How to Write an Article Review: Template & Examples

An article review is an academic assignment that invites you to study a piece of academic research closely. Then, you should present its summary and critically evaluate it using the knowledge you’ve gained in class and during your independent study. If you get such a task at college or university, you shouldn’t confuse it with a response paper, which is a distinct assignment with other purposes (we’ll talk about it in detail below).

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In this article, prepared by Custom-Writing experts, you’ll find: 

  • the intricacies of article review writing;
  • the difference between an article review and similar assignments;
  • a step-by-step algorithm for review composition;
  • a couple of samples to guide you throughout the writing process.

So, if you wish to study our article review example and discover helpful writing tips, keep reading.

❓ What Is an Article Review?

  • ✍️ Writing Steps

📑 Article Review Format

🔗 references.

An article review is an academic paper that summarizes and critically evaluates the information presented in your selected article. 

This image shows what an article review is.

The first thing you should note when approaching the task of an article review is that not every article is suitable for this assignment. Let’s have a look at the variety of articles to understand what you can choose from.

Popular Vs. Scholarly Articles

In most cases, you’ll be required to review a scholarly, peer-reviewed article – one composed in compliance with rigorous academic standards. Yet, the Web is also full of popular articles that don’t present original scientific value and shouldn’t be selected for a review.  

Not sure how to distinguish these two types? Here is a comparative table to help you out.

Article Review vs. Response Paper

Now, let’s consider the difference between an article review and a response paper:

  • If you’re assigned to critique a scholarly article , you will need to compose an article review .  
  • If your subject of analysis is a popular article , you can respond to it with a well-crafted response paper .  

The reason for such distinctions is the quality and structure of these two article types. Peer-reviewed, scholarly articles have clear-cut quality criteria, allowing you to conduct and present a structured assessment of the assigned material. Popular magazines have loose or non-existent quality criteria and don’t offer an opportunity for structured evaluation. So, they are only fit for a subjective response, in which you can summarize your reactions and emotions related to the reading material.  

All in all, you can structure your response assignments as outlined in the tips below.

✍️ How to Write an Article Review: Step by Step

Here is a tried and tested algorithm for article review writing from our experts. We’ll consider only the critical review variety of this academic assignment. So, let’s get down to the stages you need to cover to get a stellar review.  

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Read the Article

As with any reviews, reports, and critiques, you must first familiarize yourself with the assigned material. It’s impossible to review something you haven’t read, so set some time for close, careful reading of the article to identify:

  • Its topic.  
  • Its type.  
  • The author’s main points and message. 
  • The arguments they use to prove their points. 
  • The methodology they use to approach the subject. 

In terms of research type , your article will usually belong to one of three types explained below. 

Summarize the Article

Now that you’ve read the text and have a general impression of the content, it’s time to summarize it for your readers. Look into the article’s text closely to determine:

  • The thesis statement , or general message of the author.  
  • Research question, purpose, and context of research.  
  • Supporting points for the author’s assumptions and claims.  
  • Major findings and supporting evidence.  

As you study the article thoroughly, make notes on the margins or write these elements out on a sheet of paper. You can also apply a different technique: read the text section by section and formulate its gist in one phrase or sentence. Once you’re done, you’ll have a summary skeleton in front of you.

Evaluate the Article

The next step of review is content evaluation. Keep in mind that various research types will require a different set of review questions. Here is a complete list of evaluation points you can include.

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Write the Text

After completing the critical review stage, it’s time to compose your article review.

The format of this assignment is standard – you will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should present your article and summarize its content. The body will contain a structured review according to all four dimensions covered in the previous section. The concluding part will typically recap all the main points you’ve identified during your assessment.  

It is essential to note that an article review is, first of all, an academic assignment. Therefore, it should follow all rules and conventions of academic composition, such as:

  • No contractions . Don’t use short forms, such as “don’t,” “can’t,” “I’ll,” etc. in academic writing. You need to spell out all those words.  
  • Formal language and style . Avoid conversational phrasing and words that you would naturally use in blog posts or informal communication. For example, don’t use words like “pretty,” “kind of,” and “like.”  
  • Third-person narrative . Academic reviews should be written from the third-person point of view, avoiding statements like “I think,” “in my opinion,” and so on.  
  • No conversational forms . You shouldn’t turn to your readers directly in the text by addressing them with the pronoun “you.” It’s vital to keep the narrative neutral and impersonal.  
  • Proper abbreviation use . Consult the list of correct abbreviations , like “e.g.” or “i.e.,” for use in your academic writing. If you use informal abbreviations like “FYA” or “f.i.,” your professor will reduce the grade.  
  • Complete sentences . Make sure your sentences contain the subject and the predicate; avoid shortened or sketch-form phrases suitable for a draft only.  
  • No conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence . Remember the FANBOYS rule – don’t start a sentence with words like “and” or “but.” They often seem the right way to build a coherent narrative, but academic writing rules disfavor such usage.  
  • No abbreviations or figures at the beginning of a sentence . Never start a sentence with a number — spell it out if you need to use it anyway. Besides, sentences should never begin with abbreviations like “e.g.”  

Finally, a vital rule for an article review is properly formatting the citations. We’ll discuss the correct use of citation styles in the following section.

When composing an article review, keep these points in mind:

  • Start with a full reference to the reviewed article so the reader can locate it quickly.  
  • Ensure correct formatting of in-text references.  
  • Provide a complete list of used external sources on the last page of the review – your bibliographical entries .  

You’ll need to understand the rules of your chosen citation style to meet all these requirements. Below, we’ll discuss the two most common referencing styles – APA and MLA.

Article Review in APA

When you need to compose an article review in the APA format , here is the general bibliographical entry format you should use for journal articles on your reference page:  

  • Author’s last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year of Publication). Name of the article. Name of the Journal, volume (number), pp. #-#.

Horigian, V. E., Schmidt, R. D., & Feaster, D. J. (2021). Loneliness, mental health, and substance use among US young adults during COVID-19. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 53 (1), pp. 1-9.

Your in-text citations should follow the author-date format like this:

  • If you paraphrase the source and mention the author in the text: According to Horigian et al. (2021), young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic. 
  • If you paraphrase the source and don’t mention the author in the text: Young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic (Horigian et al., 2021). 
  • If you quote the source: As Horigian et al. (2021) point out, there were “elevated levels of loneliness, depression, anxiety, alcohol use, and drug use among young adults during COVID-19” (p. 6). 

Note that your in-text citations should include “et al.,” as in the examples above, if your article has 3 or more authors. If you have one or two authors, your in-text citations would look like this:

  • One author: “According to Smith (2020), depression is…” or “Depression is … (Smith, 2020).”
  • Two authors: “According to Smith and Brown (2020), anxiety means…” or “Anxiety means (Smith & Brown, 2020).”

Finally, in case you have to review a book or a website article, here are the general formats for citing these source types on your APA reference list.

Article Review in MLA

If your assignment requires MLA-format referencing, here’s the general format you should use for citing journal articles on your Works Cited page: 

  • Author’s last name, First name. “Title of an Article.” Title of the Journal , vol. #, no. #, year, pp. #-#. 

Horigian, Viviana E., et al. “Loneliness, Mental Health, and Substance Use Among US Young Adults During COVID-19.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs , vol. 53, no. 1, 2021, pp. 1-9.

In-text citations in the MLA format follow the author-page citation format and look like this:

  • According to Horigian et al., young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic (6).
  • Young adults experienced increased levels of loneliness, depression, and anxiety during the pandemic (Horigian et al. 6).

Like in APA, the abbreviation “et al.” is only needed in MLA if your article has 3 or more authors.

If you need to cite a book or a website page, here are the general MLA formats for these types of sources.

✅ Article Review Template

Here is a handy, universal article review template to help you move on with any review assignment. We’ve tried to make it as generic as possible to guide you in the academic process.

📝 Article Review Examples

The theory is good, but practice is even better. Thus, we’ve created three brief examples to show you how to write an article review. You can study the full-text samples by following the links.

📃 Men, Women, & Money   

This article review examines a famous piece, “Men, Women & Money – How the Sexes Differ with Their Finances,” published by Amy Livingston in 2020. The author of this article claims that men generally spend more money than women. She makes this conclusion from a close analysis of gender-specific expenditures across five main categories: food, clothing, cars, entertainment, and general spending patterns. Livingston also looks at men’s approach to saving to argue that counter to the common perception of women’s light-hearted attitude to money, men are those who spend more on average.  

📃 When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism   

This is a review of Jonathan Heidt’s 2016 article titled “When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism,” written as an advocacy of right-wing populism rising in many Western states. The author illustrates the case with the election of Donald Trump as the US President and the rise of right-wing rhetoric in many Western countries. These examples show how nationalist sentiment represents a reaction to global immigration and a failure of globalization.  

📃 Sleep Deprivation   

This is a review of the American Heart Association’s article titled “The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation.” It discusses how the national organization concerned with the American population’s cardiovascular health links the lack of high-quality sleep to far-reaching health consequences. The organization’s experts reveal how a consistent lack of sleep leads to Alzheimer’s disease development, obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.  

✏️ Article Review FAQ

A high-quality article review should summarize the assigned article’s content and offer data-backed reactions and evaluations of its quality in terms of the article’s purpose, methodology, and data used to argue the main points. It should be detailed, comprehensive, objective, and evidence-based.

The purpose of writing a review is to allow students to reflect on research quality and showcase their critical thinking and evaluation skills. Students should exhibit their mastery of close reading of research publications and their unbiased assessment.

The content of your article review will be the same in any format, with the only difference in the assignment’s formatting before submission. Ensure you have a separate title page made according to APA standards and cite sources using the parenthetical author-date referencing format.

You need to take a closer look at various dimensions of an assigned article to compose a valuable review. Study the author’s object of analysis, the purpose of their research, the chosen method, data, and findings. Evaluate all these dimensions critically to see whether the author has achieved the initial goals. Finally, offer improvement recommendations to add a critique aspect to your paper.

  • Scientific Article Review: Duke University  
  • Book and Article Reviews: William & Mary, Writing Resources Center  
  • Sample Format for Reviewing a Journal Article: Boonshoft School of Medicine  
  • Research Paper Review – Structure and Format Guidelines: New Jersey Institute of Technology  
  • Article Review: University of Waterloo  
  • Article Review: University of South Australia  
  • How to Write a Journal Article Review: University of Newcastle Library Guides  
  • Writing Help: The Article Review: Central Michigan University Libraries  
  • Write a Critical Review of a Scientific Journal Article: McLaughlin Library  
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How to Write an Article Review

Last Updated: September 8, 2023 Fact Checked

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. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,032,334 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

  • Read the article very closely, and then take time to reflect on your evaluation. Consider whether the article effectively achieves what it set out to.
  • Write out a full article review by completing your intro, summary, evaluation, and conclusion. Don't forget to add a title, too!
  • Proofread your review for mistakes (like grammar and usage), while also cutting down on needless information. [1] X Research source

Preparing to Write Your Review

Step 1 Understand what an article review is.

  • Article reviews present more than just an opinion. You will engage with the text to create a response to the scholarly writer's ideas. You will respond to and use ideas, theories, and research from your studies. Your critique of the article will be based on proof and your own thoughtful reasoning.
  • An article review only responds to the author's research. It typically does not provide any new research. However, if you are correcting misleading or otherwise incorrect points, some new data may be presented.
  • An article review both summarizes and evaluates the article.

Step 2 Think about the organization of the review article.

  • Summarize the article. Focus on the important points, claims, and information.
  • Discuss the positive aspects of the article. Think about what the author does well, good points she makes, and insightful observations.
  • Identify contradictions, gaps, and inconsistencies in the text. Determine if there is enough data or research included to support the author's claims. Find any unanswered questions left in the article.

Step 3 Preview the article.

  • Make note of words or issues you don't understand and questions you have.
  • Look up terms or concepts you are unfamiliar with, so you can fully understand the article. Read about concepts in-depth to make sure you understand their full context.

Step 4 Read the article closely.

  • Pay careful attention to the meaning of the article. Make sure you fully understand the article. The only way to write a good article review is to understand the article.

Step 5 Put the article into your words.

  • With either method, make an outline of the main points made in the article and the supporting research or arguments. It is strictly a restatement of the main points of the article and does not include your opinions.
  • After putting the article in your own words, decide which parts of the article you want to discuss in your review. You can focus on the theoretical approach, the content, the presentation or interpretation of evidence, or the style. You will always discuss the main issues of the article, but you can sometimes also focus on certain aspects. This comes in handy if you want to focus the review towards the content of a course.
  • Review the summary outline to eliminate unnecessary items. Erase or cross out the less important arguments or supplemental information. Your revised summary can serve as the basis for the summary you provide at the beginning of your review.

Step 6 Write an outline of your evaluation.

  • What does the article set out to do?
  • What is the theoretical framework or assumptions?
  • Are the central concepts clearly defined?
  • How adequate is the evidence?
  • How does the article fit into the literature and field?
  • Does it advance the knowledge of the subject?
  • How clear is the author's writing? Don't: include superficial opinions or your personal reaction. Do: pay attention to your biases, so you can overcome them.

Writing the Article Review

Step 1 Come up with...

  • For example, in MLA , a citation may look like: Duvall, John N. "The (Super)Marketplace of Images: Television as Unmediated Mediation in DeLillo's White Noise ." Arizona Quarterly 50.3 (1994): 127-53. Print. [10] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 3 Identify the article.

  • For example: The article, "Condom use will increase the spread of AIDS," was written by Anthony Zimmerman, a Catholic priest.

Step 4 Write the introduction....

  • Your introduction should only be 10-25% of your review.
  • End the introduction with your thesis. Your thesis should address the above issues. For example: Although the author has some good points, his article is biased and contains some misinterpretation of data from others’ analysis of the effectiveness of the condom.

Step 5 Summarize the article.

  • Use direct quotes from the author sparingly.
  • Review the summary you have written. Read over your summary many times to ensure that your words are an accurate description of the author's article.

Step 6 Write your critique.

  • Support your critique with evidence from the article or other texts.
  • The summary portion is very important for your critique. You must make the author's argument clear in the summary section for your evaluation to make sense.
  • Remember, this is not where you say if you liked the article or not. You are assessing the significance and relevance of the article.
  • Use a topic sentence and supportive arguments for each opinion. For example, you might address a particular strength in the first sentence of the opinion section, followed by several sentences elaborating on the significance of the point.

Step 7 Conclude the article review.

  • This should only be about 10% of your overall essay.
  • For example: This critical review has evaluated the article "Condom use will increase the spread of AIDS" by Anthony Zimmerman. The arguments in the article show the presence of bias, prejudice, argumentative writing without supporting details, and misinformation. These points weaken the author’s arguments and reduce his credibility.

Step 8 Proofread.

  • Make sure you have identified and discussed the 3-4 key issues in the article.

Sample Article Reviews

article review essay

Expert Q&A

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About This Article

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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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article review essay

How to Write an Article Review: Tips and Examples

article review essay

Did you know that article reviews are not just academic exercises but also a valuable skill in today's information age? In a world inundated with content, being able to dissect and evaluate articles critically can help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Whether you're a student aiming to excel in your coursework or a professional looking to stay well-informed, mastering the art of writing article reviews is an invaluable skill.

Short Description

In this article, our research paper writing service experts will start by unraveling the concept of article reviews and discussing the various types. You'll also gain insights into the art of formatting your review effectively. To ensure you're well-prepared, we'll take you through the pre-writing process, offering tips on setting the stage for your review. But it doesn't stop there. You'll find a practical example of an article review to help you grasp the concepts in action. To complete your journey, we'll guide you through the post-writing process, equipping you with essential proofreading techniques to ensure your work shines with clarity and precision!

What Is an Article Review: Grasping the Concept 

A review article is a type of professional paper writing that 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:

  • Summarization, classification, analysis, critiques, and comparison.
  • The analysis, evaluation, and comparison require the use of theories, ideas, and research relevant to the subject area of the article.
  • It is also worth nothing if a review does not introduce new information, but instead presents a response to another writer's work.
  • Check out other samples to gain a better understanding of how to review the article.

Types of Review

When it comes to article reviews, there's more than one way to approach the task. Understanding the various types of reviews is like having a versatile toolkit at your disposal. In this section, we'll walk you through the different dimensions of review types, each offering a unique perspective and purpose. Whether you're dissecting a scholarly article, critiquing a piece of literature, or evaluating a product, you'll discover the diverse landscape of article reviews and how to navigate it effectively.

types of article review

Journal Article Review

Just like other types of reviews, a journal article review assesses the merits and shortcomings of a published work. To illustrate, consider a review of an academic paper on climate change, where the writer meticulously analyzes and interprets the article's significance within the context of environmental science.

Research Article Review

Distinguished by its focus on research methodologies, a research article review scrutinizes the techniques used in a study and evaluates them in light of the subsequent analysis and critique. For instance, when reviewing a research article on the effects of a new drug, the reviewer would delve into the methods employed to gather data and assess their reliability.

Science Article Review

In the realm of scientific literature, a science article review encompasses a wide array of subjects. Scientific publications often provide extensive background information, which can be instrumental in conducting a comprehensive analysis. For example, when reviewing an article about the latest breakthroughs in genetics, the reviewer may draw upon the background knowledge provided to facilitate a more in-depth evaluation of the publication.

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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?

  • In what format should you cite your articles (MLA, APA, ASA, Chicago, etc.)?
  • What length should your review be?
  • Should you include a summary, critique, or personal opinion in your assignment?
  • Do you need to call attention to a theme or central idea within the articles?
  • Does your instructor require background information?

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:

  • 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.

Using MLA Format

  • 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.

Enhance your writing effortlessly with , where you can order an article review or any other writing task. Our team of expert writers specializes in various fields, ensuring your work is not just summarized, but deeply analyzed and professionally presented. Ideal for students and professionals alike, EssayPro offers top-notch writing assistance tailored to your needs. Elevate your writing today with our skilled team at your service!

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The Pre-Writing Process

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

  • Summarize the article — seek out the main points, ideas, claims, and general information presented in the article.
  • Define the positive points — identify the strong aspects, ideas, and insightful observations the author has made.
  • Find the gaps —- determine whether or not the author has any contradictions, gaps, or inconsistencies in the article and evaluate whether or not he or she used a sufficient amount of arguments and information to support his or her ideas.
  • Identify unanswered questions — finally, identify if there are any questions left unanswered after reading the piece.

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

  • Start off by looking at and assessing the title of the piece, its abstract, introductory part, headings and subheadings, opening sentences in its paragraphs, and its conclusion.
  • First, read only the beginning and the ending of the piece (introduction and conclusion). These are the parts where authors include all of their key arguments and points. Therefore, if you start with reading these parts, it will give you a good sense of the author's main points.
  • Finally, read the article fully.

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.

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 pre-writing and the brainstorming process for this assignment, seek out a sample outline.

Your custom essay must contain these constituent parts:

  • Pre-Title Page - Before diving into your review, start with essential details: article type, publication title, and author names with affiliations (position, department, institution, location, and email). Include corresponding author info if needed.
  • Running Head - In APA format, use a concise title (under 40 characters) to ensure consistent formatting.
  • Summary Page - Optional but useful. Summarize the article in 800 words, covering background, purpose, results, and methodology, avoiding verbatim text or references.
  • Title Page - Include the full title, a 250-word abstract, and 4-6 keywords for discoverability.
  • Introduction - Set the stage with an engaging overview of the article.
  • Body - Organize your analysis with headings and subheadings.
  • Works Cited/References - Properly cite all sources used in your review.
  • Optional Suggested Reading Page - If permitted, suggest further readings for in-depth exploration.
  • Tables and Figure Legends (if instructed by the professor) - Include visuals when requested by your professor for clarity.

