An article review, especially an academic one, is a type of paper that not every student is comfortable with. It is not something that the students love to write. In fact, it requires the students to have certain skills to be able to write a good article review. If you are someone who has been assigned to write an article review assignment or homework, the first thing that you need to know is what it exactly is. This is one type of assignment that the universities and colleges around the world use to help the students develop an opinion of their own. This is the reason why even learned individuals struggle to write a good-quality article review.
What is an article review?
The first thing that you need to know about an article review is that you need to create a summary of the article that you have under consideration. The point is not to just create a summary but also to demonstrate the principal points and arguments of the article. The problem is that most of the students out there consider associating this type of assignment with a summary of a piece of content. But it is way more than that. The students, while writing an article review, are supposed to do more than just write the summary. They are required to do a thorough analysis of the article in question. Summarizing is definitely a part of the assignment but it is not the entire job. Evaluating the assignment and analysing the article in question is the major part of such an assignment.
One more thing that the students need to know that doing the review of an article does not mean that you have to be critical or criticize the article in question in a negative manner. It is important for you to understand that doing the review of an article means looking at the article from a different point of views and questioning it from different angles and then doing an evaluation of the work critically. While doing so, please keep in mind that based on the course or the discipline you are pursuing in college, the review can be judged on a different basis. So, ensure that you acquaint yourself with all the details and guidelines before you begin with writing the article review.
If you are a student who has been assigned to write a review of an article, here are a few steps that you can follow to make sure that you write a good one:
- Do an analytical and thorough reading of the article
The very first step that you need to accomplish in order to do a good article review is to read the article critically and thoroughly. You may have collected some extra and supplementary material to read about the article. If you have, go through that also from an analytical lens. As you are in this process, keep in mind that you have to highlight everything that seems to be important and make notes. If you find the article a bit dense and complicated, read it more than once. Make sure that you make notes about everything that is significant in the article, ranging from controversial, useful, or even remotely relevant. The main idea of the article should be identified and you should figure out what the author is arguing for or against. If there is a clear thesis statement in the article, highlight it. If it is a work of art, then try to figure out the message that the author is trying to get across.
- Write a decent introduction
Whenever you write an article review, keep in mind that the introduction is a really important part of the work. Keep in mind that you knowing or understanding the article that needs to be reviewed is not the only job. It needs to reflect upon the paper as well. You need to write the review in a way that the readers get to understand the text or the content of the article as well. If they do not know about the content of the article, there is no way for them to appreciate the quality of the review. Therefore, you should utilize the space of the introduction to let the readers know about the idea of the article. Figure out a way to connect the content of the text of the article to its main message or idea. Moreover, to lay a decent foundation of the review that is about to follow the introduction, make sure that you include your major idea in the introduction. Also, you should also include a little content about the evaluation of the text in question.
- Make a note of your first response to the article
The primary step is to read the article in question. However, once you are done reading the text, the next one is to write the summary of the article for the review. But make sure that before you begin summarizing the article, you take conscious note of the primary response that you have had to the article. You should think about how reading the article made you feel at first and the thoughts that it made sprung inside you. Do not think about whether the response was good or bad, just take a note of them as they are the raw responses or expressions that the article ignited in you. These responses would prove to be beneficial for you when you write the review and explain to the readers how and why the article ignited all those responses in you. If you end up doing so successfully, it will turn out to be a great review and evaluation. Remember that you have to look out for the smallest of responses that you felt, including laughter, pain, or disgust.
- Look for the author’s background
The background of a person or where he comes from plays a huge role in shaping the opinions and thoughts of a person. Since the review is of an article, it is important for you to consider the background of the author. It will help you to understand what factors have influenced the opinions of the author and will prove to be really helpful for you to write the review. When you look at the background of the author, make sure that you take a look at some other works of the author as well. If you do so, it would become quite easier for you to understand the thought process of the author. It will help you clearly understand what the author is known for, to the world and what kind of affiliation he has had in the past. Think of it like this: if the author feels strongly about a cause or certain thing, it is highly probable that they would have done some of the other work on that topic in the past.
- Write and present a good summary
As already mentioned above, the summary is an integral part of the review. Therefore, it is imperative that the review document contains a good summary of the article in question. The reason why the review document needs to contain a good summary of the article is that it will help the readers know exactly what you are reviewing. So, make sure that while summarizing the article, you present all the ideas and arguments absolutely clearly. If there are any questions that have been asked in the article that you are reviewing, then make sure that those questions are addressed too in the summary. If there is any important point or message mentioned in the article, you should include that in the summary. While you include the arguments presented in the article, in the review summary, it is important for you to include the pieces of evidence that the author has introduced to help support their argument. You should make sure that the summary is so vivid that the readers do not need to read the text in order to understand the review.
- Give accounts of all the points in the body
Make a list of all the points and arguments that you wish to make regarding the article in your review. The main body of the review is supposed to be about all the points. The introduction of the review may have been utilized by you to establish the thesis statement of your review. The body of the review is the space where you elaborate on each of your points and devote a significant space for each point in order to support the thesis statement that you have made. This is where you write everything that you have in order to present your evaluation of the article. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to be appreciative of the article. If you thought there was something wrong with the article or with the way that the author wrote it, then make sure that you write about it. Even if you feel like there is an element of bias involved in the article, make sure that you write about that as well. However, remember that it is necessary for you to present evidences to support your arguments for the readers to be able to believe them. Moreover, if you do not relate your arguments and points with the content of the article, the readers might just believe them to be biased.
- Present a good conclusion
The students should always remember that the conclusion is an as important part of the assignment as any other section. The conclusion is obviously shorter than the main body or text of the review; however, it is necessary for you to give it your best shot as it is important. You have already utilized the main body of the article to present all your points and arguments of your evaluation, now it is the time for you to present a brief summary of all these arguments in the conclusion. But make sure that you do not repeat all these points word to word. Just make sure that you utilize the space of the conclusion to present the overall opinion of yours or the main idea that you have tried to present in the review of the article.
If you follow all these steps one by one, the article review that you write will turn out to be good and will earn you a good grade.