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How to Write an Article Review

Last Updated: March 16, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 83 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,945,311 times.

An article review is both a summary and an evaluation of another writer's article. Teachers often assign article reviews to introduce students to the work of experts in the field. Experts also are often asked to review the work of other professionals. Understanding the main points and arguments of the article is essential for an accurate summation. Logical evaluation of the article's main theme, supporting arguments, and implications for further research is an important element of a review . Here are a few guidelines for writing an article review.

Education specialist Alexander Peterman recommends: "In the case of a review, your objective should be to reflect on the effectiveness of what has already been written, rather than writing to inform your audience about a subject."

Things You Should Know

Preparing to Write Your Review

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Writing the Article Review

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Sample Article Reviews

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If you have to write an article review, read through the original article closely, taking notes and highlighting important sections as you read. Next, rewrite the article in your own words, either in a long paragraph or as an outline. Open your article review by citing the article, then write an introduction which states the article’s thesis. Next, summarize the article, followed by your opinion about whether the article was clear, thorough, and useful. Finish with a paragraph that summarizes the main points of the article and your opinions. To learn more about what to include in your personal critique of the article, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write an Article Review: Practical Tips and Examples

04 Sep 2021

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❓What Is an Article Review?

📑Different Forms of a Review

✒️Formatting of Article Review

✍️How To Write An Article Review

📃An Article Review Outline

✅Tips for Writing an Article Review

📝An Example of an Article Review

An article review is a real must for college and university teachers and one of the most frequently assigned papers. The reason behind this is that a student has to develop a believable critique and not just showcase writing skills. This task isn't easy because you need to conduct in-depth research and provide a careful analysis of the article. Don't have an idea of how to write an article review the right way? Follow the most effective tips for composing a worthy review to impress the reader.

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What Is an Article Review?

Before you get started, learn what an article review is. It can be defined as a work that combines elements of summary and critical analysis. If you are writing an article review, you should take a close look at another author's work. Many experts regularly practice evaluating the work of others. The purpose of this is to improve writing skills.

Create a summary of your text

This kind of work belongs to professional pieces of writing because the process of crafting this paper requires reviewing, summarizing, and understanding the topic. Only experts are able to compose really good reviews containing a logical evaluation of a paper as well as a critique.

Your task is not to provide new information. You should process what you have in a certain publication.

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Different Forms of Article Review

An article review is an important academic exercise as it allows students to critically evaluate and analyze different types of scholarly articles. There are various forms of article reviews, each form is unique in its approach. However, after the article identification, the purpose remains the same: a critical evaluation of the content, style, and structure.

Let's discuss some forms to assist you with the writing process.

When it comes to writing an article review, seeking assistance from a literature review writing service can be very helpful. These services can offer professional support to ensure that your paper meets all the necessary standards and requirements. They can help you with structuring your paper correctly and guide you on the best approach to take with the content, so that it is unique and stands out from others. Moreover, they can provide expert guidance on how to effectively integrate the literature review into your paper and ensure that the arguments you present are supported by solid evidence.

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This is AI-powered online tool that lets you create a thesis statement about any topic you need.

Different types of formatting styles are used for article review writing. It mainly depends on the guidelines that are provided by the instructor, sometimes, professors even provide an article review template that needs to be followed.

Here are some common types of formatting styles that you should be aware of when you start writing an article review:

To ensure that your article review paper is properly formatted and meets the requirements, it is crucial to adhere to the specific guidelines for the formatting style you are using. This helps you write a good article review.

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How To Write An Article Review

There are several steps that must be followed when you are starting to review articles. You need to follow these to make sure that your thoughts are organized properly. In this way, you can present your ideas in a more concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to start an article review and how to cater to each writing stage.

Make sure to stay impartial and provide proof to back up your assessment. By adhering to these guidelines, you can create a reflective and well-structured article review.

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Editors on PapersOwl can edit your paper and give recommendations on how to improve your writing:

Article Review Outline

Here is a basic, detailed outline for an article review you should be aware of as a pre-writing process if you are wondering how to write an article review.

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10 Tips for Writing an Article Review

Have you ever written such an assignment? If not, study the helpful tips for composing a paper. If you follow the recommendations provided here, the process of writing a summary of the article won’t be so time-consuming, and you will be able to write an article in the most effective manner.

The guidelines below will help to make the process of preparing a paper much more productive. Let's get started!

Check what kind of information your work should contain. After answering the key question “What is an article review?” you should learn how to structure it the right way. To succeed, you need to know what your work should be based on. An analysis with insightful observations is a must for your piece of writing.

Identify the central idea: In your first reading, focus on the overall impression. Gather ideas about what the writer wants to tell, and consider whether he or she managed to achieve it.

Look up unfamiliar terms. Don't know what certain words and expressions mean? Highlight them, and don't forget to check what they mean with a reliable source of information.

Highlight the most important ideas. If you are reading it a second time, use a highlighter to highlight the points that are most important to understanding the passage.

Write an outline. A well-written outline will make your life a lot easier. All your thoughts will be grouped. Detailed planning helps not to miss anything important. Think about the questions you should answer when writing.

Brainstorm headline ideas. When choosing a project, remember: it should reflect the main idea. Make it bold and concise.

Check an article review format example. You should check that you know how to cite an article properly. Note that citation rules are different in APA and MLA formats. Ask your teacher which one to prioritize.

Write a good introduction. Use only one short paragraph to state the central idea of ​​the work. Emphasize the author's key concepts and arguments. Add the thesis at the end of the Introduction.

Write in a formal style. Use the third person, remembering that this assignment should be written in a formal academic writing style.

Wrap up, offer your critique, and close. Give your opinion on whether the author achieved his goals. Mention the shortcomings of the job, if any, and highlight its strengths.

If you have checked the tips and you still doubt whether you have all the necessary skills and time for preparing this kind of educational work, follow one more tip that guarantees 100% success- ask for professional assistance by asking the custom writing service PapersOwl to craft your paper instead of you. Just submit an order online and get the paper completed by experts.

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An Article Review Example

If you have a task to prepare an analysis of a certain piece of literature, have a look at the article review sample. There is an article review example for you to have a clear picture of what it must look like.

Journal Article on Ayn Rand's Works Review Example

“The purpose of the article is to consider the features of the poetics of Ayn Rand's novels "Atlas Shrugged," "We the living," and "The Fountainhead." In the analysis of the novels, the structural-semantic and the method of comparative analysis were used.

With the help of these methods, genre features of the novels were revealed, and a single conflict and a cyclic hero were identified.

In-depth reading allows us to more fully reveal the worldview of the author reflected in the novels. It becomes easier to understand the essence of the author's ideas about the connection between being and consciousness, embodied in cyclic ideas and images of plot twists and heroes. The author did a good job highlighting the strong points of the works and mentioning the reasons for the obvious success of Ayn Rand.“

You can also search for other relevant article review examples before you start.

In conclusion, article reviews play an important role in evaluating and analyzing different scholarly articles. Writing a review requires critical thinking skills and a deep understanding of the article's content, style, and structure. It is crucial to identify the type of article review and follow the specific guidelines for formatting style provided by the instructor or professor.

The process of writing an article review requires several steps, such as reading the article attentively, identifying the thesis, and formulating an introduction. By following the tips and examples provided in this article, students can write a worthy review that demonstrates their ability to evaluate and critique another writer's work.

Learning how to write an article review is a critical skill for students and professionals alike. Before diving into the nitty-gritty of reviewing an article, it's important to understand what an article review is and the elements it should include. An article review is an assessment of a piece of writing that summarizes and evaluates a work. To complete a quality article review, the author should consider the text's purpose and content, its organization, the author's style, and how the article fits into a larger conversation. But if you don't have the time to do all of this work, you can always purchase a literature review from Papers Owl .

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How to Write an Article Review: Tips and Examples

writing article reviews

An article review format allows scholars or students to analyze and evaluate the work of other experts in a given field. Outside of the education system, experts often review the work of their peers for clarity, originality, and contribution to the discipline of study.

When answering the questions of what is an article review and how to write one, you must understand the depth of analysis and evaluation that your instructor is seeking.

What Is an Article Review

That is a type of professional paper writing which demands a high level of in-depth analysis and a well-structured presentation of arguments. It is a critical, constructive evaluation of literature in a particular field through summary, classification, analysis, and comparison.

If you write a scientific review, you have to use database searches to portray the research. Your primary goal is to summarize everything and present a clear understanding of the topic you’ve been working on.

Writing Involves:

Types of Review

There are few types of article reviews.

Journal Article Review

Much like all other reviews, a journal article review evaluates strengths and weaknesses of a publication. A qualified paper writer must provide the reader with an analysis and interpretation that demonstrates the article’s value.

Research Article Review

It differs from a journal article review by the way that it evaluates the research method used and holds that information in retrospect to analysis and critique.

Science Article Review

Scientific article review involves anything in the realm of science. Often, scientific publications include more information on the background that you can use to analyze the publication more comprehensively.

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Formatting an Article Review

The format of the article should always adhere to the citation style required by your professor. If you’re not sure, seek clarification on the preferred format and ask him to clarify several other pointers to complete the formatting of an article review adequately.

How Many Publications Should You Review?

When you know the answers to these questions, you may start writing your assignment. Below are examples of MLA and APA formats, as those are the two most common citation styles.


Using the APA Format

Articles appear most commonly in academic journals, newspapers, and websites. If you write an article review in the APA format, you will need to write bibliographical entries for the sources you use:

Using MLA Format

The Pre-Writing Process

Facing this task for the first time can really get confusing and can leave you being unsure where to begin. To create a top-notch article review, start with a few preparatory steps. Here are the two main stages to get you started:

Step 1: Define the right organization for your review. Knowing the future setup of your paper will help you define how you should read the article. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 2: Move on and review the article. Here is a small and simple guide to help you do it right:

These three steps make up most of the prewriting process. After you are done with them, you can move on to writing your own review—and we are going to guide you through the writing process as well.

Organization in an assignment like this is of utmost importance. Before embarking on your writing process, you could outline your assignment or use an article review template to organize your thoughts more coherently.

Outline and Template

As you progress with reading your article, organize your thoughts into coherent sections in an outline. As you read, jot down important facts, contributions, or contradictions. Identify the shortcomings and strengths of your publication. Begin to map your outline accordingly.

If your professor does not want a summary section or a personal critique section, then you must alleviate those parts from your writing. Much like other assignments, an article review must contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Thus you might consider dividing your outline according to these sections as well as subheadings within the body. If you find yourself troubled with the prewriting and the brainstorming process for this assignment, seek out a sample outline.

Your custom essay must contain these constituent parts:

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Steps for Writing an Article Review

Here is a guide with critique paper format from our research paper writing service on how to write a review paper:


Step 1: Write the Title.

First of all, you need to write a title that reflects the main focus of your work. Respectively, the title can be either interrogative, descriptive, or declarative.

Step 2: Cite the Article.

Next, create a proper citation for the reviewed article and input it following the title. At this step, the most important thing to keep in mind is the style of citation specified by your instructor in the requirements for the paper. For example, an article citation in the MLA style should look as follows:

Author’s last and first name. “The title of the article.” Journal’s title and issue(publication date): page(s). Print

Example: Abraham John. “The World of Dreams.” Virginia Quarterly 60.2(1991): 125-67. Print.

Step 3: Article Identification.

After your citation, you need to include the identification of your reviewed article:

All of this information should be included in the first paragraph of your paper.

Example: The report, “Poverty increases school drop-outs,” was written by Brian Faith – a Health officer – in 2000.

Step 4: Introduction.

Your organization in an assignment like this is of the utmost importance. Before embarking on your writing process, you should outline your assignment or use an article review template to organize your thoughts coherently.

Step 5: Summarize the Article.

Make a summary of the article by revisiting what the author has written about. Note any relevant facts and findings from the article. Include the author's conclusions in this section.

Step 6: Critique It.

Present the strengths and weaknesses you have found in the publication. Highlight the knowledge that the author has contributed to the field. Also, write about any gaps and/or contradictions you have found in the article. Take a standpoint of either supporting or not supporting the author's assertions, but back up your arguments with facts and relevant theories that are pertinent to that area of knowledge. Rubrics and templates can also be used to evaluate and grade the person who wrote the article.

Step 7: Craft a Conclusion.

In this section, revisit the critical points of your piece, your findings in the article, and your critique. Also, write about the accuracy, validity, and relevance of the results of the article review. Present a way forward for future research in the field of study. Before submitting your article, keep these pointers in mind:

writing article reviews

The Post-Writing Process: Proofread Your Work

Finally, when all of the parts of your article review are set and ready, you have one last thing to take care of — proofreading. Although students often neglect this step, proofreading is a vital part of the writing process and will help you polish your paper to ensure that there are no mistakes or inconsistencies.

To proofread your paper properly, start with reading it fully and by checking the following points:

Next, identify whether or not there is any unnecessary data in the paper and remove it. Lastly, check the points you discussed in your work; make sure you discuss at least 3-4 key points. In case you need to proofread, rewrite an essay or buy essay , our dissertation services are always here for you.