Example of an Article Review

You might wonder why we've dedicated a section of this article to discuss an article review sample. Not everyone may realize it, but examining multiple well-constructed examples of review articles is a crucial step in the writing process. In the following section, our essay writing service experts will explain why.

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

  • To get you introduced to the key works of experts in your field.
  • To help you identify the key people engaged in a particular field of science.
  • To help you define what significant discoveries and advances were made in your field.
  • To help you unveil the major gaps within the existing knowledge of your field—which contributes to finding fresh solutions.
  • To help you find solid references and arguments for your own review.
  • To help you generate some ideas about any further field of research.
  • To help you gain a better understanding of the area and become an expert in this specific field.
  • To get a clear idea of how to write a good review.

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Steps for Writing an Article Review

Here is a guide with critique paper format on how to write a review paper:

steps for article review

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

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:

  • Title of the article
  • Title of the journal
  • Year of publication

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

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.

  • If you are wondering how to start an article review, begin with an introduction that mentions the article and your thesis for the review.
  • Follow up with a summary of the main points of the article.
  • Highlight the positive aspects and facts presented in the publication.
  • Critique the publication by identifying gaps, contradictions, disparities in the text, and unanswered questions.

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:

  • As you read the article, highlight the key points. This will help you pinpoint the article's main argument and the evidence that they used to support that argument.
  • While you write your review, use evidence from your sources to make a point. This is best done using direct quotations.
  • Select quotes and supporting evidence adequately and use direct quotations sparingly. Take time to analyze the article adequately.
  • Every time you reference a publication or use a direct quotation, use a parenthetical citation to avoid accidentally plagiarizing your article.
  • Re-read your piece a day after you finish writing it. This will help you to spot grammar mistakes and to notice any flaws in your organization.
  • Use a spell-checker and get a second opinion on your paper.

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 by reading it fully and checking the following points:

  • Punctuation
  • Other mistakes

Afterward, take a moment to check for any unnecessary information in your paper and, if found, consider removing it to streamline your content. Finally, double-check that you've covered at least 3-4 key points in your discussion.

And remember, if you ever need help with proofreading, rewriting your essay, or even want to buy essay , our friendly team is always here to assist you.

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Struggling to write a review that people actually want to read? Feeling lost in the details and wondering how to make your analysis stand out?

You're not alone!

Many writers find it tough to navigate the world of article reviews, not sure where to start or how to make their reviews really grab attention.

No worries! 

In this blog, we're going to guide you through the process of writing an article review that stands out. We'll also share tips, and examples to make this process easier for you.

Let’s get started.

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What is an Article Review?

An article review is a critical evaluation and analysis of a piece of writing, typically an academic or journalistic article. 

It goes beyond summarizing the content; it involves an in-depth examination of the author's ideas, arguments, and methodologies. 

The goal is to provide a well-rounded understanding of the article's strengths, weaknesses, and overall contribution to the field.

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Types of Article Reviews

Article reviews come in various forms, each serving a distinct purpose in the realm of academic or professional discourse. Understanding these types is crucial for tailoring your approach. 

Here are some common types of article reviews:

Journal Article Review

A journal article review involves a thorough evaluation of scholarly articles published in academic journals. 

It requires summarizing the article's key points, methodology, and findings, emphasizing its contributions to the academic field. 

Take a look at the following example to help you understand better.

Example of Journal Article Review

Research Article Review

A research article review focuses on scrutinizing articles with a primary emphasis on research.

This type of review involves evaluating the research design, methodology, results, and their broader implications. 

Discussions on the interpretation of results, limitations, and the article's overall contributions are key. 

Here is a sample for you to get an idea.

Example of Research Article Review

Science Article Review

A science article review specifically addresses articles within scientific disciplines. It includes summarizing scientific concepts, hypotheses, and experimental methods.

The type of review assesses the reliability of the experimental design, and evaluates the author's interpretation of findings. 

Take a look at the following example.

Example of Science Article Review

Critical Review

A critical review involves a balanced critique of a given article. It encompasses providing a comprehensive summary, highlighting key points, and engaging in a critical analysis of strengths and weaknesses. 

To get a clearer idea of a critical review, take a look at this example.

Critical Review Example

Article Review Format

When crafting an article review in either APA or MLA format, it's crucial to adhere to the specific guidelines for citing sources. 

Below are the bibliographical entries for different types of sources in both APA and MLA styles:

How to Write an Article Review? 10 Easy Steps

Writing an effective article review involves a systematic approach. Follow this step-by-step process to ensure a comprehensive and well-structured analysis.

Step 1: Understand the Assignment

Before diving into the review, carefully read and understand the assignment guidelines. 

Pay attention to specific requirements, such as word count, formatting style (APA, MLA), and the aspects your instructor wants you to focus on.

Step 2: Read the Article Thoroughly

Begin by thoroughly reading the article. Take notes on key points, arguments, and evidence presented by the author. 

Understand the author's main thesis and the context in which the article was written.

Step 3: Create a Summary

Summarize the main points of the article. Highlight the author's key arguments and findings. 

While writing the summary ensure that you capture the essential elements of the article to provide context for your analysis.

Step 4: Identify the Author's Thesis

In this step, pinpoint the author's main thesis or central argument. Understand the purpose of the article and how the author supports their position. 

This will serve as a foundation for your critique.

Step 5: Evaluate the Author's Evidence and Methodology

Examine the evidence provided by the author to support their thesis. Assess the reliability and validity of the methodology used. 

Consider the sources, data collection methods, and any potential biases.

Step 6: Analyze the Author's Writing Style

Evaluate the author's writing style and how effectively they communicate their ideas. 

Consider the clarity of the language, the organization of the content, and the overall persuasiveness of the article.

Step 7: Consider the Article's Contribution

Reflect on the article's contribution to its field of study. Analyze how it fits into the existing literature, its significance, and any potential implications for future research or applications.

Step 8: Write the Introduction

Craft an introduction that includes the article's title, author, publication date, and a brief overview. 

State the purpose of your review and your thesis—the main point you'll be analyzing in your review.

Step 9: Develop the Body of the Review

Organize your review by addressing specific aspects such as the author's thesis, methodology, writing style, and the article's contribution. 

Use clear paragraphs to structure your analysis logically.

Step 10: Conclude with a Summary and Evaluation

Summarize your main points and restate your overall assessment of the article. 

Offer insights into its strengths and weaknesses, and conclude with any recommendations for improvement or suggestions for further research.

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Article Review Outline

Creating a well-organized outline is an essential part of writing a coherent and insightful article review.

This outline given below will guide you through the key sections of your review, ensuring that your analysis is comprehensive and logically structured.

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

Article Review Format Template

Article Review Examples

Examining article review examples can provide valuable insights into the structure, tone, and depth of analysis expected. 

Below are sample article reviews, each illustrating a different approach and focus.

Example of Article Review

Law Article Review

Sample of article review assignment pdf

Tips for Writing an Effective Article Review

Crafting an effective article review involves a combination of critical analysis, clarity, and structure. 

Here are some valuable tips to guide you through the process:

  • Start with a Clear Introduction

Kick off your article review by introducing the article's main points and mentioning the publication date, which you can find on the re-title page. Outline the topics you'll cover in your review.

  • Concise Summary with Unanswered Questions

Provide a short summary of the article, emphasizing its main ideas. Highlight any lingering questions, known as "unanswered questions," that the article may have triggered. Use a basic article review template to help structure your thoughts.

  • Illustrate with Examples

Use examples from the article to illustrate your points. If there are tables or figures in the article, discuss them to make your review more concrete and easily understandable.

  • Organize Clearly with a Summary Section

Keep your review straightforward and well-organized. Begin with the start of the article, express your thoughts on what you liked or didn't like, and conclude with a summary section. This follows a basic plan for clarity.

  • Constructive Criticism

When providing criticism, be constructive. If there are elements you don't understand, frame them as "unanswered questions." This approach shows engagement and curiosity.

  • Smoothly Connect Your Ideas

Ensure your thoughts flow naturally throughout your review. Use simple words and sentences. If you have questions about the article, let them guide your review organically.

  • Revise and Check for Clarity

Before finishing, go through your review. Correct any mistakes and ensure it sounds clear. Check if you followed your plan, used simple words, and incorporated the keywords effectively. This makes your review better and more accessible for others.

In conclusion , writing an effective article review involves a thoughtful balance of summarizing key points, and addressing unanswered questions. 

By following a simple and structured approach, you can create a review that not only analyzes the content but also adds value to the reader's understanding.

Remember to organize your thoughts logically, use clear language, and provide examples from the article to support your points. 

Ready to elevate your article reviewing skills? Explore the valuable resources and expert assistance at 

Our team of experienced writers is here to help you with article reviews and other school tasks. 

So why wait? Get our essay writing service today!

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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How to Write an Article Review: Practical Tips and Examples

04 Sep 2021

Quick Navigation

❓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.

  • Research Article Review This is the article review type where as a student, you should evaluate the findings, methodology, as well as conclusion presented in the article. The purpose is to provide an in-depth analysis of the author's research methods, data, and findings.
  • Literature Review As the name suggests, this type of review collects, evaluates, and assesses the work done in different studies as well as scholarly articles that are related to a topic.
  • Opinion Article The purpose of reviewing an opinion article is to review opinions expressed by the author. The aim is to consider the validity and the logic behind the argument. This review helps determine the effectiveness of the writer's article, whether it's able to communicate the main argument from a broader perspective or not.
  • Case Study This is a type of review where you assess case studies. The writing focuses on analyzing specific events, people, or situations. The purpose of reviewing a case study is to determine the author's ability to analyze a case and identify the main issues while providing relevant recommendations.
  • Systematic Review This is a very technical form of review, it analyses the published research on a particular topic in the most extensive and comprehensive form. The purpose of this review is to determine the quality of the research and identify any gaps in knowledge to recommend for future research.

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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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:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) - An APA format article review is commonly used for social sciences. It has guidelines for formatting the title, abstract, body paragraphs, and references. For example, the title of an article in APA format is in sentence case, whereas the publication title is in title case.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association): This is a formatting style often used in humanities, such as language studies and literature. There are specific guidelines for the formatting of the title page, header, footer, and citation style.
  • Chicago Manual of Style: This is one of the most commonly used formatting styles. It is often used for subjects in humanities and social sciences, but also commonly found in a newspaper title. This includes guidelines for formatting the title page, end notes, footnotes, publication title, article citation, and bibliography.
  • Harvard Style: Harvard style is commonly used for social sciences and provides specific guidelines for formatting different sections of the pages, including publication title, summary page, website publisher, and more.

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.

  • Read the Article Closely: Even before you start to write an article review, it's important to make sure that you have read the specific article thoroughly. Write down the central points and all the supporting ideas. It's important also to note any questions or comments that you have about the content.
  • Identify the Thesis: Make sure that you understand the author's main points, and identify the main thesis of the article. This will help you focus on your review and ensure that you are addressing all of the key points.
  • Formulate an Introduction: The piece should start with an introduction that has all the necessary background information, possibly in the first paragraph or in the first few paragraphs. This can include a brief summary of the important points or an explanation of the importance.
  • Summarize the Article : Summarize the main points when you review the article, and make sure that you include all supporting elements of the author's thesis.
  • Start with Personal Critique : Now is the time to include a personal opinion on the research article or the journal article review. Start with evaluating all the strengths and weaknesses of the reviewed article. Discuss all of the flaws that you found in the author's evidence and reasoning. Also, point out whether the conclusion provided by the author was well presented or not.
  • Add Personal Perspective: Offer your perspective on the original article, do you agree or disagree with the ideas that the article supports or not. Your critical review, in your own words, is an essential part of a good review. Make sure you address all unanswered questions in your review.
  • Conclude the Article Review : In this section of the writing process, you need to be very careful and wrap up the whole discussion in a coherent manner. This is should summarize all the main points and offer an overall assessment.

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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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.

  • Introduction Introduce the article that you are reviewing (author name, publication date, title, etc.) Now provide an overview of the article's main topic
  • Summary section Summarize the key points in the article as well as any arguments Identify the findings and conclusion
  • Critical Review Assess and evaluate the positive aspects and the drawbacks Discuss if the authors arguments were verified by the evidence of the article Identify if the text provides substantial information for any future paper or further research Assess any gaps in the arguments
  • Conclusion Restate the thesis statement Provide a summary for all sections Write any recommendations and thoughts that you have on the article
  • References Never forget to add and cite any references that you used in your article

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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 to prepare 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 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

  • How well is the purpose made clear in the introduction through background/context and thesis?
  • How well does the abstract represent and summarize the article’s major points and argument?
  • How well does the objective of the experiment or of the observation fill a need for the field?
  • How well is the argument/purpose articulated and discussed throughout the body of the text?
  • How well does the discussion maintain cohesion?

Evaluating the Presentation/Organization of Information

  • How appropriate and clear is the title of the article?
  • Where could the author have benefited from expanding, condensing, or omitting ideas?
  • How clear are the author’s statements? Challenge ambiguous statements.
  • What underlying assumptions does the author have, and how does this affect the credibility or clarity of their article?
  • How objective is the author in his or her discussion of the topic?
  • How well does the organization fit the article’s purpose and articulate key goals?

Evaluating Methods

  • How appropriate are the study design and methods for the purposes of the study?
  • How detailed are the methods being described? Is the author leaving out important steps or considerations?
  • Have the procedures been presented in enough detail to enable the reader to duplicate them?

Evaluating Data

  • Scan and spot-check calculations. Are the statistical methods appropriate?
  • Do you find any content repeated or duplicated?
  • How many errors of fact and interpretation does the author include? (You can check on this by looking up the references the author cites).
  • What pertinent literature has the author cited, and have they used this literature appropriately?

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.

article review

How to Write an Article Review: Tips, Outline, Format

article review essay

Have you been assigned an article review paper, but you are unsure where to start, or what is a review article at all? There is no need to worry, as EssayService has put together a top guide for you! Find out all about an article review to master your assignment.

What is an Article Review?

In simple terms, an article review essay is like a summary and evaluation of another professional or expert's work. It may also be referred to as a literature review that includes an outline of the most recent research on the subject, or a critical review that focuses on a specific article with smaller scope. Article review can be used for many reasons; for example, a teacher or lecturer may wish to introduce their students to a new subject by reviewing a professional's piece. You can also learn about the most important works of specialists in your industry by looking at relevant article review examples.

Also, a newspaper article review example could be a journalist writing a critique about another competitor's published work.

In comparison, a book review article example could be critiqued by a fellow author or even a student in the chosen field.

Depending on the critique criteria and the work being reviewed, there could also be certain points asked for addition which should be checked and noted by the lecturer or supervisor. Otherwise, follow the article review guidelines from our write my essay service to complete the assignment in no time.

Key points when writing an article review:

Use the article review template from our paper writing service to get through the assignment as fast as possible so you will not waste any time.


How to Start an Article Review?

  • Firstly read the work being reviewed as much as possible and look up key phrases and words that are not understood.
  • Discuss the work with other professionals or colleagues to collect more opinions and get a more balanced impression.
  • Highlight important sections or sentences and refer this to your knowledge in the topic, do you agree or disagree and what does this contribute to the field?
  • Then re-write the key arguments and findings into your own words this will help gain better understanding into the paper. This can be just written as an outline also and will help decide which points are wanted to discuss later.

If you feel you do not have enough time to create a critique worthy of your time, then come to EssayService and order a custom Article review online.

You can order essay independent of type, for example:

  • nursing essay;
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The best way to write an effective essay would be to draw up a plan or outline of what needs to be covered and use it for guidance throughout the critique.

article review essay

Article Review Formatting

There is no one-fits-all article format you can follow in your review. In fact, the formatting is dictated by the citation style specified by your professor in the task requirements. Thus, be sure to clarify the preferred style before you jump straight to writing to handle the given assignment right.

APA Format Article Review

Writing an APA style article review, you will most likely use articles from journals, websites, and newspapers. For each source, you will have to create properly formatted bibliographical entries.

Here is how to write an article review APA:

  • Journal: Author’s last name, First and middle initial. (Year of Publication). Publication Title. Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.
  • Website: Last name, initials. (Date of Publication). Title. Retrieved from {link}
  • Newspaper: Last name, initials. (Date of Publication). Title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.

MLA Format Article Review

Tips for citing sources in an article review MLA format:

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

Article Review Outline

Planning out an outline for your paper will help writing and to put it together so therefore saving you time in the long run.

Some questions to help with the outline of a critique:

  • What does the article set out to do or prove?
  • Are the main ideas clear and defined?
  • How substantial is the evidence?
  • Where does the article fit in its specific field?
  • Does it provide new knowledge on the topic?
  • What are the central theories and assumptions?
  • Is the writer conclusive at getting their point across?

Here is a typical article review format to follow:

review structure

Use our article review template to get through the assignment as fast as possible so you will not waste any time.

Article Review Title

Firstly start with creating a title for your critique, this should be something to do with the focus of the work that is being reviewed. An approach could be to make it descriptive or also in a more creative way think of something that intrigues the reader. After the title, this is a good place to correctly cite the paper being critiqued and include the important details for example, the author, title of publication, any page references. The style in which the citation is written will depend on which is best for this type of work being reviewed.

Article Review Introduction

The introduction should be a brief glimpse into what the author was writing about and any other details the audience will find interesting. Maybe some background details on the piece that is not already known or something that contributes to the review itself. It is a good idea to start by introducing the work at the start of the paragraph and then include a ' hook '. Include the writer's thesis if there is one and put it at the end but include your own thesis towards the critique near the beginning of this section.

Article Review Body

When constructing the summary section, write down the important points and findings in the piece in your own words. Include how the claims are supported and backed up with evidence but use direct quotes as sparing as possible. Do not put in any information known to professionals in the field or topic, but detail any conclusions the work came to. Make sure the paper is not just copied word for word and is actually summarized by yourself; this will also help the review stage.

To make an accurate critique, break down the work and express opinions on whether it achieves its goals and how useful it is in explaining the topics for an article review. Decide if the paper contributes to its field and is important and credible to the given field. Back up all the claims with evidence from the summary or another source. If using another text, remember to cite it correctly in the bibliography section. Look at how strong the points are and do they contribute to the argument. Try to identify any biases the writer might have and use this to make a fair critique. This part is only for opinions of the piece's significance, not including whether you liked it. Furthermore, the different types of audiences that would benefit from the paper can be mentioned in this section.

Article Review Conclusion

In the conclusion section of the critique, there should only be one or two paragraphs in which a summary of key points and opinions in the piece are included. Also, summarize the paper's significance to its field and how accurate the work is. Depending on the type of critique or work evaluated, it is also possible to include comments on future research or the topic to be discussed further.

If other sources have been used, construct a bibliography section and correctly cite all works utilized in the critique. 

The APA format is very common in an article review and stands for American Psychology Association. This will include a 'references list' at the end of the critique and in-text citations, mentioning the author's last name, page number, and publication date.

There are also MLA and Chicago formats for citations with slight differences in a name, like using a 'works cited' page for MLA. More can be found in this guide on the subtle differences between the types of citation methods under the heading 'Creating a bibliography.'

