An article review is a type of writing that involves assessing and giving a summary of an article. It requires in-depth analysis and evaluation of the theme and the supporting arguments. It is a constructive and critical review of literature through summary, analysis, comparison, and classification. The critical review aspect is concerned with a detailed review of an article or a book while the literature review is concerned with the summary, comparison, and classification of many pieces of literature. It is an important piece of professional writing mainly used in academia to evaluate the work of others in order to improve their skills. The writing is synonymous among professionals and experts because it requires a good understanding of the topic in order to provide an outstanding critic, summary, and analysis.
What is the purpose of an article review?
- An article review is mainly used in academia to criticize one’s article or literature to improve on their writing such as by increasing statement clarity.
- An article review is also important to provide a different perspective from that of the author to eliminate biasnes
- It is also an important tool for encouraging better writing because it encourages the author to improve on their work.
Steps for preparing for an article review
Step 1: understand the purpose of your writing
Before embarking on the writing process of your review, you need to understand the key objective of the review. While many review works involve analysis and summary, the type of review differs. For a student, this is where you need to go through the assignment instructions to understand what’s required regarding the review work. To put this into perspective, here are different types of review:
Journal review: Journal article review is mainly concerned with the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a publication.
Research article review: Research article review is mainly concerned with the evaluation of research methods used
Science article review: This is a general scientific review work focusing mainly on analysis of scientific publication.
You need to understand that your review is not new research but rather a response to the author in form of an evaluation or a summary
Step 2: Create an organization for your article review
The organization determines the process through which you will review the article. The components include:
Summary of the article
You should start by defining a summary of the article by highlighting key points, authors’ claims, and general information provided. This will help in the classification of the points in the subsequent stages of the review.
Identify positive points
Having identified the key points, you should start your analysis by good insights and points in relation to the topic. Remember that analysis involves identifying and recognizing both the negative and positive aspects of the writing.
Analyze for gaps or inconsistencies in the article
This is where you go deeper with the analysis to identify possible gaps in the author’s arguments. It is also where you evaluate the research methods and results for any inconsistencies. For example, if you are performing a research review this is where to assess the eligibility and accuracy of the methods used by the author. Furthermore, by digging deeper into the work, you can identify some contradictions the author made in linking the research with the supporting literature. For research review, this is also the stage where you look for unanswered questions.
Step 3: Have a quick view of the article
Having designed a plan for your review, take time to have a quick look at the article just to have an idea of what it is about. This is the first reading of the article that involves having a glimpse of the main sections of the article including the abstract, introduction, and conclusion. To have an initial grasp, go through the first sentences of the paragraphs to understand the author’s perspective and the purpose for writing. The reason for taking a glimpse of the paper is to prepare you for the full reading. It helps you identify the key points that would be of interest to you during the full reading. Moreover, it helps you to gauge your knowledge of the topic which will be key in providing constructive evaluation.
Step 4: Careful reading of the full article
Armed with a brief knowledge of the topic, now take time to go through the article several times. Remember that you are reading to give a review therefore make sure that you highlight the main points particularly those that will be of interest in your evaluation. You can jot down the key points in note form as a point of reference during your review. At this stage, you should start identifying different arguments, assertions and proofs and draw connections. For example, you should be able to draw connections between the literature and the research results. This will be key in evaluating the author’s ability to connect the previous knowledge with the current work.
This stage of reading also involves comparing the author’s arguments with your knowledge on the topic. Determine whether your knowledge supports the author’s arguments and how the article is similar to other articles on the same topic. Comparing the author’s arguments with your knowledge will be vital in creating room for further research on the evidence supporting the two. Remember that you might not be having all the knowledge to deliver an effective review and would need to provide references to other works to prove your arguments.
Step 5: Rewrite the article in your own words
The is preliminary writing which involves putting down what you have read in writing to guide the final writing process. The reason for writing it in your own words is to ensure that you understood the topic and have considerable control over it. Put down the main points of the article including the author’s arguments and research results. Remember that this writing is only for your use and may not be as thorough or organized as the final writing. However, it needs to be clear enough to guide your final writing. You should also ensure that it captures the styles and formats employed by the author. You can go through the article, again and again, to ensure that you capture all the key points.
Step 6: Create an outline for your evaluation
This is the last stage of preparing for the actual writing where you create a guideline for the review process. Having read and understood the article you need to come up with a review guideline or approach. Identify and collect the strong points of the author and the drawbacks. Identify where the author failed in presenting his arguments and how well and accurate some arguments are.
