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How to Write Article Reviews in College

How to write article reviews worth a college or university level? What does it actually mean to compose a review and what elements should be included in it?

An article or journal review is one of those multiple writing assignments, which you’re going to do as a student of a college or university. And writing them well is important, even if you’re not a professional author. Of course, if you want to get higher grades. So, let’s learn how to do it correctly. How to compose an article review worth the highest grades in the classroom?

Writing Your First Journal Review at College

To write an article or journal review means to approach it critically. It is not about giving a critical opinion but rather summarizing and evaluating it as objectively as possible. To write a review you have to:

  • Read;
  • Analyze;
  • Summarize;
  • And evaluate the article.

How to do it in a proper way? First of all, look for the content. The content has to be accurate Evaluate the facts and ideas mentioned in it. Are they right or not? What is incorrect and why? This is very important as many articles contain uncertain or even wrong facts, which have to be checked or revised. So, if you see any fact mentioned in the article, check it. This is the first and the easiest approach to base your review on.

Another thing, which should be paid attention to is whether the article is clear enough. Any kind of information should be expressed clearly and logically. Paragraphs should be written in a way, which is easy to understand for any reader, even for those who are not an expert in the field that the article is about. The information has to be written logically and the flow should be comprehensive. The same way is with a style. Is the style of writing is chosen correctly? Are there any words that are used inappropriately? Does the author mix different styles or not? Which words or phrases can be replaced and why? Does the language correspond to the targeted audience of the article? Why? What exactly can support your opinion? How long are the sentences in the article? Should they be shorter or longer? Does the article contain any new or breakthrough information? All of these are extremely important when writing a review. Look at the article from different angles, trying to evaluate everything in it.

Write down all errors and weak sides, which you’ve found in the article. Use some of them in your critique review to illustrate and support your ideas and opinions. Show what would you change in that article. If there are more than a few errors, create a list, starting from the biggest ones slowly moving to minor mistakes. Don’t name the errors in a chaotic way. Instead, organize them in a logical order, prioritize what is more important and what is less important in your opinion.

Don’t base your article reviews on author’s mistakes and weak sides of the writing only. Mention the advantageous moments and proper elements as well. Reviews are not about listing the weakest elements of the writing, but about objective evaluating opinion. So, mentioning the strong sides of the article is essential. Without this, your review will be incomplete. Summarize what is good in the article and why it suits this particular style or genre.

When writing a review, don’t go too deep and don’t get too detailed explaining what the article is about in the first paragraph. Mentioning the title and the author is enough. Write down just a couple of sentences in this part of the review. Just introduce the article to a reader. Name the title, the author, when it was written and so on. One paragraph is enough. Leave more detailed info for the readers to check for themselves. As your main goal is not to describe but to review and evaluate that writing. The following paragraphs will support what you’ve read the article and what you’ve mentioned in the introductory part. Tie the paragraphs of your review with your own objective evaluating opinions. And don’t forget to include some real citations from the actual writing.

So, when writing a journal review, pay attention to the following key factors: content, style, facts, the flow of the language, and the clarity of the writing. Hopefully, these small recommendations will help you to compose a qualitative review too. Don’t be afraid to express what you think is important or not important at all in the article, which you’re going to review. These tips can be applied to the articles of any genre and style, no matter whether it is something academic or business-related only.

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