How to review a journal article

Reviewing your classmates’ journal articles is a typical assignment for students. This assignment develops your critical thinking and allows you, as a scientist, to qualitatively evaluate the work of another scientist by analyzing their research and giving your own assessment of the work they have accomplished. For many students, such an assignment seems intimidating, and they are terrified to take it on. In this article, we will tell you how to cope with this job. 

What does a journal article review include?

The main task of the author in the review is to make an objective, critical assessment of the material presented. As a rule, it provides a thesis analysis of the article’s content and an evaluation of the quality of the experimental and documentary base. The degree of innovation, the research’s validity, and the article’s relevance to practical applications are also taken into account. You must also evaluate the content, style, and design.

Things to consider when reviewing a journal article

It is worth paying attention to the following aspects while getting acquainted with the article:

  • the topic of the article (how relevant and interesting it is today, what are the prospects for further development of the problem issue);
  • novelty (whether the author used new research methods, perhaps formed their unique approach to the study of the issue);
  • validity of the author’s position (what materials, evidentiary facts, and research results the author is guided by in order to justify his position);
  • a criterion of completeness (whether the author managed to answer the posed problem question and reasonably disclose the topic of the article);
  • clear formulations (how unambiguous are the thoughts and ideas of the author);
  • the volume of the article and design (whether the text corresponds to the generally accepted standards; how logical the text written by the author is);
  • validity of the sources used for writing the article.

The result should be a review of the article, consisting of the introduction, the main part, and the conclusion. Any remarks should be clearly reasoned, objective, and unbiased.

Steps for writing a journal article review

We offer you simply a step-by-step algorithm for writing a review, with which you will definitely not need to seek help from an article review writing service.  

  • Read the paper at least five times and make notes on the main idea, thesis statements, mistakes, citing style, etc.;
  • Make a brief description of the work based on the key requirements for writing journal articles. Highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the paper;
  • Stick to a standard review plan and write the main body. The review does not allow retelling of the author’s article. It is a research and analytical work aimed at peer review of scientific work. Consequently, each thesis must be supported by reasoning;
  • Format the review in accordance with the requirements; 
  • Proofread your review before submitting it.

Review structure 

Your professor can suggest their own review structure, but if not, here are the standard guidelines:

  1. The introduction should include the title and a summary of the article under review, and your thesis statement;
  2. The main body of your review should describe the relevance of the paper, its value and provide specific examples that support your thesis;
  3. The conclusion should summarize your review and include recommendations for further research.

Proofread and edit your review 

Once you have finished writing your journal article review, you have to let it lay for a while and take a break. Proofread your work and correct all the mistakes and typos. If you feel insecure about your writing, you can use grammar checkers such as Grammarly, LanguageTool, etc. We still highly recommend you check your text yourself. You can read it from the end and check word by word not to miss anything. 

After correcting all the mistakes, you have to reread it again and pay attention to its logic and coherence. Make sure your review doesn’t have the same mistakes you described in it. Check if you cited all the sources correctly. Finally, you can ask someone to read it for you and ask for their opinion. 

We hope that our simple guidelines will help you deal with this assignment. It’s essential not to be afraid of implementing this task and keep in mind that you are still learning. 

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