Article Review Example

Article review writing tips.

If you are interested in best scholarships for high school seniors , the following tips will be handy while writing your essay or article:

  • Allow enough time to complete the research and writing of the critique. The number one problem with creating a critique is running out of time to make it the best it can be. This can be avoided by effective planning and keeping on time with the deadlines you set out.
  • Collect twice more research than you think is needed to write a review. This will help when coming to the writing stage as not all the information collected will be used in the final draft.
  • Write in a style that is compatible with the work being critiqued. This will be better for whoever requested the critique and also will make paper easier to construct.
  • A summary and evaluation must be written. Do not leave out either part as one complements the other and is vital to create a critique worth reading.
  • Be clear and explain well every statement made about the piece . Everything that is unknown to professionals in the field should be explained and all comments should be easy to follow for the reader.
  • Do not just describe the work, analyze and interpret it. The critique should be in depth and give the audience some detailed interpretations of the work in a professional way.
  • Give an assessment of the quality in the writing and of what standard it is. Evaluate every aspect in the paper so that the audience can see where it fits into the rest of the related works. Give opinions based on fact and do not leave any comments without reason as this will not count for anything.

How to Write an Article Review?

Writing a review article is not that hard if you know what steps to take. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to write a review example quickly and easily.

  • Before You Start

Before you start writing your review essay, there are a few pre-writing steps to take. The pre-writing process should consist of the following steps:

  • Pick the subject of your review (if it wasn’t specified by your professor);
  • Read the article fully multiple times;
  • Summarize the main ideas, points, and claims made in the article;
  • Define the positive (strong) aspects;
  • Identify the gaps or inconsistencies;
  • Find the questions that remained unanswered.

All these steps are needed to help you define the direction for your review article and find the main ideas you’d like to cover in it.

After you review articles and define the key ideas, gaps, and other details, map out your future paper by creating a detailed outline.

Here are the core elements that must be included:

  • Pre-title page;
  • Corresponding author details (optional);
  • Running head (only for the APA style);
  • Summary page (optional);
  • Title page;
  • Introduction;
  • References/Works Cited;
  • Suggested Reading page (optional);
  • Tables and Figure Legends (if required by the professor).

This step is vital to organize your thoughts and ensure a proper structure of your work. Thus, be sure not to skip this step.

When you have an outline, students can move on to the writing stage by formulating compelling titles for their article reviews. Titles should be declarative, interrogative, or descriptive to reflect the core focus of the paper.

  • Article Citation

After the title should follow a proper citation of the piece you are going to review. Write a citation according to the required style, and feel free to check out a well-written article review example to see how it should look like.

  • Article Identification

Start the first paragraph of your review with concise and clear article identification that specifies its title, author, name of the resource (e.g., journal, web, etc.), and the year of publication.

Following the identification, write a short introductory paragraph. It should be to the point and state a clear thesis for your review.

  • Summary and Critique

In the main body of your article review, you should first make a detailed but not too extensive summary of the article you reviewed, its main ideas, statements, and findings. In this part, you should also reflect on the conclusion made by the author of the original article.

After a general summary should follow an objective critique. In this part of your paper, you have to state and analyze the main strengths and weaknesses of the article. Also, you need to point out any gaps or unanswered questions that are still there. And clarify your stance on the author’s assertions.

Lastly, you need to craft a compelling conclusion that recaps the key points of your review and gives the final, logical evaluation of the piece that was reviewed.

After this, proofread your work and submit it.

No Time Left For Your Due Assignment

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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: Sep 1, 2023

article review

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Are you struggling to write an effective article review? 

Tired of staring at a blank page when attempting to write an article review? Frustrated with not knowing where to begin or how to structure your critique effectively?

Don't worry, you're not alone! Many students struggle with these challenges.

But fear not!

In this blog, we will help you to craft impactful article reviews with confidence. You’ll be equipped with the skills needed to excel in article reviewing.

So, let's get started!

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What is an Article Review?

An article review is a critical evaluation and analysis of a scholarly or professional article. 

It involves summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of the article's content, methodology, and relevance to the field.

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.

Purpose of Writing an Article Review

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

  • Clear And Accurate Writing: It helps the author make sure that his writing is clear and accurate. This will help them decide on whether it's time for some changes.
  • People’s Views And Perspectives: A systematic review is a perfect way to allow an author the opportunity of seeing other people’s views and perspectives on different issues.
  • Grammar and Writing Style: It helps the author improve his grammar and writing style.

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.

What are the Different Types of Article 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 example:

Journal Article Review Sample Pdf Apa

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 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:

1. Define the Best Organization for Your Evaluation

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.

2. Continue Reading to Learn How to Decipher the Article

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

  • Examine the article's components: Look for the article's title, abstract portion, headings and subheadings, opening sentences in its paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • Focus on the beginning and conclusion: Beginning and conclusion 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.
  • Read quickly: Finally, go through the article completely.

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.

Article Review Outline

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

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 Write an Article Review? 

Below are the steps involved in starting an article review.

1. Identify and Follow the Correct Flow of the Review

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.

2. Preview the Article Carefully

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.

3. Read the Entire Article Carefully

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

4. Rephrase the Article

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.

5. Add a Short and Engaging Title

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.

6. Add the Citation of the Article You are Reviewing

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.

7. Add a Strong Introduction

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.

8. Add a Thesis Statement at the End of the Introduction

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.

9. Add the Background Information

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. It tells the readers about what's going on in the essay or report. 

To avoid plagiarism and make summaries more interesting. Ppick out one or two direct quotes from the text using double quotations around them as needed.

Don't repeat any verbatim sentences.

10. Write the Main Body of the Review

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. They might interfere with objectivity or bias readers’ opinions on certain topics. 

You must show unbiased thoughtfulness instead.

11. Add a Relevant Conclusion

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.

12. Add a Reference Section

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.

13. Review and Proofread It

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 Format 

An article review typically follows a structured format, allowing for a clear and organized presentation of your analysis. 

Here are the key points to include in your article review:


  • Provide a brief overview of the article's topic and its importance.
  • State the purpose of the review and your thesis statement.
  • Summarize the main points and arguments presented in the article.
  • Include relevant supporting evidence and examples.
  • Evaluate the article's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Critically assess the author's methodology, research design, and data analysis.
  • Discuss any biases or limitations that may impact the article's credibility.


  • Engage in a broader discussion related to the article's topic.
  • Connect the article's findings to existing literature or real-world implications.
  • Offer your insights and interpretations.


  • Summarize your main points and overall evaluation of the article.
  • Highlight its contributions to the field and suggest areas for further research

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.

How to Use APA Format? 

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.

How to Use MLA Format? 

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 Examples

Here are some examples to help you further.

Article Review Example APA

Journal Article Review Sample

Article Review Template

Best Article Review Pdf

Example Of Article Review Assignment Pdf

Sample of Article Review pdf

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 concisely. While also engaging with the information in your own way that reflects how you as a writer feel about the material. 

After reading this blog 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

We are an expert at providing writing help. Our AI writing tool provides you with any assistance needed. 

With our professional writing service , your essays will meet the highest standards, 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 

How long should an article review be?

The length of an article review can vary depending on the guidelines provided. Typically, it ranges from 500 to 1500 words. 

Should I provide a rating or score for the article in my review?

While it is not mandatory to provide a rating or score, you can include one if it aligns with the requirements or expectations of your review. 

However, ensure that your evaluation is supported by specific analysis and justification.

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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  • How To Write Article Review Like Professional

May 3, 2022

Do you have an article review assignment, and it is proving challenging? Writing an article review is never easy for many scholars and students because it demands top-notch analytical and writing skills, but this guide will help you turn the tables.

how to write an article review

An article review task requires students and scholars to evaluate the works of other experts in their fields of study to determine originality, clarity, and contribution to the respective discipline. This post is a detailed guide to writing an A-rated article review.

This post will help you learn what an article review is, the different categories, and a step-by-step guide for writing the review. Finally, you will get expert tips and an article review sample to further hone your skills.

Do not get content with poor or standard quality papers; here is how to do an article review like a pro!

Table of Contents

What is an article review, writing an article review: the main types of formats, article review outline for top grades, how to write a review of an article, special tips for writing a great article review outline, article review example.

This piece of writing assesses and summarizes another person’s article or work. The process involves understanding the primary theme of the article/post under consideration, supporting arguments, and possible implications for further studies. Here is a breakdown of what the process entails:

Analysis, classification, summarization, comparison, and critique of the article being reviewed. Assessing the use of key ideas, theories, and studies that are relevant to the subject of the article/post under review. Note that writing a review does not introduce new ideas. Instead, you only respond to another writer’s work.

Before we can look at how to write a journal article review, it is important to appreciate they fall into several categories, which include:

  • Journal Review This is a common type of article review and is used to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the selected publication. In a journal review, you need to do a deep analysis and interpretation that captures the value of the publication. If there are gaps in the article, you must highlight them too.
  • Research Article Review This type of review differs from a journal review in that it focuses more on the research methods that are employed in the publication under consideration. In addition, the research methods are compared with those from other related studies.
  • Scientific Article Review Science article reviews only focus on publications in scientific disciplines, from medicine to engineering. This type of article captures a detailed background of the targeted publication to help readers get a better understanding of the topic.

To write a great article review, it is important to start by developing an outline. Like other types of assignments, your article review should have a clearly defined introduction, body, and conclusion. In some cases, your university professors or teachers provide outlines to be used, but many are the times when you have to work out everything. Here is a sample of the best outlines that you can count on for A-rated reviews:

  • The Pre-Title Page : This part captures important details of the paper, such as the type of the article under review, publication title, and authors. Make sure also to include the author’s affiliations, such as their institution, position, country, and email ID.
  • Corresponding Author Details (optional): These details include things such as the address, name, phone number, fax number, and email.
  • Running Head : If you are preparing the article review in APA format, your title page should also have a running head. This is the title of the paper but shortened to about 40-50 characters.
  • Summary Page (Optional): This mainly depends on whether your lecturer wants it. If he/she does not want students to include it, avoid it. When writing this summary, limit the section to 800 words long and follow these four expert tips:
Provide relevant background. Tell readers why the work was done. Summarize the results. Explain the method used in the publication.
  • Title Page : This page should be restricted to about 250 words. Make sure that it has the most important keywords (about 4-6).
  • Introduction : Introduce your article by providing some highlights about what the reader should expect. Remember that you are not adding new information but only focusing on what the publication is about.
  • Body : Like a standard essay, this is where the bulk of the review goes. Make sure it is broken down into sections to make it easy for readers to get it right.
  • Conclusion : Use this section to wrap the main points that you brought out in the review paper.
  • References : Once you are through with the article review, include all the resources you used.

The process of writing a review article is pretty similar to a literature review. First, you must go through the publication several times to note the main arguments, counterarguments and gaps (if any) and then follow a pre-drawn outline to write the review. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write a journal article review like a pro:

  • Step One : Put Down the Title The first step when writing an article review is to prepare a title that reflects your focus. So, do you want a declarative, descriptive, or interrogative title?
  • Step Two : Correctly Cite the Article The next step is correct citations for the publication under review. Keep in mind the article review format recommended by your teacher. Take the example of an article review following the MLA formatting guide. In such a case, the citation should take the format shown below:The name of the author. “Article Title.” Journal Title and Issue. Pages. Print.
Article title. Author. Journal Title. Year of Publication.

Make sure to put this information in the first paragraph of the review paper. Check out the demonstration of how to put it below:

Start by drawing a thesis for your review. Prepare a summary of the main points or arguments. Capture the positive aspects and facts in the publication under review. Critique the publication by checking major contradictions, gaps, and disparities. You might also want to check the key questions that go unanswered.
  • Step Five : Write Down the Summary of the PublicationYou can do this by revising what the publication’s author wrote about. Remember to capture crucial facts and findings that were brought out by the publication’s author. Also, include the conclusions drawn by the author.
  • Step Six : Critique the Publication/ Post under ReviewWhat strengths and weaknesses did you find in the publication? Present them at this point. Go ahead and highlight how the author has contributed to the discipline of interest. Also, write about the contradictions and gaps you find in the article.It is also important to take a standpoint on the assertions. Are you supporting or not supporting the main argument of the author? However, you need to ensure that your stand is supported by facts and appropriate theories. You might also want to use rubrics to assess the author.
  • Step Seven : Write Down the ConclusionThis is the last part of the article review, and it requires you to revisit the main points captured in your review paper. So, what were your findings? Here you need to write about the validity, accuracy, and relevance of the results presented in the publication. This is also the moment to point out the future for the topic and area of study.

The process can seem too long and exhausting to me. However, there’s no need to worry. You can hire professional writing services and get perfect result witj no efforts.

Now that you know how to write a good article review, are there ways that you can improve it? Here are some expert tips to consider:

  • Take your time to understand and analyze the publication of interest.
  • Make sure to target the main points for your review paper. Try to be as accurate as possible.
  • Use evidence from other sources and bring them out with direct quotes.
  • Always use the parenthetical citation for referencing. When offering advice on writing review article reviews, experts emphasize citations to help students avoid accidental plagiarism.
  • Reread your paper after a few hours or days to spot grammar, flow, and organization issues and fix them.
  • Consider reading several article reviews done by experts to hone your skills in preparing high-quality papers.
  • Always stick to your lecturer’s guidelines and recommendations.

Why are we going this deep to demonstrate how to prepare a high-quality article review? The answer is that preparing a college or university article review has been a huge challenge for many students. To help you craft even better article reviews, here is one of the best samples:

In the Forbes article, “Three Reasons why Amazon’s Cash Flow is No Comfort” (Trainer, 2014), the author dissects the financial reporting of the online retail giant, According to the author, the negative or low earnings report, roughly $75 billion annually is not an accurate account of Amazon’s actual financial picture. While many of the Amazon “bulls” argue that viewing the earnings of the company does not provide the appropriate view of its financial position, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos’ position is that his focus for the company is in having a high free cash flow, rather than a focus on earnings per share. Yet, according to the author, while on the surface it appears that Amazon generates more cash flow than earnings per share, that in fact is a falsehood or imagery due to the way in which Amazon is reporting its financial situation. This articles looks delves into three factors of Amazon’s financial outlook: depreciation, stock-based compensation, and capital lease. It is these three factors, which show that Amazon’s reported operating cash flow is inflated. Amazon recorded $3.3 billion in depreciation, technically a non-cash expense, but in actuality cost $3.4 billion for the cost of purchases of property and equipment. The $1.1 billion stock based compensation gets added back into the operating cash flow, means that this is also a business cost. Within Amazon’s operating cash flows are the build-to-suit leases which totaled $2.7 billion. These costs can be deferred making it appear that Amazon’s cash flow is positive, at least in the long term. Another factor which argues against Amazon’s false front are the operating leases which are included in the financial footnotes, not included on the balance sheet. According to the author, Amazon is using loopholes in order to paint a better picture of its financial position. According to the author, Amazon has lost its position as a profitable online powerhouse. Trainer provides an analysis of Amazon’s invested capital turns since 2003 to show that despite the reports, after a seven year growth between 2003 and a peak in 2009, capital returns show a decline to nearly 2003 levels; revenue on the other hand has actually shown steady increases since 2003. How can invested capital turns peak and decline, despite steady revenue increases? According to the author it is due to efficiency, or lack thereof. Additionally, Amazon has quadrupled its advertising budget since 2009, showing that while revenue is increasing, so are expenses, resulting in the negative cash flow analysis. The article is very critical on how Amazon is reporting its financial health. With hundreds of people to employ and pay, will a negative report help the company maintain its current success or have the negative effect of shaking consumer and investor influence? The price of Amazon shares allows the company to keep its position is the marketplace, and pay stock options, even if the cost of those payouts is rolled back into the operating expenses and possibly decreases the cash flow. Yet keeping stock investors happy, keeps the doors open. The author is critical on the way in which Amazon is reporting its use of capital leases. Yet it is options such as these that keep businesses on the cutting edge and able to expand to meet demand. Its it wrong for Amazon to invest in other types of property ownership or use so that expenses are directly taken from the bottom line, or is this a way of doing business? The author is suggesting that Amazon is not being transparent in its operating of business. In the wake of dozens of companies coming under scrutiny to be more transparent and accurate in their reporting, the assessment of Amazon’s reporting structure is a natural response in keeping businesses accountable. Creative accounting allows companies to project an outward positive financial picture, when in reality business is nowhere near the money-making machine it is perceived to be. Is creative accounting an option for businesses to position it positively in order to stay in business? Is it wrong for a company to position itself more positively in order to stay in business? What will happen to Amazon if in fact all expenditures are reported and pit against the revenues? Articles such as this show the public that companies are making themselves look good in order to stay in business. When companies are not being transparent, it is necessary that professionals who understand accounting procedures to examine profit/loss statements and make those companies accountable. These research inquiries force companies to do what they should be doing. In contrast, it is also necessary for investors to do their due diligence and check on the accuracy of articles like this. Just as this author found data showing that Amazon’s cash flow is not what is being reported, there will be others who may find that Amazon’s financial picture and projections are just as Amazon is reporting. The actual picture may be different depending on who is looking. There is always an analyst who will argue that a company is not doing its due diligence just as there are companies who will report inflated financial results to remain in business and pay investors. Not only is transparency vital, but so is objectivity to ensure that the larger picture is the true focus of research in the financial pictures of companies.

Article Review Examples and Samples

Reviewing an article is not as easy as it sounds: it requires a critical mind and doing some extra research. Check out our article review samples to gain a better understanding of how to review articles yourself.

How to Write an Article Review: A Comprehensive Guide

Writing an article review can be a complex task. It requires a careful summary of the writer’s article, a thorough evaluation of its key arguments, and a clear understanding of the subject area or discipline. This guide provides guidelines and tips for preparing and writing an effective article review.

Understanding an Article Review

An article review is a critique or assessment of another’s work, typically written by experts in the field. It involves summarizing the writer’s piece, evaluating its main points, and providing an analysis of the content. A review article isn’t just a simple summary; it’s a critical assessment that reflects your understanding and interpretation of the writer’s work.

Preparing for an Article Review

Before you start writing, you need to spend time preparing. This involves getting familiar with the author’s work, conducting research, and identifying the main points or central ideas in the text. It’s crucial to understand the subject area or discipline the writer’s article falls under to provide a comprehensive review.

Writing the Summary

The first part of your article review should provide a summary of the writer’s article. This isn’t a simple recounting of the article; it’s an overview or summation that highlights the key arguments and central ideas. It should give the reader a clear understanding of the writer’s main points and the overall structure of the article.

Evaluating the Article

The evaluation or assessment is the heart of your article review. Here, you analyze the writer’s piece, critique their main points, and assess the validity of their arguments. This evaluation should be based on your research and your understanding of the subject area. It’s important to be critical, but fair in your assessment.

Consulting Experts

Consulting experts or professionals in the field can be a valuable part of writing an article review. They can provide insights, add depth to your critique, and validate your evaluation. Remember, an article review is not just about your opinion, but also about how the writer’s piece is perceived by experts in the field.

Writing the Review

Now that you have your summary and evaluation, it’s time to start writing your review. Begin with an introduction that provides a brief overview of the writer’s article and your intended critique. The body of your review should contain your detailed summary and evaluation. Finally, conclude your review by summarizing your critique and providing your final thoughts on the writer’s piece.

