Writing an Article Review

Article Rewriting
Writing an Article Review

Writing an article review-

An article review is a systematic inquiry of personalized writing. It contains a summary of scholarly researched topics and encompasses a logical evaluation of the principal theme of the article, with supporting arguments, implications for further research. AR is a secondary source, and not belongs to the reviewer’s own original article but addresses a knowledgeable audience.  Any review is done on a published article. Therefore, it can be used to identify gaps in the field.

What do you mean by Primary resources and Secondary resources in an article review?

When people have to research, they have to gather information and pieces of evidence from a variety of sources. That information is gathered from primary or secondary sources.

  1. Primary sources– These sources serve raw information and first-hand testimony, created by individuals during the period of time or several years later. These original records can be found in several media such as print, artwork, and audio and visual recordings. Examples include- a manuscript, newspaper, speeches, interview, transcripts, statistical data, cartoons, photographs, videos, and antiques. Thus, primary sources can be described as those sources that are closest to the origin of the information. They are raw sources and can be transcribed by researchers.

  2. Secondary sources in an article reviewThese are closely related to primary sources and often interpret them. These sources are documents that are related to the data that are originated elsewhere in other words. Secondary sources provide second-hand information and comments from other researchers. Secondary sources are often used for generalizing, analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing primary sources. Examples include- textbooks, articles, reviews, and reference books. As a result, Primary sources are more reliable as evidence but good research opt for both Primary and Secondary sources

     Why do you need an article review?

When we learn something new we think it is in our memory card, i.e. brain. But over a period of time we realize that as it was not used regularly, we forgot the learning. As a result,  eventually, we forget the information. We review the things so that it should have some novelty and it should be always memorable. In the same way, reviewing is essential. The purpose of AR is to shed light on the topic which was already published. It analysis the weakness, strength, relevance, and credibility.

   I) Purpose of improving in literature-

  • To resolve the definitional ambiguities and outline the scope of the topic.

  • Provide an integrated, synthesized overview of the current state of knowledge.

  • Evaluate methodologies, theories, approaches, and unique insights.

  • Guiding research insights, identifying gaps, and directing for future research.

  • Identifying the falsified work from being accepted within the field.

  • To understand the main people working on the specific field

     II) Purpose of self-improvement

  • Reading the review by other people will definitely motivate the writer to assess his/her work. It gives clarity to the reviewer, whether his work is liked and valued by others.

  • It will help to improve writing skills, too. Timely reviewing will help the topic to be in the market and retain its value. It encourages conscientious writing.

  • Being a social animal, we all like fame. Reviews on controversial current topics will lead you to great exposure and a lot of fame. This will help you to connect with other people.

  • It aids to explore and surf the possibilities that fellow researchers can research in the future.

   Benefits of writing an article review-

  1. Develops as a better writer- Reviewing helps us to develop writing skills. Thinking from others’ points of view will enforce you to present the written article in a more articulated way.

  2. Develops critical thinking– Reviewing enables us to rule out the strengths and weaknesses of the article and guides to writing the article in novelty.

  3. Gateway of opportunities- Being a reviewer is a sign of an emerging national reputation. Editors notice when you have done a thoughtful job. Which can be a gateway to unlimited opportunities. Writing good reviews can also help to advance your career. Because reviews tend to be highly cited, they help with recognition and promotion.

  4. Reviews a platform for emerging ideas– Reviewing provides advanced access to emerging ideas and trends within your area of expertise. Even rejected articles can provide important insights that can reform your own thinking on a topic.

Types of Reviewing –

1. A traditional, or narrative literature review –

A narrative or traditional review is a comprehensive, critical, and objective analysis of the current knowledge on a topic.

They are an essential part of the research process and help to establish a theoretical framework for your research.

A literature review will help you to identify patterns and trends in the literature so that you can identify gaps or inconsistencies in a body of knowledge.

This should lead to a sufficiently focused research question that justifies your research.

There is no new analysis in these reviews and banking on the topic, maybe quite extensive, with an extending list of references

2.Systematic reviews

  • Systematic reviews are more comprehensive and stern and review a well – defined research question instead of a field or topic as in narrative reviews. Follow a standardized and corroborative methodology for searching all earlier publications that have raised a similar question, and for critically assessing and analyzing the results from the former publication in a review format. Systematic reviews can be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative systematic review derives data from descriptive results, whereas quantitative systematic reviews handle numeric data.

