How To Write An Article Review: Writing an article review is the reassessment, evaluation, rendering of account and the act of analyzing and summarizing a subject matter or topic usually an already published one. Article review is therefore different from article writing and they do not employ exactly the same measure and purpose. Article review is considered a secondary academic work since it merely seeks to unbundle an existing publication. An article review must be well-structured. It is one thing to write an article and an entirely different thing to write an article review.
Article review has its own dynamics and expectations. Like every academic work, it has to be explicit, logical, narrative, comparative, communicative, constructive and most importantly, insightful. Article review allows one to render a critique of another’s work. The content of an article review must be restricted to the subject matter of the publication that is being reviewed.
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How To Write An Article Review
1. Study the Article Comprehensively: To be able to render a standard article review one must have had a comprehensive perusal and understanding of the content of the publication intended to be reviewed. It follows therefore that the first step to writing an article review is to study the article comprehensively and have a root understanding of the subject matter, the themes, point of view and the writer’s perspective. While studying the article, notes should b taken of the references made by the writer, symbols and representations made, and the format and direction of the publication. The publication should be read from cover to cover.
Reading for an article review goes beyond reading for pleasure or for mere grasp of information. An in-depth and overall understanding of the publication must be ensured otherwise one may be guilty of intellectual misconception. An intensive reading method therefore is the most suitable reading method to be employed here.
This stage is a very fundamental one. In fact, it is the bedrock of a successful article review, and when it is not observed as it should, the effect is evidenced all over the article review. Studying of the publication is a preliminary stage of article review and there are other expectations that flow from it such as jotting down of ideas, structures and drafting a general summary of the text. This should give you a sketch of your purpose.
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2. Start with a Draft: Every literary or academic work always begins with a draft from which the final work undergoes proper restructuring. It is from the draft copy that several amendments and corrections are made to arrive at the final copy of the article review.
3. Write the Title: Every literary or academic work must begin with a title. The title determines the subject matter of the work, and the subject matter is the totality of the writer’s direction in a given work. Here, the title need not be exactly the title of the publication as ascribed by the original author, but it must contain the main title and additional phrases indicating that it is a review.
Thus, the title of the article being reviewed should contain the original title of the publication and some other phrases indicating that the current publication is a review or critique of the original. For instance, where the title of the original publication is, “Contemporary Issue Relating to the Administration of Local Government in Nigeria”, the title for the article review could be phrase like “Analysis of Ademola’s Text on Contemporary Issues Relating to the Administration of Local Government in Nigeria”. The title may also be accompanied with the name of the review author.
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4. Give the Citation: While writing an article review, it is necessary to give a proper citation of the original publication. For instance, employing APA Citation Style – Ademola, C.O. (2016) Contemporary Issues Relating to the Administration of Local Government in Nigeria (2nd ed.). Marks.
5. Details of the Author: An article review must bear the name of the author. The author here is not the name of the original author of the text but the author of the review. The name of the author could be placed more regularly at the beginning of the work below the title or alternatively at the end, accompanied by the author’s qualification and contact details (E-mail address and phone number), and the year of publishing the review.
Where the author’s name is placed below the title, his qualification and details should follow an asterisk referring to OSCOLA reference style at the footnote.
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6. Abstract: The substance of an article review should be begun with an abstract. It is under the abstract heading that the reviewer gives brief information on the position of the author, the purpose of the work and the direction it would take.
A good abstract should feed the readers with the background of the work.
7. Introduction: Under this heading, the writer is expected to give a general overview of the publication. This should extend to stating the format and structure.
For instance, the writer may highlight that the author made use of APA referencing style, that the text is a two hundred paged one with twelve chapters excluding the preliminary pages. The details of the pattern and structure should be briefly highlighted and not to be dwelt on.
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8. Begin to Summarize the Article: This is the substance of the purpose of an article review and where the main body of the work begins. A summary is an abridged form of a long writing. Summary implying an abridged form does not entail that the work should be dismissed in a few lines.
Despite being summary, it has to be detailed in such a way that s stranger to the text that is reviewed would read the work alone and get the substance of the original text. The summary stage of an article review is where the body of the work begins. It is allowed to be conversational. The writer should focus on giving the analysis of the publication being reviewed; that is, narrating the position of the original author as it were.
At this stage, shipping in of the writer’s commentary, view, disagreement or position is to be reserved. In this summary stage, the writer should be focused on disintegrating the original text thereby making it easier for consumption. The purpose of article review would be defeated if this is not achieved. And most importantly, the summary must be intelligible, logical and informative.
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9. Comments and Critique: Article reviewers are always eager to ge to this stage. This is another stage where the substantive purpose of an article review is continued. An article review should have the writer’s commentary. Here, the writer is free to become argumentative.
This is the appropriate stage for the writer to present his own position, concurrence of ideas and disagreements if any. Critique could be by appreciating the author’s effort and contribution to the field written on. The writer should then take a stand as to what extent he validates or disagrees with the author’s publication.
At this stage the bulk of a reviewer’s work is becoming lifted. Critique can as well be observed in-between the author’s position at the summary stage. This is where the author intends to controvert or commend the author’s position instantly and this must be done briefly.
10. Conclusion: Every academic work must have a conclusion. Under this heading the writer wraps up the work and may ship in his suggestion summarily.
11. Proofreading: Every academic work remains a draft until it is finally published. The writer having completed his work must afterwards look out for text errors; spelling and grammar.
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It is one thing to write an article and another to write an article review. Article review is the analysis of an author’s publication by another. An understanding of the procedure and its regular practice aids in skyrocketing one’s literary skill to the topmost.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.