA formats

Basically, the MLA format is used as a means to document sources and format documents in scientific form. And APA is the style that is used when writing publications, books, articles, and magazines – for the social sciences. The APA format is divided into 4 main sections, which consist of:

  • Title page;
  • Annotations;
  • Main paragraphs;
  • Links.

Whereas MLA style does not have a separate title page. Therefore, the title is on the same page of text but is separated by a double space from it. This format has only 2 main sections:

  • Main paragraphs;
  • Quotes.

When writing articles in this format, you add a heading to the first page on the left, where you write your name, the name of your teacher from the university or supervisor, your course, and the date of writing. The rest of the pages should have headings on the right side, which will contain your last name and the number of pages.

And when writing a review of an article in the APA style, you will add your name and the name of your educational institution or editorial office to the title page. All pages should have a heading at the top, as well as a title page, which will also show the number of pages and the title of your work.

If your assignment requires you to use the MLA format, where you will display citations in author-page format. You mention the author and page number after you write a quote. And in the APA format, you write citations in such a way that the name of the author is mentioned along with the year the work was published immediately in brackets after you write the citation.

In both indirect and direct citations, when you use the MLA format, you don’t need to include the year, but you do need to put a comma after the author’s name and “p.” in front of the page number, which will be mandatory for the APA format.

In the APA format, links are the original page where you list the sources that were referenced in the process of writing. The same in the case of the MLA format is called cited works. When you cite a document in MLA style, write the last name of the author first, and then his/her first name at the end. When you make work in the APA style, you write the author’s last name in full but abbreviate the first name to initials.

When using the MLA style, you underline the title and capitalize the first letters of all important words in the title. Whereas in APA style, you write the title in italics and capitalize the first letter of the title, proper names, and subtitle.

How to Write an Article Review

After you have gone through all the steps of preparing to write an article and familiarized yourself with the principles of formatting, then you are ready to begin the step-by-step process of writing an article review.

In addition to the general guidelines and rules, you can see what experts advise when writing an article review:

How to Write an Article Review in Leadership Studies
How to Write an Article Review in Ethics and Do It Right?
How to Write an Article Review in Nutrition

First Step

Think of a title for your article review. This title should hit the point of the review and display the main idea. You should choose between different heading types: descriptive, interrogative, declarative, whichever suits your review better.

Second Step

Add a direct quote to your article. It will be under the heading and will be the complete link in proper form and order. Then proceed to the next line, which will already be the beginning of your article. Don’t forget the empty line between the quote and the first sentence.

Third Step

After you have written the title and quote, you can proceed to the review. Put the name you have chosen, as well as the name of the author of the original text and the name of the publication. In the first paragraph, indicate the year of writing of the document you are reviewing.

Fourth Step

You are now ready to start writing the introduction of your review, where you add an identifying sentence. The main topic of the article and its main aspect will also be presented here. You can also describe the thoughts and arguments of the author. Don’t forget about inclusion and his/her opinions.

It is a mistake to add multiple points of view to your thesis, making it vague. This problem also applies to the authors of the text that you describe. This may lead you to determine the thesis yourself and write it based on your own personal considerations.

Fifth Step

Summarize the entire review you have done. This is just the time when you make the final summary of all the main details of the work and finalize all your thoughts. Show readers how your review supports the author’s assertions and conclusions. You can break the conclusion into paragraphs if the length allows it. Most likely the volume of this part will be specified in the task.

Sixth Step

You will frame it as your opinion on the topic of how you think the text of the author of points is useful in terms of explaining the subject. Write about whether you agree with the author’s point of view or not. In the positive case, give reasons why you support him, and in the opposite case, give reasons why you condemn him. You can add information about which audience would get the benefit from reading this material.

Note! Include critiques in your work that are based on information obtained from the article’s research. You show your readers or the author has carefully considered this topic.

Seventh Step

Show readers what you personally came to after writing a review of the article. Collect all the main points in a paragraph and describe your thoughts on the accuracy, clarity, and significance of the article. You can also add information about whether the value is related or not. Your conclusion will take up approximately 10% of the entire essay. Be sure to correct your work – post-writing. You should check your work for grammatical errors, as well as for illogical connections and similar unnecessary elements. To avoid excessive unnecessary information, focus on 3-4 critical questions.

Tips on Writing a Good Article Review

In addition to general rules, do not bypass useful tips, which will make the process of writing a review not so laborious. Check out the following tips on this topic:

  1. Find out clearly what information you need to include in your work. You can ask yourself the key question: “What is this style article review about?” and it is important to structure it correctly. You can succeed when you know your work will be based on the score. Analyze the material with astute observation, which will be a prerequisite for your written work.
  2. When meeting an article for the first time, you are able to get a first impression and the main thing is not to miss it. Write down the main idea that came to your mind and brainstorm afterward to get an idea of what the author wanted to say.
  3. When faced with an unknown value, do not be lazy to highlight them so that you can find them on the Internet soon. Also, check the reliability of sources.
  4. When you read the text a second time, make sure that all important ideas are highlighted.
  5. Without a plan, you are unlikely to get a good overview. Compose it wisely, and it will make your life easier when you see that all your thoughts are well grouped. This will allow you to reduce the chance of missing something important.
  6. Keep in your head or on paper the control questions that you need to answer.
  7. Your title should be concise and attractive.
  8. Your introduction should be catchy because it’s the first thing the reader sees. Do not make this paragraph too long, as all the main ideas should be briefly presented along with key concepts and arguments. At the end of the introduction, do not forget about the thesis.
  9. Stick to a formal writing style. Write in the third person and remember to use a formal academic style.
  10. In the end, you should sum up your criticism and draw a strong conclusion, like making the report. This is the last thing your readers will see, so you should make it as clear as possible to them whether, in your opinion, the author has achieved his/her goal or not. Show what were the shortcomings in the article or point out the strengths.

If even after reading the tips you still have doubts, or you have enough skills and time to prepare such a study paper, then just try to start, and in the process of preparation, determine where you have weaknesses and correct them.

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James Snyder A Top-10 writer at CustomWritings.com
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