Following Guidelines

While writing your article review, it’s important to adhere to the guidelines provided by your instructor or the journal you’re writing for. These recommendations often include specific formatting and structure requirements, as well as suggestions on the tone and style of your review.

Revisiting the Writer’s Article

As you work on your article review, don’t forget to revisit the writer’s article from time to time. This allows you to maintain a fresh perspective on the writer’s piece and ensures that your evaluation is accurate and comprehensive. The ability to relate to the author’s work is crucial in writing an effective critique.

Highlighting the Main Points

The main points or key arguments of the writer’s article should be at the forefront of your review. These central ideas form the crux of the author’s work and are, therefore, essential to your summary and evaluation. Be sure to clearly identify these points and discuss their significance and impact in the context of the field.

Engaging with the Field

An article review isn’t just about the writer’s article – it’s also about the broader subject area or discipline. Engage with the field by discussing relevant research, theories, and debates. This not only adds depth to your review but also positions the writer’s piece within a larger academic conversation.

Incorporating Expert Opinions

Incorporating the opinions of experts or authorities in the field strengthens your review. Experts can provide valuable insights, challenge your assumptions, and help you see the writer’s article from different perspectives. They can also validate your evaluation and lend credibility to your review.

The Role of Research in Your Review

Research plays a vital role in crafting an article review. It informs your understanding of the writer’s article, the main points, and the field. It also provides the necessary context for your evaluation. Be sure to conduct thorough research and incorporate relevant studies and investigations into your review.

Finalizing Your Review

Before submitting your review, take some time to revise and refine your writing. Check for clarity, coherence, and conciseness. Ensure your summary accurately represents the writer’s article and that your evaluation is thorough and fair. Adhere to the guidelines and recommendations provided by your instructor or the journal.

In summary, writing an article review is a meticulous process that requires a detailed summary of the writer’s piece, a comprehensive evaluation of its main points, and a deep engagement with the field. By preparing adequately, consulting experts, and conducting thorough research, you can write a critique that is insightful, informed, and impactful.

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How to Write an Article Review | Definition, Outline, Essay Examples

article review essay

When you are assigned an article review essay, it is important to understand the assignment and to read the article carefully. The goal of an article review is not to offer your own opinion on the article, but rather to provide critical analysis of the article. This includes a summary of the article’s main points, as well as your evaluation of those points. To write an effective review, it is important to be clear about what you liked and didn’t like about the article. Finally, make sure to conclude your essay with a strong argument for or against the author’s main point.

What is an article review?

An article review is a written evaluation of a scholarly article. Typically, scholars write reviews for journals, and academics use reviews to evaluate articles before deciding whether or not to incorporate them into their research. When writing an article review, scholars should assess the quality of the research, the findings of the article, and its implications for their work. To provide a comprehensive and critical evaluation, it is important to carefully read and consider the article from multiple perspectives. Additionally, when writing a review, it is important to be constructive and objective to provide useful feedback for the author. Ultimately, though, the purpose of an article review is to help other scholars determine the value of an article for their research.

Reasons to write an article review

As a college student, you’ll likely be assigned to write an article review. Several purposes of writing an article review exist.

Movie Review Essay

The first is to summarize the main points of the article for someone who hasn’t read it. This is especially helpful if the article is long.

The second purpose is to evaluate the article, which you’ll do by offering your own opinion on its merits.

Third, writing an article review can help you develop critical thinking skills. You’ll need to read the article closely and think about what it’s saying before you can offer your interpretation.

Lastly, by writing an article, you’ll deepen your understanding of the subject matter.

Types of article review

There are two types of article reviews: critical and narrative.

Critical article review

In a critical article review, the focus is on evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the article. The reviewer may agree or disagree with the author’s argument, but the goal is to identify the key points of the article and to assess how well the author supports those points.

A narrative article review.

In a narrative article review, the focus is on summarizing the main points of the article. The goal is to provide a clear, concise overview of the author’s argument and to highlight any implications for further research. Although both types of article reviews have their own merits, critical reviews are generally more helpful in terms of identifying gaps in the current body of research.

An academic article review.

Academic article reviews are typically written by students or scholars as a way of critiquing the work of another scholar. In this type of review, the reviewer will usually summarize the main argument of the article, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and offer their own opinion on the overall quality of the piece.

A general article review.

General article reviews, on the other hand, are typically written by journalists or other experts in a given field. These reviews are designed to give readers a concise overview of what the article is about and whether or not it is worth reading.

How to write an article review

Reviewing an article is a complex task that requires a variety of skills. To do it effectively, you need to be able to understand the author’s argument and critique their methods. Here are some tips on how to write an effective article review:

1. Read the article carefully.

Read the article thoroughly, taking note of the main points and the author’s argument. As you read, try to identify any bias in the article and whether or not the author has presented a well-rounded view of the topic.

2. Reflect on the article:

Once you have finished reading, take some time to reflect on what you have read. What are your overall impressions of the article? Do you agree or disagree with the author’s argument? What parts of the article were most convincing or least convincing to you?

3. Write a Brief Summary.

After reading and understanding the article, the next step is to summarize the article. This summary should be brief, only a few sentences long. It should cover the main points of the article without going into too much detail. The purpose of this summary is to give the reader a general overview of the article so that they can decide whether or not to read it. When summarizing, be sure to include any important information about the author, such as their credentials or qualifications. Finally, make sure to identify the main argument or thesis of the article. This will help the reader understand what they can expect to find in the rest of the review.

4. Critique the article.

In this stage, you will evaluate the article’s strengths and weaknesses. To do this effectively, you should first identify the article’s purpose. Is it to inform? Persuade? Entertain? Once you have determined the purpose, you can start to assess whether or not the author achieved it.

Consider the following questions:

  • Was the topic covered thoroughly?
  • Were all sides of the issue represented fairly?
  • Was the language clear and free of errors?
  • Was the tone appropriate?

After answering these questions, you should have a good sense of the article’s merits and failings. In your critique, be sure to back up your claims with specific examples from the text. By critiquing an article, you are showing that you have thought deeply about its content and can articulate your own opinion on the subject.

5. Create an outline.

The aim of an article review is twofold: to evaluate the content of the piece and to provide your interpretation or opinion of it. To do this effectively, you will need to create an outline.

Your outline should cover three main points: first, you will need to provide a summary of the article; second, you will need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the piece; and finally, you will need to offer your own opinion or interpretation of it.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.

When providing a summary of the article, you should aim to be concise and focus only on the main points. You don’t need to include every single detail; just give the reader a general overview of what the piece is about. When assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the article, you should again be concise and focus only on the most important points. It is helpful to approach this step with a critical eye; however, you should avoid being too negative in your assessment.

Once you are satisfied with the outline, you can now proceed to the actual review writing.

6. Write an Introduction.

The introduction should provide an overview of what will be discussed in the body of your review. It is also a good idea to introduce your readers to the author’s thesis. You can do this by summarizing the main points of their argument. It is important to make sure that your readers understand why you think this article is important. You can do this by explaining how it has affected you or how it has changed your thinking on a particular issue. The introduction can be one or two paragraphs long, depending on how much information you need to include. Finally, you should conclude your introductory paragraph with a brief statement of your overall opinion of the article being reviewed.

7. Write the body paragraphs.

Now that you have a good grasp of what the article is about, it’s time to start writing your review. The body paragraphs of your review will discuss the article in detail and provide evidence to support your opinion. When writing the body paragraphs, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, each paragraph should focus on only one point. Second, all of your points should be backed up with evidence from the article. Finally, make sure to transition smoothly from one point to the next. By following these simple guidelines, you can be sure that your review will be well-organized and engaging.

8. Write the Conclusion.

The conclusion of your article review should briefly summarize the main points of the article and reflect on its overall usefulness. Keep in mind that your audience may not have read the article, so you will need to provide a brief overview of its contents. You might also want to suggest further reading for those who are interested in learning more about the topic. In addition, your conclusion should express your own opinion on the article and discuss its implications for practice or research. By taking the time to craft a well-written conclusion, you can ensure that your readers come away with a clear understanding of both the article and your thoughts on its usefulness.

9. Edit and proofread your review.

As any writer knows, proofreading is an essential step in the writing process. Not only does it help to ensure that your article is free of errors, but it also helps to make sure that your argument is clear and concise. When proofreading your article, be sure to read it aloud so that you can catch any errors that you might otherwise miss. Pay close attention to your grammar and spelling, as well as the clarity of your writing. It can also be helpful to read your article from beginning to end, as this will help you to catch any errors that you might have made in your haste to finish the piece.

Sample Essay: Article review example

Below is an example of a 700 words article review essay written about the article “The Use of Knowledge in Society” by F. A. Hayek.

F. A. Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” is an important work that addresses the very real problem of how best to use our limited resources of knowledge to achieve the greatest possible good for society. While Hayek’s proposed solution is not without its problems, it is nevertheless a thought-provoking and insightful work that warrants close attention from anyone interested in addressing this issue.

The central problem that Hayek seeks to address is what he refers to as the “knowledge problem.” This is the problem of how best to utilize the limited amount of knowledge that we have to achieve the greatest possible good. Hayek’s proposed solution is to create a market system in which prices act as signals that direct individuals to produce the goods and services that are most in demand.

While Hayek’s proposal has its merits, it is not without its problems. One key problem is that, in practice, markets are often subject to manipulation and corruption. This can lead to the production of goods and services that are not actually in the best interests of society as a whole. Another problem with Hayek’s proposal is that it relies on a relatively simplistic view of human nature. Hayek assumes that individuals will always act in their self-interest and that they will always have perfect information about what is in the best interest of society. This is not always the case in reality.

Despite its problems, Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” is a work that is well worth reading. It provides a helpful starting point for thinking about how best to use our limited resources of knowledge. While Hayek’s proposed solution is not perfect, it does offer a useful perspective on this important issue.

Article Review Writing Help

Have you been assigned an article review but aren’t sure how to get started? Well, there is still hope of getting a better grade! At Tutlance , we have a team of top essay writers who can provide expert help with your article review. We’ll make sure that your review is well-written and engaging, and we’ll also provide feedback on the article itself so that you can get a better understanding of the material. So if you’re looking for article review writing help, use our marketplace to connect and find professional help with article review assignments.

What are your thoughts on how to write an article review for school?


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How to Write a Peer Review

article review essay

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.

article review essay

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:

  • Missing references (but depending on what is missing, this could also be a major issue)
  • Technical clarifications (e.g., the authors should clarify how a reagent works)
  • Data presentation (e.g., the authors should present p-values differently)
  • Typos, spelling, grammar, and phrasing issues

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

article review essay

  • Justify your recommendation with concrete evidence and specific examples.
  • Be specific so the authors know what they need to do to improve.
  • Be thorough. This might be the only time you read the manuscript.
  • Be professional and respectful. The authors will be reading these comments too.
  • Remember to say what you liked about the manuscript!

article review essay


  • Recommend additional experiments or  unnecessary elements that are out of scope for the study or for the journal criteria.
  • Tell the authors exactly how to revise their manuscript—you don’t need to do their work for them.
  • Use the review to promote your own research or hypotheses.
  • Focus on typos and grammar. If the manuscript needs significant editing for language and writing quality, just mention this in your comments.
  • Submit your review without proofreading it and checking everything one more time.

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!

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The contents of the Peer Review Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

The contents of the Writing Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

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…

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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.


  • An introductory paragraph that explains what your working topic and thesis is
  • A forecast of key topics or texts that will appear in the review
  • Potentially, a description of how you found sources and how you analyzed them for inclusion and discussion in the review (more often found in published, standalone literature reviews than in lit review sections in an article or research paper)
  • Summarize and synthesize: Give an overview of the main points of each source and combine them into a coherent whole
  • Analyze and interpret: Don’t just paraphrase other researchers – add your own interpretations where possible, discussing the significance of findings in relation to the literature as a whole
  • Critically Evaluate: Mention the strengths and weaknesses of your sources
  • Write in well-structured paragraphs: Use transition words and topic sentence to draw connections, comparisons, and contrasts.


  • Summarize the key findings you have taken from the literature and emphasize their significance
  • Connect it back to your primary research question

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:

  • Chronological : The simplest approach is to trace the development of the topic over time, which helps familiarize the audience with the topic (for instance if you are introducing something that is not commonly known in your field). If you choose this strategy, be careful to avoid simply listing and summarizing sources in order. Try to analyze the patterns, turning points, and key debates that have shaped the direction of the field. Give your interpretation of how and why certain developments occurred (as mentioned previously, this may not be appropriate in your discipline — check with a teacher or mentor if you’re unsure).
  • Thematic : If you have found some recurring central themes that you will continue working with throughout your piece, you can organize your literature review into subsections that address different aspects of the topic. For example, if you are reviewing literature about women and religion, key themes can include the role of women in churches and the religious attitude towards women.
  • Qualitative versus quantitative research
  • Empirical versus theoretical scholarship
  • Divide the research by sociological, historical, or cultural sources
  • Theoretical : In many humanities articles, the literature review is the foundation for the theoretical framework. You can use it to discuss various theories, models, and definitions of key concepts. You can argue for the relevance of a specific theoretical approach or combine various theorical concepts to create a framework for your research.

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:

  • It often helps to remember that the point of these kinds of syntheses is to show your readers how you understand your research, to help them read the rest of your paper.
  • Writing teachers often say synthesis is like hosting a dinner party: imagine all your sources are together in a room, discussing your topic. What are they saying to each other?
  • Look at the in-text citations in each paragraph. Are you citing just one source for each paragraph? This usually indicates summary only. When you have multiple sources cited in a paragraph, you are more likely to be synthesizing them (not always, but often
  • Read more about synthesis here.

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.


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How to Write Academic Reviews

  • What is a review?
  • Common problems with academic reviews
  • Getting started: approaches to reading and notetaking
  • Understanding and analyzing the work
  • Organizing and writing the review

What Is a Review?

A scholarly review describes, analyzes, and evaluates an article, book, film, or performance (through this guide we will use the term “work” to refer to the text or piece to be reviewed).  A review also shows how a work fits into its disciplines and explains the value or contribution of the work to the field.

Reviews play an important role in scholarship. They give scholars the opportunity to respond to one another’s research, ideas and interpretations. They also provide an up-to-date view of a discipline. We recommend you seek out reviews in current scholarly journals to become familiar with recent scholarship on a topic and to understand the forms review writing takes in your discipline. Published scholarly reviews are helpful models for beginner review-writers. However, we remind you that you are to write your own assessment of the work, not rely on the assessment from a review you found in a journal or on a blog.

As a review-writer, your objective is to:

  • understand a work on its own terms (analyze it)
  • bring your own knowledge to bear on a work (respond to it)
  • critique the work while considering validity, truth, and slant (evaluate it)
  • place the work in context (compare it to other works).

Common Problems with Academic Reviews

A review is not a research paper.

Rather than a research paper on the subject of the work,an academic review is an evaluation about the work’s message, strengths, and value. For example, a review of Finis Dunaway’s Seeing Green would not include your own research about media coverage of the environmental movement; instead, your review would assess Dunaway’s argument and its significance to the field.

A review is not a summary

It is important to synthesize the contents and significance of the work you review, but the main purpose of a review is to evaluate, critically analyze, or comment on the text. Keep your summary of the work brief, and make specific references to its message and evidence in your assessment of the work.

A review is not an off-the-cuff, unfair personal response

An effective review must be fair and accurate. It is important to see what is actually in front of you when your first reaction to the tone, argument, or subject of what you are reviewing is extremely negative or positive.

You will present your personal views on the work, but they must be explained and supported with evidence. Rather than writing, “I thought the book was interesting,” you can explain why the book was interesting and how it might offer new insights or important ideas. Further, you can expand on a statement such as “The movie was boring,” by explaining how it failed to interest you and pointing toward specific disappointing moments.

Getting Started: Approaches to Reading and Notetaking


Pre-reading helps a reader to see a book as a whole. Often, the acknowledgments, preface, and table of contents of a book offer insights about the book’s purpose and direction. Take time before you begin chapter one to read the introduction and conclusion, examine chapter titles, and to explore the index or references pages.

Read more about strategies for critical and efficient reading

Reverse outline

A reverse outline helps a reader analyze the content and argument of a work of non-fiction. Read each section of a text carefully and write down two things: 1) the main point or idea, and 2) its function in the text. In other words, write down what each section says and what it does. This will help you to see how the author develops their argument and uses evidence for support.

Double-entry notebook

In its simplest form, the double-entry notebook separates a page into two columns. In one column, you make observations about the work. In the other, you note your responses to the work. This notetaking method has two advantages. It forces you to make both sorts of notes — notes about the work and notes about your reaction to the work — and it helps you to distinguish between the two.

Whatever method of notetaking you choose, do take notes, even if these are scribbles in the margin. If you don’t, you might rely too heavily on the words, argument, or order of what you are reviewing when you come to write your review.                                              

Understand and Analyze the Work

It is extremely important to work toward seeing a clear and accurate picture of a work. One approach is to try to suspend your judgment for a while, focusing instead on describing or outlining a text. A student once described this as listening to the author’s voice rather than to their own.

Ask questions to support your understanding of the work.

Questions for Works of Non-Fiction

  • What is the subject/topic of the work? What key ideas do you think you should describe in your review?
  • What is the thesis, main theme, or main point?
  • What major claims or conclusions does the author make? What issues does the work illuminate?
  • What is the structure of the work? How does the author build their argument?
  • What sources does the author consult? What evidence is used to support claims? Do these sources in any way “predetermine” certain conclusions?
  • Is there any claim for which the evidence presented is insufficient or slight? Do any conclusions rest on evidence that may be atypical?
  • How is the argument developed? How do the claims relate? What does the conclusion reveal?

Questions for Works of Fiction

  • What is the main theme or message? What issues does the book illuminate?
  • How does the work proceed? How does the author build their plot?
  • What kind of language, descriptions, or sections of plot alert you to the themes and significance of the book?
  • What does the conclusion reveal when compared with the beginning?

Read Critically

Being critical does not mean criticizing. It means asking questions and formulating answers. Critical reading is not reading with a “bad attitude.” Critical readers do not reject a text or take a negative approach to it; they inquire about a text, an author, themselves, and the context surrounding all three, and they attempt to understand how and why the author has made the particular choices they have.

Think about the Author

You can often tell a lot about an author by examining a text closely, but sometimes it helps to do a little extra research. Here are some questions about the author that would be useful to keep in mind when you are reading a text critically:

  • Who is the author? What else has the author written?
  • What does the author do? What experiences of the author’s might influence the writing of this book?
  • What is the author’s main purpose or goal for the text? Why did they write it and what do they want to achieve?
  • Does the author indicate what contribution the text makes to scholarship or literature? What does the author say about their point of view or method of approaching the subject? In other words, what position does the author take?

Think about Yourself

Because you are doing the interpreting and evaluating of a text, it is important to examine your own perspective, assumptions, and knowledge (positionality) in relation to the text. One way to do this is by writing a position statement that outlines your view of the subject of the work you are reviewing. What do you know, believe, or assume about this subject? What in your life might influence your approach to this text?

Here are some prompts that might help you generate a personal response to a book:

  • I agree that ... because ...                    
  • I disagree that ... because ...
  • I don’t understand ...
  • This reminds me of …
  • I’m surprised by …                 

Another way to examine your thoughts in relation to a text is to note your initial response to the work. Consider your experience of the text – did you like it? Why or why not?

