What Is an Article Review?

From time to time, you can get an article review assignment from your tutor. What does this task entail? First of all, keep in mind that an article review is a piece of critical, constructive analysis of some academic article. Writing it involves the use of summary, classification, analysis, and comparison techniques. Your article should sound academic and should rely on the previously published literature on that subject. Besides, it is imperative to make your review a standalone work of academic literature that organizes and evaluates literature, detects patterns in data, and identifies research gaps. 

Composing such a paper, at least for the first time, can be challenging. Here we disclose some secret tips and hacks on how to write an article review”, so stay tuned to become an article review guru. 

How to Write an Article Review? 

The question of how to write an article review has been troubling students for decades, and we also won’t offer any shortcuts as this process is tedious and multi-stage. However, in this article, you’ll find handy tips and steps for completing this task easier and quicker than you would without expert guidance. 

The first step in designing your review article is to study the article as close as possible. Reread it several times, look through the contents and the abstract. Look through the tables and figures included in the study. Then focus on each section separately, determining whether each of them corresponds to its aim and specifics. 

Next, you need to choose a specific focus of your review. If you try to talk a bit of everything, you risk ending up with an article summary, not a review. Thus, you can make your review focused by choosing to look more in-depth into the theoretical approach, the methodology, or cases considered by the author. Is it the range of coverage that raises questions? Do you like the tone and voice? 

Finally, before proceeding to the article review writing process, you will need to get more insight into the subject. It’s recommended to go through a couple of books or articles on the subject to better grasp the topic. If there are other reviews available, you might want to compare your impression with that of other reviewers. 

Another thing to take care of is the referencing and formatting style. Some tutors require their students to complete reviews in the APA article review format, which presupposes specific subheadings and technical issues. In contrast, others want to see the article review in the MLA or Harvard format. So, it’s better to check everything out before you start writing, as the format can significantly affect the structure and content. 

What Can I Write about? 

As the name of this work type suggests, an article review is dedicated to a detailed, in-depth evaluation of another researcher’s published work. Original research may differ in type and purpose: it can be a randomized controlled trial, a survey, an interview, a case study, or one of the many other research types. Hence, you’re likely to be guided by the content of your article in the review process. Our experts have collected an exhaustive list of topics and aspects you can cover in a review. 

  1. The article’s objectives – here, you can explore what the article you’re reviewing is meant for. What did the author indicate at the beginning as the study’s purpose? What is the expected finding or outcome? It’s also good to compare what you initially identified as a review purpose and the final findings of the author. In this way, you can produce a judgment about whether the author managed to achieve their initial objective. 
  2. Theories and concepts – in this aspect, you can dwell on the theoretical framework of the author. What underlying theories did they choose for their article? Do these theories suit the studied object or phenomenon? Have they missed any helpful theory out? As for concepts, you may determine whether they have been defined clearly and whether all primary concepts are adequately explained. 
  3. Central arguments – all authors of articles propose specific hypotheses or statements that guide their argumentation. You can identify those central statements and discuss whether the hypotheses are realistic, relevant, and manageable. 
  4. Methods – this aspect of the discussion is vital as you need to produce an informed critique of the chosen methodology and research design. What is the study subject? Did the author choose the correct methods for exploring that subject? Be specific and clear in your review to demonstrate that you understand the intricacies of methodological choices. 
  5. Evidence – here, you can talk about the author’s evidence and its presentation. Does the author provide adequate evidence to support their viewpoint? Is the evidence credible and taken from authoritative sources? 
  6. Values – it is vital to clarify in the process of article review whether the author has managed to stay objective and what personal or institutional values they revealed in the process of argumentation. 
  7. Contextualization of research – to demonstrate that you understand the broader context of the study, you need to contextualize your reviewed article into the vast body of research. Do this study’s findings fit related literature? Do they contradict earlier findings of researchers? 
  8. Contribution – now it’s time to talk about the study’s significance. Are the author’s conclusions valuable? Are they topical for your area of research? How well does the author tackle the subject in terms of advancing the knowledge in your professional area? 
  9. Style and tone – you can also discuss the language means employed by the author to present their findings. Is the style of expression clear? Is the vocabulary understandable or too academic? Can a layperson capture the study’s content? 
  10. Conclusion – that’s the space for your overall verdict on the article. Keep in mind that you don’t evaluate the study’s context specifically. It would be best if you instead focused on how well the author has organized their study, how well they chose the study population and method, and whether they generally managed to achieve the initially established aims of the study. 