Example of an Article Review

Why have we devoted an entire section of this article to talk about an article review sample, you may wonder? Not all of you may recognize it, but in fact, looking through several solid examples of review articles is actually an essential step for your writing process, and we will tell you why.

Looking through relevant article review examples can be beneficial for you in the following ways:

As you can see, reading through a few samples can be extremely beneficial for you. Therefore, the best way to learn how to write this kind of paper is to look for an article review example online that matches your grade level.

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Writing a Literature Review

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A literature review is a document or section of a document that collects key sources on a topic and discusses those sources in conversation with each other (also called synthesis ). The lit review is an important genre in many disciplines, not just literature (i.e., the study of works of literature such as novels and plays). When we say “literature review” or refer to “the literature,” we are talking about the research ( scholarship ) in a given field. You will often see the terms “the research,” “the scholarship,” and “the literature” used mostly interchangeably.

Where, when, and why would I write a lit review?

There are a number of different situations where you might write a literature review, each with slightly different expectations; different disciplines, too, have field-specific expectations for what a literature review is and does. For instance, in the humanities, authors might include more overt argumentation and interpretation of source material in their literature reviews, whereas in the sciences, authors are more likely to report study designs and results in their literature reviews; these differences reflect these disciplines’ purposes and conventions in scholarship. You should always look at examples from your own discipline and talk to professors or mentors in your field to be sure you understand your discipline’s conventions, for literature reviews as well as for any other genre.

A literature review can be a part of a research paper or scholarly article, usually falling after the introduction and before the research methods sections. In these cases, the lit review just needs to cover scholarship that is important to the issue you are writing about; sometimes it will also cover key sources that informed your research methodology.

Lit reviews can also be standalone pieces, either as assignments in a class or as publications. In a class, a lit review may be assigned to help students familiarize themselves with a topic and with scholarship in their field, get an idea of the other researchers working on the topic they’re interested in, find gaps in existing research in order to propose new projects, and/or develop a theoretical framework and methodology for later research. As a publication, a lit review usually is meant to help make other scholars’ lives easier by collecting and summarizing, synthesizing, and analyzing existing research on a topic. This can be especially helpful for students or scholars getting into a new research area, or for directing an entire community of scholars toward questions that have not yet been answered.

What are the parts of a lit review?

Most lit reviews use a basic introduction-body-conclusion structure; if your lit review is part of a larger paper, the introduction and conclusion pieces may be just a few sentences while you focus most of your attention on the body. If your lit review is a standalone piece, the introduction and conclusion take up more space and give you a place to discuss your goals, research methods, and conclusions separately from where you discuss the literature itself.



How should I organize my lit review?

Lit reviews can take many different organizational patterns depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the review. Here are some examples:

What are some strategies or tips I can use while writing my lit review?

Any lit review is only as good as the research it discusses; make sure your sources are well-chosen and your research is thorough. Don’t be afraid to do more research if you discover a new thread as you’re writing. More info on the research process is available in our "Conducting Research" resources .

As you’re doing your research, create an annotated bibliography ( see our page on the this type of document ). Much of the information used in an annotated bibliography can be used also in a literature review, so you’ll be not only partially drafting your lit review as you research, but also developing your sense of the larger conversation going on among scholars, professionals, and any other stakeholders in your topic.

Usually you will need to synthesize research rather than just summarizing it. This means drawing connections between sources to create a picture of the scholarly conversation on a topic over time. Many student writers struggle to synthesize because they feel they don’t have anything to add to the scholars they are citing; here are some strategies to help you:

The most interesting literature reviews are often written as arguments (again, as mentioned at the beginning of the page, this is discipline-specific and doesn’t work for all situations). Often, the literature review is where you can establish your research as filling a particular gap or as relevant in a particular way. You have some chance to do this in your introduction in an article, but the literature review section gives a more extended opportunity to establish the conversation in the way you would like your readers to see it. You can choose the intellectual lineage you would like to be part of and whose definitions matter most to your thinking (mostly humanities-specific, but this goes for sciences as well). In addressing these points, you argue for your place in the conversation, which tends to make the lit review more compelling than a simple reporting of other sources.

How to Write Critical Reviews

When you are asked to write a critical review of a book or article, you will need to identify, summarize, and evaluate the ideas and information the author has presented. In other words, you will be examining another person’s thoughts on a topic from your point of view.

Your stand must go beyond your “gut reaction” to the work and be based on your knowledge (readings, lecture, experience) of the topic as well as on factors such as criteria stated in your assignment or discussed by you and your instructor.

Make your stand clear at the beginning of your review, in your evaluations of specific parts, and in your concluding commentary.

Remember that your goal should be to make a few key points about the book or article, not to discuss everything the author writes.

Understanding the Assignment

To write a good critical review, you will have to engage in the mental processes of analyzing (taking apart) the work–deciding what its major components are and determining how these parts (i.e., paragraphs, sections, or chapters) contribute to the work as a whole.

Analyzing the work will help you focus on how and why the author makes certain points and prevent you from merely summarizing what the author says. Assuming the role of an analytical reader will also help you to determine whether or not the author fulfills the stated purpose of the book or article and enhances your understanding or knowledge of a particular topic.

Be sure to read your assignment thoroughly before you read the article or book. Your instructor may have included specific guidelines for you to follow. Keeping these guidelines in mind as you read the article or book can really help you write your paper!

Also, note where the work connects with what you’ve studied in the course. You can make the most efficient use of your reading and notetaking time if you are an active reader; that is, keep relevant questions in mind and jot down page numbers as well as your responses to ideas that appear to be significant as you read.

Please note: The length of your introduction and overview, the number of points you choose to review, and the length of your conclusion should be proportionate to the page limit stated in your assignment and should reflect the complexity of the material being reviewed as well as the expectations of your reader.

Write the introduction

Below are a few guidelines to help you write the introduction to your critical review.

Introduce your review appropriately

Begin your review with an introduction appropriate to your assignment.

If your assignment asks you to review only one book and not to use outside sources, your introduction will focus on identifying the author, the title, the main topic or issue presented in the book, and the author’s purpose in writing the book.

If your assignment asks you to review the book as it relates to issues or themes discussed in the course, or to review two or more books on the same topic, your introduction must also encompass those expectations.

Explain relationships

For example, before you can review two books on a topic, you must explain to your reader in your introduction how they are related to one another.

Within this shared context (or under this “umbrella”) you can then review comparable aspects of both books, pointing out where the authors agree and differ.

In other words, the more complicated your assignment is, the more your introduction must accomplish.

Finally, the introduction to a book review is always the place for you to establish your position as the reviewer (your thesis about the author’s thesis).

As you write, consider the following questions:

Provide an overview

In your introduction, you will also want to provide an overview. An overview supplies your reader with certain general information not appropriate for including in the introduction but necessary to understanding the body of the review.

Generally, an overview describes your book’s division into chapters, sections, or points of discussion. An overview may also include background information about the topic, about your stand, or about the criteria you will use for evaluation.

The overview and the introduction work together to provide a comprehensive beginning for (a “springboard” into) your review.

Write the body

The body is the center of your paper, where you draw out your main arguments. Below are some guidelines to help you write it.

Organize using a logical plan

Organize the body of your review according to a logical plan. Here are two options:

Questions to keep in mind as you write

With either organizational pattern, consider the following questions:

Keep your opinions distinct and cite your sources

Remember, as you discuss the author’s major points, be sure to distinguish consistently between the author’s opinions and your own.

Keep the summary portions of your discussion concise, remembering that your task as a reviewer is to re-see the author’s work, not to re-tell it.

And, importantly, if you refer to ideas from other books and articles or from lecture and course materials, always document your sources, or else you might wander into the realm of plagiarism.

Include only that material which has relevance for your review and use direct quotations sparingly. The Writing Center has other handouts to help you paraphrase text and introduce quotations.

Write the conclusion

You will want to use the conclusion to state your overall critical evaluation.

You have already discussed the major points the author makes, examined how the author supports arguments, and evaluated the quality or effectiveness of specific aspects of the book or article.

Now you must make an evaluation of the work as a whole, determining such things as whether or not the author achieves the stated or implied purpose and if the work makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge.

Consider the following questions:

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Article Review

Barbara P

Article Review - A Complete Writing Guide With Examples

Published on: Feb 17, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022

Article Review

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An article review format is a scholarly way to analyze and evaluate the work of other experts in your specific field. Scholars or students mainly use it outside of the education system. But it's typically done for clarity, originality, and how well contributions from this expert have been made to their discipline.

When answering questions about what is an article review and how to write one, you must understand the type of analysis the instructor requires. Continue reading to get a detailed idea of writing a perfect article review in no time.

What is an Article Review?

An article review is a writing piece that summarizes and assesses someone else's article. It entails understanding the central theme of the article, supporting arguments, and implications for further research.

A review has specific guidelines and format to write. It can be either a critical review or a literature review. A critical analysis deals with a specific type of text in detail, while a literature review is a broader kind of document.

Moreover, an article review is important because of the following reasons:

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Types of Review

Below are the three main types of article reviews:

1. Journal Article Review

A journal article review is essentially a critique of an academic paper. Here, the author provides his thoughts on both strengths and weaknesses to demonstrate how it fits in with other work and what makes this publication stand out.

Check out the following example to help you understand better.

Example of Journal Article Review

2. Research Article Review

A research article review is different from a journal article review as it evaluates the research methods used in the study. It also compares them to other research studies.

Here is a sample for you to get an idea.

Example of Research Article Review

3. Science Article Review

Science article reviews involve publications in the realm of science. This type of research provides detailed background information so you can understand it in a better way.

Have a look at the below example.

Example of Science Article Review

Article Review Format

The format of your article must follow the citation style required by your professor. If you are not sure, ask him to clarify the following pointers about the preferred format. It will help you format an article review adequately.

After knowing the answers to these questions, you can start writing your article review. Here, we have mentioned the two most commonly used citation styles, APA and MLA.

1. APA Format

An article can appear in academic journals, newspapers, and websites. You need to write bibliographical entries for the sources you use when writing an APA format article review:

2. MLA Format

Here is how you cite your sources in MLA format.

How to Write an Article Review?

Students often find writing an article review for the very first time daunting. Thus, it is best to start with a few preparatory steps.

The following is a complete step-by-step guide to write an effective article review in no time

1. The Pre-Writing Process

First, you need to know the type of review you are writing as it will help while reading an article. Here are some of the main stages of this process to help you get started.

After this process, you can begin writing your own review.

2. Write the Title

First, write a title that reflects the main focus of your research work. It can be either interrogative, descriptive, or declarative.

3. Cite the Article

Next, add the citation for the article that you have reviewed. Consider the style of citation specified by your instructor. For example, if you were using MLA style, the citation would look like this:

Author’s last and first name. “The title of the article.” Journal’s title and issue(publication date): page(s). Print

Abraham John. “The World of Dreams.” Virginia Quarterly 60.2(1991): 125-67. Print.

4. Article Identification

After citing the article properly, include the identification of the reviewed article. All the information given below must be included in the first paragraph.

For Example

The report, “Poverty increases school drop-outs,” was written by Brian Faith – a Health officer – in 2000.

5. Introduction

Before you start to write, you must organize your thoughts. You can use an article review template or outline of your assignment before you start. However, if you are wondering how to start an article review, always start with writing an introduction. It should contain the following things:

6. Summarize the Article

Write the summary of the article and discuss the central arguments presented by the author. Also, make a list of relevant facts and findings and include the author's conclusion.

7. Critique It

Here, state the author’s contribution and present the strengths and weaknesses that you have found in the article. Also, make a list of research gaps and see if the facts and theories support the arguments.

8. Draft a Conclusion

This section will sum up the critical points, findings, and your critique of the article. Here, the writer should also state the accuracy and validity of the review by presenting suggestions for future research work.

9. Revise and Proofread

The last step before submitting your article review is revising and proofreading. It is an essential part of the writing process, so make sure to do it right. For this, read the review aloud to identify any spelling, grammar, punctuation, and structure mistakes.

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Article Review Outline

After reading your article, organize your thoughts in an outline. Write down important facts or contributions to the field. Also, identify the weaknesses and strengths of your publication and start to discuss them accordingly.

If your professor doesn't want a summary section, then do not write one. Like other assignments, an article review must also contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. So divide your outline according to these sections and subheadings in the body.

If you find that you're having trouble with prewriting and brainstorming for this assignment, try looking for a sample outline. An outline for the article review must contain the below parts:

Refer to the following template to understand outlining the article review in detail.

Article Review Format Template

Article Review Example

Here is a sample review paper for you to write your own perfectly on time.

Sample of Article Review

Law Article Review

Looking at relevant article review examples may be useful to you in the following ways:

You can learn a lot about an author's style and voice by reading selections from their work. As you can see, skimming a few samples may be really useful to you.