  • What did I feel when I read this book? Why?
  • How did I experience the style or tone of the author? How would I characterize each?
  • What questions would I ask this author if I could?
  • For me, what are the three best things about this book? The three worst things? Why?

Consider Context

A reviewer needs to examine the context of the book to arrive at a fair understanding and evaluation of its contents and importance. Context may include the scholarship to which this book responds or the author’s personal motive for writing. Or perhaps the context is simply contemporary society or today’s headlines. It is certainly important to consider how the work relates to the course that requires the review.

Here are some useful questions:

  • What are the connections between this work and others on similar subjects? How does it relate to core concepts in my course or my discipline?
  • What is the scholarly or social significance of this work? What contribution does it make to our understanding?
  • What, of relevance, is missing from the work: certain kinds of evidence or methods of analysis/development? A particular theoretical approach? The experiences of certain groups?
  • What other perspectives or conclusions are possible?

Once you have taken the time to thoroughly understand and analyze the work, you will have a clear perspective on its strengths and weaknesses and its value within the field. Take time to categorize your ideas and develop an outline; this will ensure your review is well organized and clear.

Organizing and Writing the Review

A review is organized around an assessment of the work or a focused message about its value to the field. Revisit your notes and consider your responses to your questions from critical reading to develop a clear statement that evaluates the work and provides an explanation for that evaluation.

For example:

X is an important work because it provides a new perspective on . . .

X’s argument is compelling because . . . ; however, it fails to address . . .

Although X claims to . . ., they make assumptions about . . . , which diminishes the impact . . .

This statement or evaluation is presented in the introduction. The body of the review works to support or explain your assessment; organize your key ideas or supporting arguments into paragraphs and use evidence from the book, article, or film to demonstrate how the work is (or is not) effective, compelling, provocative, novel, or informative.

As with all scholarly writing, a well-organized structure supports the clarity of your review. There is not a rigid formula for organization, but you may find the following guidelines to be helpful. Note that reviews do not typically include subheadings; the headings listed here serve to help you think about the main sections of your academic review.


Introduce the work, the author (or director/producer), and the points you intend to make about this work. In addition, you should

  • give relevant bibliographic information
  • give the reader a clear idea of the nature, scope, and significance of the work
  • indicate your evaluation of the work in a clear 1-2 sentence thesis statement

Provide background information to help your readers understand the importance of the work or the reasons for your appraisal. Background information could include:

  • why the issue examined is of current interest
  • other scholarship about this subject
  • the author’s perspective, methodology, purpose
  • the circumstances under which the book was created

Sample Introduction

Within educational research, much attention has been given to the importance of diversity and equity, and the literature is rife with studies detailing the best ways to create environments that are supportive of diverse students. In “Guidance Matters,” however, Carpenter and Diem (2015) examined these concepts in a less-studied source: policy documents related to leadership training.  Using discourse analysis, they explored the ways in which government policies concerning the training of educational administrators discussed issues of diversity and equity. While their innovative methods allowed them to reveal the ways in which current policy promotes superficial platitudes to diversity rather than a deep commitment to promoting social justice, their data analysis left many of their identified themes vague and their discussion did not provide a clear explanation of the applications of their findings.

What works in this sample introduction:

  • The nature of the larger issue, how best to create diversity and equity within educational environments, is clearly laid out.
  • The paragraph clearly introduces the authors and study being reviewed and succinctly explains how they have addressed the larger issue of equity and diversity in a unique way.
  • The paragraph ends with a clear thesis that outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Summary of the Work

Keep the summary of the work short! A paragraph or two should be sufficient. Summarize its contents very briefly and focus on:

  • the purpose of the work
  • the main points of the work
  • the ideas, themes, or arguments that you will evaluate or discuss in the review

Analysis and Evaluation

Analyze and explain the significance of the main points of the work. Evaluate the work, answering questions such as the following:

  • Does the work do what its author claimed it would?
  • Is the work valid and accurate?
  • How does the work fit into scholarship in the field?
  • What are your reasons for agreeing, disagreeing, liking, disliking, believing, disbelieving?

Note that this section will take up the bulk of your review and should be organized into paragraphs. Because this form of writing typically does not use subheadings, strong paragraphing, particularly the use of clear topic sentences, is essential. Read more on paragraphing.

Reviews are informed by your critical reading or viewing of a work; therefore you need to include specific evidence from the work to support your claims about its message and its impact. Your writing and  your assessment of the work will be most effective if you paraphrase or summarize the evidence you use, rather than relying on direct quotations. Be sure to follow the rules for citation in your discipline. Read more on paraphrasing and summarizing.

Sample Body Paragraph

One of the strengths of Carpenter and Diem’s  (2015) study was innovative use of  and nuanced explanation of discourse analysis. Critiquing much of the research on policy for its positivist promises of “value neutral and empirically objective” (p. 518) findings, Carpenter and Diem (2015) argued that discourse theory can provide an important lens through which to view policy and its relationship to educational outcomes.  By interrogating the “inscribed discourses of policy making” (p. 518), they showed how policy language constructs particular social meanings of concepts such as diversity and equity. Significantly, this analysis was not simply about the language used within documents; instead, Carpenter and Diem (2015) argued that the language used was directly related to reality. Their “study examine[d] how dominant discourses related to equity, and their concretization within guiding policy documents, may shape the ways in which states, local school districts, and educational leaders are asked to consider these issues in their everyday practice” (Carpenter & Diem, 2015, p. 519). Thus, through the use of discourse theory, Carpenter and Diem (2015) framed policy language, which some might consider abstract or distant from daily life, as directly connected to the experience of educational leaders.

What works in this sample body paragraph:

  • The paragraph begins with a clear topic sentence that connects directly to a strength mentioned in the thesis of the review.
  • The paragraph provides specific details and examples to support how and why their methods are innovative.
  • The direct quotations used are short and properly integrated into the sentences.

The paragraph concludes by explaining the significance of the innovative methods to the larger work.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Give your overall assessment of the work. Explain the larger significance of your assessment. Consider who would benefit from engaging with this work.

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  • A Research Guide
  • Writing Guide
  • Article Writing

How To Write an Article Review

  • Definition of article review
  • Why do students write article reviews
  • Types of article review
  • Structure and outline
  • Step-by-step guide

Article review format

  • How to write a good article review
  • Article review examples

Definition of article review assignments

Why do students write article reviews.

  • Article writing is a deeply analytical process that helps students to correct vague terms when and if they are present. Likewise, when composing an article review or an original assignment, such work provides more clarity regarding using appropriate words. If an article has colloquial language or logical gaps, it is one of those aspects to mention in an article review. It also allows writers to determine whether certain terms must be replaced and edited.
  • Article review essay writing helps to clarify scientific questions.
  • Writing an article review allows students to see and understand how others approach specific issues and what perspectives should be studied regarding the problems at hand. Once a person reads the review, it makes it easier to get rid of bias.
  • Article review assignments also provide students with editing and grammar work to help with more accurate papers.
  • Most importantly, an article review is a way to encourage better work and provide critical analysis with due criticism and evaluation of the original article.

Types of article review tasks

  • Original Research Article Review. The original research article review is close to what is often seen as the literature review. An author must explore the author’s hypothesis and some background studies with due analysis to outline scientific methods. It’s one of the most challenging tasks to write as one must interpret the findings and talk about future implications. This type of work can also get lengthy and be up to 6,000 words in subjects like History or Sociology.
  • Critical Analysis. As the name implies, it critically evaluates the author’s work and can be up to 3,000 words.
  • Literature Review. It stands for the review of secondary literature sources. As a rule, such reviews do not present much new data and only evaluate the importance of sources and information that supports the author’s arguments.
  • Systematic Review. This case stands for research questions and articles that require a deeper synthesis of available facts or certain evidence. The purpose here is to define and evaluate the quality of the data obtained by the author.
  • Meta-Analysis Reviews. Once again, it is a systematic review focusing on a specific topic, the literature issues. You must provide a special quantitative estimate for exposure and intervention.
  • Clinical Trial Reviews. It means that one must provide a study related to an investigation offered by the author. It can relate to a drug or talk about a sample group of people, thus bringing it into the field of a defined population or a group of participants.
  • Perspective or Opinion Article Review. This is where one poses an opinion, meaning things can get biased toward a certain opinion. In writing a good review, a student can look for perspectives and evaluate the importance of the original article. Likewise, posing an opinion is one of the obligatory aspects.

Article review structure and outline

Article review structure.

  • Title page.
  • An article introduction presenting the main subject and/or a problem.
  • Brief article summary.
  • Critical article evaluation and/or a summary.
  • Conclusion with the moral lesson and discussion on the findings’ pros/cons.
  • Bibliography with relevant citations.

Article review outline

  • You provide an evaluation and summary of the author’s article.
  • Your audience can receive sufficient knowledge regarding the subject.
  • You have made points about the strongest arguments of the author.
  • You have criticized the author’s work and explained how it contributes to the scientific field.
  • You conclude your article review with your original thoughts and opinions without turning to additional research unless the grading rubric required it.

Step-by-step writing guide

Step 1: learn about the article’s agenda., step 2: summarize the main article ideas, step 3: organization aspect of the review, step 4: article preview and take notes, step 5: paraphrasing and analysis, step 6: final evaluation.


  • An introduction. The topic of your study must be mentioned here in the first sentence. Indicate what your article contains and talk about the author’s background. Provide an order of the subjects you plan to discuss to explain what your readers expect. The introduction should provide the author’s claims and the main arguments that result in your thesis statement. When writing an introduction, you must determine the main argument.
  • Body paragraphs. This is where you provide an evaluation with a summary and write about the author’s work.
  • Conclusion. Speak of your reasons for providing a review and talk about whether you could support your thesis and what you have learned.
  • Works Cited page. Refer to your grading rubric to identify what citation style must be used.

How to write a good article review?

  • Do not write the statements in the first person. It is recommended to use the third person instead by turning to a formal academic tone.
  • Your introduction with the information about the original article should take from 10 to 25% of your assignment’s volume.
  • An introduction must end with a strong thesis and make an assumption or research the author’s main claim. A typical thesis to start an article review for an assignment may look this way:
  • Write down all the important points and share your findings. It will help to show that you have done your homework correctly.
  • Discuss how the article supports the claims and whether it provides good evidence.
  • Always provide background information about the author.
  • Use direct quotes to support your claims by turning to the original article.
  • Read your summary twice to evaluate whether it follows the main thesis.
  • Talk about the contributions of the author to the academic community.
  • Provide reasons for whether you support the author’s view or not. Why or why not?
  • Summarize all the important points in a conclusion part.

Why choose article review examples?

  • Wright State University’s Journal Article Review Example .
  • University of Illinois Springfield’s Article How-to Review Guide .
  • UC Merced Library’s Article Review Sample
  • Identify recent and important changes in your field of study.
  • Determine who works in a specific field of science and why.
  • Narrow things down and identify essential information to help you start with research.
  • Use obtained information in school debates, and references work.
  • Generate new ideas and conduct lab experiments.
  • Write an article review through the lens of personal experience and expertise.

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Article Review Essay Example

article review essay

Hoppin What Does It Take To Do A Good Review Of An Original Scientific Article?

to Dr. Hoppin, what does it take to do a good review of an original scientific article (6 points)? Dr. Hoppin discussed four main responsibilities in guiding reviewer in the reviewing process of scientific paper. When reviewing a scientific article, the role of reviewers is to shear their experience, knowledge, time and provide constructive criticisms and suggestions. The reviewer has to be motivated by providing suggestions for improving the article to be more educational, informative and useful

Article Review

remaining childless until age 35 years? Results from an Australian birth cohort study. (Steele, 2014) Article review. The study described in the article attempts to demonstrate that precarious employment conditions force women to procrastinate first childbirth till age 35. Below here there are the short summary of this article and its evaluation, focused on the choice of variables, the article structure and the study results. The base for the study was the same as in the Life Journeys of Young

influence patients’ chemotherapy decisions”(Obermyer, 2017, p. 3). As such, it is imperative that an accurate means of predicting patients’ risks and outcomes with regards to chemotherapy be found and used in clinical application. The three articles studied in this review use very different methods of predicting patient outcomes, and prove more accurate than the current “predictions... from randomized trials of individual chemotherapies, or SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) estimates”(Obermyer

A Review Of The Article Review

voices is clear in the article published titled Critics Challenge Emissions Target (Wingrove 2015, May 16). The first person referenced is the

Article Review On ' The '

Our Father Who Is In Heaven By J Stark | Submitted On January 13, 2016 Recommend Article Article Comments Print Article Share this article on Facebook Share this article on Twitter Share this article on Google+ Share this article on Linkedin Share this article on StumbleUpon Share this article on Delicious Share this article on Digg Share this article on Reddit Share this article on Pinterest Expert Author J Stark Is this simply a prayer recited by many, under varying circumstances or might

Descriptive research plays an important role in educational research because it has greatly increased our knowledge about what happens in the classroom. What is descriptive research? Descriptive research can involve collecting quantitative information, or it can describe categories of information such as patterns of interaction when using technology in the classroom. Although it may employ fundamentals of both quantitative and qualitative research, descriptive research does not fit neatly into the

MindByte #3 Matteo Rocco Lawrence Caprio I want you to read the following article,” How statistical deception created the appearance that statins are safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease”, David m. Diamond and Uffe Ravnskov; Expert Rev. Clin. Pharmacol. Early inline, 1-10 (2015) a) On the first page, Hill’s criteria for causality is referenced. I now want you to research the term; “(Bradford) Hill’s criteria for causality” and list six of the possible

which contribute to vast databases that can be used by law enforcement. In the article “Private License Plate Scanners Amassing Vast Databases Open to Highest Bidders,” RT, March 6th, 2014 has increased that they tenfold its plate scans since September 2010, and adds 70 million scans a month. Following that, the publication In These Times, a progressive activism journal out of Chicago, continuously in their article “who has a right to track you?” Corporations argue that they have a right to collect

Article Review On The Constitution

Furthermore, the constitution has a total of seven articles. Article I, creates the legislative branch, this article gives congress its powers and limits. Congress is the legislative branch of the government which means that they are responsible for making laws for the country. Article II, creates the executive branch, whom enforce the law created by congress. Article III, creates the judicial branch, this branch is the system of courts that look at the law and applies it to different cases. This

Article Review On Web Article

to Dispel Those Negative Thoughts By Anthony Lamar Smith | Submitted On May 31, 2013 Recommend Article Article Comments Print Article Share this article on Facebook Share this article on Twitter Share this article on Google+ Share this article on Linkedin Share this article on StumbleUpon Share this article on Delicious Share this article on Digg Share this article on Reddit Share this article on Pinterest Expert Author Anthony Lamar Smith Have you ever wondered if it 's possible to rid yourself

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Article Review

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Learn How to Write an Article Review with Examples

By: Cordon J.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Mar 29, 2022

Article Review

Students often find themselves struggling with the process of writing the article review. It seems like a very simple and straightforward task at first, but some unique features make it challenging to write an excellent one. You should know them before you start writing the article review.

Worry not! If you were assigned to write the review of an article and have no clue how to write it, you are at the right place. In this blog, you will get the most effective topics, tips, and examples that make your writing phase easy and simple.

Article Review

On this Page

What is an Article Review?

An article review is a common academic assignment where you summarize and assess another person’s article. In this type of assignment, you read a specific article, evaluate it critically, and write your observations in the review.

The main purpose of writing the article review is to:

  • Explore the strong and weak points
  • Highlight the main methodologies
  • Provide a critical evaluation
  • Help clarify questions
  • Explain the current state of knowledge

A review of an article should not provide new information. Instead, it explores and evaluates the work done by another writer to help you make up your mind on whether or not this piece is worth reading in its entirety.

Moreover, thinking analytically and critically is a must when working on such an assignment. This task can be more difficult than it looks, but success comes with practice.

How to Write an Article Review?

Creating a well-written article review is not easy, but you can do it with some steps. To create an informative and engaging work for your audience, you should follow the below-mentioned steps.

1. Preparation

You need to know what type of review is right for your article. This will make it easier for you to read and understand it.

Below are some main stages that help you get started.

  • Read the article. Make notes or highlight the main sections.
  • Summarize the main ideas, arguments, findings, and positions.
  • Identify the strong claim.
  • Critique the article contributes to the field.
  • Examine the title, abstract, introduction, headings, and conclusion.

Remember these stages in your mind and start writing your review.

2. Create an Outline

Review each item in the article summary to determine whether it was accurate and clear. Get back to your notes and preliminary outline to see what you include in your review. Then, create an outline and organize all the information you need to add to your review.

3. Write the Title

The title of your review should reflect the main focus. You can either use an interrogative, descriptive, or declarative title to attract readers’ attention and make them want more information about what you're writing about.

4. Cite the Article

Now, place the citation in the proper format. Consider the style your professor recommends; this will help you avoid future problems.

5. Identify the Article

In this step, you should include the identification of the reviewed article. Start by referring to the title, author, and year of publication in the first paragraph.

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6. Write the Captivating Introduction

An introduction of an article review should accurately summarize the content. It may also mention key themes, arguments, and authors’ claims to identify their position on this subject matter.

You must state clearly what thesis was being argued. Sometimes, the thesis statement is not clearly stated, so you have to examine it yourself.

7. Summarize the Article

An engaging summary of the article discusses its central arguments and includes a list with key findings. The author's conclusion should not be missed in any case because it provides an important perspective on what was talked about previously by summarizing all relevant facts together as well.

8. Write Your Critique

The article’s contribution and importance to the field should be discussed in the article. You can support your critique with facts, evidence, or other perspectives.

It would be great to share your opinion on what is working well and where work needs improvement.

9. Conclude the Article Review

In the concluding section, summarize the main points and your opinion about the topic. Do not add irrelevant and new information that confuses the readers.

10. Proofread

Before you submit your article review, make sure to read it thoroughly and identify any mistakes in spelling or grammar. Proofread it again and again for errors and make it error-free.

Article Review Format

To create a well-written review and get an A+ from your teacher, you must follow the proper format recommended by your professor.

Citation styles can vary depending on the instructor’s requirements. Make sure your citations are formatted correctly to avoid any plagiarism.

If your instructor does not define any format, you can choose the best one from the below-mentioned formats.

An article can be in an academic journal, a website, or a newspaper. You need to include citations for sources when writing in an  APA format  review.

The below table gives you a better understanding of citing different sources in APA format.

MLA citations are the format used for citing sources in an article review. For those who are not familiar with the MLA citation format, it's just like APA. It's not very difficult, and it is a common method among many academic journals.

Here is an  MLA format  that you can use for your help.

Article Review Examples





Article Review Topics

For those who find it difficult to do research and choose the topics, don’t worry. Our experts compiled some great topics that you can use for your help.

Take a look at the below-mentioned topics and choose the one that matches your needs and interests.

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  • Women roles in the modern world
  • What new traditions could come out of the COVID-19 situation?
  • Current issues in the education of students with visual impairments
  • How To stop wasting time and improve your personal effectiveness?
  • The future of work is through workforce ecosystems
  • The positive aspects of the use of plastic products
  • Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the cloud computing
  • Significance of future research of artificial intelligence
  • Child abuse and its influence on character development
  • Global warming

Tips for Writing the Article Review

One of the most important aspects to remember when writing an article review is keeping it interesting for both readers and authors. Here are some tips from our team on how best to approach this:

  • Give insight observations about the article.
  • Write relevant background information.
  • The opening sentence of the introduction should be attention-grabbing.
  • Cover all the key points in your review.
  • Know that review can be either a literature review or a critical review.
  • Keep the main points of the article in mind.
  • Keep the length of the article review in mind, e.g., systematic reviews are short in length.