The steps of writing an article review
In the previous stages, you have read the article, made a short overview, and created an evaluation outline. The following steps will now guide you through the processes of writing the actual review based on the preparation made earlier.
Step 1: Create the title for your review
Before beginning your writing, you need to come up with a title that best matches the objective of your review. This being a review work, your title is likely to be an adoption of the article you are reviewing. Some authors prefer adding the phrase “A review of” followed by the title of the article. However, the best approach is to follow the review objective.
Step 2: Cite the article
The second step is to cite the article you are reviewing just below your title. You should ensure that you follow the right citation format of your review e.g. MLA, APA, or Harvard.
Step 3: identify the article
This is the step where you identify the article on review by including details such as the title of the article, the Author, title of the journal, and year of publication.
Step 4: Introduce your review
Introduce your article review by starting with an identification sentence followed by the key topic of the article. Here are tips for writing a good introduction:
- It should take 10% of the entire review
- It should be written in third person as the rest of the review.
- It should include a thesis that points out the drawbacks of the article
Step 5: write the summary
This is where you cover the main points and findings of the article. Use the preliminary writing created earlier to guide you in this stage. You should consider the following when writing the summary:
- Write the authors arguments in your own words
- Focus mainly on the key points and arguments in every section of the article
- Re-read your summary to make sure that everything is accurate
Step 6: write your critique
This is the stage where you give your opinion on how the author tackled the topic. It should include the following:
- Give your opinion on the usefulness of the explanation of the topic by the author
- Describe how the author arguments contributed to understanding the topic
- Explain how the article contributes to the field
- State whether you agree with the author and explain why or why not
- Identify any biases in the author’s arguments
- State the right audience for the article
Step 7: conclude your article review
As you conclude your review, give a summary of the main points, and the significance of the article. You can also give a closing statement by indicating the relevance of the article and its implications.
Sample Article Review
Dog Attachment and Perceived Social Support in Overweight/Obese and Healthy Weight Children – Deborah E. Linder, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Farzad Noubary, Miriam E. Nelson, & Lisa M. Freeman
The main aim of the research was to establish the relationship between childhood obesity and dog attachment. Further, the primary objective was to verify how weight gain is related to social support from family and friends. Notably, a similar investigation had been conducted with adult participants, but there was a study gap in regards to children (Linder et al., 2017). Due to an increasing rate of obesity in kids in the current world, it was essential that control mechanisms get established. However, the only way to provide a solution was to find the cause. On that note, the study that took four months was conducted in the living laboratory in a Boston museum from April to August 2015. The researchers had an informed hypothesis based on a similar exploration that was done with adults, where overweight grownups had more attachment to their pets (Linder et al., 2017). On that effect, participating children were selected based on age, and those between 8-13 years old were the ones allowed to be a part of the research. In addition, only kids who visited the museum under the care of either parents or guardians were accepted for the study. Statistically, the investigation managed to sample only 43 children who filled surveys that were later analyzed. Therefore, the finding of the research will inform future studies on this topic regarding the improvements that are to be made.
Overview of the Article
The basis of the research was to develop sustainable and effective interventions for treating children with obesity. Markedly, the study was based on the fact that overweight is a global challenge and a priority. According to Linder et al. (2017), obesity is a worldwide health issue that inflicts people who take high-energy food, and it results in fat accumulation. Consequently, it occurs due to weight gain that predisposes individuals to health problems such as diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, and cancers among others. The principal aim of the research was to examine the child-pet relationship to unravel proper obesity treatments among kids. Overall, the findings of the study showed that overweight minors with either 85 or more body mass index (BMI) had higher attachment scores to their pets, and they were registered to be less mean in the perceived social support (PSS). The PSS was determined from the parents and friends of both obese and healthy children. Resultantly, the overweight children had greater affection for their dogs and lowered social support. The outcome provides the insight of how pets can get used for unhealthy kids.
Evaluating the Methodology
The methodology section outlines how data was collected and analyzed. Markedly, Kuiper et al. (2017) noted that studies often choose the methods based on the nature of the research and the ideas borrowed from previous works. The authors added that three main investigation approaches are informed by different exploration philosophies known as the quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method. Moreover, Yoon (2017) stated that researcher should always provide a theoretical justification of the method used. Notably, the study was non-experimental and followed a quantitative model of research that involved the collection of numerical data and application of statistical analysis. As mentioned, a cross-sectional design got employed, thus allowing collection of data at a particular time (Olive, 2014). In addition, the research performed by Linder et al. (2017) was practical and related to a serious health problem in the current society. Despite the fact that the paper has no specified section called “Literature Review,” the researchers developed the problem having assessed the other works in the field. In fact, the ideas, concepts, theories, variables, and the methodology were borrowed from the previous studies. Notably, the research is consistent with the contemporary studies on health issues. On that note, the paper needs improvements on the literature review.
