How to improve your article review
Writing an article review is not just something you do through school or college – sometimes even later in life you’ll find yourself doing article reviews, whether formal ones or just informal summaries. It’s a valuable skill to learn how to do properly, whether you choose to continue in academia, or you merely want to keep up with the latest developments in the science and arts.
A good article review keeps the essence of the original article, while also being succinct, and also pointing out broader themes and opinions that may only be implied or are too woven into the article to be immediately apparent. All of this, of course, takes a lot of skill and practice to achieve properly. But most of all, it requires effort on your part, which is why reading the article through is essential. And not just once or twice, but reading it through several times is necessary.
While you’re reading, a good idea is to jot down the main points that you encounter. Don’t worry about length right now – there will be plenty of time to choose and discard later on. Right now, just focus on extracting the main points out of the article.
Then, you need to basically write out your opinions about the article. Here, you can improve your article review by doing a little bit of extra research. For instance, if the article makes a claim that you’re not sure about, look it up and make sure it’s correct. If it’s not, it becomes a point you can raise in the review.
Think intelligently about the article – whoever is going to read your review wants to learn more than just what the article says. Point out flaws and plus points, look at how useful the topic is and any new information contributed. Try to find out something about the article that is not evident from just reading it.
Finally, put it all together in your review. Once you’re done with a first draft, go over it several times, hacking off unnecessary words or paragraphs and streamlining it. If your review is longer than the article, for instance, you’ve gone way overboard. Remember, shorter is simpler is better. Once you’re done, give it a final read and get it proofread by a friend or fellow student, if necessary. That way, you’ll get rid of mistakes that you might not have noticed yourself.