Writing Article Review -Meaning, Uses, types, structure and 6 Steps to writing an article review

What is an Article Review?

An article review is a piece of writing which summarizes one’s general understanding of a desired topic or subject matter. In other words, it is an article written for the sole aim of summarizing, examining and evaluating previously published studies regarding a particular subject matter.

It is written for an audience knowledgeable in the general subject matter of the reviewed article, that way, it will be easier for the audience to either agree or disagree with the writer’s views on the proposed topic.

An Article review is an academic article which summarizes the current state of understanding regarding a particular topic. It can also be regarded as a piece of writing which contains the different theories, research methods and conclusions from specific scholars regarding a particular topic.

Hence, an Article review can be regarded as a secondary source of information because it does not contain new analysis or theories concerning the subject matter of the research, it only includes past research which has been conducted on behalf of the subject matter.


What is the purpose of an article review?

The general purpose of article reviews includes the following:

  • It serves as a medium for one to express his/her views regarding the written work of another scholar or writer.
  • It gives prospective readers an insight into the reviewed work, hence, making them decide whether or not to read the work.
  • It serves as a forum for scholars to exchange ideas or views regarding the reviewed work.

What is the use of an Article Review?

In academic writing, an Article review is used for the following:

  • It is used by both lecturers and students as a tool for the proper analysis and evaluation of a particular topic.
  • Since it contains different theories and views of the subject matter, it gives scholars a much better understanding of the subject matter.
  • It is used to criticize and create new ideas as well as conclusions on a particular topic.
  • It is used to single out the loopholes in a particular theory or ideology.
  • It is used to identify the core theories and ideologies regarding a particular subject matter.
  • It is used to identify the current state of understanding regarding a particular subject matter.

What are the types of Article Reviews?

An article review can be grouped into three main categories namely:

  • Research Article Review.
  • Journal Article Review.
  • Science Article Review.


What is the structure of an Article review?

Just like other forms of academic writing, the main structure of an Article review includes:

  • Introduction.
  • Body.
  • Conclusion.

Writing the Introductory part of an Article Review:

The introductory part of an Article review can be written in the following steps:

  1. Write the Topic of the Article Review:

It is important to notify the readers or lecturers about the topic of the article review right at the beginning. If you were not given a specific topic for your Article review, you can start out by selecting the right topic for the article review. While selecting a topic, note the following points:

  • The topic should be related to a popular subject matter in your discipline.
  • The topic should be of interest to both you and your reader/lecturer. This way, it will be easy to source for past scholarly works relating to the topic and read them with an open mind. Similarly, it ought to be of interest to your reader/lecturer so that he/she will be able to go through the review with an adequate amount of gusto.
  1. Cite past scholarly work.
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This is a very important aspect of the article review, in fact, the reliance, summarizing and criticism of past scholarly work relating to the subject matter is what makes the academic piece a review. Note that citations differ depending on your discipline.

For instance, students in Psychology and other social science-related disciplines will use the APA referencing style. Whereas, the students in Film and Theatre studies and other Arts related topics will make use of the MLA formatting style. Remember to use the updated versions of these referencing styles to cite the article review.

A clear illustration of the first two stages of the introductory part of an Article review includes:


Articles Reviewed:

Abdulrahman.,A(2021). Intellectual Property, SMEs and Economic Recovery in Nigeria.

If you are asked to review different topics relating to a singular subject matter and you are asked to review more than five articles. Structure your introduction in the following way:

  • Places the articles under different subheadings.
  • Arrange the articles in Alphabetical order or according the the order required of the referencing style in your designated discipline.


Articles Reviewed:

Abdulrahman.,A(2021). Intellectual Property, SMEs and Economic Recovery in Nigeria.

Abioye.,O.,Oguniyi.,A.,Olagunju.,K(2020). Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Small and Medium Scale Enterprise: Evidence from Nigeria.

Eze.,F.,Ikenna.,Ruhode.,E.,Iwu.,G.,Chux(2018). A Critical look at the necessity of small businesses in Nigeria. A theoretical review.




Articles Reviewed:




Writing the body of an Article Review:

The body of an Article review can be written in the following steps:

  1. Identify the Scholarly Work:

The article review must always commence with the proper referencing of the name of the scholarly work, the author and the date that the work was published.

For example:

The article ‘ Intellectual Property, SMEs and Economic Recovery in Nigeria’ by Abdulrahman.,A(2021)

After commencing in this manner, the writer can move on to the next step of the article review.

  1. State the main thesis of the reviewed scholarly work and the reason why such work was written:

After identifying the scholarly work, the next step will be to establish the main thesis of the author as well as the reason why such an article was written. Words like ‘aims’, ‘relies on’, ‘establishes’ and so on, can be used as a conjunction between the last step and this current one.

For example:

The article ‘ Intellectual Property, SMEs and Economic Recovery in Nigeria’ by Abdulrahman.,A(2021) relies on the stagnation of the Nigerian economy and provides valid solutions which can amount to its growth.

