Writing an article review Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Perhaps your instructor has assigned an article review for your next assignment. Before you head for the hills, asking what in the world that is, let me tell you and share how to write it.

First, you are probably writing about an article the the professor either assigned or which you have to find. In any case, find the article and read it. Don’t try to write a word until you have read the article in question. The idea here is that you are going to tell me what you thought of the article, much like a movie reviewer will talk about a movie, except that you will add scholarly information.

Next, set up your essay. What components did the professor ask for? If you are writing in APA format, that starts with a cover page. Tell the professor who you are (I’ve seen cover pages that did not have the author’s name!), the name of the course, the name  of the assignment, and the date. Good news- you are no longer staring at a blank page.

Next, write the abstract. This is a 120-word description of the article. Don’t put any quotes in it, just tell the reader (in your own words) what the article is about and what the author of the article learned. Do not copy and paste the abstract from the article. I am grading your writing, not someone else’s. You will also add keywords under your abstract. These are words that the article mentions, such as (for example) space flight, first moon landing, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins- for an article on Apollo 11.

I just want you to summarize what you thought was important about the article. To  that end, write and introduction that says what you are writing about (the article’s name belongs here) and how you will compare/contrast it to the reading your have done in class.

Next, you absolutely must tell me your analysis of the article. Don’t leave that out! Please write more than one paragraph. Don’t write one over-long paragraph; that’s very hard to read. Pick three major things you would like to discuss about the article, add your textbook’s comments on that subject, and the tell me your own opinion. That information should be at least three paragraphs in length. AT LEAST, especially if you are in graduate school.

The final thing in your review will be the conclusion. Where does this type of study go from here? What are the other opportunities for research, in your opinion?

There have been students who wrote beautifully about seven or eight other authors’ take on the article but they did not tell me what they thought of it. You are showing the professor your ability to take information, study it, and analyze it. That’s the purpose of this assignment. You can do this! Go for it!

Best,

Dr. Sheri


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Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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