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What Is A Review Essay?

What Is A Review Essay
What is a Review Essay? – A review essay is a synthesis of primary sources (mainly research papers presented in academic journals) on a given topic. A biological review essay demonstrates that the writer has thorough understanding of the literature and can formulate a useful analysis.

  • While no new research is presented by the writer, the field benefits from the review by recieving a new perspective.
  • There are several approaches one may take when writing a biological review: A State of the art review A state of the art review considers mainly the most current research in a given area.

The review may offer new perspectives on an issue or point out an area in need of further research. A Historical review A historical review is a survey of the development of a particular field of study. It may examine the early stages of the field, key findings to present, key theoretical models and their evolution, etc.

A Comparison of perspectives review A comparison of perspectives review contrasts various ways of looking at a certain topic. If in fact there is a debate over some process or idea, a comparison of perspectives review may illustrate the research that supports both sides. A comparison of perspectives review may introduce a new perspective by way of comparing it to another.

A Synthesis of two fields review Many times researchers in different fields may be working on similar problems. A synthesis of two fields review provides insights into a given topic based on a review of the literature from two or more disciplines. A Theoretical model building review A theoretical model building review examines the literature within a given area with the intention of developing new theoretical assumptions.

How do you write an essay review?

On reading a book Read the preface, looking for statement of major purpose, perspective, and themes. Then read the entire book thoroughly. It will make more sense if you have a preview of major themes and ideas. After each chapter, review the main themes and ideas in that chapter and jot down these points.

Reviews should include concise statements of the subject matter, problems, or issues to which the books are directed.Essays should include brief summaries of the authors’ major arguments and conclusions and a discussion of the manner in which they developed their conclusions.Reviews should also include a discussion, with explanations, of the books’ strengths and weaknesses.Finally, no review would be complete without a discussion and explanation of the extent to which each book contributes to our knowledge and understanding of History.

Keep in mind One of the primary criteria by which any written paper is evaluated is its clarity and conciseness of communication. Edit and proofread your paper carefully. It is most unlikely that a “first draft” effort will satisfy this criterion. Define clearly any key terms used by the author of the book.

Provide sufficient examples and evidence to support your conclusions and generalizations. The review essay should be approximately ten typewritten pages in length. All review essays must be typed and double-spaced in a standard font (preferably 12 cpi), with a 1-inch margin on all sides. Examples of book reviews and review essays can be found in various historical journals or by consulting the Book Review Digest or Current Book Review Citations,

Also, there are numerous websites that are devoted exclusively to the works of Art Spiegelman and Eli Wiesel. These “sample” reviews and websites are to be used only for general guidance; they are not to be employed as a source for specific ideas to be included in your review.

  1. Minimize the use of direct quotations from the book being reviewed.
  2. If you must quote the author directly be sure that the quotation is placed in quotation marks and that you indicate the page on which the quotation is found.
  3. This is a book review essay, not a book report.
  4. Do not simply summarize the books on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

You might consider What was life in Auschwitz like? What was the worst thing about it? How was life in Auschwitz organized? Can you describe a social order or hierarchy? What are the Germans at Auschwitz like? What motivated them? What is the psychological impact of life in the camp? In light of Night and This Way for the Gas.

What does Maus do that pure text narratives cannot? In what ways do Spiegelman’s crude drawings help us visualize things that words alone might be unable to portray? One of the problems inherent in representing human beings as cats and mice is that animals have a narrower range of facial expression.

Are Spiegelman’s animals as emotionally expressive as human characters might be? If so, what means does the cartoonist use to endow his mice and cats with “human” characteristics? Maus contains several moments of comedy. Most of these take place during the exchanges between Artie, Vladek, and Mala.

Can you identify similar humor within Borowski’s or Wiesels work? What is the effect of this humor? Was it inaccurate or “wrong” of Borowski, Spiegelman or Wiesel to have included such episodes within their respective tales? Most art and literature about the Holocaust is governed by certain unspoken rules.

Among these are the notions that the Holocaust must be portrayed as an utterly unique event; that it must be depicted with scrupulous accuracy, and with the utmost seriousness, so as not to obscure its enormity or dishonor its dead. In what way does Maus, Night, and This Way for the Gas obey, violate, or disprove these “rules”?

