Course Content
Chapter 3: Writing Mechanics Help
Chapter 12: Teaching Writing
Chapter 23: Teaching Reading
College English Composition: Help and Review
About Lesson

How to Write an Article Review

Article reviews are typically assigned to measure a student’s ability to grasp the concept(s) of an article and to respond to the information contained in the article. There are several ways to go about writing an article review, and the best way to do that is to use the same writing practices you would use to write an essay or formal paper. However, there will be some differences between writing an article review and a formal paper. Specifically, when writing an article review, you should focus solely on the content of that particular article.

Below is a list of steps to follow for writing an effective article review

1. Read the article and take careful notes.

2. Reflect on why the author wrote the article

3. Summarize the main points of the article

4. Critique the article focusing on the accuracy, strengths and weaknesses

5. Outline, develop a thesis, and write the article review

Writing an article review is like having an intimate and honest conversation with someone close to you or someone you would like get to know better, so a good way to get the information you need to analyze and evaluate an article is by asking questions.

Analyze, Summarize and Critique


The first way to be successful with any type of analytical writing is to ask questions. In the same way that you would ask questions to a person you’re trying to learn more about, you ask questions about an article. The subtle difference is that the article will answer your questions, just not vocally. You have to ask the questions AND find the answers that the text has to offer. Some common concern the author and the content of the article. For example: What is the author’s purpose for writing this? Who is their target audience? What’s the tone or style of the writing? What does the information in the article say?


When you have answered these types of questions, and before you begin on the next step, you should have a clear understanding of the content. At this point you should be able to summarize the article, which is you putting the main ideas the author has presented into your own words.


A second phase of questions to develop and answer will provide you with information to critique the article. A critique is essentially how you evaluate the article. Critiquing questions might be about the accuracy of the content, the article’s strengths and weaknesses , and your take on the article. Common questions in this phase are: Does the article make good points? Are those points accurate? If not, what are those inaccuracies? Is it difficult to understand? How? Does the article unfold in a logical manner? What have you gained from the information presented in the article?

Respond to the Article.

At this point, you’re ready to arrange the answers to all of your questions into a format that you can present to an audience, which in most cases will be an instructor, teacher or professor who assigned the article review. Article reviews should be titled. Think about how convenient your name is as an identifier. Like your name, an article should have a title to identify it. Article reviews should contain a similar structure to essays in that they have an introduction, body, and conclusion.

An article review will generally be broken down like this:

Introduction – Thesis, brief article summary

Body – Strengths, weaknesses, critique

Conclusion – Significant points, overall reaction

In the first part, introduce the article you reviewed, offering a brief summary of the article so your audience has a general understanding of the content within the article. In the introduction you should also clearly state your stance, or understanding of the overall quality of the article, this is your thesis. The second part, the body of your article review, should focus on the aspects of the content that you determined as the article’s strengths and weaknesses. Use specific examples and quotations from your notes to fully illustrate your points. (Make sure to use the appropriate citation methods!) And, finally, you should draw a conclusion for the end of your article. Here you will state your overall reaction to the article and some of the more important points. Finally, like with any form of writing that you turn in, you should proofread and double check your work.

Lesson Summary

Writing an article review is like a conversation with someone. You ask questions to get more information in order to analyze the content of an article. These questions also allow you to critique the content by determining its accuracy, strengths and weaknesses. Once that is done, you respond to that information by writing your article review.

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