  • A meta-analysis is termed as a statistical approach for combining numerical data from multiple separate studies. A meta-analysis should only ever be conducted within the context of a scientific review.

Although, there is no consonance among authors about a narrative literature review and a systematic review. The variation lies in the process of collecting and selecting of data for review. Systematic review as the name itself clarifies that it is a more structured and valid review. Let us dive into the basics of the Literature Review and Systematic Review.

 Literature  Review–  It is related to the data collection, investigation, and scrutinizing data from the existing literature with a peculiar search question in mind.

  A literature review  consists

  • The particular term, concept, theory, phenomenon
  • Compiles published literature on a subject
  • Summarizes analytical points of current knowledge about the complications
  • Recommends or advocates the next stages in addressing it.

     A Systematic Review Consists of the following characteristics

  1. Defining the objective

  2. Developing a research protocol

  3. Conduct a literature search strategy to collect information

  4. Select studies per protocol

  5. Appraise studies per protocol

  6. Retrieving data

  7. Analyze results

  8. Interpret results

Both Systematic and Literature review both are quite confusing. However, both are used to provide a summary of a published article. Both types of reviews have significant variations.  The table given below provides a comprehensive explanation as well as the differences between systematic and literature reviews.



Systematic  Review

Literature Review


High level of overview of primary research on a focused question that identifies, selects, synthesizes, and appraises all high-quality research evidence relevant to that question.

Summarizes evidence on a subject using informal or subjective methods to gather and interpret studies.


Focused on a single query

(often PICO based)

Can be general or specific


A peer review plan is included.

No protocol was included.


Summarises the available literature

Summarises the available literature.


Answer a focused clinical question. Eliminates bias.

Provide a summary or overview of the topic.

Search Strategy and

Steps of selecting articles

Pre-specified eligibility criteria, systematic search strategy, Assessment of the validity of findings, interpretation, and presentation of results, Reference list

Introduction, Methods, Discussions, Conclusions, Reference List

Process of Evaluation

A comprehensive evaluation of study quality

Evaluation of study quality may or may not be included

Number of Authors

Three or more

One or more

Results and Data Synthesis

Clear overview of studies based on high- quality evidence

The synopsis is based on studies where the quality of the articles may or may not be specified. Can also be influenced by the reviewer’s theories and beliefs


Thorough knowledge of the topic. Perform searches of all relevant databases for Meta-analysis.

Understanding of topic. Perform searches of one or more databases.


Written by an expert or group of experts with a detailed and well-grounded knowledge of the issues

Written by an expert or group of experts with a detailed and well-grounded knowledge of the issues


Connects practicing clinicians to high-quality shreds of evidence. Support evidence-based practice

Provide a summary of the literature on

the topic.

Citation in writing an article review –

Once the research work is completed and to build faith among readers, one should acknowledge or give due respect to other researchers for their ideas. Plagiarism can be avoided by quoting the words and ideas of the other author. Mostly citation is done in two ways.

  1. APA- American Psychological Association is used by education, Psychology, and Science and education fields. An APA text citation includes the author’s last name and the year of publication. If you are quoting or paraphrasing a specific passage, you also add a page number.

  2. MLA- MLA handbook published by the Modern Language Association is mainly used in Humanities and the citation includes the author’s last name and a page number.

  3. In both APA and MLA style, you point whole details of all cited sites.

  4. In APA, the citation is termed as a reference list, on the other hand, In MLA, it is called the works cited.

  5. Both styles have different rules about when to shorten citations with “et al”.

Pre-Writing Process of writing an article review (Pre-Writing Process)

Writing a review article consists of the following steps


  •  Title –We all know most of us to read or select a book by reading its title. In the same way, while choosing a title for an article, one should understand the kind of audience they are going to address. The audience is not general, they have a piece of good knowledge of the subject.   An eye-catching title creates all the difference in your article. It is a marketing tool. Therefore the selection of words should be to gather and entice the people to read the post. It is well said that the first impression is the most lasting. Therefore you should spare a good time to craft an engaging title. The quote below will help you to understand the vital role of a title in today’s scenario.