What is the purpose of a review essay?

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.

What is the layout of a review essay?

Review essays follow a general pattern: introduction, summary of the book, critical discussion, conclusion. (Full publication data for the book should appear between the title of the review essay and the first line of the essay.) These sections should be clear to you as the essay writer and equally clear to the reader.

What is essay review of a paper?

Glossary – Review essay is an essay that evaluates the essay writer’s feelings on the most significant points raised by the author of a piece of literature. It is a critical discussion of the book while the opinions of the writer are supported by evidence.

  • There are two important steps: developing an argument about what is reviewed in the essay and completing a well-organized review.
  • A critical analysis provided by the writer of the essay should also be based on other writings and the opinions of experts.
  • Review essays have a general pattern: introduction, summary of the book, critical discussion, and conclusion.

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What are the features of a review?

Writing features, reviews and press releases – Different types of content require different journalism skills.

  • Test
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Page 2 of 3

Reviews are a staple of journalism. Almost anything can be reviewed: music concerts, films, video games, products, books or restaurants. The aim is to offer an honest critique of the object under review, and to make a recommendation to your audience. Writing a review demands a different skill from writing a news story.

  • inform
  • describe
  • analyse
  • advise
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Reviews can be positive or negative but it is important to back up your opinions with evidence. In this video Mark Kermode reviews the film Ratchett and Clank.

What are the parts of review paper?

Criteria for Good Review Paper – A good review paper needs to achieve three important criteria. ( Palmatier et al 2017 ).

  1. First, the area of research should be suitable for writing a review paper so that the author finds sufficient published literature.
  2. The review paper should be written with suitable literature, detailed discussion, sufficient data/results to support the interpretation, and persuasive language style.
  3. A completed review paper should provide substantial new innovative ideas to the readers based on the comparison of published works.

Review papers are widely read by many researchers and it helps to get more citations for author. So, it is important to learn how to write a review paper and find a journal to publish,

What is a good paper review?

A good peer review requires disciplinary expertise, a keen and critical eye, and a diplomatic and constructive approach. Credit: dmark/iStockphoto As junior scientists develop their expertise and make names for themselves, they are increasingly likely to receive invitations to review research manuscripts.

It’s an important skill and service to the scientific community, but the learning curve can be particularly steep. Writing a good review requires expertise in the field, an intimate knowledge of research methods, a critical mind, the ability to give fair and constructive feedback, and sensitivity to the feelings of authors on the receiving end.

As a range of institutions and organizations around the world celebrate the essential role of peer review in upholding the quality of published research this week, Science Careers shares collected insights and advice about how to review papers from researchers across the spectrum.

How do you write an introduction for a review essay?

An Introduction to Writing Review Articles – the Node Last week, I gave a talk (online, of course) about ‘Writing review articles’. It was aimed at graduate students who, as part of their training, had to identify a topic in the field of developmental biology and write a mini-review on that particular topic.

  • However, my talk contained some general advice about writing review-type articles, as well as some general writing tips, so I thought I’d share a summary of it here.
  • Types of Review articles I guess the first thing to point out is that review-type articles come in lots of different ‘flavours’.
  • They all vary with regard to length, scope, style and overall purpose, and are given different names by different journals.

But they all aim to summarise and distill research findings. This makes them very different to primary research articles, whic h aim to present data, although they are handled in similar way, i.e. they are submitted to a journal and peer-reviewed by 2-3 experts in the field. The many names that journals use to label review-based articles What’s the purpose of a (good) Review article? A good review article might aim to:

summarise key research findings highlight ‘must-read’ articles in the field act as educational material

However, an excellent review article will also:

be timely provide critique of studies highlight areas of agreement as well as controversies and debates point out gaps in knowledge and unanswered questions highlight current technologies that are helping/can help the field suggest directions for future research

But remember that readers are usually a mix of experts and non-experts who will be looking for very different things so a good review will cater for both of these audiences. For example, a graduate student might turn to a review article when they start in a new lab to find out more about the history of a field, or to get a summary of key findings.

  1. By contrast, an experienced post-doc or PI might want to read a review written by one of their peers to find out what the current state of thinking in a field is.
  2. Ideally, a good review should therefore aim to provide a combination of balanced summaries and critique whilst being authoritative, forward-looking and inspirational.