As a result, the best method to acquire experience writing this sort of paper is to look for an online article review example that matches your grade level.

Article Review Topics

Below you can find examples of topics for article review.

It is hard to write a good review because you need to find an article in a reliable source and read it. With this, you are also required to evaluate the information and think about any further limitations. Thus, the writer must have exceptional writing and analytical skills.

Therefore, if you are unsure about your skills, you can always get professional help online.  MyPerfectWords.com  is the  top essay writer service  that provides legit writing help at affordable rates. Our team of top writers can write papers of all types and for different academic levels and subject matters with perfection.

So, do not think much, and hire our  writing services  to get your review done within the given deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of an article review.

The main purpose of writing a review is to create an informative synthesis of the best resources available in the literature for an important research question or current area of study.

How long should an article review be?

Article reviews vary in length. Narrative reviews range between 8,000 and 40,000 words. On the other hand, systematic reviews are usually shorter and less than 10,000 words.

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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What is a review article?

Learn how to write a review article.

What is a review article? A review article can also be called a literature review, or a review of literature. It is a survey of previously published research on a topic. It should give an overview of current thinking on the topic. And, unlike an original research article, it will not present new experimental results.

Writing a review of literature is to provide a critical evaluation of the data available from existing studies. Review articles can identify potential research areas to explore next, and sometimes they will draw new conclusions from the existing data.

Why write a review article?

To provide a comprehensive foundation on a topic.

To explain the current state of knowledge.

To identify gaps in existing studies for potential future research.

To highlight the main methodologies and research techniques.

Did you know? 

There are some journals that only publish review articles, and others that do not accept them.

Make sure you check the  aims and scope  of the journal you’d like to publish in to find out if it’s the right place for your review article.

How to write a review article

Below are 8 key items to consider when you begin writing your review article.

Check the journal’s aims and scope

Make sure you have read the aims and scope for the journal you are submitting to and follow them closely. Different journals accept different types of articles and not all will accept review articles, so it’s important to check this before you start writing.

Define your scope

Define the scope of your review article and the research question you’ll be answering, making sure your article contributes something new to the field. 

As award-winning author Angus Crake told us, you’ll also need to “define the scope of your review so that it is manageable, not too large or small; it may be necessary to focus on recent advances if the field is well established.” 

Finding sources to evaluate

When finding sources to evaluate, Angus Crake says it’s critical that you “use multiple search engines/databases so you don’t miss any important ones.” 

For finding studies for a systematic review in medical sciences,  read advice from NCBI . 

Writing your title, abstract and keywords

Spend time writing an effective title, abstract and keywords. This will help maximize the visibility of your article online, making sure the right readers find your research. Your title and abstract should be clear, concise, accurate, and informative. 

For more information and guidance on getting these right, read our guide to writing a good abstract and title  and our  researcher’s guide to search engine optimization . 

Introduce the topic

Does a literature review need an introduction? Yes, always start with an overview of the topic and give some context, explaining why a review of the topic is necessary. Gather research to inform your introduction and make it broad enough to reach out to a large audience of non-specialists. This will help maximize its wider relevance and impact. 

Don’t make your introduction too long. Divide the review into sections of a suitable length to allow key points to be identified more easily.

Include critical discussion

Make sure you present a critical discussion, not just a descriptive summary of the topic. If there is contradictory research in your area of focus, make sure to include an element of debate and present both sides of the argument. You can also use your review paper to resolve conflict between contradictory studies.

What researchers say

Angus Crake, researcher

As part of your conclusion, include making suggestions for future research on the topic. Focus on the goal to communicate what you understood and what unknowns still remains.

Use a critical friend

Always perform a final spell and grammar check of your article before submission. 

You may want to ask a critical friend or colleague to give their feedback before you submit. If English is not your first language, think about using a language-polishing service.

Find out more about how  Taylor & Francis Editing Services can help improve your manuscript before you submit.

What is the difference between a research article and a review article?

Before you submit your review article….

Complete this checklist before you submit your review article:

Have you checked the journal’s aims and scope?

Have you defined the scope of your article?

Did you use multiple search engines to find sources to evaluate?

Have you written a descriptive title and abstract using keywords?

Did you start with an overview of the topic?

Have you presented a critical discussion?

Have you included future suggestions for research in your conclusion?

Have you asked a friend to do a final spell and grammar check?

writing article reviews

Expert help for your manuscript

writing article reviews

Taylor & Francis Editing Services  offers a full range of pre-submission manuscript preparation services to help you improve the quality of your manuscript and submit with confidence.

Related resources

How to edit your paper

Writing a scientific literature review

writing article reviews

When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

How to Write a Peer Review

writing article reviews

When you write a peer review for a manuscript, what should you include in your comments? What should you leave out? And how should the review be formatted?

This guide provides quick tips for writing and organizing your reviewer report.

Review Outline

Use an outline for your reviewer report so it’s easy for the editors and author to follow. This will also help you keep your comments organized.

Think about structuring your review like an inverted pyramid. Put the most important information at the top, followed by details and examples in the center, and any additional points at the very bottom.

writing article reviews

Here’s how your outline might look:

1. Summary of the research and your overall impression

In your own words, summarize what the manuscript claims to report. This shows the editor how you interpreted the manuscript and will highlight any major differences in perspective between you and the other reviewers. Give an overview of the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. Think about this as your “take-home” message for the editors. End this section with your recommended course of action.

2. Discussion of specific areas for improvement

It’s helpful to divide this section into two parts: one for major issues and one for minor issues. Within each section, you can talk about the biggest issues first or go systematically figure-by-figure or claim-by-claim. Number each item so that your points are easy to follow (this will also make it easier for the authors to respond to each point). Refer to specific lines, pages, sections, or figure and table numbers so the authors (and editors) know exactly what you’re talking about.

Major vs. minor issues

What’s the difference between a major and minor issue? Major issues should consist of the essential points the authors need to address before the manuscript can proceed. Make sure you focus on what is  fundamental for the current study . In other words, it’s not helpful to recommend additional work that would be considered the “next step” in the study. Minor issues are still important but typically will not affect the overall conclusions of the manuscript. Here are some examples of what would might go in the “minor” category:

3. Any other points

Confidential comments for the editors.

Some journals have a space for reviewers to enter confidential comments about the manuscript. Use this space to mention concerns about the submission that you’d want the editors to consider before sharing your feedback with the authors, such as concerns about ethical guidelines or language quality. Any serious issues should be raised directly and immediately with the journal as well.

This section is also where you will disclose any potentially competing interests, and mention whether you’re willing to look at a revised version of the manuscript.

Do not use this space to critique the manuscript, since comments entered here will not be passed along to the authors.  If you’re not sure what should go in the confidential comments, read the reviewer instructions or check with the journal first before submitting your review. If you are reviewing for a journal that does not offer a space for confidential comments, consider writing to the editorial office directly with your concerns.

Get this outline in a template

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is hard. Giving effective feedback can be even more challenging. Remember that your ultimate goal is to discuss what the authors would need to do in order to qualify for publication. The point is not to nitpick every piece of the manuscript. Your focus should be on providing constructive and critical feedback that the authors can use to improve their study.

If you’ve ever had your own work reviewed, you already know that it’s not always easy to receive feedback. Follow the golden rule: Write the type of review you’d want to receive if you were the author. Even if you decide not to identify yourself in the review, you should write comments that you would be comfortable signing your name to.

In your comments, use phrases like “ the authors’ discussion of X” instead of “ your discussion of X .” This will depersonalize the feedback and keep the focus on the manuscript instead of the authors.

General guidelines for effective feedback

writing article reviews

writing article reviews


Before and After: Sample Reviewer Comments

Keeping in mind the guidelines above, how do you put your thoughts into words? Here are some sample “before” and “after” reviewer comments

✗ Before

“The authors appear to have no idea what they are talking about. I don’t think they have read any of the literature on this topic.”

✓ After

“The study fails to address how the findings relate to previous research in this area. The authors should rewrite their Introduction and Discussion to reference the related literature, especially recently published work such as Darwin et al.”

“The writing is so bad, it is practically unreadable. I could barely bring myself to finish it.”

“While the study appears to be sound, the language is unclear, making it difficult to follow. I advise the authors work with a writing coach or copyeditor to improve the flow and readability of the text.”

“It’s obvious that this type of experiment should have been included. I have no idea why the authors didn’t use it. This is a big mistake.”

“The authors are off to a good start, however, this study requires additional experiments, particularly [type of experiment]. Alternatively, the authors should include more information that clarifies and justifies their choice of methods.”

Suggested Language for Tricky Situations

You might find yourself in a situation where you’re not sure how to explain the problem or provide feedback in a constructive and respectful way. Here is some suggested language for common issues you might experience.

What you think : The manuscript is fatally flawed. What you could say: “The study does not appear to be sound” or “the authors have missed something crucial”.

What you think : You don’t completely understand the manuscript. What you could say : “The authors should clarify the following sections to avoid confusion…”

What you think : The technical details don’t make sense. What you could say : “The technical details should be expanded and clarified to ensure that readers understand exactly what the researchers studied.”

What you think: The writing is terrible. What you could say : “The authors should revise the language to improve readability.”

What you think : The authors have over-interpreted the findings. What you could say : “The authors aim to demonstrate [XYZ], however, the data does not fully support this conclusion. Specifically…”

What does a good review look like?

Check out the peer review examples at F1000 Research to see how other reviewers write up their reports and give constructive feedback to authors.

Time to Submit the Review!

Be sure you turn in your report on time. Need an extension? Tell the journal so that they know what to expect. If you need a lot of extra time, the journal might need to contact other reviewers or notify the author about the delay.

Tip: Building a relationship with an editor

You’ll be more likely to be asked to review again if you provide high-quality feedback and if you turn in the review on time. Especially if it’s your first review for a journal, it’s important to show that you are reliable. Prove yourself once and you’ll get asked to review again!

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your…

Ensure appropriateness and rigor, avoid flexibility and above all never manipulate results In many fields, a statistical analysis forms the heart of…

How to write a good scientific review article


Literature reviews are valuable resources for the scientific community. With research accelerating at an unprecedented speed in recent years and more and more original papers being published, review articles have become increasingly important as a means to keep up to date with developments in a particular area of research. A good review article provides readers with an in-depth understanding of a field and highlights key gaps and challenges to address with future research. Writing a review article also helps to expand the writer's knowledge of their specialist area and to develop their analytical and communication skills, amongst other benefits. Thus, the importance of building review-writing into a scientific career cannot be overstated. In this instalment of The FEBS Journal's Words of Advice series, I provide detailed guidance on planning and writing an informative and engaging literature review.

© 2022 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

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How to Review a Journal Article

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For many kinds of assignments, like a  literature review , you may be asked to offer a critique or review of a journal article. This is an opportunity for you as a scholar to offer your  qualified opinion  and  evaluation  of how another scholar has composed their article, argument, and research. That means you will be expected to go beyond a simple  summary  of the article and evaluate it on a deeper level. As a college student, this might sound intimidating. However, as you engage with the research process, you are becoming immersed in a particular topic, and your insights about the way that topic is presented are valuable and can contribute to the overall conversation surrounding your topic.


Some disciplines, like Criminal Justice, may only want you to summarize the article without including your opinion or evaluation. If your assignment is to summarize the article only, please see our literature review handout.

Before getting started on the critique, it is important to review the article thoroughly and critically. To do this, we recommend take notes,  annotating , and reading the article several times before critiquing. As you read, be sure to note important items like the thesis, purpose, research questions, hypotheses, methods, evidence, key findings, major conclusions, tone, and publication information. Depending on your writing context, some of these items may not be applicable.

Questions to Consider

To evaluate a source, consider some of the following questions. They are broken down into different categories, but answering these questions will help you consider what areas to examine. With each category, we recommend identifying the strengths and weaknesses in each since that is a critical part of evaluation.

Evaluating Purpose and Argument

Evaluating the Presentation/Organization of Information

Evaluating Methods

Evaluating Data

Following, we have an example of a summary and an evaluation of a research article. Note that in most literature review contexts, the summary and evaluation would be much shorter. This extended example shows the different ways a student can critique and write about an article.

Chik, A. (2012). Digital gameplay for autonomous foreign language learning: Gamers’ and language teachers’ perspectives. In H. Reinders (ed.),  Digital games in language learning and teaching  (pp. 95-114). Eastbourne, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Be sure to include the full citation either in a reference page or near your evaluation if writing an  annotated bibliography .

In Chik’s article “Digital Gameplay for Autonomous Foreign Language Learning: Gamers’ and Teachers’ Perspectives”, she explores the ways in which “digital gamers manage gaming and gaming-related activities to assume autonomy in their foreign language learning,” (96) which is presented in contrast to how teachers view the “pedagogical potential” of gaming. The research was described as an “umbrella project” consisting of two parts. The first part examined 34 language teachers’ perspectives who had limited experience with gaming (only five stated they played games regularly) (99). Their data was recorded through a survey, class discussion, and a seven-day gaming trial done by six teachers who recorded their reflections through personal blog posts. The second part explored undergraduate gaming habits of ten Hong Kong students who were regular gamers. Their habits were recorded through language learning histories, videotaped gaming sessions, blog entries of gaming practices, group discussion sessions, stimulated recall sessions on gaming videos, interviews with other gamers, and posts from online discussion forums. The research shows that while students recognize the educational potential of games and have seen benefits of it in their lives, the instructors overall do not see the positive impacts of gaming on foreign language learning.

