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How to Write an Article Review: Guide with Examples

03 Apr 2019

When majority of students in the United States are faced with an assignment to write a review of an article, there are several reasons why it instantly becomes challenging and stressful. There are numerous questions that require answers like not knowing whether  review is a summary or critique or what crucial elements should be included in paper's structure.

In this guide, we will learn how to write an article review with the help of actual  examples, basic structure rules, types of reviews, and general writing tips. Remember that using knowledge learned from the guide, you can always choose an expert article review writer based on specific requirements, subject, and deadlines. Let us start by learning what is an article review assignment before we proceed further!

How to Write an Article Review

Definition of Article Review

First of all, we hurry to answer that famous questions of many college students about what an article review is: a summary or critique. A student has to provide a summary of  contents and evaluate what is written. As a rule, most university professors ask to work with research done by an expert in particular field, so there is usually more than enough argumentation or scientific terms to analyze.

What makes reviewing different from other essay types is a way how summary is put together so that it is linked to evaluation part. From main theme, arguments to critical flaws and calls for additional research,  it has to be present. This is exactly what makes it an article review - a summarized analysis and opinion, based on existing strengths and weaknesses.  

All These Different Types of Reviews

A tricky part for most college students is in all these types, myriads of sources where information is taken from. If not already assigned by your college professor, one is left with a task to choose a good source that would be reliable and trustworthy. General rule on how to choose an article for review is searching for them in specific databases and local (or online) libraries on subject.

Unless specifically required, taking anything from newspapers or websites is not recommended since it is not always possible to find good evidence or several other sources that support a statement or an opinion. Works that come from academic sources, databases usually have definite structure that makes analytical tasks easier and more complete.

Of course, newspapers can be a good choice, if allowed, yet such kind of review requires additional research and slightly different structure. Let us look through major differences in how to write a journal article review compared to research papers and scientific sources.

  • Journal Sources. In this case, one has to evaluate strong and weak sides of author's arguments. The task is to show personal analysis, backed up by facts provided in the paper along with interpretation of its value as well as credibility.
  • Research Article. Presence of research method(s) evaluation and analysis of statistical data and information used by the author to support one's main arguments as well as assumptions.
  • Scientific Source. A key difference here is in greater amount of information used and background information on research preceding an actual article. Analysis is done less than a critique, but more like an explanation of author's theories. In this type of review, writer is allowed to compare author's research to other methods, specify what author’s work lacks or is unclear. Such kind of writing uses complex terminology and is often targeted at specific audience.
  • Newspaper. One has to introduce both author and newspaper where an original work has been published. If necessary, it is important to introduce topic for general audience. Explain why it is valuable and what is included in it, how biased it is, how strong/weak/credible author’s statements are. It has to include 40/60 balance of summary with critique.

10 Tips for Writing

It is well-known that writing tasks can be quite challenging and time consuming. In order to make your struggles feel less, here are 10 tips that our expert writers use for such assignments. No matter if you want to know how to write a movie review or analyze a paper published in the field of Psychology, ensure that you look through our writer’s analysis checklist:

  • Reading an article, do research on topic. Look through other similar publications, so your opinion is less biased as evaluation is done.
  • Check for unknown terms and definitions that are unclear. Make a glossary for yourself,  explain unknown terms briefly, if talking to a general audience.
  • Research on author’s background, education, credibility. This information is always included in paper’s beginning.
  • Read an article more than once where you first check for summary, then read it as a critical expert.
  • Highlight important sentences, arguments, thesis statement(s). Use this information for direct quoting, strong or weak author’s points.
  • Create an outline.
  • Do not directly quote from reviewed source, but include quotes sparingly if absolutely necessary. Always use third person when stating an opinion.
  • Make a list of what listed arguments provided by the author lack and mention how they could be improved. What information has to be made more detailed?
  • Mention if your expectations are met.
  • Make proposals for a future research in conclusion paragraph.

Article Review Format Peculiarities

Speaking from our experience, most college professors in the United States are very picky about formatting rules when it comes to how to review an article. In our guide, we will review basic requirements for MLA and APA formats.

MLA format

Below usual MLA header with your information, come up with a good title that reflects main idea of a review. It can be declarative, reflective, descriptive or even interrogative type of a title. Next, introduce article's author, specify where and when it has been published. Like "XYZ article was written by John Holmes, a British Chemistry expert in 2005 and published in Molecular Chemistry Journal, volume 2" In introduction part that comes later, speak of central themes and main arguments provided. If no clear thesis is already provided, determine it.

Introduction is usually 15-25% of a paper. In forthcoming body paragraph, summarize an article. Include research methods, statistics, author's ideas, if made clear. In the next body paragraph write critique. In Conclusion paragraph, summarize your thoughts and state a general impression. Taking about 10% of review, mention necessity for a further research, state what it lacks, how it could be improved and made more interesting.

Finally, in MLA style, use standard referencing format and Works Cited page (see our  sample).

APA Format

The main differences in APA format include:

  • Abstract of about 200-300 words contains summary of review with study conclusions.
  • No references are cited in abstract.
  • Abstract includes 4-6 keywords on topic.
  • Running head includes paper's title, shortened to 40 characters or less.
  • No references are given in summary. Summary part should be around 800 words, unless instructed otherwise.
  • In APA, complete citation of an article is placed under the title. No line is skipped between citing and a first sentence.
  • APA format requires additional information about author, including full credentials.

If you have to use any other format, specific rules may apply. Like knowing how to write a letter of intent rules, article review has to be clear in structure as much as in formatting specifics and identification of author’s credibility, main value of provided opinion or information. Let us proceed with an actual article review example.

Unique Article Review Example

Cloud Computing Panacea Demystified

 

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In his article "12 Risks, Threats, & Vulnerabilities in Moving to the Cloud", published on March 5, 2018 in SEI (Software Engineering Institute) blog, Timothy Morrow, a Security Solutions Engineer of CERT Division, speaks of cloud security and challenges myths about instant moving to cloud computing.

Starting from definition of cloud computing model as given by NIST, Morrow mentions that risks related to cloud migration are ever-evolving as technology is still new but not tested in sufficient way. Article's main argumentative point is responsibility of consumers that is "a leading cause of security incidents in cloud-based system" (Morrow).

The strongest point of research is CSP responsibilities and consumer behavior that differ from data center relationships model. From Internet Accessible Management APIs to incomplete data deletion or risks of stolen credentials, the author provides strong informative arguments that should force network security analysts to study cloud computing at greater depth.

What makes an article unique, compared to similar research done, is a good selection of additional resources, including best practices for cloud security, if it is already implemented. Additionally, I would also include more information on marketing reasons that stand behind cloud computing decisions being made to explain why responsibility is always placed within financial profits view of business partners, market relations.

Works Cited

Morrow, Timothy. "12 Risks, Threats, & Vulnerabilities In Moving To The Cloud". SEI
      Network Security Blog, 2018,  

Read also: Process Analysis Essay Examples for Students

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