However, note that the exact ‘flavour’ or format of the review will also dictate its purpose, e.g. a ‘Perspective’ article in Journal X might aim to summarise a handful of recent studies, whereas an ‘Essay’ in Journal Y might aim to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the last decade of research. What Is A Review Essay The things that different types of readers look for in review articles Where to begin? The first step is to choose the topic you want to write on and come up with a rough idea of the scope of your article. You may already have this in mind but it’s important, before you begin writing, to really nail the exact purpose of your article. To help you do this, I‘d suggest the following:

Identify the particular theme/topic/idea that you want to focus on. In most cases, this will be something that’s closely related to the topic you work on, e.g. you might be working on something, or reading up on a particular area, and feel that a review would be helpful. If you need inspiration (i.e. if you want to write but aren’t sure what to write about), read, speak to people, and think about talks you’ve been to. What’s exciting in your field right now? Are there papers that change the way we think about something? Have you seen/read papers that converge on a similar theme/idea? Check that there aren’t already reviews on this topic, i.e. something that’s been published within the past year or so. This is important; no-one wants to read a review that doesn’t offer anything new. Decide if there is enough recent material to include (or too much). At this point, you may need to go back to the drawing board to either expand on or refine the scope of your article. It’s also helpful to read a few reviews (mini-reviews vs longer reviews) to get a feel for how much material a review can cover. Identify and write down the main aim/purpose of your article. What’s the key message you want to get across? Why is this important and timely? Why would people want to read your article?

Note that lots of reviews are commissioned, i.e. the author is invited to write by a journal/editor. So, if you know you want to write a review on a particular topic and have a pretty clear idea of what your review will cover, a good place to start is by contacting a journal to see if they’d consider it.

Think about the sections/sub-sections you might use. What material would you cover in each of these? What’s the message of each section? How can you link the sections? Think about the key concepts/words/specialist terms that you need to introduce and define. Where, when and how should you introduce these? (e.g. in Intro, in a figure, in a text box). What needs to be introduced first? What’s the best order in which to discuss these? Think about the display items (figures, text boxes, tables) that might be helpful. How/when should they be used? What material would they contain?

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When you start writing Once you have a plan, you can start writing. I’d suggest that you start with the Title, Abstract and Introduction – these are the first parts that the reader sees of the article so they need careful thought. By starting off with these, you’ll also have the scope/purpose of the article clear in your own mind.

Title, Abstract and Introduction: These should be short and self-contained, and should complement each other. Each one in turn should provide more detail, aiming to draw the reader in. Remember: lots of readers will only read the title and abstract (e.g. when they search for articles in Pubmed) so these basically act as a ‘hook’ to grab their attention. They also need to be ‘discoverable’ on the Web, i.e. database friendly and containing the relevant keywords. Choosing a title: Choose something that is short, clear and self-explanatory; try to avoid puns/idioms and colloquial phrases or references. Try to convey the key message but also provide context. Abstract: The abstract should then aim to highlight the most important parts of the article. The answers to the following 5 questions provide a good starting point: What is the main topic you’re going to focus on? What do we know so far? What is new/why is this now an interesting time for this field? What are the broad implications of these newer findings? What does your review aim to do? Introduction: The Introduction should then expand on the Abstract and set the scene. Provide context by first introducing the topic: why is this topic interesting/significant, what do we know about it so far, how has the field progressed, what has the new progress shown? Ideally, the Introduction should end with a clear description of the article’s scope, aims and structure, i.e. a walk-through of the main topics that will be discussed and the order in which these will be covered. This just lets the reader know what they can expect from the article. If possible, introduce or re-iterate the main ‘message’ of the article. Conclusions: Emphasize the key message or theme of the article and, if needed, reiterate the data that support this message. Highlight the broader significance of this conclusion. Finally, if possible, bring your voice to the article: What do you think are the most compelling questions raised by these studies? What approach(es) could be taken to address these open questions? Are there technical hurdles that need to be overcome? What are the broader implications of this, i.e. why are further studies needed and what benefits might they offer? Display items: Use figures to emphasize or illustrate key concepts/processes, or to introduce or summarize, Remember that figures should ideally act as stand-alone items; you should be able to follow them by eye and without referring to the main text, although each figure should have a clear title and a figure legend the walks the reader through the figure. In general, schematics are easier to follow than images reproduced from primary articles. Tables can be useful for summarizing lots of information, for comparing/contrasting things, or for highlighting advantages and disadvantages. Some journals encourage the use of text boxes, which can house additional or background information or material that is peripheral to the main theme of the text.

