Scientific Article Review: Ways to a Successful Accomplishment

on 06/03/2018

Reviewing a Text

This is a good assignment to both: develop a student’s critical thinking skill and make sure that the student has worked with the required source materials.

Basic Recommendations for a Review of a Scientific Text

The average volume of the paper is 1000-1200 words what is around 2 single-spaced pages.

There is always a certain deadline to be followed, and one needs to pay attention to it, because the late work often cannot be accepted at all.

The essence of the assignment is to complete a review of a certain scientific article, often an actual and fresh one. The text to be reviewed can be selected by a student themselves, or given by a professor. Sometimes, a professor can offer a list of sources to be selected from, and this is the best way, because a student can write about what he/she is interested in, but will not be confused about where to start searching.

Basic Questions Helping to Complete an Article Review

  • An article review should start with your name and a full bibliographical description of the paper reviewed (author, title, place and date of publication etc.) according to the required paper format/citation style.
  • Preamble. Here you should explain why you have selected this particular article (if you had such a choice). Formulate the tasks of your review: what should the reader expect, what is the structure and main ideas?
  • Explain the heading of the article you are writing about (how it reflects in the content, how informative it is, where are the accents of the study). How do you think: what are the purposes the writer had while formulating of such title?
  • In what way the text reviewed clarifies the actuality of the topic? What are the techniques applied by the author for the explanation of the actuality, and showing the problematics? Does the article have a clear preamble or an introduction where the topic is explained, the main scientific problem stated, and the subject and object, purposes and tasks are indicated. Is there a brief review of the article’s structure with the main ideas mentioned?
  • What is the structure of the article? Are the parts of work logically structured? Describe the content of the structural scheme and explain the logic of this particular structure. How do structure, content and topic of the text correlate?
  • What are the main arguments of the author and what are they based on? Does the writer specify in what way he/she has received the empirical and theoretical data? What were the techniques to show that the results are valid? What scientific methods have been applied? Were the methods quantitative or qualitative? If there was an analysis of the secondary sources, what were those sources?
  • Does the reference list have actual literature on the topic? What theories does the author base his/her article on? Do you see the point of view of the author in the article? Does the article have stereotypes, prejudices, biases, or discriminative statements?
  • How informative or formal are the conclusions? Does the article bring something new to the research? What is the target audience for the author? What is the general purpose of the text? What is the language of the article (stylistics and word choice)? Are there any illustrative materials and appendices? What is the nature of the paper (theoretical or empirical, fundamental or practical)? Does it have a practical value?
  • Add your personal conclusions about the text.
  • List all references used for writing according to the paper format demands. The references on other languages are to be formatted the same way.

Additional Hints

While you analyze someone’s work, make sure you personally do not make the same mistakes you are looking for in his/her paper. Therefore, structure your review well, and your subtitles should clearly define the following content. The abovementioned questions are a good skeleton for an article review structure, but do not take them as a questionnaire. You need to get a coherent and smooth text as a result. It is possible to add some quotes, but they should not be long. If you are adding your personal point of view, support it by mentioning other scientists claiming the same.

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