This introductory course is designed to teach the basic skills necessary to write nutrition- and health-related papers that are clear, accurate, and audience-appropriate.
When you’re a college student of a health-related course, you’re assigned the tasks to write various academic projects that require basic health- and nutrition-related skills. An article review is basically an evaluation of previously published research on a particular topic. When writing one, you’re not supposed to overview current thinking on the topic or give any new information. Instead, you’re analyzing the existing data and details that the author used in his or her work, as well as the conclusions provided.
Why does your professor want you to write a review of an article about nutrition? If you’ve been taking the course or working on some topic for quite a while, writing an article review will demonstrate your knowledge on it. Besides, your work may become very useful for the other students or even nutrition researchers, introducing them the existing facts, knowledge and research gaps.
At the same time, the process of writing an article review is a good opportunity for you to get yourself into some nutrition topics that you lack knowledge in.
So, how should you approach the article review writing process? What issues do you have to take into consideration? Here are some things to check when you’re going to write this type of academic work.
At first, you have to do your best in order to figure out the scope of your review and the research question that you will have to answer, making certain that the article under review contributes something to the field of nutrition. It is important to mention that you have to know what exactly you’re going to write in your paper before you actually start writing. What sub-field of nutrition that article belongs to? The field of knowledge is diverse. For instance, you may write in nutrition psychology, plant nutrition, animal nutrition, sport nutrition and so on.
What language should be used in an article review in nutrition? Without a doubt, in most cases, it depends on who is going to read your work eventually. Nevertheless, right now, we are talking about professional academic writing. This means that you have to do everything according to the requirements of your professor and the existing standards in the field of nutrition. Your professor will be your reader, which means he or she is already professional in this area of knowledge. Thus, you are not supposed to explain the terms or make sure that your text is primitive enough to be understood by students like you.
In case with the article reviews in nutrition topics, it is important to avoid metaphors and vague language. You have to formulate each of your thoughts clearly and ensure that every statement is appropriate. Don’t forget that your professor is going to read your work, so erase all the jokes, the terms that don’t fit the subject, etc. In the field of nutrition, you will have to use specific terms and names. If you’re not sure about the meaning of any, we recommend you using some of the dictionaries. Later, when you proofread your article review, you will be able to check your assignment once again and fix any mistakes that you didn’t see at first.
Begin your work with mentioning the title of the article that you’re reviewing, the name of the author or the authors, the journal title and the publication year. For instance: ‘The article ‘Developmental programming of the metabolic syndrome by maternal nutritional imbalance’ was written by health experts James Argon and Mandy Dowson’.
The introduction of the article review in nutrition attracts your readers and includes the author’s thesis. In case the author of the article doesn’t state the thesis, you have read the article from a to z in order to figure out the thesis yourself. What is more, your introduction should also comprise the main theme of the article and the main claim that the author made.
As a rule, you will be required to summarize your introduction by your own thesis where you have to provide a quick mentioning of the strongest point of the article and its drawback. For instance, ‘The authors of the article do draw a clear line between losing a lot of weight and diet, but the evidence about it isn’t clearly defined’.
Sum up the main arguments, ideas, points and findings of the article’s author, but do that in your own words, constantly consulting your summary. Show how exactly the author provides his or her claims and how supports them all. It is important to include the conclusions of the article. You can do this in several paragraphs; however, the length usually depends on the professor’s instructions. It is important to check them before you start writing in order to avoid any sort of troubles when you submit the paper.
We don’t recommend you cover some basic statistics, examples or any other blocks of information that the experts of the nutrition field already know. For example, we seriously do not recommend you writing things like ‘an unhealthy diet can be the cause of serious illnesses like anemia, stillbirth, blindness and cretinism’. Instead, focus on the main points of every part of the article.
Sparingly include the author’s direct quotes and don’t forget to reread your summary a couple of times to make sure that the information that it includes is a precise description and honest evaluation of the article under review.
In case with the project in nutrition, you have to use your summary to write a couple of paragraphs in order to explain how successfully the author covered the topic. In this part, you can provide your personal point of view on whether the author’s work is thorough and useful to the nutrition area. It’s the main part of the article review, where you evaluate what kind of contribution (if any) the article made to the field and how important it is to nutrition experts.
Consider and evaluate the most important points of the article and tell your readers if the arguments that the author provides are enough to support his or her claims. Do you agree with the article’s author? Or, perhaps, you don’t? Give sufficient details to prove your point of view. Finish by suggesting what kind of readers are going to definitely benefit from this work. For example, if you work on a review for an article ‘Side Effects of Bulimia’, tell your readers how efficiently and logically the author provides the information and how useful all these effects can be to them.
Stay away from any sort of critiques that are unrelated to your subject matter. Instead, bring together all the ideas to have a strong argument that will form your thesis. Provide a topic sentence and solid arguments that support it for every opinion that you review in the article. For instance, you might state in the first sentence that consulting a professional nutritionist is crucial for a healthy lifestyle, followed by several sentences that elaborate on the importance of this statement.
One paragraph will be enough to conclude an article review in nutrition. You can provide more paragraphs, but make sure to have them and don’t make it wordy. You will be required to summarize the most important points of the work and provide your points of view on how important, precise and accurate the information in it is. If you see an opportunity, provide suggestions for the future research in the field of nutrition.
Don’t make your conclusion too wordy – it should take no more than ten percent of your overall project. For instance: ‘This critical review includes evaluation of the article “Infant and young child feeding” by Gerard Genkans. The arguments in the article prove there is lack of supporting details, the presence of bias, as well as misinformation. All the points that the author makes about infant feeding reduce credibility of the work in general.’
In other words, the short version of an article review format looks like this:
If it is the first time that you have to deal with the article review writing, we recommend you to download a collection of article reviews and look through them. It doesn’t mean that you have to copy them – that’s cheating. Instead, it is really helpful to read the samples on your topic to see how other students or the field experts covered these subject matters and the way they arranged information. What is more, looking through previously written article reviews in nutrition will enable you to imitate their writing style and take yours to the upper level.
In general, reading the examples of article reviews will help you in many ways:
We recommend you to put the final version of your article review for a day or two, if possible of course. This will help you to have a break not only from your writing, but the field of nutrition in general. Then you will have to take a fresh look at it in order to find out if it contains any spelling or typing mistakes. Check your punctuation and grammar as well, and what is more important, pay attention to the factual data to avoid any misunderstanding with your professor.
Additionally, we strongly recommend you to reread the original article that you were asked to review to make sure that your work is to the point and you understood the initial idea of the author. For instance, if you’ve just reviewed an article ‘60% of Wild Species Face the Risk of Extinction due to Climate Change’, reread it again to make sure that you understood the author’s idea and didn’t miss any noteworthy issues. Also, in case with the topic above, we recommend you to make certain that the author didn’t just exaggerate any information or provided it with any humor-based sense.
Finally, use plagiarism detection program to find out if you managed to write an article review that includes no plagiarism. Your professor will appreciate it.