How to Write an Article Review in Literature

Writing guide
Posted on January 30, 2020

First of all, let us clarify what we mean when we say ‘article review’.

An article review is a type of writing that is used when the author needs to sum up and assess the articles written by the other people. The paper includes a logical evaluation of the article’s key theme together with the supporting arguments and suggestions for further research. If you’re a college student and you have to deal with this type of writing, it is important for you to understand the main arguments and points of the article to guarantee complete accuracy in the process of summarization.

If you write this kind of assignment, your paper may be either a literature or critical review. An article review in literature deals with a certain book or novel, and it helps you to show not only your writing skills but also your personal ability to evaluate various publications.

At first sight, the task to write an article review in literature is a difficult one because the author has to do serious research and write a detailed analysis of an article. If you have no idea how to write this type of college paper or you are simply not sure if your knowledge is enough to follow the writing rules and do what your instructor is seeking, use our simple tips with no hesitation.

Pay Attention to the Pre-writing Process

In writing an article review in literature, organization is something that is of great importance. Before you begin to write, you will need to outline your article review or use some template in order to organize all the ideas and thoughts coherently.

  • Begin with an introduction, where you have to mention the article and write a thesis statement for your review.
  • The next thing that goes in your paper is a summary of the key points of the article.
  • Talk about the positive facts and aspects given in the article.
  • Provide some criticizing of the article though highlighting the disparities, contradictions, and gaps in the publications.

Create an Outline and Fill It In for the Article Review in Literature

As you keep on reading your article, it is time to organize your thoughts into several sections that are called the outline. In the process of reading, you will need to write down all the crucial facts, potential discoveries, contradictions and contributions. Point out the strengths and weaknesses of your article. Start mapping your outline accordingly.

If your college professor doesn’t require students to provide a personal critique or summary section, them make sure to erase these sections from your paper. Just like the other papers that you write for college, an article review in literature will include the introduction, the body and the conclusion. For that reason, you will have to divide your article review outline in accordance with the parts that we enumerated and subheadings of the body. If you don’t think that you will be able to do it yourself, use the outline example that we have here for you.

So, your article review in literature will be made up of these parts:

  • Pre-title page. In this place the author has to list the type of the article that she or he is reviewing, write the publication’s title, name each of the experts that contributed to it, give the department, position, institute, country, city, state of the author.
  • Non-compulsory details about the author of the article. You can write down the telephone number, the name, the address, the email and the other details.
  • Running head. This element is important only for the authors that are using the APA format. It is the article review’s title that is shortened to less than forty characters.
  • Summary page. The author has to provide this page only if the professor wants him or her to. Don’t write the summary that goes beyond 800 words. The author has to use straightforward and non-technical language. Besides, it is important to never provide references on your summary page. Instead, the author of the article review in literature has to provide relevant background, give explanations of why the work was done, as well as sum up the results.
  • Title page. At this part the author has to write down his or her full title.
    The subject of literature provides students with many different options to choose from, which means you will have no problem with choosing your topic. Here are some examples that you have a chance to change, modify and use for your own article review:

    1. Title of article: ‘The idea of Dante Alighieri and his influences in western literature by Charles Manson’
    2. Title of article: ‘Ghosts of Romanticism in children’s fiction written by Neil Gaiman y Padma Jagannathan’
  • Introduction. The number one function of the introduction of the article review is to give information about the context, point to the motivation of the author’s review, indicate the focus, define the research question, as well as give explanation of the general structure of the paper. If, for instance, you write a review for the article ‘Literal art? A new look at Dore’s illustrations for Dante’s Inferno’ written by William Cole (1994), your introduction should mention that Gustave Dare was the only artist that did so much in order to create and maintain the iconography of the most popular works of western literature. Plus, you should write that the article author – William Cole – paid attention to the fact that scholars tend to virtually ignore Dare’s works. What is more, state that it is the fact that they call Gustave Dare ‘mediocre’ made the article’s author bring this topic us. And this in turn generated interest in you.
  • Body. The part of the article review with headings and subheadings.
    This is the biggest part of your article review. Go to your summary and check it once again. You have to describe how well the topic is being discussed in the article. Let us say that you write an article review on the article called ‘Physics and Optics in Dante’s Divine Comedy’ written by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna from Department of Applied Science and Technology in Politecnico di Torino, Italy. In the body of your article review you will have to assess how insightful and clear her work is. As a rule, the author has to talk about every main point of the article separately, as well as give the description of how well the evidence that the writer gave supports the key points. If to talk about the article by Amelia Carolina Sparavigna, the main points will be about Dante referring to astronomical phenomena, using simple theory of gravitation, referring to Physics that was a part of the philosophy of Nature, and using the descriptions of geometrical optics.
  • Conclusion. Wrap up your thoughts and suggestions.
    The conclusion goes wright after the body of the article review. The writer has to answer the research question that she or he set at the beginning of the text (in the introduction). The elements that the conclusion consists of are the implications of the findings, the existing interpretation by the other authors and suggestion of the questions that remain unanswered.
  • References/Works Cited
  • Tables and Figure Legends (write this part only if your professor wants you to).

Read Your Article Again

By this time, you should know your article from the first sentence to the last. But before you run to provide your college professor with your work, go back to your literature article and read it again. Did you really get the message of its author? Take a glance at your work and see if the most important points actually reflect what is written in the work. At this point, you still have time to modify your paper, if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, many college and university students think that literature is an easy subject, which means writing an article review will be easy.

The thing is this point of view is such a mistake! For that reason, you have to read your article several times before you begin to work on it. You don’t have to highlight every other sentence. Instead, take a highlighter pen and indicate the most crucial pieces of information. Keep focusing only on the most important points. Your task here is to highlight the information that will be useful for your article review.

Take your time to think about how this new information is related to the knowledge that you already have in literature. Have you found out something brand-new about some book or its author? Do you agree or disagree with the author of the article? If yes, why? If no, give your reasons as well. Find out what this article in literature has in common with the other sources connected to this topic. Try to see if there is a striking difference between them all. In other words, you have to fully understand the meaning of the article because only if you do so, you will generate a superbly appropriate review.

Benefit from Article Review Samples

In order to write an article review in literature that will bring you the best grades, it is important to read as many examples as you can. Checking article review examples will help you to get introduced to the written works in the specific field of literature.
Reading through the examples of article reviews will help you in many ways. Here are some of them:

  • To see who the main experts in the world of literature actually are.
  • To understand the most recent and important discoveries and advances in the field of literature.
  • To identify all the research gaps that are currently in literature.
  • To see how references should be arranged in a proper way.
  • To improve your knowledge of literature in general or any of its sub-sections (youth literature, poems, comedy literature, fantasy literature, historical fiction literature, science fiction literature, tragedy literature and so on).

Do the Final Proofreading

Do your best in order to accomplish your article review some time before the deadline. This will give you enough time to proofread it. If you can, make sure to put your paper aside for several days. Then come back to it in order to see your article review again but with fresh eyes. Ensure to pay special attention to the grammar and punctuation mistakes, look for spelling and typing errors. What is more, you have to check the factual data. Above all, the author has to double-check if all the relevant materials are to the point and include no irrelevant data. At this stage the author should be careful because it is easy to get fanatic about the proofreading. In other words, your review should not cover less than three or four most important issues.
How long should be the article review in literature? In academic world of colleges and universities, the article reviews in literature vary considerably. While some of them might range between 8 000 and 40 000 words, there are article reviews that reach more than 10 000 words.

Upgrade your essays with these FREE writing tools!
Get started now