To write a great review, you need to make a proper plan and start writing it. Pick the article from a legal source and evaluate the information for further limitations before writing your opinion about the chosen topic.

Although, if you are overburdened and lack writing skills, you can easily consult the best ‘ write my essay ’ service . We offer top-notch writing services to students of different academic levels at affordable rates.

Contact us and get the best writing help from professionals.

Cordon J.

Law, Finance Essay

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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How To Write An Article Review

Table of Contents

An article review essay is a critical analysis or evaluation of literature in a given field through making a summary of the article in question, comparison, or classification. In case it is a scientific article being reviewed, the writer will be required to use database searches to retrieve the results of the search. It is from the searches the writer chooses the article which is appropriate. It is a common skill that is developed in school, to help the students to establish analytical skills. It means the skills are not just used in the classrooms, but also applies in the work environment. Writing an article review has over time proved to be a difficult assignment for most students. The fact that it involves the critical evaluation of the ideas that have been presented in the article, means it is not just a summary. For most students, an article review is confused with an article summary. The critical analysis of the ideas in the article means the author has to go further than summarizing the content of the article.

Content of this article

  • Ideas identification
  • Presentation
  • Writing process

1. Purposes of an Article Review

  • The purpose of the article review essay is associated with the writer summarizing the content of the article, evaluating other literature content, and then adding their own understanding of the content.
  • In most cases, the article to be reviewed is going to be difficult to understand which requires the writer to read it severally before they are able to understand it, which then means they will be in a position to offer insights into the content of the article in the review essay.
  • One of the major aspects to understand, in reference to the purpose of article reviews essay writing, is professional writing skills. This is relative to, article review requires one to have in-depth knowledge of a certain field, from which the article belongs.
  • It is this information that helps in the review of the article and helps the audience to better understand the content and the argument of the writer.
  • The purpose of an article review is associated with values that people attach to opinions from others about certain information in a given field.
  • It is also a crucial skill for journalists as they have to gather information on a given topic and to further assess how the audience views their work.
  • Overall, article reviews build on the skills of the students to become better at analyzing information that interacts with and make professional evaluations and recommendations.

2. Step-by-step guide on article review writing

2.1 first read.

The first part of the article review writing process is reading the article to be reviewed for the first time. The first time helps the writer to understand what it is the article is actually talking about. If it is assigned reading in class, the student may not have come across the article in the past and thus will need to familiarize themselves with the content and the style of the author. The first reading of the article is crucial, as it helps the reader to connect with the author of the article to be reviewed. This also means that the reader will have to take note of the key points of the author, and the basic argument presented in the article, and note down some of the words, phrases, and concepts that are new. These are elements that will then be looked at before going into the next reading. After noting the new information, the reader is supposed to look up the meaning of the phrases, and words and read up on the concepts that have been presented in the article. The information on the various words, phrases, and concepts can be found online or even at the library. It helps with a better understanding of the article and information presented especially if the article is in an unfamiliar field. This also sets the premises for reviewing the article in question, given it is not possible to write a review of an article that one does not understand.

2.2 Close Read

This is followed by a close reading, which is associated with critical reading of the article. In this case, the reader is not just reading to understand but also forming an opinion of the presentation of the information, the style of the author, the ease of understanding the information resented, and even an opinion on the accuracy of the information presented. As such, close reading is associated with the analytical skills of the student. The writer is supposed to take notes of the various aspects of the article that they are going to include in the article review essay. It is crucial as it makes the work of writing the review much easier, relative to collating information that is then sorted out for inclusion in the essay.

2.3 Identify Ideas

After identifying the main ideas in the article, the writer may now develop the essay using their own words.

2.4 Present a Unique Article Review

The point behind an article review essay is to develop the skills to analyze information gathered from the various sources and present it in a unique manner that reflects the ideas of the essay and is presented in a manner that also shows the opinion of the writer. The writer has to be in a position to present the ideas in a professional manner, showing a depth understanding of the information found in the essay.

3. Article review writing process

The first part of the article review essay is the title, which informs the readers what the essay is about. The title is supposed to be short and precise, giving all the information that the reader may need to understand what the essay is about. At the same time, the title is supposed to be catchy, such that it gets the readers interested. For example, the title may be phrased as follows: “Evaluating the rising homegrown terrorism” .

This is then followed by the correct citation of the article to be reviewed. Ideally, it does not only give credit to the author of the article to reviewed but also gives the readers a chance to check out the article that is being reviewed. It is crucial, as some of the readers may want to first read the article under review or may want to compare and make opinions of their own other than what is established in the review essay. In an example, the reference to the article home terrorism may be cited as follows:

Park, S. (2016). Counter-Terrorism in France : Home-Grown Terrorism and the Change of Counter-Terrorism Policy. The Journal Of Peace Studies, 17(3), 117-140.

Within the text of the essay, however, the writer will acknowledge the work of the author as follows (Park, 2016).

When identifying the article, it is crucial that the writer selects an article that talks about a topic that they are familiar with. This will help them to better analyze the article as they have some background information. Choosing an article that the writer is not familiar with, will further complicate the analysis process. If for example the writer chooses an article on calculous and they are not familiar with the field, they will have a difficult time analyzing the same and may actually distort the meaning presented in the article.

The introduction of the article review essay should be catchy and inform the readers about the topic that they are going to discuss. This is then followed by the introduction of the article to be reviewed, with close reference to the main ideas and arguments presented by the author. The writer then introduces the author of the article and where the information is available, the credentials of the author, and some of their other works. If for example the author of the article is a senior lecturer at the local university and working with a local anti-terror agency, this should be brought to the attention of the readers as it builds on the credibility and authority of the information presented in the article.

The critique section of the essay is organized into three main parts, the introduction of the field in which the article belongs and the wide issues. This is then followed by the article content and later on the review of the ideas and concepts of the article according to the writer. This means that this is content that has to be unique to the writer. If for example, the writer does not agree with the strategies of reducing home terrorism, they may state so in this section and support their argument with facts.

In the conclusion, the writer summarizes the main points of the article and also connects the same with their opinion on the matter.

3.1 Proofreading

To make sure the article review essay is professional, the writer has to read through it and make all the necessary corrections such as grammatical errors.

4. Sample of article review

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  • Published: 29 November 2023

Scaling deep learning for materials discovery

  • Amil Merchant   ORCID: 1   na1 ,
  • Simon Batzner 1   na1 ,
  • Samuel S. Schoenholz 1   na1 ,
  • Muratahan Aykol   ORCID: 1 ,
  • Gowoon Cheon 2 &
  • Ekin Dogus Cubuk   ORCID: 1   na1  

Nature ( 2023 ) Cite this article

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  • Computer science
  • Scaling laws

Novel functional materials enable fundamental breakthroughs across technological applications from clean energy to information processing 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 . From microchips to batteries and photovoltaics, discovery of inorganic crystals has been bottlenecked by expensive trial-and-error approaches. Concurrently, deep-learning models for language, vision and biology have showcased emergent predictive capabilities with increasing data and computation 12 , 13 , 14 . Here we show that graph networks trained at scale can reach unprecedented levels of generalization, improving the efficiency of materials discovery by an order of magnitude. Building on 48,000 stable crystals identified in continuing studies 15 , 16 , 17 , improved efficiency enables the discovery of 2.2 million structures below the current convex hull, many of which escaped previous human chemical intuition. Our work represents an order-of-magnitude expansion in stable materials known to humanity. Stable discoveries that are on the final convex hull will be made available to screen for technological applications, as we demonstrate for layered materials and solid-electrolyte candidates. Of the stable structures, 736 have already been independently experimentally realized. The scale and diversity of hundreds of millions of first-principles calculations also unlock modelling capabilities for downstream applications, leading in particular to highly accurate and robust learned interatomic potentials that can be used in condensed-phase molecular-dynamics simulations and high-fidelity zero-shot prediction of ionic conductivity.

The discovery of energetically favourable inorganic crystals is of fundamental scientific and technological interest in solid-state chemistry. Experimental approaches over the decades have catalogued 20,000 computationally stable structures (out of a total of 200,000 entries) in the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (ICSD) 15 , 18 . However, this strategy is impractical to scale owing to costs, throughput and synthesis complications 19 . Instead, computational approaches championed by the Materials Project (MP) 16 , the Open Quantum Materials Database (OQMD) 17 , AFLOWLIB 20 and NOMAD 21 have used first-principles calculations based on density functional theory (DFT) as approximations of physical energies. Combining ab initio calculations with simple substitutions has allowed researchers to improve to 48,000 computationally stable materials according to our own recalculations 22 , 23 , 24 (see Methods ). Although data-driven methods that aid in further materials discovery have been pursued, thus far, machine-learning techniques have been ineffective in estimating stability (decomposition energy) with respect to the convex hull of energies from competing phases 25 .

In this paper, we scale up machine learning for materials exploration through large-scale active learning, yielding the first models that accurately predict stability and, therefore, can guide materials discovery. Our approach relies on two pillars: first, we establish methods for generating diverse candidate structures, including new symmetry-aware partial substitutions (SAPS) and random structure search 26 . Second, we use state-of-the art graph neural networks (GNNs) that improve modelling of material properties given structure or composition. In a series of rounds, these graph networks for materials exploration (GNoME) are trained on available data and used to filter candidate structures. The energy of the filtered candidates is computed using DFT, both verifying model predictions and serving as a data flywheel to train more robust models on larger datasets in the next round of active learning.

Through this iterative procedure, GNoME models have discovered more than 2.2 million structures stable with respect to previous work, in particular agglomerated datasets encompassing computational and experimental structures 15 , 16 , 17 , 27 . Given that discovered materials compete for stability, the updated convex hull consists of 381,000 new entries for a total of 421,000 stable crystals, representing an-order-of-magnitude expansion from all previous discoveries. Consistent with observations in other domains of machine learning 28 , we observe that our neural networks predictions improve as a power law with the amount of data. Final GNoME models accurately predict energies to 11 meV atom −1 and improve the precision of stable predictions (hit rate) to above 80% with structure and 33% per 100 trials with composition only, compared with 1% in previous work 17 . Moreover, these networks develop emergent out-of-distribution generalization. For example, GNoME enables accurate predictions of structures with 5+ unique elements (despite omission from training), providing one of the first strategies to efficiently explore this chemical space. We validate findings by comparing predictions with experiments and higher-fidelity r 2 SCAN (ref.  29 ) computations.

Finally, we demonstrate that the dataset produced in GNoME discovery unlocks new modelling capabilities for downstream applications. The structures and relaxation trajectories present a large and diverse dataset to enable training of learned, equivariant interatomic potentials 30 , 31 with unprecedented accuracy and zero-shot generalization. We demonstrate the promise of these potentials for materials property prediction through the estimation of ionic conductivity from molecular-dynamics simulations.

Overview of generation and filtration

The space of possible materials is far too large to sample in an unbiased manner. Without a reliable model to cheaply approximate the energy of candidates, researchers guided searches by restricting generation with chemical intuition, accomplished by substituting similar ions or enumerating prototypes 22 . Although improving search efficiency 17 , 27 , this strategy fundamentally limited how diverse candidates could be. By guiding searches with neural networks, we are able to use diversified methods for generating candidates and perform a broader exploration of crystal space without sacrificing efficiency.

To generate and filter candidates, we use two frameworks, which are visualized in Fig. 1a . First, structural candidates are generated by modifications of available crystals. However, we strongly augment the set of substitutions by adjusting ionic substitution probabilities to give priority to discovery and use newly proposed symmetry aware partial substitutions (SAPS) to efficiently enable incomplete replacements 32 . This expansion results in more than 10 9 candidates over the course of active learning; the resulting structures are filtered by means of GNoME using volume-based test-time augmentation and uncertainty quantification through deep ensembles 33 . Finally, structures are clustered and polymorphs are ranked for evaluation with DFT (see Methods ). In the second framework, compositional models predict stability without structural information. Inputs are reduced chemical formulas. Generation by means of oxidation-state balancing is often too strict (for example, neglecting Li 15 Si 4 ). Using relaxed constraints (see Methods ), we filter compositions using GNoME and initialize 100 random structures for evaluation through ab initio random structure searching (AIRSS) 26 . In both frameworks, models provide a prediction of energy and a threshold is chosen on the basis of the relative stability (decomposition energy) with respect to competing phases. Evaluation is performed through DFT computations in the Vienna Ab initio Simulation Package (VASP) 34 and we measure both the number of stable materials discovered as well as the precision of predicted stable materials (hit rate) in comparison with the Materials Project 16 .

figure 1

a , A summary of the GNoME-based discovery shows how model-based filtration and DFT serve as a data flywheel to improve predictions. b , Exploration enabled by GNoME has led to 381,000 new stable materials, almost an order of magnitude larger than previous work. c , 736 structures have been independently experimentally verified, with six examples shown 50 , 51 , 52 , 53 , 54 , 55 . d , Improvements from graph network predictions enable efficient discovery in combinatorial regions of materials, for example, with six unique elements, even though the training set stopped at four unique elements. e , GNoME showcases emergent generalization when tested on out-of-domain inputs from random structure search, indicating progress towards a universal energy model.

All GNoME models are GNNs that predict the total energy of a crystal. Inputs are converted to a graph through a one-hot embedding of the elements. We follow the message-passing formulation 35 , 36 , in which aggregate projections are shallow multilayer perceptrons (MLPs) with swish nonlinearities. For structural models, we find it important to normalize messages from edges to nodes by the average adjacency of atoms across the entire dataset. Initial models are trained on a snapshot of the Materials Project from 2018 of approximately 69,000 materials. Previous work benchmarked this task at a mean absolute error (MAE) of 28 meV atom −1 (ref.  37 ); however, we find that the improved networks achieve a MAE of 21 meV atom −1 . We fix this promising architecture (see Methods ) and focus on scaling in the rest of this paper.

Active learning

A core step in our framework for accelerating materials discovery is active learning. In both structural and compositional frameworks, candidate structures filtered using GNoME are evaluated using DFT calculations with standardized settings from the Materials Project. Resulting energies of relaxed structures not only verify the stability of crystal structures but are also incorporated into the iterative active-learning workflow as further training data and structures for candidate generation. Whereas the hit rate for both structural and compositional frameworks start at less than 6% and 3%, respectively, performance improves steadily through six rounds of active learning. Final ensembles of GNoME models improve to a prediction error of 11 meV atom −1 on relaxed structures and hit rates of greater than 80% and 33%, respectively, clearly showing the benefits of scale. An analysis of final GNoME hit rates is provided in Fig. 1d .

Scaling laws and generalization

The test loss performance of GNoME models exhibit improvement as a power law with further data. These results are in line with neural scaling laws in deep learning 28 , 38 and suggest that further discovery efforts could continue to improve generalization. Emphatically, unlike the case of language or vision, in materials science, we can continue to generate data and discover stable crystals, which can be reused to continue scaling up the model. We also demonstrate emergent generalization to out-of-distribution tasks by testing structural models trained on data originating from substitutions on crystals arising from random search 26 in Fig. 1e . These examples are often high-energy local minima and out of distribution compared with data generated by our structural pipeline (which, by virtue of substitutions, contains structures near their minima). Nonetheless, we observe clear improvement with scale. These results indicate that final GNoME models are a substantial step towards providing the community with a universal energy predictor, capable of handling diverse materials structures through deep learning.

Discovered stable crystals

Using the described process of scaling deep learning for materials exploration, we increase the number of known stable crystals by almost an order of magnitude. In particular, GNoME models found 2.2 million crystal structures stable with respect to the Materials Project. Of these, 381,000 entries live on the updated convex hull as newly discovered materials.

Consistent with other literature on structure prediction, the GNoME materials could be bumped off the convex hull by future discoveries, similar to how GNoME displaces at least 5,000 ‘stable’ materials from the Materials Project and the OQMD. See Supplementary Note  1 for discussion on improving structures of already-discovered compositions. Nevertheless, Figs. 1 and 2 provide a summary of the stable materials, with Fig. 1b focusing on the growth over time. We see substantial gains in the number of structures with more than four unique elements in Fig. 2a . This is particularly promising because these materials have proved difficult for previous discovery efforts 27 . Our scaled GNoME models overcome this obstacle and enable efficient discovery in combinatorially large regions.

figure 2

a , GNoME enables efficient discovery in the combinatorial spaces of 4+ unique elements that can be difficult for human experts. b , Phase-separation energies (energy to the convex hull) for discovered quaternaries showcase similar patterns but larger absolute numbers than previous catalogues. c , Discovered stable crystals correspond to 45,500 novel prototypes as measured by XtalFinder (ref.  39 ). d , Validation by r 2 SCAN shows that 84% of discovered binary and ternary crystals retain negative phase separations with more accurate functionals.

Clustering by means of prototype analysis 39 supports the diversity of discovered crystals with GNoME, leading to more than 45,500 novel prototypes in Fig. 2c (a 5.6 times increase from 8,000 of the Materials Project), which could not have arisen from full substitutions or prototype enumeration. Finally, in Fig. 2b , we compare the phase-separation energy (also referred to as the decomposition enthalpy) of discovered quaternaries with those from the Materials Project to measure the relative distance to the convex hull of all other competing phases. The similarities in distribution suggest that the found materials are meaningfully stable with respect to competing phases and not just ‘filling in the convex hull.’ Further analyses of materials near to (but not on) the updated convex hull is given in Supplementary Note  3 .

Validation through experimental matching and r 2 SCAN

All candidates for GNoME are derived from snapshots of databases made in March 2021, including the Materials Project and the OQMD. Concurrent to our discovery efforts, researchers have continued to experimentally create new crystals, providing a way to validate GNoME findings. Of the experimental structures aggregated in the ICSD, 736 match structures that were independently obtained through GNoME. Six of the experimentally matched structures are presented in Fig. 1c and further details of the experimental matches are provided in Supplementary Note  1 . Similarly, of the 3,182 compositions added to the Materials Project since the snapshot, 2,202 are available in the GNoME database and 91% match on structure. A manual check of ‘newly’ discovered crystals supported the findings, with details in Supplementary Note  4 .

We also validate predictions to ensure that model-based exploration did not overfit simulation parameters. We focus on the choice of functional. Standard projector augmented wave (PAW)-Perdew–Burke–Ernzerhof (PBE) potentials provided a speed–accuracy trade-off suited for large-scale discovery 40 , 41 , but the r 2 SCAN functional provides a more accurate meta-generalized gradient approximation 29 , 42 , 43 . 84% of the discovered binaries and ternary materials also present negative phase-separation energies (as visualized in Fig. 2d , comparable with a 90% ratio in the Materials Project but operating at a larger scale). 86.8% of tested quaternaries also remain stable on the r 2 SCAN convex hull. The discrepancies between PBE and r 2 SCAN energies are further analysed in Supplementary Note  2 .

