Reviewing And Writing About A Journal Article

Although many young college students may be unfamiliar with the task of reviewing a journal article, but this task is not as complex as it may seem. Reviewing a journal is not as difficult as writing an essay which requires a lot of research work by cribbing through a number of books in the library. However, it must be kept in mind that an academic journal review is different from an ordinary product review in a newspaper or a magazine which is meant for the general public.


The journal article review is written for an audience who have specialized knowledge and interest in the subject and is interested to read your critical evaluation of the topic discussed in the article. The audience here is usually your supervisor, fellow students, academic peers or tutor who are not only keen to read a critical discussion on the topic but also would like know about the argument you make on the opinions mentioned in the journal.

To write a sound journal article review, make sure you include the following points to make it gripping:

The objective of the article: what the article sets out to discuss about and how it will impact the subject

A theory: the importance of theoretical assumptions in the article, if there is an explicit theoretical framework then talk about its importance

Concepts mentioned in the article: what are the main ideas included in the article? Have they been expressed clearly?

The main argument if any: mention the main argument or opinion expressed by the author, if any hypothesis has been included mention it as well

Speak about the evidence: how reliable are they? Are the amount of evidence provided enough?

Discuss the methodology: talk about the methods used in the journal, is it efficient enough?

Value propositions: mention if the value propositions are clear or implicit in the journal.

Literature: the scope of fitting the work of the reviewing journal’s author into the broader perspective of fitting it into the existing literature.

Contribution: does the work contribute to increase our existing knowledge on the subject? If so, how well does it do so?

Stylistic critique: critique on the author’s use of language, style, wording, format etc. are they enough to meet the standards while offering clarity

Conclude your review: in conclusion provide an overall assessment of the entire journal

A good structure of any review article includes the following points:

Identifying the article (the author, title or topic of discussion, year of publication, publisher and other details worth mentioning, like if the original article was a French edition). A brief about the main points of the article that you will be talking about in your essay

A brief summary of the main items in the essay, like, the range of the discussion, the main contents and the main opinions or arguments discussed. A section by section summary may also be included, but it is important to keep them short.

Then go on to a critical discussion on a few main points that you have identified in the article. It is best to only take 2 to 3 points for this part of the essay. Articulate the author’s main ideas well before you evaluate them and criticize them. The points you make must be backed by evidences from the journal article itself.

Then conclude your essay by writing about an overall evaluation the article has made to impact the subject or topic it discusses about. Talk about its importance on whether it is useful to increase knowledge about the subject or not.
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