The summary includes the article’s purpose, methods, results, discussion, and citations when necessary.

This article did a good job representing the undergraduate gamers’ voices through extended quotes and stories. Particularly for the data collection of the undergraduate gamers, there were many opportunities for an in-depth examination of their gaming practices and histories. However, the representation of the teachers in this study was very uneven when compared to the students. Not only were teachers labeled as numbers while the students picked out their own pseudonyms, but also when viewing the data collection, the undergraduate students were more closely examined in comparison to the teachers in the study. While the students have fifteen extended quotes describing their experiences in their research section, the teachers only have two of these instances in their section, which shows just how imbalanced the study is when presenting instructor voices.

Some research methods, like the recorded gaming sessions, were only used with students whereas teachers were only asked to blog about their gaming experiences. This creates a richer narrative for the students while also failing to give instructors the chance to have more nuanced perspectives. This lack of nuance also stems from the emphasis of the non-gamer teachers over the gamer teachers. The non-gamer teachers’ perspectives provide a stark contrast to the undergraduate gamer experiences and fits neatly with the narrative of teachers not valuing gaming as an educational tool. However, the study mentioned five teachers that were regular gamers whose perspectives are left to a short section at the end of the presentation of the teachers’ results. This was an opportunity to give the teacher group a more complex story, and the opportunity was entirely missed.

Additionally, the context of this study was not entirely clear. The instructors were recruited through a master’s level course, but the content of the course and the institution’s background is not discussed. Understanding this context helps us understand the course’s purpose(s) and how those purposes may have influenced the ways in which these teachers interpreted and saw games. It was also unclear how Chik was connected to this masters’ class and to the students. Why these particular teachers and students were recruited was not explicitly defined and also has the potential to skew results in a particular direction.

Overall, I was inclined to agree with the idea that students can benefit from language acquisition through gaming while instructors may not see the instructional value, but I believe the way the research was conducted and portrayed in this article made it very difficult to support Chik’s specific findings.

Some professors like you to begin an evaluation with something positive but isn’t always necessary.

The evaluation is clearly organized and uses transitional phrases when moving to a new topic.

This evaluation includes a summative statement that gives the overall impression of the article at the end, but this can also be placed at the beginning of the evaluation.

This evaluation mainly discusses the representation of data and methods. However, other areas, like organization, are open to critique.

How to Write an Article Review: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

writing article reviews

Common Types of Review Writing

Formatting Tips

Prewriting Steps

Template & Outline

Step-by-Step Writing Guide

Proofreading and Editing

14 Dos and Don’ts

Paper Writing Help

An article review is one of those academic tasks students face quite often during their education. At first glance, it may seem like a very simple and straightforward task. But article review writing has its peculiarities and pitfalls that can make the process extremely challenging. Knowing how to avoid them can help you save lots of time and nerves and, at the same time, ensure an excellent result. But, how to do it?

If you were assigned to do such a task and have no clue how to write a review of an article, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will share with you the most effective tips and tricks that will make writing simple and enjoyable. Let’s dive in!

What Is an Article Review?

An article review is quite a common form of academic assignment in schools and colleges. In a nutshell, this paper requires students to read a specific article, critically evaluate it, and write their observations in the review.

Basically, your review is a constructive, critical assessment of someone else’s work. It explores the strong and weak points of the given piece, gaps, inconsistencies, and other issues, and gives the whole piece an objective evaluation based on all these points.

Working on such an assignment requires excellent analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to present ideas and arguments in a well-structured way. Therefore, handling this task can be rather difficult.

To help you get on the right track, here are the basic features of article review writing:

Common Types of Article Review

All reviews follow a similar structure and pursue the same goal. However, there are different types of reviews that require a different approach to each.

All in all, we can distinguish three types of this paper based on the kind of article that is being reviewed.

Journal Article Review

If you are reviewing a journal article, you should focus on assessing the strong and weak points of the piece. You should share your own interpretation of the article and provide its in-depth analysis to highlight the value and importance of the piece.

This type of work is probably the easiest and least formal of all.

Research Article Review

When writing a review of the research article, you also have to read, analyze, and evaluate the piece. However, this type of paper needs to have more depth to it compared to a review of a journal article.

The biggest distinctive feature of this work is that along with assessing the strong and weak sides of the article, the author should also evaluate the research methods and use this assessment to conduct further analysis and critique.

Science Article Review

Finally, the last and the most complex type of review is a review of a scientific article. Since scientific articles provide more information on the background of the subject matter, you can use this info to make a more thorough analysis of the piece.

Article Review Format Tips

If you are wondering which format to use for your critical review of an article, the first thing you should do is check with your professor. Typically, a professor should provide you with clear guidelines for your paper writing . If you didn’t get any guidelines or something is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask your professor to clarify it for you.

Some of the main questions you should ask in terms of formating are:

Having the answers to these questions will help you create a high-quality paper that fully meets the requirements of your professor. So, be sure to clarify them.

Just to give you an idea of how everything should look, let’s consider the two most common formats for this type of work. Below, you can find examples of MLA and APA format article review.

APA Article Review

APA style article review is one of the two most common formats. In a nutshell, if you were assigned to write an article review APA, it means that you will need to format your citations according to this style manual. The rest of the paper will have standard formatting.

If you are wondering how to write a review in APA style, here are some tips that will help you create correct bibliographical entries for the most commonly-used sources:

MLA Article Review

The second common style is MLA. Here is how to format your citations if you are assigned to write an article review in MLA:

Preparing for Writing an Article Review

Of course, writing a review itself is the biggest part of the task. However, as we all know, no task can be completed well without some basic planning and preparation. The pre-writing process is necessary to get you ready for the writing stage and that’s why it is so important.

So, what do you need to prepare?

‍ First and foremost, you need to understand the essence of this task. It is vital that you know what an article review is, what purpose it has, and what is expected of you. Once you know this, there are a few more pre-writing steps to take.

Figure Out How to Organize Your Paper

Before you can get to reading and evaluating the given article, you should have a clear idea of the organization of your future review. Knowing how your paper will be structured will give you an idea of what you should focus on when reading the article.

organize your paper

To help you get started, here is how your review should be set up:

Go Over the Text

Start by quickly skimming the article. During your first reading, don’t cling to any details. Instead, go over the article’s title and abstract, study the headings, opening sentences of the paragraphs, etc. Then only read the first several paragraphs and jump to the concluding paragraph. These tricks will help you quickly grasp the overall idea of the article and the main points the author makes.

Next, read the entire article to get a complete picture. Here are a few tips to help you make the first reading as effective as possible:

Read the Text Attentively

After you give it the first round of superficial reading and note down everything that seems unclear, you can finally read the article closely.

Follow these tips to make the most of this stage:

Interpret the Article In Your Own Words

Putting the article into your own words is a great trick that will help you define how well you understood the main points. Also, this is a good practice for your writing stage.

After writing down your own interpretation of the article, highlight the main parts that you’d like to discuss in your review. 

Based on your interpretation and highlighted points, make a preliminary outline. Then review your outline to cross out everything unnecessary or unimportant.

Create a Detailed Outline

The last stage of preparation is making an outline. Get back to your notes, summary, and preliminary outline to define what to include in your review. Based on this, create a clear, well-organized, and detailed outline. In the next section of our guide, we will give you more tips for making an effective outline.

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Article Review Template & Outline

Writing an outline is the best way to organize all your thoughts and create a solid base for your future paper. It will help you follow the right structure and focus on the right points in your review. Also, an outline will help you see if anything is missing or, on the contrary, if there is anything else you should exclude from your paper.

How to create a good outline? First of all, ensure you are well aware of your teacher’s requirements. There are two sections of the review that are optional - a personal critique and a summary section. You should define if your professor wants you to include these sections or not. If yes, you will also have to add them to your outline. If not, you can follow a standard template.

What parts are included in an outline? The review itself, like any other academic paper, should consist of an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. However, additionally, you may need to include some other sections to your review, such as:

Need more help with making an article review outline? Here is a basic sample outline that can serve as a template for your future review:

A Step-by-Step Guide to Article Review Writing


First, create a relevant title that goes in line with the core focus of your paper. Make sure it is clear and concise, but attention-grabbing.

Next, you will need to cite the article you are reviewing according to the required citation style.

Here is a sample citation in the MLA style:

Abraham John. “The World of Dreams.” Virginia Quarterly 60.2(1991): 125-67. Print.

Following the citation, you need to provide the identification details of the article, such as:

The article, “The World of Dreams,” was written by John Abraham and published in Virginia Quarterly in 1991.

To create a great introduction, start with the basic info about the article and the thesis for your paper. Move on to a brief summary of the article and its main points. 

Provide a more thorough summary of the article. Pay close attention to the key statements, ideas, theories, and findings offered by the author.

Make a critical assessment of the article. First, discuss the positive aspects of the work, explain what the author did well, and support your ideas with arguments. After the positive aspects, discuss what gaps, inconsistencies, and other drawbacks are present in the article.

Revisit all the points you’ve discussed in your review and shape a clear and logical conclusion.

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The Last Stage: Proofreading and Editing

If you take a look at a truly well-written example of an article review, you will not find any typos or grammar mistakes there. Although the content of your review plays a big role in your success, the quality of the text is also vital.

Although many students still prefer to skip the post-writing process, they make a huge mistake here. If you don’t bother to proofread and edit your review, you risk getting a low grade just because you didn’t fix the errors. That would be a pity, right? That’s true, so here you have all the reasons to devote some more time and energy to revise your draft.

But how to proofread and edit your review effectively? Here are some key tips that should help:

Checklist for Revision

writing article reviews

Now that you have all the tips for effective proofreading, here is a checklist that will help you define whether you checked everything:

Writing an Article Review: 14 Dos and Don’ts

If you have never dealt with this type of assignment before, you are probably wondering how to write article review the right way and avoid common mistakes. We already told you about the main steps in writing and shared some handy article review examples to help you get started. But, we have even more tips in store and we are willing to share them with you.

In the list below, we’ve gathered some of the main tips on what you should and should not do when writing.

The Bottom Line

If after reading all the guidelines, tips, and examples you are still not sure how to review an article, we’ve got something else for you! There is one more solution to your academic matters that always guarantees 100% success - it is turning for professional help to the team of PaperWriter.

PaperWriter is a professional paper writing service with a huge pool of top-rated paper writers. Here, students of all academic levels can get any kind of help they need. Whether you need mathematics homework help or essay editing assistance - PaperWriter has got you covered. Trust us to take care of your article review and we will make sure that you get the highest grade with literally no effort.

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How to write an article review.

how to write article review

In this short guide, we will take a step-by-step approach to teach you how to write an article review. We will explain the differences between an article review for a variety of subjects and let you know where you can find a great example of an article review on the web. We will begin by first answering the question many students have about this kind of assignment.

What is An Article Review?

An article review summarizes and evaluates another person’s article. It’s an assignment that is usually given to introduce students to written works done by experts in a specific field. A critical review of journal article can be done in just about any discipline, but we can’t go in-depth for each. So we will stay focused on the ones you are most likely to have to work in and then break down the steps you need to take for writing a review article that truly impresses.

Some of the most common types are:

  • The Science Article Review
  • The APA Article Review
  • The Law Review Article
  • The Journal Article Review

Each of these has a slightly different approach and style from one another and especially from book review writing. It’s a good idea to get your hands on an article review sample in the related field you must complete your assignment in. You can find excellent published pieces in academic journals at your school library. Or you can turn to a professional writing service to get a custom-written piece sent to you that you can use as an article review template.

What is a Peer Review Article?

Before we move on to the “how to write article review” portion of this guide, we will briefly discuss another type of review article you might come upon at some point: The peer-review article. This type of article is one that is written by a researcher or scholar and then is reviewed by experts in the field before publication. So that means the piece that you see in the journal has already been reviewed and critiqued by others. It also means that it has gone through different versions or drafts. Perhaps one of the best ways to learn how to write a critical review of a journal article is to have a look at how others review experts’ work before they reach publication.

How to Review an Article

The first thing you need to do before writing your review is fully understanding all that you have to do conduct an unbiased evaluation of the published work.

The first thing you need to know about how to review a research article is evaluating its organization. Your review will mirror the author’s structure and format. Focus on the most important elements, including main points, supporting evidence, and claims. It’s a good idea to break up the article into parts to better identify all of the essential elements that need to be addressed.

This type of assignment requires exceptional close reading. If you have gained access to an article review example you will see that the reviewer has been careful to address all of the original article’s main points and supporting evidence. Take what you get from the article and apply it to what you already know about the topic. Do this at least twice to ensure that you cover all of the most important information.