General things to think about while you’re writing (and to re-visit before you finish off!) Structure

Try to group your discussion into sections/sub-sections. This just helps to break up long chunks of text (and helps to keep the reader interested). If you already have a plan (e.g. a list of headings/sub-headings) this structuring will be much easier. Each section should begin with a small introduction. Each sub-section (and/or even each paragraph) should then have a clear message/point to it, e.g. What question did particular sets/types of studies set out to address? What did these show (and here you can go into the detail)? What could be concluded from these? It’s also helpful to add in a few lines to wrap up each section and ease transition into the next section.


Make sure that all statements are adequately supported by a citation. Cite the source/primary article whenever possible (but note that it is okay to cite Reviews for established concepts or to refer to a large body of evidence). Think about the word count and how much can be covered/how much detail you can go in to; you may find that it’s easier to write lots first then trim at a later stage. Avoid regurgitating the conclusions drawn in the papers you cite without giving them some thought. Don’t shy away from discussing findings that contradict each other. It’s better to highlight what can/cannot be reconciled and the possible cause of any discrepancies. Also use this as an opportunity to draw out the questions that remain and discuss how these questions could be addressed. Similarly, remain balanced – make sure you discuss the findings from the field as a whole (and not just the data from a few select labs). Make it clear when you are stating results versus providing speculation or alternative interpretations. Provide critique if you canbut keep it polite and constructive.


Remember your audience: the article needs to accessible to expert and non-expert readers alike. Introduce/define/explain specialist terms, cell types, tissues, phrases on first mention. Consider using display items to house any material that a non-expert reader might find useful. Don’t assume the reader knows what you’re thinking and how things link together; you might feel like you’re sometimes stating the obvious but it’s better to do this than to leave readers feeling lost.


Stick to using clear and simple sentencesbut try to vary the pace of your writing, e.g. by using a mixture of long and short sentences. A general rule is to write as you would speak, using active rather than passive tense/sentence construction. Be thrifty with your words: completely eliminate any that aren’t needed. Avoid vague sentences. For example, say ‘Factor A causes an increase/decrease in Factor B’, rather than ‘Factor A modulates Factor B’.

Importantly, be patient and don’t get frustrated! A good writing style needs to be developed over time and comes with practice. Of all the things highlighted above (structure, content, accessibility and style), I’d say that style is the hardest to really nail.

  • Getting a good and consistent writing style is also challenging if you have multiple authors working on the same article.
  • In this case, I’d recommend that you nominate one author to do a final comb-through to iron out any inconsistencies, although hopefully you’ll have an editor who’ll also assist with this! On this note, I should point out that the amount of input you receive from an editor will vary from journal to journal, e.g.

some journals have dedicated editors who spend a significant amount of time, working alongside the authors, to edit and improve a review. What Is A Review Essay Developing your writing style Finally, some tips from fellow editors! We have a bunch of experienced editors here at the Company of Biologists so I asked them all for their key pieces of advice. Here are just some of the things they suggested:

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Plan, plan, plan – make sure you have a good idea of the overall structure before you think about details Get feedback. Before you submit your review, send it to someone whose opinion you trust and ask them for their honest thoughts. Don’t be discouraged if they give lots of feedback – this is exactly what you want! A review shouldn’t just be a list of facts, e.g. X showed this, Y showed this, Z showed this. A narrative thread or argument that connects is much more engaging. Take time to pull back and look at the overall structure. Does it make sense? Can you see how the ideas join together and flow from beginning to end? Remember that readers aren’t psychic. Explain why you’ve chosen the scope you have, why you’ve chosen to discuss particular examples, why you’re moving on to the next topic. Also make sure you clearly link up relevant observations and state conclusions rather than expecting the reader to make connections. Don’t assume that the reader can link two statements that you might be able to link in your mind; you have to explain the link. Think about the graphics at an early stage – figures can often feel like a bit of an afterthought but good figures can really help to get the message across far more concisely than text. Break the article up into sections so that people can easily find the particular piece of information they might be looking for; recognize that not everyone is going to read from start to finish. Remember that your readers will know far less about the topic than you do. So before you dive into the new and exciting findings in the field, make sure you’ve given a clear overview of the system you’re writing about. Imagine that you’re writing for a new PhD student who’s never worked in this particular field.

