Article Review Writing: General Guidelines and Structure
Every article is written with a purpose; it would be very apt to say that an article is an author's idea on a specific subject/topic is transformed into an article with the help of words.
A review of an article draws the line; especially as an article review helps the reader with a thorough insight into the positive as well as negative aspects of the article. An article review is the critical evaluation of an article to understand the purpose of the article, the strengths and weaknesses of the article, and all other significant aspects of the article. It is very important that you follow basic guidelines while writing an article review to make sure that you provide a correct and logical evaluation of an article to the audience. The following tips and suggestions are sure to help you:
Read, Read & Read
Read the article thoroughly to understand the purpose as well as the big picture behind the article. You must employ especially keen eyes while reading the opening sentences of the paragraphs; needless to mention, you must try and comprehend each unique point that the writer is trying to convey through a discrete paragraph. It helps to make notes of the important points of the article. Make sure that you are not copying from the article, the notes or points that you make are to help you form an opinion on all the important points of the article and are not intended for mere repetition of what is conveyed in the article. It is highly recommended that you read other relevant articles as well, so that you get a better understanding of the topic, which inadvertently would help you in objective evaluation of the article.
After reading the article thoroughly, it is now time to find appropriate answers to the questions that can help you in writing the review. Few examples are:
What is the relevance of the topic? And how does the idea of the author reflect in the topic?
What type of audience is the article written for? Is the language used appropriate for the intended segment of the audience?
Has the author researched enough about the subject? Did the author make any baseless assumptions while writing the article?
There are many questions that you can elaborate on to get more information that can be helpful in critiquing the article. The choice of questions may vary from topic to topic. And by asking these questions you are breaking down the article to pieces which can be easily evaluated.
Developing and Organizing
Remember that the article review that you are writing is also a piece of writing, similar to an essay and hence it should have a desirable format and should be organized properly. Before you organize the article, summarize the article in your own words. Summarizing the content of the article that you are reviewing will provide a context to the audience of your review. List the important points of the article such as specific strengths, weaknesses, comparison of arguments, and any other aspect that you liked or disliked. Gather examples to support your point of view or opinion.
A simple or basic structure of an article review is to have an introduction, body, and conclusion. There are many other formats and structures followed by few writers; however they all evolve from the basic structure. While it is important to have an organized structure for your review, it is also important to keep a tab on the length of your review to be appropriate. Introduction of the review is the first paragraph and you should include the title of the article that you are reviewing and also the name of the author. You may provide a brief background of the article and outline the main theme and idea of the article. You can also include a statement indicating your evaluation (either positive or negative) of the article.
The body of the review can further be divided into two parts, summary part and the critique part.
In the summary part, you have to summarize the article outlining the key points with very few or no examples. Be careful with the choice of words and do not use the same words as used in the article. If the summary part of the body has to be written in more than one paragraph, try using one idea per paragraph and connect the paragraphs in a logical manner.
The second part of the body, critique is generally an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses and certain distinct features of the article. You can also express your opinion on the article with supporting arguments here. Include both positive and negative aspects of the article as appropriate. The answers of the questions discussed above (finding answers) will form the basis of critique. You can also add suggestions or recommendations on how to improve the article, develop the ideas and theories etc. You can also point out any significant omissions from the article. A brief comparison of the article to others on the same topic can be included.
Conclusion of the review, the last and most important part of the article review has to be kept simple and short. Start by summarizing the main points of the article and restate your opinion on the article. If you have any opinion on the significance of the article, you may want to include it here. Any other recommendations can be added in the conclusion. Examples and evidences supporting your judgement or opinion should be presented here to make your critique to appear fair and reasonable. If you find any questions that are unanswered pertaining to the topic or article, those can be discussed here.
Finally, read your review after sometime and see if there is anything that can be modified in order to make it more logical and helpful to the reader. in understanding the aspects of the article that is being reviewed. Proofread the review to check for any typo errors or grammatical errors and edit it accordingly.
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