Composition families of interest

We highlight the benefits of a catalogue of stable materials an order of magnitude larger than previous work. When searching for a material with certain desirable properties, researchers often filter such catalogues, as computational stability is often linked with experimental realizability. We perform similar analyses for three applications. First, layered materials are promising systems for electronics and energy storage 44 . Methods from previous studies 45 suggest that approximately 1,000 layered materials are stable compared with the Materials Project, whereas this number increases to about 52,000 with GNoME-based discoveries. Similarly, following a holistic screening approach with filters such as exclusion of transition metals or by lithium fraction, we find 528 promising Li-ion conductors among GNoME discoveries, a 25 times increase compared with the original study 46 . Finally, Li/Mn transition-metal oxides are a promising family to replace LiCoO 2 in rechargeable batteries 25 and GNoME has discovered an extra 15 candidates stable relative to the Materials Project compared with the original nine.

Scaling up learned interatomic potentials

The process of discovery of stable crystals also provides a data source beyond stable materials. In particular, the ionic relaxations involve computation of first-principles energies and forces for a diverse set of materials structures. This generates a dataset of unprecedented diversity and scale, which we explore to pretrain a general-purpose machine-learning interatomic potential (MLIP) for bulk solids. MLIPs have become a promising tool to accelerate the simulation of materials by learning the energies and forces of reference structures computed at first-principles accuracy 30 , 47 , 48 , 49 . Existing efforts typically train models per material, with data often sampled from ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD). This markedly limits their general applicability and adoption, requiring expensive data collection and training a new potential from scratch for each system. By making use of the GNoME dataset of first-principles calculations from diverse structural relaxations, we demonstrate that large-scale pretraining of MLIPs enables models that show unprecedented zero-shot accuracy and can be used to discover superionic conductors, without training on any material-specific data.

Zero-shot scaling and generalization

We scale pretraining of a NequIP potential 30 on data sampled from ionic relaxations. Increasing the pretraining dataset, we observe consistent power-law improvements in accuracy (see Fig. 3a,b ). Despite only being trained on ionic relaxations and not on molecular-dynamics data, the pretrained GNoME potential shows remarkable accuracy when evaluated on downstream data sampled from the new distribution of AIMD in a zero-shot manner, that is, in which no training data originate from AIMD simulations (see Fig. 3 ). Notably, this includes unseen compositions, melted structures and structures including vacancies, all of which are not included in our training set (see Supplementary Note  6.4 ). In particular, we find that the scale of the GNoME dataset allows it to outperform existing general-purpose potentials (see Fig. 3d ) and makes the pretrained potential competitive with models trained explicitly on hundreds of samples from the target data distributions (see Supplementary Note  6.4 ). We observe particularly pronounced improvements in the transferability of MLIPs, one of the most pressing shortcomings of MLIPs. To assess the transferability of the potentials, we test their performance under distribution shift: we train two types of NequIP potential on structures sampled from AIMD at T  = 400 K, one in which the network is trained from randomly initialized weights and the other in which we fine-tune from a pretrained GNoME checkpoint. We then measure the performance of both potentials on data sampled from AIMD at T  = 1,000 K (see Fig. 3c ), out of distribution with respective to the 400-K data. The potential pretrained on GNoME data shows systematic and strong improvements in transferability over the potential trained from scratch, even when training is performed on more than 1,000 structures. The zero-shot GNoME potential, not fine-tuned on any data from this composition, outperforms even a state-of-the-art NequIP model trained on hundreds of structures.

figure 3

a , Classification of whether a material is a superionic conductor as predicted by GNoME-driven simulations in comparison with AIMD, tested on 623 unseen compositions. The classification error improves as a power law with training set size. b , Zero-shot force error as a function of training set size for the unseen material K 24 Li 16 P 24 Sn 8 . c , Robustness under distribution shift, showing the MAE in forces on the example material Ba 8 Li 16 Se 32 Si 8 . A GNoME-pretrained and a randomly initialized potential are trained on data of various sizes sampled at T  = 400 K and evaluated on data sampled at T  = 1,000 K. The zero-shot GNoME potential outperforms state-of-the-art models trained from scratch on hundreds of structures. d , Comparison of zero-shot force errors of three different pretrained, general-purpose potentials for bulk systems on the test set of ref.  56 . Note that the composition Ni is not present in the GNoME pretraining data. RMSE, root-mean-square error.

Screening solid-state ionic conductors

Solid electrolytes are a core component of solid-state batteries, promising higher energy density and safety than liquid electrolytes, but suffer from lower ionic conductivities at present. In the search for novel electrolyte materials, AIMD allows for the prediction of ionic conductivities from first principles. However, owing to the poor scaling of DFT with the number of electrons, routine simulations are limited to hundreds of picoseconds, hundreds of atoms and, most importantly, small compositional search spaces. Here we show that the GNOME potentials show high robustness in this out-of-distribution, zero-shot setting and generalizes to high temperatures, which allows them to serve as a tool for high-throughput discovery of novel solid-state electrolytes. We use GNoME potentials pretrained on datasets of increasing size in molecular-dynamics simulations on 623 never-before-seen compositions. Figure 3a shows the ability of the pretrained GNoME potentials to classify unseen compositions as superionic conductors in comparison with AIMD.

When scaled to the GNoME dataset—much larger than existing approaches—we find that deep learning unlocks previously impossible capabilities for building transferable interatomic potentials for inorganic bulk crystals and allows for high-accuracy, zero-shot prediction of materials properties at scale.

We show that GNNs trained on a large and diverse set of first-principles calculations can enable the efficient discovery of inorganic materials, increasing the number of stable crystals by more than an order of magnitude. Associated datasets empower machine-learned interatomic potentials, giving accurate and robust molecular-dynamics simulations out of the box on unseen bulk materials. Our findings raise interesting questions about the capabilities of deep-learning systems in the natural sciences: the application of machine-learning methods for scientific discovery has traditionally suffered from the fundamental challenge that learning algorithms work under the assumption of identically distributed data at train and test times, but discovery is inherently an out-of-distribution effort. Our results on large-scale learning provide a potential step to move past this dilemma, by demonstrating that GNoME models exhibit emergent out-of-distribution capabilities at scale. This includes discovery in unseen chemical spaces (for example, with more than four different elements), as well as on new downstream tasks (for example, predicting kinetic properties).

GNoME models have already found 2.2 million stable crystals with respect to previous work and enabled previously impossible modelling capabilities for materials scientists. Some open problems remain for the transition of findings in applications, including a greater understanding of phase transitions through competing polymorphs, dynamic stability arising from vibrational profiles and configurational entropies and, ultimately, synthesizability. Nevertheless, we see pretrained, general-purpose GNoME models being used as powerful tools across a diverse range of applications to fundamentally accelerate materials discovery.

Datasets and candidate generation

Snapshots of available datasets.

GNoME discoveries aim to extend the catalogues of known stable crystals. In particular, we build off previous work by the Materials Project 16 , the OQMD 17 , Wang, Botti and Marques (WBM) 27 and the ICSD 15 . For reproducibility, GNoME-based discoveries use snapshots of the two datasets saved at a fixed point in time. We use the data from the Materials Project as of March 2021 and the OQMD as of June 2021. These structures are used as the basis for all discovery including via SAPS, yielding the catalogue of stable crystals as a result of GNoME. Further updates and incorporation of discoveries by these two groups could yield an even greater number of crystal discoveries.

For a revised comparison, another snapshot of the Materials Project, the OQMD and WBM was taken in July 2023. Approximately 216,000 DFT calculations were performed at consistent settings and used to compare the rate of GNoME discoveries versus the rate of discoveries by concurrent research efforts. From 2021 to 2023, the number of stable crystals external to GNoME expanded from 35,000 to 48,000, relatively small in comparison with the 381,000 new stable crystal structures available on the convex hull presented in this paper.

Substitution patterns

Structural substitution patterns are based on data-mined probabilities from ref.  22 . That work introduced a probabilistic model for assessing the likelihood for ionic species substitution within a single crystal structure. In particular, the probability of substitution is calculated as a binary feature model such that \(p(X,{X}^{{\prime} })\approx \frac{\exp {\sum }_{i}{\lambda }_{i}{f}_{i}^{(n)}(X,{X}^{{\prime} })}{Z}\) , in which X and X ′ are n -component vectors of n different ions. The model is simplified so that f i is 0 or 1 if a specific substitution pair occurs and λ i provides a weighting for the likelihood of a given substitution. The resulting probabilities have been helpful, for example, in discovering new quaternary ionic compounds with limited computation budgets.

In our work, we adjust the probabilistic model so as to increase the number of candidates and give priority to discovery. In particular, the conditional probability computation in the original substitution patterns prefers examples that are more likely to be found in the original dataset. For example, any uncommon element is assigned a smaller probability in the original model. To give priority to novel discovery and move further away from the known sets of stable crystals, we modify the implementation so that probabilities are only computed when two compositions differ. This minor modification has substantial benefits across our pipeline, especially when scaling up to six unique elements.

We also introduce changes to the model parameters to promote novel discovery. In the original probabilistic model, positive lambda refers to more likely substitutions, although ‘unseen’ or uncommon substitution resulted in negative lambda values. We increase the number of generations by setting the minimum value of any substitution pair to be 0. We then threshold high-probability substitutions to a value of 0.001, enabling efficient exploration in composition space through branch-and-bound algorithms available from pymatgen. Overall, these settings allow for many one-ion or two-ion substitutions to be considered by the graph networks that otherwise would not have been considered. We find this to be a good intermediate between the original model and using all possible ionic substitutions, in which we encounter combinatorial blow-ups in the number of candidates.

For the main part of this paper, substitutions are only allowed into compositions that do not match any available compositions in the Materials Project or in the OQMD, rather than comparing structures using heuristic structure matchers. This ensures that we introduce novel compositions in the dataset instead of similar structures that may be missed by structure matchers.

To further increase the diversity of structures generations, we introduce a framework that we refer to as symmetry aware partial substitutions (SAPS), which generalizes common substitution frameworks. For a motivating example, consider the cases of (double) perovskites. Ionic substitutions on crystals of composition A 2 B 2 X 6 does not lead to discovering double perovskites A 2 BB′O 6 , although the two only differ by a partial replacement on the B site.

SAPS enable efficient discovery of such structures. Starting with an original composition, we obtain candidate ion replacements using the probabilities as defined in the ‘Substitution patterns’ section. We then obtain Wyckoff positions of the input structures by means of symmetry analysers available through pymatgen. We enable partial replacements from 1 to all atoms of the candidate ion, for which at each level we only consider unique symmetry groupings to control the combinatorial growth. Early experiments limited the partial substitutions to materials that would charge-balance after partial substitutions when considering common oxidation states; however, greater expansion of candidates was achieved by removing such charge-balancing from the later experiments. This partial-substitution framework enables greater use of common crystal structures while allowing for the discovery of new prototypical structures, as discussed in the main part of this paper. Candidates from SAPS are from a different distribution to the candidates from full substitutions, which increases the diversity of our discoveries and our dataset.

To validate the impact of the SAPS, we traced reference structures from substitutions of all 381,000 novel stable structures back to a structure in the Materials Project or the OQMD by means of a topological sort (necessary as discovered materials were recycled for candidate generation). A total of 232,477 out of the 381,000 stable structures can be attributed to a SAPS substitution, suggesting notable benefit from this diverse candidate-generation procedure.

Oxidation-state relaxations

For the compositional pipeline, inputs for evaluation by machine-learning models must be unique stoichiometric ratios between elements. Enumerating the combinatorial number of reduced formulas was found to be too inefficient, but common strategies to reduce such as oxidation-state balancing was also too restrictive, for example, not allowing for the discovery of Li 15 Si 4 . In this paper, we introduce a relaxed constraint on oxidation-state balancing. We start with the common oxidation states from the Semiconducting Materials by Analogy and Chemical Theory (SMACT) 57 , with the inclusion of 0 for metallic forms. We allow for up to two elements to exist between two ordered oxidation states. Although this is a heuristic approach, it substantially improves the flexibility of composition generation around oxidation-state-balanced ratios.

AIRSS structure generation

Random structures are generated through AIRSS when needed for composition models 26 . Random structures are initialized as ‘sensible’ structures (obeying certain symmetry requirements) to a target volume and then relaxed through soft-sphere potentials. A substantial number of initializations and relaxations are needed to discover new materials, as different initial structures lead to different minima on the structure–energy landscape. For this paper, we always generate 100 AIRSS structures for every composition that is otherwise predicted to be within 50 meV of stable through composition-only model prediction.

As we describe in Supplementary Note  5 , not all DFT relaxations converge for the 100 initializations per composition. In fact, for certain compositions, only a few initializations converge. One of the main difficulties arises from not knowing a good initial volume guess for the composition. We try a range of initial volumes ranging from 0.4 to 1.2 times a volume estimated by considering relevant atomic radii, finding that the DFT relaxation fails or does not converge for the whole range for each composition. Prospective analysis was not able to uncover why most AIRSS initializations fail for certain compositions, and future work is needed in this direction.

Model training and evaluation

Graph networks.

For structural models, edges are drawn in the graph when two atoms are closer than an interatomic distance cutoff (4.0 Å for structural models, 5.0 Å for interatomic potentials). Compositional models default to forming edges between all pairs of nodes in the graph. The models update latent node features through stages of message passing, in which neighbour information is collected through normalized sums over edges and representations are updated through shallow MLPs 36 . After several steps of message passing, a linear readout layer is applied to the global state to compute a prediction of the energy.

Training structural and composition models

Following Roost (representation learning from stoichiometry) 58 , we find GNNs to be effective at predicting the formation energy of a composition and structure.

For the structural models, the input is a crystal definition, which encodes the lattice, structure and atom definitions. Each atom is represented as a single node in the graph. Edges are defined when the interatomic distance is less than a user-defined threshold. Nodes are embedded by atom type, edges are embedded on the basis of the interatomic distance. We also include a global feature that is connected in the graph representation to all nodes. At every step of the GNN, neighbouring nodes and edge features are aggregated and used to update the corresponding representations of nodes, edges or globals individually. After 3–6 layers of message passing, an output layer projects the global vector to get an estimate of the energy. All data for training are shifted and scaled to approximately standardize the datasets. This structural model trained on the Materials Project data obtains state-of-the-art results of a mean absolute error of 21 meV atom −1 . Training during the active-learning procedure leads to a model with a final mean absolute error of 11 meV atom −1 . Training for structural models is performed with 1,000 epochs, with a learning rate of 5.55 × 10 −4 and a linear decay learning rate schedule. By default, we train with a batch size of 256 and use swish nonlinearities in the MLP. To embed the edges, we use a Gaussian featurizer. The embedding dimension for all nodes and edges is 256 and, unless otherwise stated, the number of message-passing iterations is 3.

For the compositional models, the input composition to the GNN is encoded as a set of nodes, for which each element type in the composition is represented by a node. The ratio of the specific element is multiplied with the one-hot vector. For example, SiO 2 would be represented with two nodes, in which one node feature is a vector of zeros and a 1/3 on the 14th row to represent silicon and the other node is a vector of zeros with a 2/3 on the 8th row to represent oxygen. Although this simplified GNN architecture is able to achieve state-of-the-art generalization on the Materials Project (MAE of 60 meV atom −1 (ref.  25 )), it does not offer useful predictions for materials discovery, which was also observed by Bartel et al. 25 . One of the issues with compositional models is that they assume that the training label refers to the ground-state phase of a composition, which is not guaranteed for any dataset. Thus, the formation-energy labels in the training and test sets are inherently noisy, and reducing the test error does not necessarily imply that one is learning a better formation-energy predictor. To explore this, we created our own training set of compositional energies, by running AIRSS simulations on novel compositions. As described in Supplementary Note  5 , we find that compositions for which there are only a few completed AIRSS runs tend to have large formation energies, often larger than predicted by the compositional GNN. We find that, if we limit ourselves to compositions for which at least ten AIRSS runs are completed, then the compositional GNN error is reduced to 40 meV atom −1 . We then use the GNN trained on such a dataset (for which labels come from the minimum formation energy phase for compositions with at least ten completed AIRSS runs and ignoring the Materials Project data) and are able to increase the precision of stable prediction to 33%.

Model-based evaluation

Discovering new datasets aided by neural networks requires a careful balance between ensuring that the neural networks trained on the dataset are stable and promoting new discoveries. New structures and prototypes will be inherently out of distribution for models; however, we hope that the models are still capable of extrapolating and yielding reasonable predictions. This is out-of-distribution detection problem is further exacerbated by the implicit domain shift, in which models are trained on relaxed structures but evaluated on substitutions before relaxation. To counteract these effects, we make several adjustments to stabilize test-time predictions.

Test-time augmentations

Augmentations at test time are a common strategy for correcting instabilities in machine-learning predictions. Specific to structural models, we especially consider isotropic scaling of the lattice vectors, which both shrinks and stretches bonds. At 20 values ranging from 80% to 120% of the reference lattice scaling volume, we aggregate by means of minimum reduction. This has the added benefit of potentially correcting for predicting on nonrelaxed structures, as isotropic scaling may yield a more appropriate final structure.

Deep ensembles and uncertainty quantification

Although neural network models offer flexibility that allows them to achieve state-of-the-art performance on a wide range of problems, they may not generalize to data outside the training distribution. Using an ensemble of models is a simple, popular choice for providing predictive uncertainty and improving generalization of machine-learning predictions 33 . This technique simply requires training n models rather than one. The prediction corresponds to the mean over the outputs of all n models; the uncertainty can be measured by the spread of the n outputs. In our application of training machine-learning models for stability prediction, we use n  = 10 graph networks. Moreover, owing to the instability of graph-network predictions, we find the median to be a more reliable predictor of performance and use the interquartile range to bound uncertainty.

Model-based filtration

We use test-time augmentation and deep-ensemble approaches discussed above to filter candidate materials based on energy. Materials are then compared with the available GNoME database to estimate the decomposition energy. Note that the structures provided for model-based filtration are unlikely to be completely related, so a threshold of 50 meV atom −1 was used for active learning to improve the recall of stable crystal discovery.

Clustered-based reduction

For active-learning setups, only the structure predicted to have the minimum energy within a composition is used for DFT verification. However, for an in-depth evaluation of a specific composition family of interest, we design clustering-based reduction strategies. In particular, we take the top 100 structures for any given composition and perform pairwise comparisons with pymatgen’s built-in structure matcher. We cluster the connected components on the graph of pairwise similarities and take the minimum energy structure as the cluster representation. This provides a scalable strategy to discovering polymorphs when applicable.

Active learning was performed in stages of generation and later evaluation of filtered materials through DFT. In the first stage, materials from the snapshots of the Materials Project and the OQMD are used to generate candidates with an initial model trained on the Materials Project data, with a mean absolute error of 21 meV atom −1 in formation energy. Filtration and subsequent evaluation with DFT led to discovery rates between 3% and 10%, depending on the threshold used for discovery. After each round of active learning, new structural GNNs are trained to improve the predictive performance. Furthermore, stable crystal structures are added to the set of materials that can be substituted into, yielding a greater number of candidates to be filtered by the improved models. This procedure of retraining and evaluation was completed six times, yielding the total of 381,000 stable crystal discoveries. Continued exploration with active learning may continue to drive the number of stable crystals higher.

Composition-based hashing

Previous efforts to learn machine-learning models of energies often use a random split over different crystal structures to create the test set on which energy predictions are evaluated. However, as the GNoME dataset contains several crystal structures with the same composition, this metric is less trustworthy over GNoME. Having several structures within the same composition in both the training and the test sets markedly reduces test error, although the test error does not provide a measure of how well the model generalizes to new compositions. In this paper, we use a deterministic hash for the reduced formula of each composition and assign examples to the training (85%) and test (15%) sets. This ensures that there are no overlapping compositions in the training and test sets. We take a standard MD5 hash of the reduced formula, convert the hexadecimal output to an integer and take modulo 100 and threshold at 85.

