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Process for writing an article

A good article review requires careful reading, critical thinking, and clear, well-organized writing.

Read to understand

  • Read the article several times: once quickly to get the big picture and once more slowly to understand the details. Refer to the Reading section of our handouts
  • Determine the author’s main idea/thesis/argument and supporting points (Check the intro, conclusion, section headings, summaries to each section, etc.)
  • Map the main points (Headings may be helpful)

Write to think

  • Reflect on the author’s main points by freewriting about the article
  • For example, after reading each section (main point), write answers to questions such as these:

                -What is the author saying in this section?

                -Why is he/she saying this?

                -How does this point fit with his/her other ideas?

                -How does this point fit with ideas from your course?

                -How does this point fit with your own experience and opinion?

                -So what? What are the implications of this idea?

Write to communicate

  • A review usually contains a summary of the author’s main ideas (refer to your map from point 1) and your evaluation or assessment of these ideas (refer to your freewriting from point 2)
  •  Determine your overall opinion/assessment of the author’s ideas: positive, negative or mixed.  Then find reasons backed by evidence (examples) to support your opinion
  • Arrange your ideas hierarchically
  • Write your paper quickly, following your plan.  Do not edit as you write.  Focus on communicating your ideas
  • Fix up your paper by working on one concern at a time

        Content: make your points clear and developed

        Organization: present your ideas in chunks (sections) introduced by summaries

        Language: edit for conciseness. Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation

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