An article review is a combination of a summary, analysis and evaluation of an academic work written by another scholar. Instructors often assign this type of essay to students so that they get acquainted with the writings of professionals in their field. The necessity to analyze the text forces you to study it deeply – which is exactly the purpose of the exercise, because you have to clearly understand the main points of the article and their implications to provide a meaningful review.
Business studies place special emphasis on this type of work, as it is the discipline heavily rooted in practical matters. Your review presupposes not just idle evaluation of the points made by the author from the general viewpoint, but analysis on the grounds of applicability, efficiency and effectiveness. You should work ‘in a real world’, not deriving your judgments from abstractions but always keeping practice and realistic application in mind.
This can make writing article reviews in business studies a challenging task; our guide aims at alleviating your burden.
Table of contents
Sometimes the instructor assigns an article you should review, sometimes you are free to choose any article you want to work with. In any case, students usually have an opportunity to define the angle from which they will review the article and approach to analysis on their own, and you should use this opportunity to modify the topic so that it suits you better. Your review should not be just a general summary and evaluation of the article in question. You can make it more interesting by talking about this text from a particular viewpoint or viewing it through a specific lens. Some examples of such specialized topics include:
Article reviews are aimed not at the general public, but at those who are well-versed in the field of business studies and usually know what the article in question is about. However, you cannot guarantee this, which means that you should give a summary of the text: what are its thesis, main findings, arguments and their supporting details.
Before you start to write, you should make sure you understand the article you review. Do not make hasty conclusions after reading part of the article or skimming over it. Read it in its entirety, summarize it, and identify the main points. Separate the positive aspects of the text from the negative ones (internal contradictions, gaps in logic and inconsistencies).
If the article is large, and you do not have much time, you will have to optimize your approach to reading and analyzing it to occupy as little time as possible. First, pay attention to its title, introduction, headings and subheadings, topic sentences of body paragraphs and conclusion. This will give you some idea as to the general idea suggested by the author, and you will be able to read the rest of the article anticipating what is going to be said.
Then read the article as a whole, highlighting the main ideas and checking out the words and expressions you do not understand. Find definitions and explanations of these words so that you fully understand the article.
If it is realistic, read the article more than one time.
Express the basic meaning and contents of the article in a couple of paragraphs or an outline. Do not worry about language or phrasing – you are not going to show it to anybody and do it purely to make sure you really understand the article. If you find out you are still hazy on some points, reread them and make sure you pay attention to the points you misunderstood earlier.
A review that simply summarizes an article and provides its general evaluation is boring and rather pointless, especially in business studies, where you are usually expected to make some useful conclusions from what you read. You can make both the process and the result more interesting and rewarding by focusing on a particular aspect of the text in question. You can:
Now you should prepare an outline or a plan of your review, based on all the information you gathered and processed so far. It takes the following steps:
First, you should point out what you are writing about. Identify the article, its author, where it comes from and when it was published in the first paragraph. Whenever you later refer to the article, you should make it clear that your quote or paraphrase it and do not express your own thoughts.
Introduction should contain the general information about the article: its main topic, the author’s thesis and claims. If the thesis is not directly stated in the article, you will have to formulate it in a laconic fashion yourself. Provide any additional background information that is necessary or can be helpful for your analysis: about the author, his/her other works, critical works by other authors etc.
Finish the introduction with your own thesis – address the issues you pointed out above and state what you intend to prove. E.g., ‘The article proposes some valuable alterations to the accepted business practices, but closer scrutiny shows certain inconsistencies that will be addressed in my review’.
Provide a short summary of the article in your own words. Mention the main points, primary arguments and the conclusions the author comes to. Use the summary you wrote earlier if you forget anything and need guidance. Do not go into too much detail – you should not retell the article, but simply give the readers a general impression of what it is about. If you have to, quote the author, but do not overuse it – the summary should not take too much space.
Use your original outline and expand what you wrote in it. Cover both positive and negative aspects of the article and express your general opinion about it: tell if it is clear, unambiguous, persuasive and comprehensive. Discuss the author’s contribution to the field and relationships between this article and the existing body of research on this general topic. If the author has any biases, point them out and prove their existence using the material from the article.
This is the part of a review that most resembles the body paragraphs of a typical essay. Each paragraph should consist of a topic sentence introducing the current point and evidence (your supporting arguments in its favor as well as direct evidence, such as quotes from the article).
Summarize the main points of the article and your take on it. What you think about its importance, clarity and logic? If appropriate, you can add some suggestions concerning its implications and potential further research in the field.
The purpose of an article review is to analyze and evaluate the work of another scholar. You study what he/she had to say on the subject, analyze his/her argumentation and provide meaningful critique of the author’s results, conclusions and general contribution to the field. You do not have to introduce your own research. The only situation in which it is appropriate to do this is when you encounter incorrect or misleading points in the article under scrutiny. In this case, in addition to indicating these mistakes, you can supplement your statements with individual research as corroborating evidence.
Business studies is a discipline that is extremely particular about its choice of words. As you are discussing real world concepts and highly practical matters, you are expected to be direct, unambiguous and precise. Avoid generalities – when you use vague and imprecise terms, the readers immediately perceive that you try to hide the fact that you have nothing in particular to say or want to get around a question you do not want to answer.
When it is possible to express a thought in one word instead of five, do so. When you can replace a five-syllable word with a one-syllable one, do so. Business studies is primarily concerned with transferring the information to the reader, not with making your review look and sound pretty. If you find yourself using long-winded sentences and complex words when simple will do, jargon and so on, change it into something more appropriate.
As you revise and edit, you will sometimes notice that you no longer need some of the words, sentences and entire paragraphs. Unfortunately, you will often feel that these are exactly the most striking and well-written fragments of your text, and may be tempted to twist the text to better accommodate them. Do not do it – if they do not help you analyze the article in question, get rid of them. You may like them, but to an impartial reader they will look out of place.
This rule concerns everything: constant use of the same word, starting your sentences in the same way, using sentences of roughly the same length and structure. You can often hear a suggestion to keep all your sentences about 20 to 35 words long, but it is not a good idea – the reader will get bored and distracted by the visual monotony of the text. The same goes for always using shorter and longer sentences. Instead, try to alternate and randomize their length, interspersing longer and shorter phrases. It may be hard to follow this rule while you write; now is the best time to modify your text for greater diversity.
Again, business studies require precision and fact-based approach. Do not call something a fact unless it truly is and you can prove it. If you make a statement that is not self-evident, you should back your words up with viable and reliable proof. Check your essay for whether you ever forgot to do it.
Writing an article review in business studies can be an extremely challenging task, because you usually cannot make do with analyzing it in isolation – you should have certain knowledge of commonly accepted business practices and potential implications of what is said in the article. However, we believe that with the help of this guide you can successfully deal with this difficult job!