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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Writing an Article Review

Writing an Article Review

A good article review requires careful reading, critical thinking, and clear, well-organized writing.


  • Read the article several times: once quickly to get the big picture and once or more slowly to understand the details.
  • Determine the author's main idea/thesis/argument and supporting points. (Check the intro, conclusion, section headings, summaries to each section, etc.)
  • Map the main points. (Headings may be helpful.)


  • Reflect on the author's main points by freewriting about them for yourself. This helps you uncover your ideas and find language to express them.
  • After reading each section (on one of the author's points), write answers to questions such as these:
    What is the author saying in this section?
    Why is he/she saying this?
    How does this point fit with his/her other ideas?
    How does this point fit with ideas from your course?
    How does this point fit with your own experience and opinion?
    So what? What are the implications of this idea?


  • Plan your paper. A review usually contains a summary of the author's main ideas (refer to your map) and your evaluation or assessment of these ideas (refer to your freewriting). Determine your overall opinion/assessment of the author's ideas: positive, negative or mixed. Then find reasons backed by evidence (examples) to support your opinion. Arrange your ideas hierarchically.
  • Write your paper quickly, following your plan. Don't edit as you write. Focus on communicating your ideas.
  • Fix up your paper by working on one concern at a time.
    1) Content: Make your points clear and developed
    2) Organization: Present ideas in chunks introduced by summaries.
    3) Language: Edit for conciseness. Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation.
Student Learning Services, Concordia University

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