This should be done as a straightforward freewriting session. Just take the main points of the original article and attempt to rewrite in in your own words. This will let you identify the places where you are not in total agreement with what the author has presented. Your writing should be focused on all of the main arguments, main research points, and claims that the author makes.

How to Write a Review Article

The following 5 step-by-step process is all you need to know about how to start an article review. It’s a great idea to start with a couple of practice reviews so that you can become comfortable with this kind of assignment’s main elements.

The best way to adhere to the appropriate article review format is to create an outline before you start the process of writing. Review each of the summary points you made and compare them with the original article. Write down all instances of effective writing as well as any new contributions made to the field. Identify all of the article’s strengths and weaknesses and start to organize the main points with your critique in a clear and concise outline.

Take the original article, outline, and rewrite from the prior steps and start writing a rough draft covering all the main points, arguments, and findings. Since this is a draft you don’t need to worry about getting words right. Don’t stop to make corrections or grammar. Just get the draft down on the page as quickly as possible. Write the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion and then set the draft aside.

The main part of how to write a review of an article is writing your critique. Refer to your outline and summary to draft several paragraphs evaluating the effectiveness of the writer’s arguments. You should address whether the article was useful, thorough, and clear in explaining the subject. The critique will form the body paragraphs, so each paragraph should address a single sub-topic. In each paragraph, decide whether or not you agree with the writer backed up with sufficient support.

The introduction and conclusion should be written after you’ve written the main portion (critique body paragraphs) of the review. Your intro will identify the article, mention its central themes, and arguments made by the author. Your conclusion will summarize the main points of the article in addition to your critique of them. Each of these paragraphs should be no more than 10% to 15% of your review.

Despite everything you’ve learned about how to write an article review, you need to ensure you adhere to the fundamentals of good essay writing. This means that you should set your review aside for a few days before you start your revisions. If you have the time you should set it aside for more time before you start editing and proofreading your work. Writing a great academic review will earn you a high grade and you will be under greater scrutiny since you are critiquing someone else’s ideas, structure, and writing, so be sure to put in the extra work.

There is a lot you need to know about how to write a article review. That’s where we can step in to help. We are a group of highly-qualified academic writers that know everything there is about every kind of assignment. You may not feel you are a strong writer or you may not have the time to write the review article on your own. Whatever the reason may be, we’re available to jump in and help craft a research article review that is guaranteed to earn you a high score.

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Article Review

Caleb S.

A Complete Writing Guide of Article Review for Beginners

12 min read

Published on: Apr 6, 2023

Last updated on: May 12, 2023

article review

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Do you want to impress your professor with an article review? However, no idea how to write it. Then, we’ve got you covered.

If you're reading this, then you will easily write it. You are one of the few who have been assigned an article review. This may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually not that bad.

In fact, if you follow some guidelines and tips, you will easily write like a professional writer.

Writing an article review is a great way to engage your audience. It's also a good way of showing off your research skills and knowledge on the subject you're writing about. If you want to know how, keep reading!

In this blog post, we'll be going over what an article review is, why it's important, and give a step-by-step guide on how to write one.

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What is an Article Review?

A review is an article that summarizes and assesses the central theme of another person's work.

The reviewer must understand the main points, insights, and observations given in the article to present a logical evaluation during summation.

There are two types of reviews:

  • Critical Analyses : It deals with one particular piece or books extensively
  • Literature Reviews : It provides more broad ideas about many different pieces but less detail on each item.

It acts both as a summary and evaluation of a certain work, and writing one helps you improve your critical analysis skills.

Making an article review is vital for a variety of reasons:

  • It helps the author make sure that his writing is clear and accurate. There may be instances where vague terms are used, or unclear statements are a problem in the article. This will help them decide on whether it's time for some changes.
  • It helps in clarifying key questions.
  • A systematic review is a perfect way to allow an author the opportunity of seeing other people’s views and perspectives on different issues.
  • It helps the author improve his grammar and writing style.
  • It encourages the writer to do better the next time.

All this makes writing an article review a good practice and an essential learning tool.

Many students wrongly think that an article review is the same as a research article. On the contrary, a research article is a primary source while an article review is a secondary source.

Types of Article Reviews

‘What are the different types of reviews?’

Below are the main kinds of article reviews;

Journal Article Review

A journal article review, like a paper evaluation, assesses the publication's strengths and flaws. A competent author must offer the reader an analysis and evaluation of the piece that shows its significance.

Here is a sample journal article review;

Research Article Review

It differs from a journal article evaluation in that it considers the study approach employed and keeps that information in review for analysis and criticism. When writing a journal article review, it is important to keep in mind its purpose.

Science Article Review

Scientific article review entails everything that has to do with science. Scientific papers frequently include material on the context surrounding the study that you may employ in your analysis.

Article Review Format

‘How to format an article review correctly?’

A correct format is necessary for a lasting and desired effect. To make sure that there are no confusions, ask your professor about the citation style and format. Here is how to format your article review properly;

  • Which citation style will be appropriate for your article? (Choose from MLA, APA, ASA, Chicago, etc.)
  • How long should your review be?
  • What should you include in your assignment (summary, critique, or personal opinion)?
  • Does it need to mention any specific theme or main idea?
  • Has your professor asked you to add background information?

Once you get your answers, you start working on your article review. Below are the two most commonly used citation styles: APA and MLA style.

Articles are usually submitted to academic journals, websites and newspapers. When formatting your review in APA format, follow the following format for different entries;

  • Web:  Author [last name], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Year, Month, Date of Publication). Title. Retrieved from {link}
  • Journal:  Author [last name], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Publication Year). Publication Title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.
  • Newspaper:  Author [last name], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Year, Month, Date of Publication). Publication Title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.

When using the MLA format, follow the following format for the sources;

  • Web:  Last, First Middle Initial. “Publication Title.” Website Title. Website Publisher, Date Month Year Published. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.
  • Newspaper:  Last, First M. “Publication Title.” Newspaper Title [City] Date, Month, Year Published: Page(s). Print.
  • Journal:  Last, First M. “Publication Title.” Journal Title Series Volume. Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Database Name. Web. Date Month Year Accessed.

Article Review Writing - The Pre-writing Process

Creating an article review for the first time might be overwhelming, leaving you unsure of where to begin. To get started, follow these two simple steps:

Knowing how your paper will be structured in the future will assist you in determining how to read it. Here are the actions you need to take:

  • Summarize the article based on your research - identify the major points, ideas, claims, and basic information presented in it.
  • Define the good aspects - point out the successful elements, ideas, and perceptive remarks the author has made.
  • Look for gaps - see whether the author has any inconsistencies, gaps, or contradictions in the content, and assess whether he or she made effective use of arguments and facts to back up his or her claims.
  • Identify the main and answered questions - finally, determine if there are any unanswered questions after reading the piece.

Here's a quick and easy approach to help you get started:

  • Examine the article's title, abstract portion, headings and subheadings, opening sentences in its paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • To begin, focus only on the beginning and conclusion of the piece (introduction and conclusion). These are where writers put all of their major ideas and claims. As a result, if you start with these sections, you'll have a good understanding of the author's key arguments and points.
  • Finally, go through the article completely.

The bigger part of the prewriting process consists of these steps. You may now proceed to write your own review after you've completed them—and we'll walk you through the writing process as well.

It's critical to have organization in an assignment like this. You might use an article review template to better organize your ideas before beginning your writing process.

Article Review Outline

Once you have formatted the review, it is time to create an outline based on it.

‘How to Create an Article Review Outline?’

Below is a sample article review outline.

  • Title Page  - The Title page will be formulated as per the referencing style you are following. For example, when following an APA style, the title page will be according to it. The same goes for other styles.
  • Title  - Write the title of your article review.
  • Your Name  - Here, the writer will add their name.
  • Date  - The date of submission.
  • Abstract  - The abstract should contain a summary of the review question, the primary study reviewed, and conclusions. The abstract doesn’t include any references. It should be 200 to 300 words long.
  • Introduction  - Write the article’s topic that you will review, and it should show the readers what the article has. Create and present an outline in which the entire sub-topics will be presented. Add some background information also.
  • Body  - This section will include the sub-topics and sections that you will be discussing. The article’s strengths and weaknesses, negative and positive aspects, and scope for future research, everything would come in this section.
  • Conclusion  - This will be the end of your article review and will restate the review’s main points.
  • References  - Here, add the sources that you will use to back your claims and arguments.

A good and easy-to-follow outline is important for a smooth article review writing process. Make sure that you create the outline beforehand.

How to Start an Article Review?

Below are the steps involved in starting an article review.

The success of a review depends on how well it meets the expectations held by its audience.

It is important to summarize what you have read and evaluated whether or not this material contributes anything new and worthwhile in terms of knowledge about your subject.

You must know the right organization of your review to understand how to write an article review successfully. Here are the steps involved in it.

  • Summarize the Entire Article  - It includes a summary of the article, including the important points, ideas, and details.
  • Discuss the Positive Points  - Enter and discuss the positive points that the author discusses.
  • Identify and Point Out the Gaps  - Identify any gaps in the research and make notes of them.

Read some main details about the article. These details include the title, abstract, introduction, headings, opening sentences, and conclusion. The introduction and conclusion will help you identify the writer’s main points.

Read the article several times and take notes of important details, ideas, and themes discussed. Highlight the main points and supporting details.

Rephrase the article in your own words and write down all the main and crucial points. Once done, review it carefully and make sure that you did not miss anything important.

After you are done with the prewriting steps, you are ready to write the review.

How to Write An Article Review?

Here are the steps involved in writing an article review.

Your article review should have a short, creative title that is strong enough to grab readers' attention. Remember, the title can be responsible for 70% of your audience engagement.

The other 30% will read it because they love reading reviews or otherwise follow you and want more content from you in general; this means that "long titles with complicated words" are not ideal for an article review.

Below the title, cite the article that you are about to review. This way, people can read what was originally written before reading their own thoughts on it and vice versa. It's important to choose the correct referencing style for citations in this paper.

Your introduction must answer questions like;

  • Why have you chosen the respective article?
  • What excites you about this article?
  • How relevant is your article to the contemporary world?
  • What are the main points of your discussion and evaluation?

Make sure that you answer these questions to avoid any confusion among the readers.

The introduction of any article should be interesting, engaging and draw the reader in with anticipation for what they'll read next. It's also important to have a strong thesis statement at the end to know why they are reading this review.

The thesis statement should be an intelligent combination of both points from within or outside of the argument.

Start by organizing your thoughts into logical sections before inserting them into your essay. Doing so will make understanding all points more seamless for readers who aren't familiar with this topic area.

Some people may not have time to read the whole original article before reading your judgment.

Others might miss key points of the article, even if they do finish it all, so you should always dedicate a paragraph that summarizes the article and tells the readers about what's going on in the essay or report.

To avoid plagiarism and make summaries more interesting, pick out one or two direct quotes from the text using double quotations around them as needed - don't repeat any verbatim sentences though.

Now that you have finished writing the introduction, it is time to tackle the main body of your paper. The format for an article review can be a little tricky when deciding what information should go where and how much detail should be included in each section.

It differs from other papers because personal opinions cannot always be shared openly as they might interfere with objectivity or bias readers’ opinions on certain topics—you must show unbiased thoughtfulness instead.

The body section concludes with a strong tone. As writers, we must keep the reader engaged until the very end of our work to make sure they walk away with a sense that everything was worth it- not just from their perspective but ours as well.

Take an approach like that in research papers. Your concluding paragraph shouldn't be more than 150 words long either (and no shorter!).

Start by restating what you initially proposed about this piece: is there anything else noteworthy? What did you find most interesting or relevant? Give some final thoughts before providing recommendations for others who might read this article too-- could it help them out somehow?

Discuss everything briefly and add the article’s contribution to its field of study.

It’s time to end your article review with a properly cited reference section. If you have used the format of APA referencing style for your article review, then cite accordingly.

Otherwise, use one of these popular formats: MLA, Chicago (or Turabian), Harvard or Oxford referencing styles are all commonly used styles.

Reread your article to check for any errors and fix them. You should also be sure not to include unnecessary information in the review, making it less helpful.

Following these steps, you will be able to write a great article review successfully.

Article Review Examples

Here are some examples to help you further.

Article Review Example APA

Journal Article Review Sample

Article Review Template

Article Review Topic Ideas

Are you looking some ideas to write an article review? Here are some topic ideas.

  • Communication peculiarities between men and women.
  • Importance of extracurricular activities for students.
  • Negative effects of drugs and substance abuse.
  • Cons of using drugs and steroids in sports.
  • Obesity and its health consequences.
  • Causes and affordable treatment methods for infectious diseases.
  • Causes of illegal immigration in the USA
  • Changing gender roles and their global consequences.
  • Causes and effects of global warming.
  • Rise of multicultural families and its causes.

All these ideas could be converted into interesting ideas and make way for a great article review.