        “Old books that we have known but not possessed cross our path and invite themselves over.  New books try to seduce us daily with tempting titles and tantalizing covers. ”
― Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night

  • Abstract -The abstract is a summary of your research work. Most of the time, after reading an abstract any reviewer decides to review the article. The abstract is a summary of detailed research work but it is a dynamic tool. It allows search engines to index the article.  An abstract is usually of 250-300 words. Abstract writing should be in an easy language so that a person who has not read the complete article should be able to comprehend the article after reading the abstract. Mainly an abstract should cover the Aim, Research Methodologies, the results, and Conclusions. To write the review, one has to decide the type of abstract researcher has to include. Mainly there are three types of abstracts but we will discuss the two main –

  1. Descriptive Abstract-A descriptive abstract makes no comments and judgments about the work. It includes the purpose, method, and scope of the research. It is also called as an outline of the work rather than a summary. This abstract is generally used for humanities, social science researchers, or psychology essays. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short (up to 50-100). It has a certain key part in common.

  • Background

  • Aim

  • Purpose

  • Methodology

  • Results

2.Informative Abstract-As the name itself indicates that this provides information from the body of the report. An informative abstract is short specific and portrays the essence of the researches. This abstract includes the information that is in the descriptive abstract and also it has the results, conclusions, and recommendations of the author. Generally an informative abstract contains not more than 300 words.

Keywords –Keywords help the researchers to find their topic more easily. Using effective keywords for the articles have a profound impact on search results. It helps in indexing by the search engines. Thus keywords are tools to help indexers and search engines to find relevant search papers. For example when you write ‘Writing skills ‘ for search in Google then ‘Writing skills’ will be the keywords. It is a set of words that are used to find information when researching.


A summary is a statement that gives the most important information about a topic. To write a summary you need to read the original text as many times as possible. Read the text and extract the main ideas or photographic memory. Summarizing includes-

  1. Defining ideas-Read the paragraphs and create ideas from the central idea of each paragraph. Highlight the text which seems to be unfamiliar or the crisp of the text. Write the ideas in your own words. Read the text and point the gap of information.

  2. Defining structure-Articles, Stories, or broadcasts are examples of structured writing. There is no such structured framework for writing except writings start with an introduction and end up with a conclusion. But there are many types of structures. However,  the most widely or broadly used structure is the Inverted Pyramid. 

It begins with the latest or most developments, then it includes greater details and ideas, followed by the least significant events or details.


Make a Classroom Newspaper: EnchantedLearning.com | Teaching writing, Elementary writing, Descriptive writingI

Thus, summarizing helps improve both- reading and writing skills. To summarise,  you must read the paragraphs closely and find the main and supporting ideas.

    8simple strategies of Summary Writing in an article review–

  1. Identifying ideas, from the topic as it indicates the most pieces of information.

  2. Paraphrasing the main points, ideas, and supporting facts.

  3. Highlight the text in which you feel like the central or main point and find the meaning of difficult terminologies.

  4. Try to bridge the gaps you noticed in the content.

  5. The summary may be longer depending on how many ideas and points the author has covered.

  6. You can write as many paragraphs as you need to cover all the important stuff.

  7. The summary should capture all of the articles and key points.

  8. Begin the summary from the original text and don’t forget to compare the summary with the original papers

Example of summary - Paraphrasing, quoting and summarising - LibGuides at University of Newcastle Library
Example of summary writing

3.Outline –

An outline is a map. It is an ordered list of the main points of your content. Outlining helps to define and organize your topic, subtopics.

So that you bring the readers on a logical journey from the thesis. It is a tool we use in the writing process, to organize our ideas, and visualize our article writing potential structure. In order to flesh-out and develop points. However, an outline provides the writer with a space to consider ideas easily without needing to write complete paragraphs or sentences. It is a good practice to read through the outline and remove any bits that may be extra, irrelevant, or simply unnecessary. Also improves the Pre-written article by creating an evaluation outline such as Instances of effective writing, contributions to the fields, and other areas. Also, try to point the strengths and weaknesses. If the article is lacking information or a gap in the subject. Use specific references and examples.