Article Review Outline 

Article reviews are different, depending on the tutor’s requirements or your academic interest. However, there is a common standard outline that suits all reviews. You can use this outline as the fullest version by taking the sections you don’t need out of the structure. 

A typical article review features the following sections: 

  • Title of the article review and its running title 
  • Authors and their affiliations (the university where you study, work, or with which you collaborate on research) 
  • Abstract of the review (a brief summary of the article’s key points)
  • A list of keywords (up to 5-8) characterizing the kernel of the study
  • Abbreviations of the key terms used in the review 
  • Introduction – a summary of current research on the subject you’re reviewing 
  • Discussion – a section that discusses the reviewed article’s key findings, methods, implications, and significance of findings 
  • Conclusion – this section is meant for summarizing the most important results and conclusions you have made from the reviewed study 
  • Acknowledgments – an optional section that covers those who contributed to this review or helped the author 
  • Conflict of interest – a declaration of any economic or research interests that the authors of the article review may have (it is needed for clarifying whether the authors were objective in their research evaluation). 
  • References – this section enumerates all sources that the author referred to in the process of review. 

Article Review Sample

Our experts have prepared an article review sample for your guidance so that you’re always on the right path in completing such assignments. 

The article of Lewis et al. (2016) examined the effectiveness of continuous glucose monitoring in children, adolescents, and young adults with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. Their research method presupposed a 12-week intervention with a convenience sample of individuals aged 7-21 years old. The researchers’ central premise was that glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes is essential for positive health outcomes and quality of life. They hypothesized that continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) was an effective tool for glycemic control improvement in children, adolescents, and young adults. 

Lewis et al. (2016) presented a detailed, informed review of the background literature on the role of HbA1c level control and its impact on the diabetics’ health. They also covered the evidence of CGM effects on the HbA1c level control. 

The discussion of chosen methods was also highly detailed and competent. The researchers provided a sound rationale for the participant population selection, delineated the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and gave a detailed review of the procedures and protocol of the intervention. The discussion of baseline and final HbA1c levels also gives practical guidance for everyone wishing to replicate the study to use the same protocol and double-check the study’s outcomes. 

The discussion of Lewis et al.’s (2016) findings is highly detailed and categorized. The researchers examined the concepts of glycemic control, measured the significance of HbA1c levels’ improvement, discussed adherence and hypoglycemia, and also gave individual attention to participants without improvement. Their conclusions suggest greater effectiveness of the CGM method related to other glucose control methods for the chosen population.  

Popular Mistakes when Writing an Article Review

Now that you’re much more informed on how to write a review of an article, let’s discuss the most common problems students encounter when completing this type of assignment. Article reviews are tricky for many, so it’s vital to keep to the established standard and avoid these blunders. In this way, your article review will be fairly evaluated and will achieve its purpose. 

  • Late identification of the article. Since an article review is essentially meant for evaluating another person’s work, it is vital to identify that work at the very beginning. Otherwise, your readers can be confused about the subject and source you’re analyzing.  
  • Lack of attention to theory. Underlying theoretical frameworks and concepts are a vital basis for analysis, and without their adequate presentation, you risk presenting a superficial and subjective review. By tying theories and practice, you can show an in-depth understanding of the subject and assumed links between concepts. 
  • Superficial coverage. It’s recommended to focus on 2-3 key points from the source article and analyze them closely instead of covering everything. If you have a focus, it shows that you have studied the subject in-depth and have a solid, evidence-based position on it. 
  • Lack of reasoning. Whether you criticize or praise the article you’re reviewing, you have to present clear reasons and arguments in support of, or against, the author’s points. If you don’t provide reasonable evidence, you may sound too opinionated and non-academic. 
  • Absence of a wrap-up. There should always be a final evaluation of the article’s importance, the significance of the author’s findings, and the outcomes’ implications for the general field of study. Those implications should not come out of the blue; they need to be derived logically from your previous discussion. 
  • Summarizing. As we previously noted, a review is not a summary. You can’t achieve an article review aim if you only summarize the key points of the original source; you need to provide more in-depth analysis and sound arguments to show that you have approached the source article critically.