How to Write an Article Review: Template & Examples

An article review is an academic assignment that invites you to study a piece of academic research closely. Then, you should present its summary and critically evaluate it using the knowledge you’ve gained in class and during your independent study. If you get such a task at college or university, you shouldn’t confuse it with a response paper, which is a distinct assignment with other purposes (we’ll talk about it in detail below).

In this article, prepared by Custom-Writing experts, you’ll find:

  • the intricacies of article review writing;
  • the difference between an article review and similar assignments;
  • a step-by-step algorithm for review composition;
  • a couple of samples to guide you throughout the writing process.

So, if you wish to study our article review example and discover helpful writing tips, keep reading.

❓ What Is an Article Review?

An article review is an academic paper that summarizes and critically evaluates the information presented in your selected article.

This image shows what an article review is.

The first thing you should note when approaching the task of an article review is that not every article is suitable for this assignment. Let’s have a look at the variety of articles to understand what you can choose from.

Popular Vs. Scholarly Articles

In most cases, you’ll be required to review a scholarly, peer-reviewed article – one composed in compliance with rigorous academic standards. Yet, the Web is also full of popular articles that don’t present original scientific value and shouldn’t be selected for a review.

Not sure how to distinguish these two types? Here is a comparative table to help you out.

🗞️ Popular articles are:🎓 Scholarly articles are:
Written by a professional or non-professional author. Written by someone with academic credentials.
Meant for the general audience.Published for the peer academic community.
Featuring reader-friendly, simple language. Containing professional jargon and vocabulary.
Illustrated by simple and engaging visuals. Illustrated by tables and graphs.
Structured in a simple way.Structured according to a scholarly publication’s standards.
Checked by the magazine’s editorial staff only. Thoroughly reviewed by peer researchers.
Featuring no or scarce references.Featuring a full list of references.

Article Review vs. Response Paper

Now, let’s consider the difference between an article review and a response paper:

  • If you’re assigned to critique a scholarly article, you will need to compose an article review.
  • If your subject of analysis is a popular article, you can respond to it with a well-crafted response paper.

The reason for such distinctions is the quality and structure of these two article types. Peer-reviewed, scholarly articles have clear-cut quality criteria, allowing you to conduct and present a structured assessment of the assigned material. Popular magazines have loose or non-existent quality criteria and don’t offer an opportunity for structured evaluation. So, they are only fit for a subjective response, in which you can summarize your reactions and emotions related to the reading material.

All in all, you can structure your response assignments as outlined in the tips below.

✔️ Both a reaction paper and an article review will start with a content summary.
✔️ For scholarly material, you will present a structured review after the summary.
✔️ For popular magazine content, you will write a response that sums up your emotions, thoughts, and reactions that the material aroused.

✍️ How to Write an Article Review: Step by Step

Here is a tried and tested algorithm for article review writing from our experts. We’ll consider only the critical review variety of this academic assignment. So, let’s get down to the stages you need to cover to get a stellar review.

Read the Article

As with any reviews, reports, and critiques, you must first familiarize yourself with the assigned material. It’s impossible to review something you haven’t read, so set some time for close, careful reading of the article to identify:

  • Its topic.
  • Its type.
  • The author’s main points and message.
  • The arguments they use to prove their points.
  • The methodology they use to approach the subject.

In terms of research type, your article will usually belong to one of three types explained below.

Original research This type of research is the most common and highly valued in the scholarly community. It uses primary data collected by the author specifically for this article and offers original findings and insights into the discussed research area.
Case study This research type examines a particular event, phenomenon, or object closely by considering its environment, details, and context. It’s a close-up of the research object that can be achieved via different observation and data collection techniques.
Methodology These articles address new research procedures or methods for testing hypotheses in a specific area of research.

Summarize the Article

Now that you’ve read the text and have a general impression of the content, it’s time to summarize it for your readers. Look into the article’s text closely to determine:

  • The thesis statement, or general message of the author.
  • Research question, purpose, and context of research.
  • Supporting points for the author’s assumptions and claims.
  • Major findings and supporting evidence.

As you study the article thoroughly, make notes on the margins or write these elements out on a sheet of paper. You can also apply a different technique: read the text section by section and formulate its gist in one phrase or sentence. Once you’re done, you’ll have a summary skeleton in front of you.

Evaluate the Article

The next step of review is content evaluation. Keep in mind that various research types will require a different set of review questions. Here is a complete list of evaluation points you can include.