Outline of An article review should consist of the following components –

  • Pre Title page – Here you have to list the type of article that you are reviewing, the title of publication, all the authors who contributed to it, authors affiliations, ( position, department, institute, city, state, country, email –ID)

  • Running Head- In the APA format only, The APA running head (i.e. page header) consists of the title of your paper, a maximum of 50 characters (left-aligned), all capitals, and the page number(right-aligned). On the title page, your paper title is followed by the words “Running Head”.

  •  Summary Page – The summary should be a maximum of 800 words long. Use a straight forward language. Give-  1. relevant background  2.  Explain the reason for work done   3. Summarize the results and explain the methodology

  • Title page – Full title, abstract(250-300 words) followed by keywords (8-10)

  • Introduction

  • Body – Consists of heading and Sub-headings.

  • Works cited/References

  • Optional Suggested Reading Page

  • Tables and Figure legends

Writing an Article Review

1Allotting a title –

The title should be good and relevant to positive information. It should accurately convey the focus of your review. The title can be descriptive or informative

2Citation –

It should reflect the author’s original title of the book/article, where the article was first published, also the date and whatever form it was published in print, online, etc.

Journal Articles - APA 7th Referencing - Library Guides at Victoria University
Journal Articles-APA 7th Referencing, Library Guides at Victoria University


3Introduction –

Use the introduction to mention the main points of the article and briefly discuss the themes and arguments that the author used to make his claims. Keep the introduction (10-20%) of the review. This reinforces the introduction of the topic. Always use as a third person(he/she)

  • Do’s and Don’ts of  Article Review

  • Do use short paragraphs in an introduction, mention the author, acknowledge the author of the original piece, mention the main points of the article,  and do mention the third person.

  • Don’t write an overly longed title.


  1. Start with a summary or overview of the article including the author and the title of the article.

  2. State the article’s prime points and ideas and their assisting facts. The summary may be longer depending on how many ideas and points the author wants to cover.

  3. Your summary should be one-third of the length of your article. For a multi-paragraph synopsis, examine each supporting point in a different paragraph.

  4. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence. Each paragraph focuses on a distinct central idea and just the most prime details from the article.

  5. Avoid copy phrases and sentences and write them in your own words.

  6. To capture the main points as space allows.

  7. Use direct quotes from the author. Read the summary again and again or several times and makes sure that it depicts the accurate feelings of the author’s article.


Critique is the crux of the whole review. Use the critique to talk about the author’s opinion on the topic and how well he addressed the issues. It helps to evaluate how much contribution the article made in its chosen field. You may agree or disagree with the article but, you need to support your critique with well-researched facts and figures. Also, write your own view about the usefulness of the article and its contribution. It also indicates the audience, going to get benefits out of this information.

Do write a sufficiently long critique and evaluate the author’s contribution.

Don’t use critique to promote your agenda.

6.Closing Statement-

In a paragraph summarize the central point of the article. Your opinions on its relevance,  significance, accuracy, and clarity. In the case, of relevancy, also suggest an implication for further discussion or research field but it, should not be longer than an introduction but it should be 10% of the article. For instance – The critical review has evaluated the article

“Tea: hydration and other health benefits” by Ruxton C. The article has shown positive aspects of tea and its benefits. The arguments in the article show the presence of bias, prejudice argumentative writing without supporting detail. These points weaken the author’s credibility.

 7. Write Proof Read-

Now re-read your review and check the grammar, sentence formations, mechanics, or other mistakes. Don’t hesitate to cut off the unwanted writings. Make sure you should specify and explain 3-4 key points.


“The first draft is black and white. Editing gives it to color in an article writing”.

Conclusion of writing an article review-

An article review is written for a knowledgeable audience than the general public. Review writing sheds light on the same topic which is already existing, thus, it never aims for writing a new topic. An article review writing needs an in-depth study of the primary article. However, there is a certain pre-writing process to be followed before writing an article review. It has its own benefits. It is a way to preserve the writings for the future genre with novelty. I

8 thoughts on “Writing an Article Review”

  1. A topic extensively researched and well articulated. Kudos for such elaborate and deep study on the subject. Miles to go. Keep up the good work.


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