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JOURNAL ARTICLE REVIEW DIRECTIONS
How to Write a Review of a Scholarly Article
A Review of a journal article examines a scholarly article’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of what the article is attempting to accomplish. Your review should include description, paraphrases, and your own analysis. Any analysis included should help readers to assess the article’s value without having to necessarily read the articles themselves. To write a Review properly, you first need to read the article twice, at the very least. The assignment begins even before you write it.
Pre Reading Exercise. Things to consider:
Initial assumptions based on the title
Assumptions based on the sub-titles
Read the abstract. Initial thoughts? Look over the References. Have you read any of the sources? Should you? What do they indicate?
Search the Web for the author of the article. Is the author established in his/her field? Does the author speak with authority?
First Reading Exercise. Things to consider:
The article’s audience
The author’s purpose in writing
The author’s thesis or main argument
Second Reading Exercise. Things to consider:
What information is fact? What information is opinion?
What opinions are supported? How well are they supported?
Is there a gap in information? In logic?
Can you find instances of bias?
Is the author successfully persuasive? The Writing Process
Outline. Write out your main argument in full. Your thesis should be the argument you are making about the article, typically an answer as to whether or not the article is successful at what it sets out to accomplish and whether the article is valuable. The thesis should be a succinct summation of your opinion on the article.
Draft: The review begins with a complete citation of the article at the top of the page in whatever style stipulated by an instructor. Here is an example in APA:
Vargas, N., & Schafer, M. H. (2013). Diversity in action: Interpersonal networks and the distribution of advice. Social Science Research, 42(1), 46-58. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.08.013.
The first paragraph should contain:
A thesis statement. An opinion about the article, backed up with evidence and well-reasoned analysis.
The author of the article’s purpose in writing
Background information on the author
Brief overview of other, relevant scholarship
The body of the review should contain:
Points of argument to support your thesis
A logical development of ideas
Quotes and paraphrases from the article as pieces of evidence
The final paragraph should contain:
A restatement of your thesis
A summary of your review