Writing an article review is one of the most popular assignments college students get, and for a reason. Being freshly out of high school, you are usually accustomed to trusting academic sources, such as course books and scholarly journals. However, not every paper is trustworthy, and not every published claim holds water. An article review is an exercise to teach you how to tell solid scientific findings from biased fluff and to give you some basics of the peer-review process.
If you are new to the format, read on for our article review guidelines.
What Is an Article Review
An article review is a writing task where you have to summarize and evaluate a text of a journal article, a chapter from a monograph, or other scholarly text. To write a review you have to inspect the text in question closely, and maybe read other related texts to be in a position to give a fair evaluation.
To have a clearer idea of how to write a review of an article, we urge you to take a look at an article review example from our vast collection of student works.
Article Review Format
The article review is a critical text, however, it doesn’t mean that it should be negative and you must nitpick and criticize the article you are reviewing. It should include both strengths and weaknesses found in the text.
Many students ask how long should an article review be, but there is no one answer to this question. Article reviews vary significantly in length and depend, among other things, on the amount of information in the source text. The main criteria are giving a fair representation of the original article and your comprehensive assessment of it, following this structure:
- Introduction, where you provide the title of the article you are reviewing, the name of its author, and some relevant background data: the topic and aim of the paper, year of publication, who the author is, etc.
- Summary, where you outline the key points of the article, including what it set out to do, main claims it argued, evidence it presented, and conclusions it drew. This should look more or less as an abstract: you just summarize, not critique yet.
- Review, where you discuss the merits, the limitations, and the notable features of the article.
- Conclusion, where you give the final evaluation of the article: whether it answered the questions it set out to answer, what impact it had on the knowledge in the field, what practical value it has (if any).
- References, where you cite any other sources you’ve used to support your evaluation. As a rule, your review does not include much information outside the source text and your thoughts on it, but it’s possible to use other resources.
Another popular question among newbie students is how to start an article review? The best way to start it is by providing a short and objective description of an article you are reviewing. There is no need to engage your readers with hook sentences and surprising quotes. The intended audiences are academics and professionals in the field, so you can skip embellishments and go straight to the facts.
How to Write a Journal Article Review
An article review should not be confused with a review article (or literature review). The latter is a different type of academic writing where you analyze the entire body of literature on a specific topic. Such review articles are often an integral part of research papers and theses and they aim to summarize the knowledge on a particular subject from all available sources. Whereas writing a journal article review aims to assess a standalone scholarly article and its impact on the knowledge in the fields to which it pertains. As you can see, although these papers are similar in style and must be written objectively, their goals are very different.
Writing an article review is a somewhat iterative process, involving the following steps:
- Look at the title and the abstract. What are your initial assumptions?
- Look over the References and see if you have read any of those
- Search for some information about the author. Is the author an established authority in the field?
- Underline important ideas
- Identify the main point the paper argues
- What is the author’s purpose in writing the article and its intended audience?
- Find the topic sentences and underline the main points as you read
- Make notes about these points: which ones are facts, which ones are opinions?
- Does the author support these opinions well? Are there any instances of bias?
- Are there any gaps in reasoning or information provided?
- Rewrite the main points in your own words to make a summary of the article
- Come up with a thesis statement (the argument you are making about the article)
- Outline your review
- Use quotes from the article as evidence to support your thesis
- Write your full draft following the structure provided in the previous issue
- Correct any mistakes and typos
- Make sure your article adheres to APA standards of writing
How to Write an Article Review in APA Format
APA article review shares the rules with all good practices of academic writing. Here are the key guidelines you should follow:
- Include title page
- Begin your review with a full citation of the article in the APA style, for example:
Arriaga, X. B., Kumashiro, M., Finkel, E. J., VanderDrift, L. E., & Luchies, L. B. (2014). Filling the void: Bolstering attachment security in committed relationships. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(4), 398-405.
- Write the review in the third person (don’t use “I” or “You”)
- Use reporting verbs (The authors argue that…, Arriaga et al. claim that…)
- If you include any phrases straight from the text, use quotation marks and in-text citation, for example: (Arriaga et al., 2014).
- Refrain from using informal language: colloquialisms, contractions, slang, emotionally charged words, sarcasm, etc.
How to Do an Article Review: The Easier Way
Another way of coping with this task is to entrust us with it. Our expert academic writers know how to write a good article review because they’ve already written quite a lot. They can research article, summarize, review, and format with their eyes closed, so if you are on a tight deadline, WowEssays team will be happy to help you out!