One final point: there’s no ‘winning formula’. This is just my advice based on the articles I’ve handled and the authors I’ve dealt with, so you may find that some of it doesn’t work for you or that someone else’s advice differs. Ultimately, you should aim to develop a writing approach, technique and style that works for you. Happy writing! ( 39 votes) Loading. : An Introduction to Writing Review Articles – the Node

How long should a review paper be?

Most review articles are between 4000 and 6000 words in length and as a rule of thumb, 80–90% of the text should be within the main section/devoted to the core topic—make sure that your outline reflects this.

How long does it take to write a review paper?

Understand what the journal wants – Most journals, including the Trends journals, have a dense array of author guidelines that provide instructions on everything from how to format a glossary (put each term in bold the first time it appears in the main text) to how long an abstract can be (strictly no more than 120 words for longer formats and 50 words for shorter formats) to how to prepare print-quality figures (300 dpi,,tif format preferred).

  • These items are important and may delay or preclude publication if they’re not followed, but they’re things that can be addressed as you’re polishing a manuscript for submission.
  • Before you start writing, though, get a general sense of what the journal expects from you.
  • In particular, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences editor Kushi Mukherjee emphasizes how understanding the journal’s length requirements before you start writing can prevent significant frustration later on.

Trends journals advise submitting Review articles between 3,000 and 3,500 words on initial submission. If you keep this goal in mind from the beginning and end up a few hundred words long or short, then it’s relatively straightforward to cut or add to reach the appropriate length.

Can anyone write a review paper?

Regular journals do invite expert authors occasionally or accept proposal for review papers. The general emphasize is that the author should have contributed significant literature in a particular field to qualify for writing review article.

What is introduction in review paper?

The job of an introduction is to preview what you are going to say so the audience knows what is coming. A good introduction starts out generally and works towards a specific statement of what you intend to discuss in your writing. The introduction explains the focus and establishes the importance of the subject.

It discusses what kind of work has been done on the topic and identifies any controversies within the field or any recent research which has raised questions about earlier assumptions. It may provide background or history, and it indicates why the topic is important, interesting, problematic, or relevant in some way.

It concludes with a purpose or thesis statement. In a stand-alone literature review, this statement will sum up and evaluate the state of the art in this field of research; in a review that is an introduction or preparatory to a larger work, such as the Culminating Project, it will suggest how the review findings will lead to the research the writer proposes to undertake.

What are the two purposes of review writing?

What is a literature review? – A literature review is a piece of academic writing demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the academic literature on a specific topic placed in context. A literature review also includes a critical evaluation of the material; this is why it is called a literature review rather than a literature report.

It is a process of reviewing the literature, as well as a form of writing. To illustrate the difference between reporting and reviewing, think about television or film review articles. These articles include content such as a brief synopsis or the key points of the film or programme plus the critic’s own evaluation.

Similarly the two main objectives of a literature review are firstly the content covering existing research, theories and evidence, and secondly your own critical evaluation and discussion of this content. Usually a literature review forms a section or part of a dissertation, research project or long essay.

What is the benefit of review paper?

Writing and publishing a review can increase your own understanding, contribute to the literature, and advance your research career and status. A good review paper effectively synthesizes and contextualizes the work already done in a scientific field.

It critically evaluates such work and often provides a new perspective on the topic, opening new avenues for yourself or others. Research reviews in a given field are critical, both for researchers and for the advancement of knowledge. Reviews are such valuable investments of your time both for your own sake and for the sake of others.

Let’s look into all the benefits a review can deliver, and how to speed up the review-writing and publishing process.

What are the five purpose of literature review?

Given this, the purpose of a literature review is to: Reveal any gaps that exist in the literature. Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies. Identify areas of prior scholarship to prevent duplication of effort. Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research.