  1. Summarize the article:

Most scholarly articles tend to be vast in size and oftentimes, an article review can only contain a specific amount of words. Hence, it will be quite impossible for one to summarize the whole article in most cases. In order to go around the issue, the writer can identify the vital areas in the article.

For example, if the article centres on the problems and solutions revolving around the subject matter, the writer can provide a brief summary of both the problems and solutions and sieve out the unnecessary parts in the article. In order for the writer to be able to do this efficiently, he/she must:

  • Pick out a familiar topic.
  • Understand the topic.
  • Read, understand and evaluate the articles relating to the topic thoroughly.
  1. Criticize the reviewed Article:
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This is one of the most important aspects in the body of the article review. In order to adequately get the job done in this section, the writer must:

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the article.
  • Ascertain whether or not the message which was passed by the author was as clear and concise as possible.
  • Evaluate the main points and arguments in the article.
  • Ascertain whether or not these arguments are relevant to the subject matter and its designated discipline.
  • Identify any area of contradiction or bias in the research.
  • Decide whether or not to agree with the author’s ideology relating to the topic.

In order to make these points more realistic, the writer can rely on the arguments or main points in the article or in other related articles. However, remember that all the articles which were relied on during the course of the criticism ought to be properly referenced, in order to avoid plagiarism.

Writing the Concluding part of the Article Review:

In order to properly conclude an article review, the writer must:

  • Summarize the main points of the article.
  • Summarize his/her final views of the reviewed article.
  • Briefly state the level of accuracy which ought to be affiliated with the research.
  • State the significance of further research relating to the article, if necessary.


Step-by-step guidelines for writing an Article Review

In order to compose a well-structured article review, the following measures must be taken accordingly, they include:

Commence with an Article Review Outline

In a nutshell, an outline can be defined as a summarized structure of what an academic piece of writing ought to look like. In other words, it is a brief piece of writing composed for the sole aim of directing the writer on what to write in his/her proposed article and how to go about it.

An outline is composed by the writer of the article review. In order to produce an outline, the writer must, first of all, have a general insight about the article that he/she ought to review.

That way, it will be easier to create, recreate and arrange subheadings for the article review in the outline. Hence, a writer is advised to conduct proper research or have proper knowledge of the article he/she ought to write a review about before commencing the writing process.

It should be noted that the use of outlines in academic writing is not restricted to the composition of article reviews only, in fact, students or scholars are advised to draft an outline before writing any academic piece.

Write the header with a citation

A header is a continuous line of text which is inputted at the top of a page. It ought to include the writer’s identification as well as the title of the work and its page number. An ideal article review ought to include a header that will contain the necessary information as regards the writer’s identity as well as a citation of the work or piece which is under review. The referencing style which will be used for the citation of the piece under review entirely depends on the discipline to which the piece belongs.

For example, if the writer ought to review an academic piece revolving around the social sciences discipline, the whole paper and the citation of the book under review ought to be composed in APA style. Hence, the necessary credentials needed for APA style includes the author’s last name, the title of the article, the name of the journal in which the article belongs, volume and issue numbers as well as the page numbers of the article.

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Kick-off with a summary of the article

The summary of the article under review ought to be inculcated in the introductory part of the review. The introductory part of the review will also provide a brief overview in regard to the topics that will be discussed in detail in the body of the review.

Such topics could include the intention of the author while composing the piece, the strengths and weaknesses of the written piece, whether or not the subject matter of the article was aptly understood and agreed upon, how the article related to other works published under the same veil and so on.

It should be noted that an ideal article ought to contain five chapters, one for the introduction, three for the body of the review and one for the conclusion. Additional paragraphs can be included as a means of proper evaluation of the work, however, depending on its nature and scope.

Writing the body of the Review

As fore mentioned in the text, the body of the review ought to critically examine the opinions of the writer regarding the article under review. In other words, the main duty of the writer in this section is to criticize the article under review. The term ‘criticize under this veil is to expose the strengths, weaknesses, achievements and limitations of the article.

Similarly, the writer of the article review ought to provide a standardized percentage of the knowledge that the initial author of the work has contributed to a particular field.

After critically analyzing the work, the writer decides whether or not to support the points or views provided by the author in the original article and states the reasons behind the decision taken.

Draft a Conclusion

Before the commencement of this section, the writer is advised to go back to the article review he/she has composed and bring out its key points. The key points in this context refer to the findings and criticisms stated in the body of the work.

If the writer does this, it will be easier to provide a concise summary of the body of the review as well as the relevance of these findings in the conclusion. The writer is not permitted to introduce any new points in this section, instead, he/she should figure out the best way to wrap up the review with its past provisions.

Proofread the written work

To proofread simply means to cross-check the work in the bid to eliminate errors that were not previously identified. The errors in this context could refer to sentences, punctuation and spelling mistakes.

Although this last step is often neglected by both students and scholars alike, it plays an important role in any form of academic writing. Hence, the writer is advised to reread the works and eliminate ideas as well as unnecessary or overused words in the article. If the article emerges spotless, it is ready for submission.


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