To write a good article review, you need to have a thorough understanding of the content. You should be able to summarize it easily and succinctly while also engaging with the information in your own way that reflects how you as a writer feel about the material.

After reading this article, you should have a basic understanding of what it takes to write an article review.

If you want more information on how to do so or are unsure about writing your article review, please feel free to reach out to  CollegeEssay.org .

We are an expert at providing  college essay  writing help. Our team of experts is always ready to provide you with any assistance needed. We're here 24/7, and we’ll be sure your essays meet the highest standards before they're published, so don't hesitate to contact us!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the elements of article review.

The main elements of the article review are: 

  • Objective 
  • Material and methods 
  • Results 

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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Book Review: Brandon Taylor is back with a new campus novel, ‘The Late Americans’

“The Late Americans,” by Brandon Taylor (Riverhead Books)

Brandon Taylor burst onto the literary scene three years ago, publishing two widely acclaimed books in quick succession. Critics marveled at the way he seemed to have pivoted so effortlessly from a budding career as a scientist to someone almost incapable of bad writing, as one admirer put it.

Taylor himself spoke about approaching the messy business of creative writing in the systematic way of a scientist, setting a goal for himself of writing 10,000 words a day — an extraordinary amount. Many writers, including famous ones, are thrilled if they eke out 500. Clearly, his method paid off because this week Riverhead brings out “The Late Americans,” his third book in as many years.

The novel follows the lives and loves of a group of graduate students and townies in Iowa City, home of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where Taylor earned an MFA after getting a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In the first chapter we meet Seamus, a white grad student who believes in “poetry’s transformative force” but can’t seem to get the respect of the others in his seminar because he prefers to work in traditional forms like the villanelle, a type of 19-line poem. For 50-some pages we are inside his head, privy to his sarcastic rants about his classmates, who “wrote only about the present and its urgency.”

At first, the story seems like a sendup of campus cancel culture until Seamus meets Bert, a sinister, down-on-his-luck townie who triggers the youth’s “old Marxist guilt.” After they have sex, Bert puts out a cigarette on his face and almost strangles him. Yet at the end of the horrifying encounter, Seamus is thinking about a poem by James Tate.

In the next chapter Taylor explores the relationship between Fyodor and Timo. Both men are Black, but only Timo, a graduate student in math, grew up with money. Fyodor works at a meatpacking plant in town and Timo, a vegetarian, cannot abide his lover’s line of work. At first their differences make the relationship “a little hot” — until they don’t.

Taylor has spoken about his love for campus novels by writers like Elif Batuman (“The Idiot,” “Either/Or”) and Jeffrey Eugenides (“The Marriage Plot”). “The Late Americans” is a worthy addition to the genre, not because anything much happens but rather because Taylor is indeed a beautiful writer. His tautly constructed sentences are as concrete and vivid as the poems that the hapless Seamus adores.

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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Paresh Dave

We Put Google’s New AI Writing Assistant to the Test

When I asked Google’s AI writing aid to draft a happy birthday email to a friend, it left my brain in the dust. I had taken about 90 seconds to craft a decent 81-word greeting. But the search giant’s text-generation feature knocked out a flawless 87 words in a third of the time.

That’s exactly what Google wants to see. The Help Me Write feature that launched in March and was rolled out more broadly at the  company’s annual conference last week is a radical step beyond the Smart Reply and Smart Compose tools that Gmail has offered for years to generate short phrases. With the new feature, you type a brief description of the email you want to send—“Wish happy birthday to a friend I made last year in San Francisco.” Then you click a button labeled Create, and a full draft appears. Each one bears a disclaimer: “This is a creative writing aid, and is not intended to be factual.”

Screenshot of Google Duet response to prompt write a note to a vet asking for a note allowing grooming des...

Help Me Write is the first of a slew of generative AI features  Google has planned for its productivity suite, under the umbrella branding of Duet AI for Workspace. I spent a few days testing it in Gmail and Google Docs to speed up wedding planning and uncover its boundaries.

Though it can rapidly unspool drafts of polite emails to businesses or fluent essays on mundane topics, what I gained in time I sometimes lost through new headaches. Duet’s writing often came across as stiff, it sometimes snuck in gender stereotypes and inaccurate information, and it wouldn’t expound on subjects I needed it to—like drinking games. “We’re still learning, and can’t help with that. Try another request,” the tool too often responded to me.

Frustrations aside, the system will undoubtedly be widely adopted among the 2 billion people using Gmail and the 3 billion using Google productivity software such as Docs. Existing AI offerings Smart Reply and Smart Compose drew 180 billion uses last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said last week.

Help Me Write loads via a pencil-and-star button located along the bottom of the Compose window in Gmail or on the left margin of a  Google Docs page , and it provides the sort of responses that have become synonymous with  OpenAI’s ChatGPT . Microsoft is testing a version of that technology in services including Word and Outlook with some business customers. But Google’s Duet technology is the first comparable AI writing aid offered to consumers and built into widely used services.

Hundreds of thousands of English-speaking users in the US and other countries who have signed up for  Google’s Workspace Labs have access. They’ve been testing it for job applications, client letters, and lesson plans, says Kristina Behr, the Google vice president of product overseeing collaboration services and generative AI integrations. My “You’re in!” email arrived days after signing up. The AI writing companion is free and has no usage limits, but Google hasn’t determined whether that will be true forever, she says.

My experience with Duet began with it asking me to agree to  terms of service . I was to understand that prompts and responses would not be tied to my Google account, but they could be reviewed by humans, so I should watch what I type. I still used it for personal tasks, including helping with emails and speaking scripts for my upcoming wedding, offering up my data in the spirit of informing WIRED readers.

Shredded piece of paper on a dark grey background

Lily Hay Newman

writing article reviews


Linda Yaccarino speaking on stage

Vittoria Elliott

Person wearing augmented reality goggles and working at a desk with augmented reality computer screens in front of them

Brenda Stolyar

One of the first things I noticed is that Duet’s behavior can be inconsistent across Google services. I wanted to finish up a script for friends who will emcee a pre-wedding party filled with competitions, speeches, and musical performances. But the version of Duet in Google Docs wouldn't help me write a description of the well-known drinking game Flip Cup. Nor would it explain Beer Pong. The Duet over in Gmail correctly described both games. 

Screenshot of Google Duet unable to answer prompt describe flip cup

Behr says that happened because Gmail’s version of the feature is tuned to be less formal than the one in Google Docs, which is more likely to be used in workplaces or schools. The two products have separate teams testing and setting Duet’s boundaries.

Now that I was in Gmail, I sought help writing emails to guests who were scheduled to participate in the wedding welcome event. Duet suggested some points I might not have thought to include: “We want you to feel free to be as creative as you want with your roast.” But the overall output resembled something sent by corporate HR and legal departments.

The AI-made messages were devoid of my hallmark sentences lacking a verb or starting with “Just,” and they included nary a single emoji 😡. The text generator showed little appreciation for how I or anyone else communicates informally. My partner shrieked in horror when she saw I had sent one of Duet’s drafts to two friends, with only light edits, to see their response. (So far, neither has replied.)

Behr says I could have asked for a loose and informal tone in my prompt to the AI writer. Google is trying to figure out how to educate users on tricks like that. “We're effectively building with our customers” in real time, she says. 

Pichai’s demonstration at Google’s  I/O conference last week featured the writing of a formal refund request to an airline, and I found Duet in Gmail a skilled grumbler. Complaint to consumer protection regulators about event ticketing technology? No problem. Complaint to a shoe maker for soles wearing out too fast? On point. Note to a veterinarian asking for a doggy doctor’s note? Got it. Google has built a formidable complaint machine—an aspect of Duet that will probably spur companies to use generative AI to defend themselves.

For consumers, improvements are already in the works. By the end of this month, Gmail’s text generator will draw on information from past emails in the same thread. The I/O demo showed that a user planning a potluck could generate an email that referenced a planning document shared earlier in the thread. My complaints about shoes or tickets would become more persuasive if the system pulled transaction dates, model numbers, and other info from my inbox.

The same button used to summon Help Me Write loads toggles to lengthen, shorten, or formalize either AI-crafted text or your own compositions. Those all work surprisingly well. In Docs, users can even enter their own editing filter, like “Sound more confident!” Gmail has an “I’m feeling lucky” option, which applies a surprise goofy filter to text, like turning it  piratical by switching “hello” for “ahoy” and “your” into “yer.” Another time it turned “car” into “flying car.”

Back over in Docs, my frustrations with Duet grew. It refused to generate wedding vows ( a use ChatGPT will serve ) or a “wedding reception speech with wife.” But dropping “with wife” and trying related prompts showed it could generate speeches from the point of view of a groom’s best man. The notion of a newly wedded couple speaking together was seemingly too alien for the technology.

Duet could be more useful if it could ask for additional guidance before a draft is generated, like asking a user to specify the perspective for the text. Behr says Google is considering “multi-turn experiences,” similar to ChatGPT, where a user can engage the text generator in a dialog to perfect the output.

Help Me Write,  like other text generators , can make slip-ups around gender. In Docs, it wrote a nice online review of a wedding officiant—but assumed the officiant was a “he.” Asked to compose letters to my future son and then daughter, it signed them as being written by “Dad” and “Father,” though the system does not know my gender, according to Behr. In 2018, I reported that the  Smart Compose feature, which uses machine learning to help you finish sentences in Gmail,  would not suggest pronouns because the company feared user backlash for getting them wrong. Duet lacks those precautions. Behr says that while Google’s commitment to inclusive language remains, guardrails for newer AI models require different engineering that is a work in progress.

Duet’s struggles with gender didn’t stop with botched pronouns. I asked the system to suggest gift ideas for a young boy and then a young girl. While the lists of ideas overlapped, exclusive to the boy’s side was “a remote control car or plane” and other items leaning science and tech, and only the girl’s list mentioned “a dollhouse or playset” and “jewelry.” The Help Me Write box flashes prompt ideas while waiting for users to type, and a similar experiment using even one of its suggestions (“poem about a six-year-old boy”) perpetuated gender conventions.

Stereotypes also popped up when I tried asking for movies to watch with “a gay friend” or just “a friend.” In response to the first prompt, Duet in Docs listed three movies featuring gay romances, but for the second it made only generic suggestions, like something “you both love.”

Other times, Google’s AI helper handled pronouns deftly. Asked to write a greeting card for a new baby on the way, it said “they will be a beautiful, happy, and healthy baby” without using any gendered language. But my tests suggest that people who prefer inclusive language or want to avoid stereotypes will need to be careful.

Duet sometimes avoids tricky subjects. It wouldn’t help write a  Nigerian prince scam email , an evil plan to take over the world using AI, a speech about conservative commentator  Tucker Carlson , or most anything mentioning terrorism or guns. (Water and Nerf guns were an exception.)

The Duet features also refused some prompts referring to demographic characteristics, with much inconsistency. Google’s AI writer was happy to give housewarming gift ideas for an Indian family (Indian thalis, basket of Indian snacks, Indian art) but not a Black family. It answered a request for jobs that Sikh people are good at (entrepreneurs, doctors) but not the same query for Jewish people. A five-paragraph essay on British literature? Yes. An essay on the British role in the Atlantic slave trade? Nope.

When a Duet feature refuses to generate text, it is impossible to tell whether the cause is a bug, a poor prompt, or a content concern, because in Google’s  speedy rollout , the company hasn’t gotten around to fine-tuning error notices, Behr acknowledges.

Screenshot of Google Duet response to a prompt reading use 70 of samosas before ceremony 30 at cocktail hour

As human writers know, getting words on the page is one challenge, but getting the facts correct is another. Duet in Docs rightly described the term “welfare queen” as pejorative and wrote a sharp memo on options to mitigate labor costs at any company.

But its work began to look sloppy on more specific requests. Asked to write a memo on consumer preferences in Paraguay compared to Uruguay, the system incorrectly described Paraguay as less populous. It hallucinated, or made up, the meaning behind  a song from a 1960s Hindi film being performed at my pre-wedding welcome event.

Most ironically, when prompted about the benefits of Duet AI, the system described Duet AI as a startup founded by two former Google employees to develop AI for the music industry with over $10 million in funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. It appears no such company exists. Google encourages users to report inaccuracies through a thumbs-down button below AI-generated responses.

Behr says Google screens topics, keywords, and other content cues to avoid responses that are offensive or unfairly affect people, especially based on their demographics or political or religious beliefs. She acknowledged that the system makes mistakes, but she said feedback from public testing is vital to counter the tendency of AI systems to reflect biases seen in their training data or pass off made-up information. “AI is going to be a forever project,” she says.

Still, Behr says early users, like employees at Instacart and Victoria’s Secret’s Adore Me underwear brand, have been positive about the technology. Instacart spokesperson Lauren Svensson says—in a manually written email—that the company is excited about testing Google’s AI features but not ready to share any insights.