A sample size of 43 participants was adopted although it was not selected randomly. Clear exclusion criteria were developed to omit children without either pets or parents/legal guardians. Besides, only kids between the ages of 8 and 13 years old were included. Notably, a survey was employed as the instrument of data collection after adhering to the ethical and professional rules of information gathering. Precisely, participation was voluntary, and consents were gathered from the children and parents. Other principles applied included privacy, confidentiality, and authorization from a given research body. The data was analyzed using statistical tools such as t-test and chi-square to present quantitative results. Moreover, there were instances of bias in the selection of the respondents, primarily by excluding children without dogs and those below eight years old or over 13 years old. The sample size (43) was also small given the growing number of obese teens in the area of the study. Moreover, most participants were female because the sample was not correctly selected. As a result, the composition was not even a scenario that could cause bias in the results. Overall, the methodology was well-organized and integrated all the required components.
Objectives and Results
As aforementioned, the primary objective of the study was to examine the dog-children relationship to understand how pets can be used for treatment of kids with obesity. The three main variables include dog-children connection, perceived social support, and attachment level. Despite the fact that the researchers did not delineate either the specific objectives or the research questions, it is clear that the affection influences children’s motivation, focus, emotional stability, mental health, enjoyment, and physical activities among others. In addition, the social support concerned the relationship of the included kids with either their parents or friends. They were voluntary sampled to take their children to the museum and answer certain questions about the kids. Empirically, the study aimed to prove the hypothesis that either dogs or other pets may offer social support to the obese children and, thus, should be included in the intervention mechanisms.
My Evaluation and Opinion
From the results, it was perceived that the overweight teens often have a close relationship with their pets, and it gives them emotional, mental, and physical support. The explanation is that the obese children often lack strong attachment to their parents, legal guardians, or friends. Markedly, the results of the study showed that being overweight establishes a stronger connection between children and their pets, while it lowers the perceived social support. However, I am of the opinion that the outcome should not be applied directly due to some undefined parameters such as the number of dogs attached to the child and their ages. It can be concluded that dogs can get used as an essential part of health intervention for the overweight kids.
Markedly, I found the article to be straightforward and clear, and the characteristics make it applicable and practical in real life context. However, it needs improvements on developing detailed theoretical underpinnings to the concepts and hypotheses identified. While performing future researches, I recommend that more variables should be considered, and they include the number of pets in a household and their ages. Besides, the years of the participants should be expanded from the current 8-13 to 5-17 because obesity is becoming a problem in kids with a young age and extends to the older teens. Consequently, further researches should get conducted on how either dogs or other pets can be included to support other health problems.
Obesity and overweight are trending global problems, especially among children. The increase in high-energy food, unhealthy behaviors, and inactivity cause more harm to the body of kids. The co-morbidities, where obesity is related to several chronic and non-communicable diseases, are also compounding the challenge and priority of human health. The victims are at higher risks of contracting chronic and non-communicable diseases such as heart problems, stroke, diabetes, and cancers. Evidently, the article is consistent with other studies. Markedly, the main findings of the research showed that obese teens have a stronger attachment to their pets and lower perceived social support. On that note, dogs can be used as an intervention to child obesity. The research used quantitative data collection and analysis, but little was done on reviewing previous studies. Besides, the results experienced some bias due to poor sampling and sample size. On this note, future researches need to improve the technique of selecting the participants to facilitate the applicability of the results in solving childhood obesity problem.
Kuiper, C., Smit, J., De Wachter, L., & Elen, J. (2017). Scaffolding tertiary students’ writing in a genre-based writing intervention. Journal of Writing Research, 9(1), 27-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2017.09.01.02
Linder, D., Sacheck, J., Noubary, F., Nelson, M., & Freeman, L. (2017). Dog attachment and perceived social support in overweight/obese and healthy weight children. Preventive Medicine Reports, 6, 352-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2017.04.014
Olive, T. (2014). Toward a parallel and cascading model of the writing system: A review of research on writing processes coordination. Journal of Writing Research, 6(2), 173-194. http://dx.doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2014.06.02.4
Yoon, E. (2017). Book review: Teaching and researching writing. Journal of Writing Research, 8(3), 531-533. http://dx.doi.org/10.17239/jowr-2017.08.03.05