How to write an article review. 8 quick tips on how to hack through.
When writing an article review of your own or another author’s article you are expected to:
· Summarize the article. The summary should give a general idea of what the article is about to show that you have read and comprehended it fully.
· Analyze the article. Locate the central claim and the important points in order to get the message that the author is trying to put across.
· Evaluate the article. Having analyzed the idea in the article you should evaluate it. How has the author expressed his/her central context? Is the evidence sufficient and relevant? What is the contribution of the article to the field of interest?
In order to achieve this fully and write a rich compendious review here are some tips on how to go about it:
I. Read the article.
By the end of your first reading you should be able to tell what the article is about. Skim over the introduction, the subsequent paragraphs and the conclusion looking closely at the introductory sentences and the conclusive ones. If you do not get the author’s message after your first reading it is advisable to go through it a second time until you get it. This step will give you and opinion on the clarity of the thesis. Do not engage any external source or include your knowledge at this point.
II. Analyze the article.
Read the article a second time closely, highlighting the important points, references and the evidence used. Check for consistency and flow in the writing of the article. Do not overemphasize on the grammar and phrasing instead focus on biased or self-contradictory statements. Create an outline of the summary at this point putting down the main points and any other writings you find necessary to include in your summary.
III. Research extensively.
Having in mind the topic of discussion and the main points in the text, read widely if you have not already, to have insightful knowledge on the topic at hand. Refer to the references used to be sure that the author has not altered any information or overlooked a part of the information that does not support his/her point. Engage logic to evaluate the evidences used. Write down points to support your findings. Do not include information that you cannot back up or are not sure about as this may be detrimental to your preview having in mind that you are mostly writing to an audience that has knowledge of the topic.
IV. Critique the article.
At this point you are in a position to evaluate the credibility of the article having vast knowledge on the topic. Write down the strengths and short comings of the article. Decide whether you agree with the author to some extent and give reasons for the same. You are not expected to state whether you like or dislike the author’s point of view as it shows possibility of personal bias instead rely solely on your findings from the article or other relevant external sources.
V. Make an outline of the review.
You have all the material you need to write a review now but just like any other writing it requires a plan. Write out how you want to express your ideas. Choose a format to follow, you can start with a summary of the article, followed by its strengths and weaknesses and a conclusion or you could choose to discuss the main points, giving vivid description in each case, whichever way that you find to work well with you. Make sure as you write your outline, you do not leave any points out or include points you had doubts on. Create an outline that will guide you through.
VI. Write a summary.
Having created an outline of the article earlier on, it should be easy to create a summary. It is advisable to create a summary separately from the other part of the review to avoid mixing up ideas. Try to be brief and concise, avoid supplementary information that can be left out. The summary should not make up the largest part of the review, so do not overemphasize on it however it is an important part of the review. Proofread your summary as many times as possible and also that you do not misquote or paraphrase wrongly or include information that is not on the article.
VII. Write the review.
You have an outline of the review therefore your flow of ideas will be much easier and you will hardly leave out important information. To write an effective review:
· Decide on an effective title. The title should be relevant to the review and predict what the review is about, it should be provocative, mostly interesting and positive.
· Cite the article. You should use the correct referencing style appropriately, make it easy for your audience to access the article.
· Introduce the article and write a summary. An introduction will mostly cover the topic of the article, the author and any other relevant information. Since you have cited the article, the introduction should be brief. Having already written the summary you will only need to include it on your review now.
· Write the remaining part of the review. As you have already written an outline, it should be easy to discuss your points and cite your supporting documentation if you used external sources.
· Conclude. Make your stand known, state you agree with the author’s perspective or not. State whether the article has any contribution to the field of study and recommend an audience if applicable.
VIII. Proofread the review.
Just like any other writing, it is important to proofread your review. Check for inconsistency, bias or insufficient evidence and correct if any. Check for any grammatical errors or wrong phrasing. It is always advisable to ensure that you are contented with what you have written before giving it to a second party. Make sure your points are clear and backed up sufficiently. Ask another person or two if not more to read and get their opinion.
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