My tests left me worrying that AI writing aids could extinguish originality, to the detriment of humans on the receiving end of AI-crafted text. I envision readers glazing over at stale emails and documents as they might if forced to read Google’s nearly 6,000-word privacy policy. It’s unclear how much individual personality Google’s tools can absorb and whether they will come to assist us or replace us.

Behr says that in Google’s internal testing, emails from colleagues have not become “vanilla” or “generic” so far. The tools have boosted human ingenuity and creativity, not suppressed them, she says. Behr too would love an AI model that imitates her style, but she says “those are the types of things that we're still evaluating.”

Despite their disappointments and limitations, the Duet features in Docs and Gmail seem likely to lure back some users who began to rely on ChatGPT or rival AI writing software. Google is going further than most other options can match, and  what we are seeing today is only a preview of what’s to come. When—or if—Duet matures from promising drafter to unbiased and expert document finisher, usage of it will become unstoppable. Until then, when it comes to writing those heartfelt vows and speeches, that’s a blank screen left entirely to me.

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  • Give this article

At left, an illustration featuring the cover of Neil Gaiman’s novel “American Gods.” At right, a black and white portrait of Gaiman from the waist up. He is gazing straight at the camera with his head cocked at a 45-degree angle. He is wearing a black coat with the collar obscuring his chin, and his right hand is grasping the lapel.

The Essential Neil Gaiman

The man behind the landmark reboot of “The Sandman” comic (and Netflix series) is going strong after decades of writing in just about every format. Here’s where to get started with his books for adults.

Credit... Photo right: Sasha Maslov for The New York Times

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J. D. Biersdorfer

By J. D. Biersdorfer

J. D. Biersdorfer, an editor at the Book Review, has devoted an ample amount of shelf space to comics and graphic novels.

  • Published May 17, 2023 Updated May 19, 2023

In his stories of horror, humanity and uncomfortable truths, Neil Gaiman is never afraid to go into dark places looking for the light.

But while he earned an early reputation as an author of dark fantasy, Gaiman can’t be pigeonholed in any one genre. His writing explores a recurring theme: The past is never dead, no matter how old it is. As he once said, “You know myths and legends still have power; they get buried and forgotten, but they’re like land mines.”

Wading through Gaiman’s vast bibliography — more than four dozen books — can be intimidating, to say the least. Since he read his way through his local library as a child, skipped college and went straight into professional writing about 40 years ago, Gaiman has written biographies, comic books, graphic novels, screenplays, novels and essays. His work for younger readers — picture books, middle-grade and young adult novels — could fill a whole separate guide, so we’re sticking with his adult books here. (If you do venture into the children’s section, though, check out “Coraline” and “The Graveyard Book” first.)

“What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings beyond, perhaps: Enter at your own risk,” Gaiman wrote in “Trigger Warning,” a story collection. “We need to find out what fiction is, what it means, to us, an experience that is going to be unlike anyone else’s experience of the story.”

With that in mind, here’s a highlights tour through the work of Neil Gaiman.

The cover of “American Gods,” by Neil Gaiman, features two men facing each other as lightning strikes in the background. There are dark clouds in the sky and barren trees.

What should I read if I’m totally new to his work?

Start with “American Gods” (2001). The novel was published the same year as the final fizzle of the original dot-com boom and the arrival of the iPod, sticking the zeitgeist landing as consumer technology was becoming entrenched in the mainstream. Gaiman sets the book in a world in which the gods brought over by true believers from the old countries are challenged by the new gods of technology, media and other contemporary concerns. The book follows Shadow Moon, a quiet ex-con who takes a bodyguard job with an enigmatic employer. The colorful cast of characters includes Shadow’s walking dead ex-wife, whom he accidentally reanimates after tossing a gold coin from a rowdy leprechaun into the open grave at her funeral.

The novel is Gaiman’s Americana fantasia of a road-trip novel, written with a modern immigrant’s eye less than a decade after he moved from England to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. And if you like what he does with gods here, try “Anansi Boys” (2005) and “Norse Mythology” (2017).

I need a sharp shock to my literary senses.

“Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands,” reflects the narrator of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” (2013). “Perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.” The discovery of new and unexpected spaces drives this surreal fantasy — as do confrontations with deeply embedded memories on the uneven ground from childhood to adulthood. The book is one of Gaiman’s shortest adult novels and it can be consumed in one sitting if nobody bothers you. However, there may be several things in the novel that bother you, as common childhood fears (parental rejection, school bullying, a sinister housekeeper, invasive worms) are blended into a taut plot about a lonely boy in rural England who befriends the girl next door as evil entities encroach on their world.

Nothing scary, please.

Gaiman’s reworking of myths and legends has resulted in plenty of gentler tales. Take “Stardust” (1999), which had earlier permutations as a comic and illustrated book with the artist Charles Vess before its release as a straightforward novel.

Set in the mid-19th century, the book’s breezy narrative recalls William Goldman’s “The Princess Bride,” but burrows into rural English folklore. The story unfolds in the village of Wall, a border town that straddles the human world and the realm of Faerie, and follows a besotted young man named Tristran Thorn, who promises to retrieve a fallen star to impress a woman. As with most quests to strange lands, there are complications along the way, but compared to some of Gaiman’s other work, “Stardust” is a light adventure.

Give me an epic, mind-bending adventure.

How about immersing yourself in 75 issues of a moody fantasy/horror comic? Gaiman’s run as the writer of “The Sandman” from 1989 to 1996 shows off his storytelling chops as he reboots a mostly forgettable character from the DC Comics universe into the ethereal Dream (also known as Morpheus), a brooding godlike being who rules the somnolent realm of fantasies and fears.

Dream is part of a family called the Endless that also includes Death, his older sibling who’s usually depicted as a black-clad goth girl sporting Doc Martens boots, a silver ankh necklace and strong sisterly opinions (she once tells him, “You are utterly the stupidest, most self-centered, appallingest excuse for an anthropomorphic personification on this or any other plane!”).

The series can be pitch-dark at times, but its sharp dialogue and deeply woven story arcs tie it all together.

How about some cheeky demons and jokes about cassette tapes?

“Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” (1990) is Gaiman’s first, and arguably funniest, published novel and was written with Terry Pratchett, the creator of the Discworld series of British fantasy novels. In the book, a wrench is thrown into the well-trod Armageddon scenario after a mix-up with the baby Antichrist. The main characters are Aziraphale, an angel and part-time rare-book dealer, and the stylish demon Crowley, described as “an Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards.” The two have become friends over the millenniums and are quite comfortable with the persistent standoff between good and evil. The tone of the book is very Monty Python-meets-“The Omen,” with snarky footnotes — a nice escape from the current state of the world.

I’m deep into urban fantasy.

Many of Gaiman’s books have been adapted for stage and screen, but “Neverwhere” (1996) began as a television script, becoming a novel after Gaiman found the limits of TV production didn’t let him tell the story he had envisioned. Richard, a somewhat hapless Scot, has been transplanted in the U.K.’s capital, where he discovers a parallel world underneath the city called London Below. Its residents? Those forgotten by history, the homeless and “the people who fall through the cracks.” Richard’s adventures with a girl named Door as they dodge assassins in London Below feel like a gritty mash-up of Alice’s Wonderland and the London Underground map.

I’m indecisive and would like a literary sampler.

Gaiman has published several collections of stories and poetry since the 1990s, but for the cream of the crop, pick up “The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction” (2020). It’s an overflowing buffet that rounds up his best stories (as voted on by his fans) into one chunky but convenient volume, topped off with an introduction by Marlon James. Highlights include “Chivalry,” an impish story about an elderly woman who finds the Holy Grail in a thrift shop; “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains,” about a foreboding legend from Scotland’s Isle of Skye; and “The Case of Death and Honey,” a Sherlock Holmes riff with bees.

How does Gaiman get all these ideas?

Grab a copy of “The Art of Neil Gaiman: The Story of a Writer, With Handwritten Notes, Drawings, Manuscripts, and Personal Photographs” (2014), by Hayley Campbell. As the title suggests, the book takes the “show, don’t tell” approach to biography and packs its slickly designed pages with visuals that go beyond book covers and author photos. For those curious about Gaiman’s background and writing process, the volume is peppered with scanned journal pages full of doodles, sketches and scribbles that show his ideas crackling to life.

J.D. Biersdorfer has been writing about consumer technology for The Times since 1998. She also creates the weekly interactive literary quiz for the Book Review and occasionally contributes reviews. @ jdbiersdorfer

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

Martin Amis: Our critic assesses the achievement  of Britain’s most famous literary son, who died on May 19  at age 73.

Neil Gaiman: In his stories of horror, humanity and uncomfortable truths, the author is never afraid to go into dark places looking for the light. Here’s where to get started .

A Withering Depiction: The author   R.F. Kuang’s novel “Yellowface” is a blistering satire about publishing. The publishing industry loves it .

The Future of Novels?: The novelist Stephen Marche is trying to teach artificial intelligence to write with him, not for him. Here is how it is working out .

How to Be a Better Reader: Here’s some helpful advice to show you how to get the most out of your literary endeavor .

Listen to Our Podcast:  Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review Podcast  to talk about the latest news in the literary world.


Martin Amis was prolific. Here’s where to start with his writing.

The author, who died friday, wrote more than a dozen novels as well as a memoir and collections of essays and criticism.

Martin Amis, a writer known for novels including “Money” and “The Information,” as well as for his literary criticism and acerbic observations about British and American culture, died Friday at 73 .

Amis, the son of famed British writer Kingsley Amis, became one of the characteristic literary celebrities of his generation. He first broke onto the scene with darkly comedic novels about drugs, sex, finance and media, cutting against what he viewed as the British tendency toward airless, sanitized nostalgia. In middle age, he took on self-consciously grander themes: history, war, the specter of nuclear annihilation, environmentalism. His last book, “Inside Story,” was an autobiographical — and metafictional — reflection on his life, his friendships and some contemporary politics.

“I think there’s a lot of romanticism in my work,” he once told a reporter , “but it’s thwarted by distortion and perversity, false commercial images in TV, literature, porn. The fact is, my satire wouldn’t work if what I’m satirizing were not valued. Like Philip Larkin’s poetry, love is conspicuous by [its] absence.”

Amis was energetically prolific as novelist, essayist, critic and reporter. Here’s where to start:

The major novels

“Money: A Suicide Note” (1984). The first novel of what would become known as Amis’s London trilogy follows an ad man, John Self, as he crosses the Atlantic to make a movie. Amis himself described it as “essentially a plotless novel, … a voice novel.” Here’s how Jonathan Yardley characterized it in his review for The Washington Post : “From first page to last it is one long drinking bout, interrupted only briefly by a period of relative sobriety; it contains incessant sexual activity, much of it onanistic; it has a generous supply of sordid language that would not pass muster in polite society; and it has an unkind word for just about every race, creed or nationality known to exist.” He also wrote that “it is so unremittingly, savagely hilarious that reading it is quite literally an exhausting experience, from which one emerges simultaneously gasping for air and pleading for more.”

“London Fields” (1989). “This is the story of a murder,” the narrator tells us on the first page of arguably Amis’s most widely admired novel. “It hasn’t happened yet. But it will. (It had better.)” The narrator is Samson Young, a chronically blocked American writer. But as with John Self in “Money,” the novel’s most memorable character is the seediest one, Keith Talent, a two-bit thief who aspires to be a champion darts thrower. Amis roasted 1980s New York in “Money” and captures late-20th-century London with the same jaded and very funny eye.

“The Information” (1995). This story of two writer frenemies, one of whom becomes a best-selling success, was overshadowed in the British tabloids at the time of publication by the rumored $800,000 Amis had been paid for it. The author later remarked to an interviewer about his demand for the generous advance: “These things stay with you. For years it was the number one thing people asked about, and it was not my finest hour.” But the book’s reputation has done just fine: In 2019, the Guardian ranked it his second-best novel (behind “Money”), writing: “The comedy is unsparing but affectionate and the existential angst more acute than ever.”

The nonfiction

“The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000” (2001). Amis was widely admired by other reviewers for his work as a critic. The Post’s Michael Dirda, reviewing this collection , wrote: “Should you happen to be a writer yourself, or — God help you — a literary journalist, you suddenly know, with numbing clarity, just how Salieri felt when Mozart sashayed into Vienna.” Amis was an “honest and patient” critic, Dirda wrote, and a stylish one: “Whatever Amis chooses to say about a book or a writer seems just right — and lip-smackingly phrased.” This collection includes pieces about Bellow, Nabokov, Kafka, Elmore Leonard and more.

“Experience: A Memoir” (2000). Amis’s memoir, loosely structured but beautifully written and revealing, covers his romantic relationships, his many literary friends, his life with his famous father and his equally famous (or infamous) teeth. (The book’s index entries for “dental problems” are a literary experience of their own.)

“The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America” (1986). In addition to literary profiles, this collection of pieces Amis wrote for magazines and newspapers from the late 1970s through the early 1980s also includes his thoughts on Elvis, Ronald Reagan and Steven Spielberg.