Purpose evaluation
  • Is the article’s purpose clear from the introductory section?
  • Does the abstract cover the article’s purpose comprehensively?
  • Does the purpose match the academic discipline’s gaps and needs?
  • Is the purpose thoroughly articulated in all parts of the article?
  • Are the findings consistent with the initially set purpose?
Presentation and data layout review
  • Does the article’s title correspond to its content?
  • Is there room for content improvement?
  • Are the author’s claims and arguments logical and consistent?
  • Are the assumptions underlying the author’s arguments credible and clear?
  • Is the author objective or biased in data presentation?
  • Is data presentation consistent with the article’s goals?
Assessment of the methodology
  • Does the chosen method match the set goals?
  • Is the method’s description detailed and precise?
  • Can the method and procedures be replicated?
Data evaluation
  • Is the collected data consistent with the study’s purpose?
  • Are statistical calculations used correctly and appropriately?
  • Does data interpretation look competent?
  • Is there substantial support from external sources for data interpretations and the author’s conclusions?

Write the Text

After completing the critical review stage, it’s time to compose your article review.

The format of this assignment is standard – you will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should present your article and summarize its content. The body will contain a structured review according to all four dimensions covered in the previous section. The concluding part will typically recap all the main points you’ve identified during your assessment.

It is essential to note that an article review is, first of all, an academic assignment. Therefore, it should follow all rules and conventions of academic composition, such as:

  • No contractions. Don’t use short forms, such as “don’t,” “can’t,” “I’ll,” etc. in academic writing. You need to spell out all those words.
  • Formal language and style. Avoid conversational phrasing and words that you would naturally use in blog posts or informal communication. For example, don’t use words like “pretty,” “kind of,” and “like.”
  • Third-person narrative. Academic reviews should be written from the third-person point of view, avoiding statements like “I think,” “in my opinion,” and so on.
  • No conversational forms. You shouldn’t turn to your readers directly in the text by addressing them with the pronoun “you.” It’s vital to keep the narrative neutral and impersonal.
  • Proper abbreviation use. Consult the list of correct abbreviations, like “e.g.” or “i.e.,” for use in your academic writing. If you use informal abbreviations like “FYA” or “f.i.,” your professor will reduce the grade.
  • Complete sentences. Make sure your sentences contain the subject and the predicate; avoid shortened or sketch-form phrases suitable for a draft only.
  • No conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence. Remember the FANBOYS rule – don’t start a sentence with words like “and” or “but.” They often seem the right way to build a coherent narrative, but academic writing rules disfavor such usage.
  • No abbreviations or figures at the beginning of a sentence. Never start a sentence with a number — spell it out if you need to use it anyway. Besides, sentences should never begin with abbreviations like “e.g.”

Finally, a vital rule for an article review is properly formatting the citations. We’ll discuss the correct use of citation styles in the following section.

📑 Article Review Format

When composing an article review, keep these points in mind:

  • Start with a full reference to the reviewed article so the reader can locate it quickly.
  • Ensure correct formatting of in-text references.
  • Provide a complete list of used external sources on the last page of the review – your bibliographical entries.

You’ll need to understand the rules of your chosen citation style to meet all these requirements. Below, we’ll discuss the two most common referencing styles – APA and MLA.

Article Review in APA

When you need to compose an article review in the APA format, here is the general bibliographical entry format you should use for journal articles on your reference page:

  • Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year of Publication). Name of the article. Name of the Journal, volume(number), pp. #-#. https://doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyy

Example:

Horigian, V. E., Schmidt, R. D., & Feaster, D. J. (2021). Loneliness, mental health, and substance use among US young adults during COVID-19. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 53(1), pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2020.1836435

Your in-text citations should follow the author-date format like this:

  • If you paraphrase the source and mention the author in the text: According to Horigian et al. (2021), young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic.
  • If you paraphrase the source and don’t mention the author in the text: Young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic (Horigian et al., 2021).
  • If you quote the source: As Horigian et al. (2021) point out, there were “elevated levels of loneliness, depression, anxiety, alcohol use, and drug use among young adults during COVID-19” (p. 6).

Note that your in-text citations should include “et al.,” as in the examples above, if your article has 3 or more authors. If you have one or two authors, your in-text citations would look like this:

  • One author: “According to Smith (2020), depression is…” or “Depression is … (Smith, 2020).”
  • Two authors: “According to Smith and Brown (2020), anxiety means…” or “Anxiety means (Smith & Brown, 2020).”

Finally, in case you have to review a book or a website article, here are the general formats for citing these source types on your APA reference list.

Book in APA Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Book title: Subtitle. Publisher.
Website article in APA Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year). Website page title. Name of Website. URL.

Article Review in MLA

If your assignment requires MLA-format referencing, here’s the general format you should use for citing journal articles on your Works Cited page:

  • Author’s last name, First name. “Title of an Article.” Title of the Journal, vol. #, no. #, year, pp. #-#.

