How to Write an Article Review in Family and Consumer Science: Full Guide for College Students

Writing guide
Posted on September 25, 2020

Earning a degree in family and consumer science prepares you for many different careers, such as nutrition and early childhood education. Together with many different assignments, you might be assigned with an article review writing task as well. In contrast to the assignments like essays, book reviews and term papers, article reviews require you to go into more depth in the field of family and consumer science.

If writing in family and consumer science or writing in general is not your strong suit, Some little help can be very useful. That’s what our guide is about – to help you to understand how to write article reviews in this area.

Let us start with the definition of the article review. An article review is a type of academic writing where the author has to sum up and assess the article written by someone else. The main aim of this project is to make you familiar with some other works written in family and consumer science by some of the renowned professionals. In other words, you do not just retell the article, but you have to read it, understand it and evaluate it impartially, without any sort of politicization, misrepresentation and falsification. In order to sum up the article in family and consumer science, you have to comprehend the essence of it, the arguments used by the article’s author and the main points of the work. The student is expected to evaluate the main theme of the article, the author’s supporting arguments and all the perspectives for future research in this field and subject matter.

Just like a research paper or an essay, an article review in family and consumer science must be based on thorough preparation. For that reason, the whole process will include two stages – the preparation and the stage of writing.

Level 1: You Get Prepared

First of all, you have to define the article review. Keep in mind that you write this paper not for all people on earth but for those who are well familiar with the field of family and consumer science. This means that you don’t have to explain every term that you used in your work or talk primitive language to make sure people understand the essence of the original article. Your task is to sum up the essence of this written work, all the findings arguments and the way the article’s author considers the topic. What is more, you have to evaluate the new knowledge that the article’s author has contributed to this field of knowledge and its potential to the discipline.

Creating an article review in family and consumer science is not just about stating your point of view on the topic. It’s an arguments-based evaluation of the ideas that the author expressed in his or her work. As a student analyzes the article, he or she has to use his or her own research experience and points of view. The overall conclusions that you make about the article in family and consumer science are usually based on your own judgement supported by the common sense and your own experience in this area of knowledge.

To cut the long story short, the author of the article’s review should discuss only the research already done by the author of the article. You don’t have to conduct any new research in this type of work – it has already been done before.

Second of all, you have to plan your work.

It is important to have a clear picture of how you’re going to write the article review before you even start reading the article under review. This is because you have to figure out in advance what article points are the most significant and must be included in your review. In short, the outline of the article review in family and consumer science might look like this:

  • Summary of the assigned article (the main claims, points, facts, arguments).
  • Strong points of the article (the most important and strongest parts of the work).
  • Research gaps (you have to highlight all possible drawbacks, contradictions, information pieces that require answers and so on). At this point, you have to also give your own point of view on whether the facts that the author included in his or her text are enough to support the main arguments.

1. Take a quick look at the article

Check the title of the article, the abstract and all the headings. Get a quick glimpse of the work’s introduction, the starting sentences of the body part and the conclusion. Choose one or two paragraphs to read. This will be enough to get the general idea of the article and the main points the author made in it. In case you see some concepts or issues that you do not know the definition of, we recommend you to write them down and then look for the answers. For instance, you might encounter the terms like ‘self-concept’, ‘character traits’, ‘nuclear family’ or ‘career pathway’, so ensure to look for them in the dictionaries to understand the article fully.

2. Read the article as attentively as possible

We recommend you to read the article as many times as you can. Whether you read it from the printed pages or the screen, it is important to use a highlighter to highlight the most important parts. Many students start highlighting the main parts of the text and end up choosing all parts of it. That is wrong! Instead, we recommend you to put some notes on the margins in order to have a look at them later and make logical connections.

Add what you already know about the topic in family and consumer science to what you read in the article. This may be either something that your professor told during the lectures or something that you found when doing your background reading.

Answer the questions:

  • Does what you already know support the points of view that the article’s author provides in his or her work or contradicts it? What previous researches or theories does the author mention? Write down some similarities that the text shares with your knowledge on the subject matter. Mention the differences as well.
  • Is there any part of the article that leaves you uncertain? If yes, never leave it behind. It is impossible to do a good work if you haven’t ensured that you understand every word in the article under study.

Read, pay attention to details and do not get distracted in the process. If you don’t understand the message that the author of the articles tried to share, the whole project that you write later may be based on the wrong interpretation. This will break your dreams about getting high grades.

3. Retell the article just to yourself

You can try to retell the article by just pronouncing it or write it down, using your own words. Basically, you can outline it or just use the freewriting method. Include all the claims that the article’s author made, how he or she performed the research and what arguments were used. Be careful to include all the most significant details.
Nobody is going to see this text, so don’t waste your time to proofread or edit it. At the same time, it has to be clear that it is based on some aspects from the field of family and consumer science and the article under review.

Level 2. Writing

When you’re done with everything that we’ve sketched above you can think about the title for your article review and cite the article. Don’t try to sound like a professor – keep away from all the complicated titles and metaphors. Choose simple titles in order to make sure that one look will be enough for your readers to understand what your article review is about. The citation should be placed under the review title. Your professor will provide you with the citation style requirements, so you will have to use either Turabian, APA or MLA in your text. After this citation, you will have to write down the body of the article’s review. No need to provide a separate line in between. If you can use Turabian format style, your citation will look like this:

Mary Kabaci. “A Report of Family and Consumer Sciences Graduate Research Productivity in 2012.” Social Science 14 (2014)

1. Give general details about the article

Your review should start with mentioning the article’s title, the names of the author, the title of the journal and when it was published. For instance, you may say that ‘The article ‘A Report of Family and Consumer Sciences Graduate Research Productivity in 2012’ was written by professor Mary Kabaci from University of Georgia Athens’.

2. Write your introduction

In your introductory part of the article review you have to give a brief gist of the written work that you review. Here, you have to include the thesis of the author, if it is included in the article. If you can’t decide where it is exactly, you have to find and understand it yourself. Include the main claim of the author and the main theme of the article.

You have to use the third person as you write or do it impersonally. The introduction is not a huge part of the article review, so make sure it doesn’t take more than 15% of your work.
Summarize your introduction by your thesis where you include the strongest elements of the article and the weaknesses of it. For instance, ‘The authors of the article do draw a clear connection between the influence of the wife, husband and kids on the purchase of a great variety of services and products, but the evidence about it are clearly misinterpreted’.

3. Overview the article

In your own words you have to provide the explanation of the main points, claims and results of the article under review. Remember the step when you were writing down the article in your words? Now you can use it. Show how well the author uses the evidence in order to support his or her arguments. Talk about his or her conclusions and make sure to stay laconic in the process. We recommend to stay away from the details that your readers already know. If possible, include two or three direct quotes that will reflect the article more clearly.
What is more, it is important to ground why you agree or disagree with the author of the article. Finish the body of your article review through specifying what exactly your readers can bring out and benefit from when reading this article.

4. Write your conclusion

As a rule, the concluding part takes no more than 15% of the whole text of your review. Use this part of your work to restate the main points of the article, its arguments and the purpose of the article. For example, in case of reviewing an article titled ‘The Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge and the Cultural Challenges’, you may state the purposes this way: ‘The main purposes of this article are to (1) give a historical context for the family and consumer science, (2) provide information on the today’s knowledge for family and consumer science, as well as (3) present challenges and opportunities for the field and potential steps to take in order to embrace the cultural metamorphoses’.

We also recommend you to make certain suggestions as to what kind of research future professionals can do to contribute to the area of study as well and fill in the existing gaps. Don’t forget to edit and proofread your work to make sure your professor will be satisfied with it.

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