“The Second Plane” (2008). Like many other literary writers in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, Amis produced contentious opinion pieces that were met with, at best, mixed reviews. In the New York Times, Leon Wieseltier wrote of this collection: “The results of Amis’s clumsily mixed cocktail of rhetoric and rage can be eccentric, or worse.”

Other fiction

Amis wrote 15 novels over his lifetime. Here’s a sampling of The Post’s reviews:

“Einstein’s Monsters” (1987), reviewed by Bruce Cook . “‘Some readers might like to read the introductory essay last or later,’ says Martin Amis in an author’s note at the beginning of this short, uneven and rather curious book. Writers are always pulling stuff like that. You wonder why, if that’s the recommended reading order, he didn’t arrange it that way in the first place.”

“Yellow Dog” (2003), reviewed by James Hynes . “The novel reads like a midlife crisis, a writer’s equivalent of buying a sports car and running off with a woman half his age.”

“House of Meetings” (2007), reviewed by Thomas Mallon . “The book gnaws at one’s memory. Amis tries to imagine history with the intimacy and specificity that the greatest historical novelists, including Tolstoy, have always presumed to seek for it.”

“The Pregnant Widow” (2010), reviewed by The Post’s Ron Charles . “In this nakedly autobiographical novel, a handful of topless bombshells and horny college kids spend the summer of 1970 at an Italian castle with nothing to do but plot their next orgasms. The setting is exotic, the subject is erotic, but the story is necrotic.”

“Lionel Asbo” (2012), reviewed by Charles . “Here, Amis seems unwilling to exert more effort than it would take to change the channel from ‘Jersey Shore’ to ‘Half Pint Brawlers.’ He’s ambling years behind The Situation and the Kardashians, serving up blanched stereotypes on the silver platter of his prose as though it contained enough spice to entertain or even shock.”

“The Zone of Interest” (2014), reviewed by Tova Reich . “Amis is a wizard possessing the ambition to take on weighty themes, but he is above all a word wizard. … It’s signature Amis at his most inventive, and it is precisely through such inspired and irreverent fluency that his dead-serious purpose is realized.”

Assorted essays and reviews

“Joan Didion’s style,” 1980. Dubbing Didion “the poet of the Great Californian Emptiness” in the London Review of Books, Amis both praises her originality and criticizes the “hollow places” of her writing — where it’s missing, he argues, social imagination and assured literary references.

“The World According to Spielberg,” 1982. Amis confesses to staggering out of the theater, drained of tears, after “E.T.,” and says in the Guardian: “The rule is: no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the audience. Spielberg doesn’t need to do this because in a sense he is there already, uncynically.”

“Jane’s World,” 1995. Careening from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to the BBC television adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice,” Amis reflects on the ’90s wave of the Jane Austen craze — “or more particularly Darcymania” — and the novelist’s enduring appeal.

“A rough trade,” 2001. Amis reported on the American porn industry for the Guardian. What follows — hilarious, shocking, sometimes appalling — should not be quoted here.

Profiles and interviews

The Post’s 1985 profile of Amis . “Money, to British novelist Martin Amis, is in the same vile category as Herpes II, daytime game shows and the Long Island Expressway,” wrote journalist Stephanie Mansfield. She reported that, at the conclusion of their interview in a Washington restaurant, when the check came, Amis did not move; he did not carry a wallet.

… and The Post’s profile from 1991 . On the occasion of Amis’s seventh novel, “Time’s Arrow,” Charles Trueheart had lunch with the novelist and learned that this was the first book that Amis’s father had read in full: “Having gotten completely used to him not reading them, this was a real buzz,” Amis quipped.

A conversation with Salman Rushdie in Interview magazine . The old friends, regarded (along with Christopher Hitchens, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro) as members of the same close-knit literary generation, talked in 2020 about Amis’s autobiographical novel, “Inside Story” — and what Hitchens would have made of Donald Trump.

His Paris Review interview from 1998 . In it, Amis described what he would consider a good day of writing. (He considered it a “part-time job, really,” though also said that, toward the end of a novel, he experienced “hysterical energy” that allowed him to put in six or seven hours at a time.) He also, of course, answered questions about Kingsley: “I’m not at all reluctant to talk about my father, since it’s become clearer to me that it is more or less a unique case.” Amis did, however, breezily profess some resentment of younger writers.

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From boring classics to Ronald Reagan’s hair … Amis in a pub in Notting Hill, London.

‘Money is his best novel – it’s not even close’: the cream of Martin Amis’s writing

His essays captured entire countries. His reviews outlived the books they were about. And his novels were as compelling as they were comic. Here are five indispensable Amis titles

Money (1984)

Ad-man John Self shuttles on the red-eye between London and the “smiting light and island rain” of New York, trying to make his first movie. But his appetite for booze, porn and fast food (he’s “addicted to the 20th century”) leads to his self-destruction. A 400-page riff with “oodles of dash and heft and twang”, stuffed with unforgettable set pieces, Money is a comic masterpiece underpinned with sadness. In a nutshell: his best novel; it’s not even close.

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The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America (1986)

Moronic Inferno by Martin Amis

Amis loved America – “more like a world than a country” – and eventually settled there. This collection of interviews and journalism shows him at once wide-eyed with wonder (“What’s he got?” he asks of Steven Spielberg. “How do you do it? Can I have some?”) and aptly sceptical: Kurt Vonnegut is a “playful infantilist”; Ronald Reagan’s “hair can’t be a day over forty-five.” In a nutshell: capital entertainment on the world’s entertainment capital.

The Information (1995)

There’s a gentleness to the third of Amis’s “London trilogy”, after the scabrous animation of Money and London Fields. Hopeless, hapless writer Richard Tull hates his bestselling best friend Gwyn Barry and determines to “fuck [him] up”. It’s a comedy steeped in the approach of death, but still has time to observe blossoms falling “in festive and hysterical profusion, as if all the trees were getting married”. In a nutshell: his most underrated novel.

Experience (2000)

Experience by Martin Amis

“My life looked good on paper – where, in fact, almost all of it was being lived.” Amis’s memoir introduced us to a kinder, more humane man – “easily moved to tears” – than we expected from the novels. His account of his father Kingsley’s death (after which he was “not the kid any more”, Saul Bellow told him) is exceptional. In a nutshell: Amis for people who don’t like Amis.

The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000 (2001)

Probably the most thumbed volume of essays and reviews on the shelves of Amis-admirers. A new book by Norman Mailer was written “very fast ... for a well-known reason. When, oh when, will all the kids grow up, all the wives remarry?” He’s honest, too, about how boring some classics are: Don Quixote is like “an indefinite visit from your most impossible senior relative”. In many cases, Amis’s reviews have outlived the books they’re about. In a nutshell: the most re-readable and best value Amis.

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Amazon Kindle Scribe Now Lets You Write Directly on Some Books

But only a small selection of guided journals and books with games, like crosswords and sudoku.


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amazon kindle scribe with note on top of page

You'll now be able to write directly on books in the Scribe, but only in select journals and games. 

Amazon is committed to updating the software on its new Kindle Scribe . On Monday, the company announced its third update to the device since its launch last November. The latest update marks the end of the first series of improvements, according to Amazon, and brings substantial improvements to notebooks, PDFs and even some ebooks . 

One of the biggest complaints with the Scribe is that users are not able to write directly onto their Kindle books and are instead forced to write their notes on the Sticky Note app. This update does not change this for most books, but does introduce a few types of books where you are allowed to use the pen to write directly onto the text. 

See Also: Best E-Reader for 2023: Top Picks for Book Lovers

Amazon calls these books Write On content, and they are currently limited to a small selection of guided journals and books of crossword puzzles and sudoku that users must purchase separately through the Kindle store. 


PFDs management has also been difficult on the Scribe, but the latest update attempts to address some of the Scribes biggest issues in this area. Scribe users will finally be able to crop the margins of their PDFs to increase font size, which potentially fixes the current need to zoom in and out on every page in order to size the page appropriately. You'll also be able to switch between portrait and landscape mode in PDFs, as well as have the ability to look up dictionary definitions, translations and Wikipedia results. Unfortunately, you'll need to send your PDFs through Amazon's Send-to-Kindle feature in order to access the new features. PDFs uploaded directly to your Kindle through your computer will operate as they did before. 

Other improvements include a new lasso tool that allows you to select, resize, move, copy and paste handwritten text across notebooks and other documents. Additionally, users will now be able to convert their entire handwritten notebooks to text when exporting, just by tapping a button. 

Overall, these updates appear to push the Scribe in a better direction, though there is still significant room for improvement. While it makes sense to allow journals and games to take advantage of writing directly on the page, it seems as though it shouldn't be difficult to make that experience accessible to all books -- especially when Kobo , the Kindle rival, lets users write on any book in the Kobo library. 


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How to preserve your digital memories

Following recent announcements by Google and Twitter, more data deletion policies are coming.

  • Tate Ryan-Mosley archive page

glitch effect on a 1950's era image of a mother smiling at an infant son

This article is from The Technocrat, MIT Technology Review's weekly tech policy newsletter about power, politics, and Silicon Valley. To receive it in your inbox every Friday, sign up here .

I recently published  a short story  about new policies recently announced by Google and Twitter that allow the companies to remove inactive accounts. Google said the decision was based on security concerns, and experts I spoke with said that these sorts of policies are likely to become the norm. 

It got me thinking about my own email records, and the systems that we have—or, more precisely, don’t have—for preserving our digital lives. 

Globally, around 347 billion emails are sent every day, according to data analysis by  Zippia Research . My own archive holds treasured messages marking some of the more important days of my life: a letter of acceptance to graduate school, travel plans with my sisters, a job offer at Tech Review, an invitation to reconnect with a close friend with whom I’d lost touch. 

I have many more mundane and unexceptional emails chronicling the patterns of my days that I still value deeply: a record of an argument and its resolution with one of my best friends, generous and consistent feedback from my parents on the stories I write, and the adoption papers for my rescued dog. 

I’ve never thought all that much about what to do with all these digital records. I have had a sort of expectation that I will always have the ability to access and manage my emails on my own terms. I don’t currently save particularly important ones the way I store cherished handwritten letters in a shoebox. I probably need to adjust the way I think about these things.

Because of course, in reality, I’m just renting space from a network of computer servers and cables under the ocean, called the cloud, owned by a tech company with an annual revenue of over  $200 billion . And as one of my sources, Data & Society researcher Robyn Caplan, told me, it’s “a lot to ask of them to provide these spaces for us indefinitely.”

There is no guarantee of digital permanence. Though tech companies certainly reference data storage and archiving as a core selling point of their services, online documents like emails are at once both more permanent and more ephemeral than analog letters. And we all need to get used to  this idea .

The new policies foreground the ephemerality. “It feels like a broken promise somehow,” says Caplan. But the promise was, largely, only implied.

Ever-growing expansion of personal data is a particularly acute problem when we consider the long history of humanity. Around  180,000 people die each day , leaving terabytes of data hanging around in the cyberverse. The Internet Archive currently archives more than 1 billion URLs a day from the public web. 

But should all that personal information really start being deleted on a rolling basis three to five years after we leave this life, or however long it takes until our children stop nostalgically logging in to our email accounts? 

Many folks are working on answering that question and thinking about new ways to pass on digital possessions. In the meantime, during my reporting I learned about a couple of tools at our disposal for more actively managing our digital records:

  • You can always download important files, emails, and pictures to a hard drive.
  • Google lets you send specific files to designated people once accounts are inactive though its  Inactive Account Manager .
  • The Internet Archive has a  process for archiving your tweets . You can also join volunteers who help the  project archive public websites .

What else I’m reading

  • Montana became  the first state to ban TikTok  this week, a move prompted by concerns about Chinese espionage. Users of TikTok have  already sued the state , calling the policy a violation of their First Amendment rights.
  • The US Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to companies that it is cracking down on the irresponsible use of  biometric data . I’ll be watching to see whether the commission takes more action against face recognition companies or biometric data sharing going forward.
  • Sam Altman testified in front of Congress at the beginning of the week about the need for more regulation of AI, and everyone was talking about his policy ideas. Here are  some  of my favorite  stories  and  takes .

One more bite of news...

I usually use this final section to discuss some new tech policy research, but this week I want to briefly cover the Supreme Court’s rulings on  two cases related to Section 230 , the US law that allows social media companies to moderate user-generated content with high degrees of immunity. In both cases, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, the social media platforms were implicated for the impact of terrorist content on their platforms. If the Court had decided differently, it could have limited the extent of protection that Section 230 provides tech companies and  reshaped the modern web . 

Tech policy

How russia killed its tech industry.

The invasion of Ukraine supercharged the decline of the country’s already struggling tech sector—and undercut its biggest success story, Yandex.

  • Masha Borak archive page

AI might not steal your job, but it could change it

AI is already being used in the legal field. Is it really ready to be a lawyer?

An early guide to policymaking on generative AI

How lawmakers are thinking about the risks of the latest tech revolution

How an undercover content moderator polices the metaverse

“We can be the first line of defense.”

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