Example:

Horigian, Viviana E., et al. “Loneliness, Mental Health, and Substance Use Among US Young Adults During COVID-19.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, vol. 53, no. 1, 2021, pp. 1-9.

In-text citations in the MLA format follow the author-page citation format and look like this:

  • According to Horigian et al., young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic (6).
  • Young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic (Horigian et al. 6).

Like in APA, the abbreviation “et al.” is only needed in MLA if your article has 3 or more authors.

If you need to cite a book or a website page, here are the general MLA formats for these types of sources.

Book in MLA Author’s last name, First name. Book Title. Publisher, Year.
Website article in MLA Author’s last name, First name. “Webpage Title.” Website Name, Date, URL. Accessed Day Month Year.

✅ Article Review Template

Here is a handy, universal article review template to help you move on with any review assignment. We’ve tried to make it as generic as possible to guide you in the academic process.

📌 A full citation Frequently, assignment instructions will ask you to include a full citation of your chosen text at the top of the first page of your article review.
✏️ Introduction In the introduction, you should summarize the background information and purpose of the research under review. In addition, consider explaining why you chose it for your assignment.
📖 Summary Next, summarize the article. If you review the original research, consider including the following points:
  • Methodology (participants, setting, methods)
  • Results (What did the authors find?)
  • Implications (What did the authors conclude from their findings?)

If you review a persuasive writing piece or a book, include the following in your summary:
  • The author’s main points.
  • The author’s supporting evidence.
  • The text’s structure and emphasized aspects.
This section should be no more than a third of your total article review.
🤔 Evaluation Then, you should critically evaluate the article. Consider answering these questions:
  • Do data and conclusions contradict each other?
  • Does the author provide sufficient data to support conclusions?
  • What questions remain unanswered?
  • What other works compare with this article?
  • How could the article be improved?
🏁 Conclusion In the conclusion, share your reasoned opinion on the reviewed piece. Was it worth reading? Did you learn any lessons from it? Would you recommend it to someone else, and why?
🔗 Reference list In the end, add a separate page with bibliographic citations of your reviewed article and any other sources used in your paper.

📝 Article Review Examples

The theory is good, but practice is even better. Thus, we’ve created three brief examples to show you how to write an article review. You can study the full-text samples by following the links.

📃 Men, Women, & Money

This article review examines a famous piece, “Men, Women & Money – How the Sexes Differ with Their Finances,” published by Amy Livingston in 2020. The author of this article claims that men generally spend more money than women. She makes this conclusion from a close analysis of gender-specific expenditures across five main categories: food, clothing, cars, entertainment, and general spending patterns. Livingston also looks at men’s approach to saving to argue that counter to the common perception of women’s light-hearted attitude to money, men are those who spend more on average.

📃 When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism

This is a review of Jonathan Heidt’s 2016 article titled “When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism,” written as an advocacy of right-wing populism rising in many Western states. The author illustrates the case with the election of Donald Trump as the US President and the rise of right-wing rhetoric in many Western countries. These examples show how nationalist sentiment represents a reaction to global immigration and a failure of globalization.

📃 Sleep Deprivation

This is a review of the American Heart Association’s article titled “The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation.” It discusses how the national organization concerned with the American population’s cardiovascular health links the lack of high-quality sleep to far-reaching health consequences. The organization’s experts reveal how a consistent lack of sleep leads to Alzheimer’s disease development, obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.

✏️ Article Review FAQ

❓ What is a good article review?

A high-quality article review should summarize the assigned article’s content and offer data-backed reactions and evaluations of its quality in terms of the article’s purpose, methodology, and data used to argue the main points. It should be detailed, comprehensive, objective, and evidence-based.

❓ What is the purpose of an article review?

The purpose of writing a review is to allow students to reflect on research quality and showcase their critical thinking and evaluation skills. Students should exhibit their mastery of close reading of research publications and their unbiased assessment.

❓ How to write an article review in APA format?

The content of your article review will be the same in any format, with the only difference in the assignment’s formatting before submission. Ensure you have a separate title page made according to APA standards and cite sources using the parenthetical author-date referencing format.

❓ How to write a critical review of a journal article?

You need to take a closer look at various dimensions of an assigned article to compose a valuable review. Study the author’s object of analysis, the purpose of their research, the chosen method, data, and findings. Evaluate all these dimensions critically to see whether the author has achieved the initial goals. Finally, offer improvement recommendations to add a critique aspect to your paper.

🔗 References

This article was developed by the editorial team of Custom-Writing.org, a professional writing service with 3-hour delivery.
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