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The term article review is not always clear to students who are given this assignment. Sometimes even journalists ask for a clarification when they are asked to write an article review. The terms ‘article summary’ or ‘article critique’ are interchangeable for those seeking how to write an article review. When the brief is to write one of these pieces, the instructor, supervisor, or editor must clarify exactly what they would like to read when it is finished and submitted.

Generally, an article is given to the person to do a review, critique, or summary. It is often a difficult-to-read article, which requires repeated reading, and taking of notes. The person doing the article review might need to look up unfamiliar words and phrases. When exact understanding has been achieved, notes can be written.

A plan must be drawn up, and decisions must be made about which aspects in the article should be addressed. It is usually a formal piece of writing done according to current accepted conventions. It is not wise to depart from this without specific directions from the person assigning the task.

Steps for Writing an Article Review

  1. Read the article carefully, taking note of words, phrases, and concepts you need to research, define, and look up meanings for.
  2. Research the terms online or at a library. Take clear notes which can be turned into paragraphs later.
  3. Discuss the topic of the article with someone involved in that field of endeavor. For example, if the article is about a theater show, visit a theater and interview an actor or director. If the article is about a coalmine, visit a mining engineer and hold an interview.
  4. Collect about twice as much material in notes as you think you will need to write a review article.
  5. Put aside a considerable period of time to include the interviewing and researching.
  6. Begin your drafting, and make sure you adopt a style that either summarizes, critiques, or reviews the material at hand. A review is much more than a description: you need to understand, analyze, and interpret, and if you are asked, offer a personal opinion.
  7. It is sensible to write the first paragraph last. In this way, your analysis is presented in an appropriate way. Then put all the paragraphs together and devise an insightful article review.

Topic Selection

In most cases, your teacher or employer will assign you an article to review, but sometimes you must choose the topic on your own. Most often, writers choose articles on topics that are of interest to them. However, if you don’t know exactly what article you would like to review, you can refer to your acquaintances whose judgment you trust in recommending appropriate material for your assignment. It can be useful to peer through textbooks related to your chosen topic, since they often contain useful references.

When picking an article to review, it is also essential to check whether its content and treatment appeals to you, and whether you are able to understand what is written. Read through some excerpts from the article, paying attention to vocabulary and style to do so.

Key Points to Consider

  • A summary of the assigned article must be written. The main points must be enumerated and described in a brief way.
  • An evaluation of the article must also be provided: this means you must assess the importance of the article’s content.
  • The topic of the article and its relevance to your chosen subject must be mentioned.
  • Decide whether the information in the article is important, relevant, of high standard, and whether it provides new information on the subject it covers.
  • Offer an assessment of the quality of the writing.
  • You must conclude by writing an opinion about how the subject can be improved, or whether the necessary information is present in the article, and if it forms a complete picture of the topic.

Do and Don’t


  • Do understand that the person who assigns an article review will expect an examination of the argument in the article, not a simple description.
  • Do try to be as clear and explanatory as you can, using advanced language and reasoning skills.
  • Do use a style compatible with the article you are asked to review. If it is scholarly or literary, you must use a formal style. If it is a lighthearted newspaper or magazine article, you can use a more casual style—but they must both demonstrate current conventions correctly.
  • Do examine the evidence supporting the argument of the article, check the references, and give an opinion about their value and quality.
  • Do write to-the-point paragraphs.

  • Don’t forget to show and define the central concept or premise of the article in question.
  • Don’t omit the important opening and closing sentences of influence. Make sure your thesis statement is valid.
  • Don’t neglect the observation that you are writing to a brief, and you must follow it to the letter.
  • Don’t skimp on reading thoroughly, researching in-depth, and writing succinctly and clearly.

Common Mistakes

  • Absence of emphasis or intention. You must make it clear that your objective is to make a sound summary, or a critique of writing and reasoning, or a review of the content and research of an assigned article.
  • Not allowing enough time to read, look up, and take proper notes.
  • Duplication of material—do not simply copy what is in the article, or offer opinions that have already been seen.
  • Lack of analysis. The whole point of an article review is not to merely describe it, but to interpret and analyze it.

Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic article review writing tips and rules, you can check out our best article review samples to link theory with practice.

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Samples for Writing an Article Review

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