A common assignment to generate discussion is to locate an article on a particular topic and review it. You're in the library already, so hopefully you've located an article or at least have plans to do so :-).
An article review for this purpose is written for an audience who is knowledgable in the field and is interested not only in the content of the article, but also in your critical assessment of the ideas and argument that has been put forth by the author.
Your job, when writing an article review, is to understand the essence of the material in the article and to form an opinion on what you find.
Most articles follow a fairly similar structure:
A good trick is to read the introduction (especially if there's a summary or abstract!), glance at the body's subheadings, and skip ahead to the conclusions. This should give you a good feel for the author's objective in writing the article.
Once you've got the gist of the article, it's time to dig in. First take a close look at the requirements of the assignment. Will the review be posted to a discussion board for discussion amongst classmates? Will you be preparing a longer critique submitted as an essay? Has the instructor given you any talking points, such as to look critically at what application the article might have in a particular situation or for your workplace?
What this will tell you is how much information you can reasonably cover in your review. The questions below will provide you with a focus to hunt for information. How much of it you use depends upon what the instructor requires.
Objectives: what does the article set out to do?
Theory: is there an explicit theoretical framework? If not, are there important theoretical assumptions?
Concepts: what are the central concepts? Are they clearly defined?
Argument: what is the central argument? Are there specific hypotheses?
Method: what methods are employed to test these? Does the author clearly outline his methodology, especially if reporting on an experiment or study?
Evidence: is evidence provided? How adequate is it?
Results: Does the author discuss the results?
Literature: how does the work fit into the wider literature?
Contribution: how well does the work advance our knowledge of the subject? Is the article lacking information or argumentation that you expected to find?
Now let's write. The following organizational approach will help you to craft a solid review:
Important: Make sure to use appropriate in-text references and to include a bibliography with a citation for the article that you reviewed, plus any other items you referred to within your review.
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