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