A review paper is a work that combines the summary and the critique of the writing piece of the particular person. In most cases, teachers assign review papers to let students read a few relevant sources on the field and learn to evaluate the info they read. Also, specialists are sometimes asked to review works of the peers. Review paper writing requires keeping in mind that the summary of the work is not the most significant part of the review, but rather an opportunity for a teacher to understand how carefully you have read the paper, what parts were the most memorable for you, and which details you found to be the most significant. The most important section of the review is where you assess the material and the points the writer makes critically. Here are a few review paper writing tips that will come handy while completing the assignment.
1. Knowwhat you are writing. While you already know that the review requires you bothto summarize and provide you opinion on the particular book, article, orresearch paper, it is also crucial to know what other parts should be presentedin the work. In most cases, you will have to provide the reader with theimplication of the material found in the source. It is necessary to inform theaudience about the credibility of the writer and the info he/she uses. Also, ifrequired, you can provide recommendations to the readers on the cases wherethey should or should not read, cite, or address the work in their scholarlypapers.
2. Think about the outline and organization. If you have not come up with the structure of the review paper, do not even start reading. The outline will help you focus on the necessary details while reading and thus, save you some time. In case the teacher has not provided you with exact guidelines or sample structure, consider including this sections in the review:
• The summary, built around the significant points, facts, and the main info.
• Discussion of the positive aspects – good quality of writing, not biased, well-researched, etc.
• Discussion of the negative aspects – gaps, discrepancies, mistakes, etc. Include the information on the data the writer presents, and the possible bias he or she may have head while writing.
3. Examine the source. Do not start by reading the whole work. Review the parts like title, abstract or summary, table of contents, intro, and the conclusion. Next, read the thesis (if there is any), an introduction and the conclusion to get the hint of the main message the writer tries to send. Afterwards, you can read the whole thing. At first, aim to see the overall picture presented, and look for specific details while reading further. If you have any questions, or there are words/phrases you do not understand, write them down, and look them up before reading the next time. This will help you grasp the info better and assess the source in a more professional way.
4. Makeconnections. When you read the work again, highlight the main points made bythe writer, the facts that support them, etc. Try to understand why the workwas written in the first place, and what the writer aimed to convey. Look atthe papers you have recently written on the subject, and the sources yourteacher have asked to read during the last month. See if there is anyresemblance between the piece you are reading now and the books you have readbefore for the class.
5. Draft in your own words. You will most likely use it as a basis for the reviewpaper you will write, but there is no need to pay too much attention to the wayyou structure sentences or use the vocab. Try to write down the main things youremember, and the details you find important. Use the outline to help yourselforganize own thoughts. Decide on the aspects of the work you want to focus onwhile writing. When you are done, reread the material once again, payingspecial attention to these aspects.
6. Evaluate.Even though it is hard to assess the work of an expert in the field, you needto find both the parts the writer coped with, and the things the writer failed.You can start with examining the writing style, the structure, the headings,the title, and the readability. Afterwards, think of the strength andweaknesses of the work, and its contribution to the field. Do not forget to addquotes and examples that back up your critique.
7. Present the paper. Keep in mind that you should state what you are reviewing at the very beginning, and cite the source at the end. Use the formatting style indicated in the paper requirements to do it.
8. Start with creating an intro. Include the data on the background, the main claims and arguments provided. Add the thesis of the author, and any information you think the reader needs to know before going further.
9. Make a summary. Do it in your own words, but still refer to the source, especially such parts as abstract (if there is one) or the conclusion.
10. Present the critical appraisal. As it has been mentioned, this is the part where you show what you think about the source, providing solid evidence for your words. Present both good and bad sides, and if necessary, state what you personally find significant about the material.
11. Finalize & refine. Conclude by summarizing the main ideas, informing the reader about the implications of this source, and its applicability in certain situations. Bear in mind that you need to proofread the review when you finish it, edit some sections, add or remove specific details, and refine the paper until you are satisfied with it.
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