DFT evaluation

Vasp calculations.

We use the VASP (refs.  34 , 59 ) with the PBE 41 functional and PAW 40 , 60 potentials in all DFT calculations. Our DFT settings are consistent with the Materials Project workflows as encoded in pymatgen 23 and atomate 61 . We use consistent settings with the Materials Project workflow, including the Hubbard U parameter applied to a subset of transition metals in DFT+U, 520 eV plane-wave-basis cutoff, magnetization settings and the choice of PBE pseudopotentials, except for Li, Na, Mg, Ge and Ga. For Li, Na, Mg, Ge and Ga, we use more recent versions of the respective potentials with the same number of valence electrons. For all structures, we use the standard protocol of two-stage relaxation of all geometric degrees of freedom, followed by a final static calculation, along with the custodian package 23 to handle any VASP-related errors that arise and adjust appropriate simulations. For the choice of KPOINTS, we also force gamma-centred kpoint generation for hexagonal cells rather than the more traditional Monkhorst–Pack. We assume ferromagnetic spin initialization with finite magnetic moments, as preliminary attempts to incorporate different spin orderings showed computational costs that were prohibitive to sustain at the scale presented. In AIMD simulations, we turn off spin polarization and use the NVT ensemble with a 2-fs time step.

Bandgap calculations

For validation purposes (such as the filtration of Li-ion conductors), bandgaps are calculated for most of the stable materials discovered. We automate bandgap jobs in our computation pipelines by first copying all outputs from static calculations and using the pymatgen-based MPNonSCFSet in line mode to compute the bandgap and density of states of all materials. A full analysis of patterns in bandgaps of the novel discoveries is a promising avenue for future work.

r 2 SCAN is an accurate and numerically efficient functional that has seen increasing adoption from the community for increasing the fidelity of computational DFT calculations. This functional is provided in the upgraded version of VASP6 and, for all corresponding calculations, we use the settings as detailed by MPScanRelaxSet and MPScanStaticSet in pymatgen. Notably, r 2 SCAN functionals require the use of PBE52 or PBE54 potentials, which can differ slightly from the PBE equivalents used elsewhere in this paper. To speed up computation, we perform three jobs for every SCAN-based computation. First, we precondition by means of the updated PBE54 potentials by running a standard relaxation job under MPRelaxSet settings. This preconditioning step greatly speeds up SCAN computations, which—on average—are five times slower and can otherwise crash on our infrastructure owing to elongated trajectories. Then, we relax with the r 2 SCAN functional, followed by a static computation.

Metrics and analysis methodology

Decomposition energies.

To compute decomposition energies and count the total number of stable crystals relative to previous work 16 , 17 in a consistent fashion, we recalculated energies of all stable materials in the Materials Project and the OQMD with identical, updated DFT settings as enabled by pymatgen. Furthermore, to ensure fair comparison and that our discoveries are not affected by optimization failures in these high-throughput recalculations, we use the minimum energy of the Materials Project calculation and our recalculation when both are available.

Prototype analysis

We validate the novel discoveries using XtalFinder (ref.  39 ), using the compare_structures function available from the command line. This process was parallelized over 96 cores for improved performance. We also note that the symmetry calculations in the built-in library fail on less than ten of the stable materials discovered. We disable these filters but note that the low number of failures suggests minimal impact on the number of stable prototypes.

Families of interest

Layered materials.

To count the number of layered materials, we use the methodology developed in ref.  45 , which is made available through the pymatgen.analysis.dimensionality package with a default tolerance of 0.45 Å.

Li-ion conductors

The estimated number of viable Li-ion conductors reported in the main part of this paper is derived using the methodology in ref.  46 in a high-throughput fashion. This methodology involves applying filters based on bandgaps and stabilities against the cathode Li-metal anode to identify the most viable Li-ion conductors.

Li/Mn transition-metal oxide family

The Li/Mn transition-metal oxide family is discussed in ref.  25 to analyse the capabilities of machine-learning models for use in discovery. In the main text, we compare against the findings in the cited work suggesting limited discovery within this family through previous machine-learning methods.

Definition of experimental match

In the main part of this paper, we refer to experimentally validated crystal structures with the ICSD. More specifically, we queried the ICSD in January 2023 after many of crystal discoveries had been completed. We then extracted relevant journal (year) and chemical (structure) information from the provided files. By rounding to nearest integer formulas, we found 4,235 composition matches with materials discovered by GNoME. Of these, 4,180 are successfully parsed for structure. Then, we turn to the structural information provided by the ICSD. We used the CIF parser module of pymatgen to load the experimental ICSD structures into pymatgen and then compared those to the GNoME dataset using its structure matcher module. For both modules, we tried using the default settings as well as more tolerant settings that improve structure parsing and matching (higher occupancy tolerance in CIF parsing to fix cases with >1.0 total occupancy and allowing supercell and subset comparison in matching). The latter resulted in a slight increase (about 100) in the number of matched structures with respect to the default settings. Given that we are enforcing a strict compositional match, our matching process is still relatively conservative and is likely to yield a lower bound. Overall, we found 736 matches, providing experimental confirmation for the GNoME structures. 184 of these structures correspond to novel discoveries since the start of the project.

Methods for creating figures of GNoME model scaling

Figures 1e and 3a,b show how the generalization abilities of GNoME models scale with training set size. In Fig. 1e , the training sets are sampled uniformly from the materials from the Materials Project and from our structural pipeline, which only includes elemental and partial substitutions into stable materials in the Materials Project and the OQMD. The training labels are the final formation energy at the end of relaxation. The test set is constructed by running AIRSS on 10,000 random compositions filtered by the SMACT. Test labels are the final formation energy at the end of the AIRSS relaxation, for crystals that AIRSS and DFT (both electronically and ionically) converged. Because we apply the same composition-based hash filtering (see ‘Composition-based hashing’ section) on all of our datasets, there is no risk of label leakage between the training set from the structural pipeline and the test set from AIRSS.

In Fig. 3a , we present the classification error for predicting the outcome of DFT-based molecular dynamics using GNN molecular dynamics. ‘GNoME: unique structures’ refers to the first step in the relaxation of crystals in the structural pipeline. We train on the forces on each atom on the first DFT step of relaxation. The different training subsets are created by randomly sampling compositions in the structural pipeline uniformly. ‘GNoME: intermediate structures’ includes all the same compositions as ‘GNoME: unique structures’, but has all steps of DFT relaxation instead of just the first step. The red diamond refers to the same GNN interatomic potential trained on the data from M3GNet, which includes three relaxation steps per composition (first, middle and last), as described in the M3GNet paper 62 .

Coding frameworks

For efforts in machine learning, GNoME models make use of JAX and the capabilities to just-in-time compile programs onto devices such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and tensor processing units (TPUs). Graph networks implementations are based on the framework developed in Jraph, which makes use of a fundamental GraphsTuple object (encoding nodes and edges, along with sender and receiver information for message-passing steps). We also make great of use functionality written in JAX MD for processing crystal structures 63 , as well as TensorFlow for parallelized data input 64 .

Large-scale generation, evaluation and summarization pipelines make use of Apache Beam to distribute processing across a large number of workers and scale to the sizes as described in the main part of this paper (see ‘Overview of generation and filtration’ section). For example, billions of proposal structures, even efficiently encoded, requires terabytes of storage that would otherwise fail on single nodes.

Also, crystal visualizations are created using tooling from VESTA (ref.  65 ).

Pretrained GNoME potential

We train a NequIP potential 30 , implemented in JAX using the e3nn-jax library 66 , with five layers, hidden features of 128 ℓ  = 0 scalars, 64 ℓ  = 1 vectors and 32 ℓ  = 2 tensors (all even irreducible representations only, 128 x 0 e  + 64 x 1 x  + 32 x 2 e ), as well as an edge-irreducible representation of 0 e  + 1 e  + 2 e . We use a radial cutoff of 5 Å and embed interatomic distances r i j in a basis of eight Bessel functions, which is multiplied by the XPLOR cutoff function, as defined in HOOMD-blue (ref.  67 ), using an inner cutoff of 4.5 Å. We use a radial MLP R ( r ) with two hidden layers with 64 neurons and a SiLU nonlinearity. We also use SiLU for the gated, equivariant nonlinearities 68 . We embed the chemical species using a 94-element one-hot encoding and use a self-connection, as proposed in ref.  30 . For internal normalization, we divide by 26 after each convolution. Models are trained with the Adam optimizer using a learning rate of 2 × 10 −3 and a batch size of 32. Given that high-energy structures in the beginning of the trajectory are expected to be more diverse than later, low-energy structures, which are similar to one another and often come with small forces, each batch is made up of 16 structures sampled from the full set of all frames across all relaxations and 16 structures sampled from only the first step of the relaxation only. We found this oversampling of first-step structures to substantially improve performance on downstream tasks. The learning rate was decreased to a new value of 2 × 10 −4 after approximately 23 million steps, to 5 × 10 −5 after a further approximately 11 million steps and then trained for a final 2.43 million steps. Training was performed on four TPU v3 chips.

We train on formation energies instead of total energies. Formation energies and forces are not normalized for training but instead we predict the energy as a sum over scaled and shifted atomic energies, such that \(\widehat{E}={\sum }_{i\in {N}_{{\rm{atoms}}}}\left({\widehat{{\epsilon }}}_{i}\sigma +\mu \right)\) , in which \({\widehat{{\epsilon }}}_{i}\) is the final, scalar node feature on atom i and σ and μ are the standard deviation and mean of the per-atom energy computed over a single pass of the full dataset. The network was trained on a joint loss function consisting of a weighted sum of a Huber loss on energies and forces:

in which N a and N b denote the number of atoms in a structure and the number of samples in a batch, respectively, \({\widehat{E}}_{{\rm{b}}}\) and E b are the predicted and true energy for a given sample in a batch, respectively, and F a , α is the true force component on atom a , for which α   ∈  { x ,  y ,  z } is the spatial component. \({{\mathcal{L}}}_{{\rm{Huber}}}(\delta ,\widehat{a},a)\) denotes a Huber loss on quantity a , for which we use δ E = δ F = 0.01. The pretrained potential has 16.24 million parameters. Inference on an A100 GPU on a 50-atom system takes approximately 14 ms, enabling a throughput of approximately 12 ns day −1 at a 2-fs time step, making inference times highly competitive with other implementations of GNN interatomic potentials. Exploring new approaches with even further improved computational efficiency is the focus of future work.

Training on M3GNet data

To allow a fair comparison with the smaller M3GNet dataset used in ref.  62 , a NequIP model was trained on the M3GNet dataset. We chose the hyperparameters in a way that balances accuracy and computational efficiency, resulting in a potential with efficient inference. We train in two setups, one splitting the training and testing sets based on unique materials and the other over all structures. In both cases, we found the NequIP potential to perform better than the M3GNet models trained with energies and forces (M3GNet-EF) reported in ref.  62 . Given this improved performance, to enable a fair comparison of datasets and dataset sizes, we use the NequIP model trained on the structure-split M3GNet data in the scaling tests (the pretrained M3GNet model is used for zero-shot comparisons). We expect our scaling and zero-shot results to be applicable to a wide variety of modern deep-learning interatomic potentials.

The structural model used for downstream evaluation was trained using the Adam optimizer with a learning rate of 2 × 10 −3 and a batch size of 16 for a total of 801 epochs. The learning rate was decreased to 2 × 10 −4 after 601 epochs, after which we trained for another 200 epochs. We use the same joint loss function as in the GNoME pretraining, again with λ E  = 1.0, λ F  = 0.05 and δ E  =  δ F  = 0.01. The network hyperparameters are identical to the NequIP model used in GNoME pretraining. To enable a comparison with ref.  62 , we also subtract a linear compositional fit based on the training energies from the reference energies before training. Training was performed on a set of four V100 GPUs.

AIMD conductivity experiments

Following ref.  69 , we classify a material as having superionic behaviour if the conductivity σ at the temperature of 1,000 K, as measured by AIMD, satisfies σ 1,000K  > 101.18 mScm −1 . Refer to the original paper for applicable calculations. See  Supplementary Information for further details.

Robustness experiments

For the materials selected for testing the robustness of our models, As 24 Ca 24 Li 24 , Ba 8 Li 16 Se 32 Si 8 , K 24 Li 16 P 24 Sn 8 and Li 32 S 24 Si 4 , a series of models is trained on increasing training set sizes sampled from the T  = 400 K AIMD trajectory. We then evaluate these models on AIMD data sampled at both T  = 400 K (to measure the effect of fine-tuning on data from the target distribution) and T  = 1,000 K (to measure the robustness of the learned potentials). We trained two types of model: (1) a NequIP model from scratch and (2) a fine-tuned model that was pretrained on the GNoME dataset, starting from the checkpoint before the learning rate was reduced the first time. The network architecture is identical to that used in pretraining. Because the AIMD data contain fewer high-force/high-energy configurations, we use a L2 loss in the joint loss function instead of a Huber loss, again with λ E  = 1.0 and λ F  = 0.05. For all training set sizes and all materials, we scan learning rates 1 × 10 −2 and 2 × 10 −3 and batch sizes 1 and 16. Models are trained for a maximum of 1,000 epochs. The learning rate is reduced by a factor of 0.8 if the test error on a hold-out set did not improve for 50 epochs. We choose the best of these hyperparameters based on the performance of the final checkpoint on the 400-K test set. The 400-K test set is created using the final part of the AIMD trajectory. The training sets are created by sampling varying training set sizes from the initial part of the AIMD trajectory. The out-of-distribution robustness test is generated from the AIMD trajectory at 1,000 K. Training is performed on a single V100 GPU.

Molecular dynamics simulations

The materials for AIMD simulation are chosen on the basis of the following criteria: we select all materials in the GNoME database that are stable, contain one of the conducting species under consideration (Li, Mg, Ca, K, Na) and have a computationally predicted band gap >1 eV. The last criterion is chosen to not include materials with notable electronic conductivity, a desirable criterion in the search for electrolytes. Materials are run in their pristine structure, that is, without vacancies or stuffing. The AIMD simulations were performed using the VASP. The temperature is initialized at T  = 300 K, ramped up over a time span of 5 ps to the target temperature, using velocity rescaling. This is followed by a 45-ps simulation equilibration using a Nosé–Hoover thermostat in the NVT ensemble. Simulations are performed at a 2-fs time step.

Machine-learning-driven molecular dynamics simulations using JAX MD 63 are run on a subset of materials for which AIMD data were available and for which the composition was in the test set of the pretraining data (that is, previously unseen compositions), containing Li, Na, K, Mg and Ca as potentially conducting species. This results in 623 materials for which GNoME-driven molecular dynamics simulations are run. Simulations are performed at T  =1,000 K using a Nosé–-Hoover thermostat, a temperature equilibration constant of 40 time steps, a 2-fs time step and a total simulation length of 50 ps. Molecular dynamics simulations are performed on a single P100 GPU.

For analysis of both the AIMD and the machine learning molecular dynamics simulation, the first 10 ps of the simulation are discarded for equilibration. From the final 40 ps, we compute the diffusivity using the DiffusionAnalyzer class of pymatgen with the default smoothed=max setting 23 , 70 , 71 .

Data availability

Crystal structures corresponding to stable discoveries discussed throughout the paper will be made available at . In particular, we provide results for all stable structures, as well as any material that has been recomputed from previous datasets to ensure consistent settings. Associated data from the r 2 SCAN functional will be provided, expectantly serving as a foundation for analysing discrepancies between functional choices. Data will also be available via the Materials Project at with permanent link: .

Code availability

Software to analyse stable crystals and associated phase diagrams, as well as the software implementation of the static GNN and the interatomic potentials, will be made available at .

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We would like to acknowledge D. Eck, J. Sohl-Dickstein, J. Dean, J. Barral, J. Shlens, P. Kohli and Z. Ghahramani for sponsoring the project; L. Dorfman for product management support; A. Pierson for programme management support; O. Loum for help with computing resources; L. Metz for help with infrastructure; E. Ocampo for help with early work on the AIRSS pipeline; A. Sendek, B. Yildiz, C. Chen, C. Bartel, G. Ceder, J. Sun, J. P. Holt, K. Persson, L. Yang, M. Horton and M. Brenner for insightful discussions; and the Google DeepMind team for continuing support.

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A.M. led the code development, experiments and analysis in most parts of the project, including the proposal of the data flywheel through active learning, candidate generation (for example, invention of SAPS), large-scale training and evaluation workflows, DFT calculations, convex-hull analysis and materials screening. S.B. led the code development, training and experiments of the force fields and the zero-shot evaluations, fine-tuning, robustness and the GNN molecular dynamics experiments, and contributed to overall code development, as well as training infrastructure. S.S.S. led the scaling of GNN training and JAX MD infrastructure and contributed to force-field experiments. M.A. contributed to data analyses, validation and benchmarking efforts, ran experiments and provided guidance. G.C. contributed to analysis, zero-shot evaluations and provided guidance. E.D.C. conceived and led the direction of the project, wrote software for data generation, model implementations and training, and led the scaling experiments. All authors contributed to discussion and writing.

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A resilience view on health system resilience: a scoping review of empirical studies and reviews

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Prompted by recent shocks and stresses to health systems globally, various studies have emerged on health system resilience. Our aim is to describe how health system resilience is operationalised within empirical studies and previous reviews. We compare these to the core conceptualisations and characteristics of resilience in a broader set of domains (specifically, engineering, socio-ecological, organisational and community resilience concepts), and trace the different schools, concepts and applications of resilience across the health literature.

We searched the Pubmed database for concepts related to ‘resilience’ and ‘health systems’. Two separate analyses were conducted for included studies: a total of n  = 87 empirical studies on health system resilience were characterised according to part of health systems covered, type of threat, resilience phase, resilience paradigm, and approaches to building resilience; and a total of n  = 30 reviews received full-text review and characterised according to type of review, resilience concepts identified in the review, and theoretical framework or underlying resilience conceptualisation.

The intersection of health and resilience clearly has gained importance in the academic discourse with most papers published since 2018 in a variety of journals and in response to external threats, or in reference to more frequent hospital crisis management. Most studies focus on either resilience of health systems generally (and thereby responding to an external shock or stress), or on resilience within hospitals (and thereby to regular shocks and operations). Less attention has been given to community-based and primary care, whether formal or informal. While most publications do not make the research paradigm explicit, ‘resilience engineering’ is the most prominent one, followed by ‘community resilience’ and ‘organisational resilience’. The social-ecological systems roots of resilience find the least application, confirming our findings of the limited application of the concept of transformation in the health resilience literature.


Our review shows that the field is fragmented, especially in the use of resilience paradigms and approaches from non-health resilience domains, and the health system settings in which these are used. This fragmentation and siloed approach can be problematic given the connections within and between the complex and adaptive health systems, ranging from community actors to local, regional, or national public health organisations to secondary care. Without a comprehensive definition and framework that captures these interdependencies, operationalising, measuring and improving resilience remains challenging.

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Background and context to this review.

The past 10 years have challenged health systems globally with several public health emergencies (COVID-19, SARS, Ebola Virus Disease), environmental disasters (flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes), as well as war and conflict shocks. Although health providers often deal with crises, these large-scale emergencies have revealed a need to deal with unprecedented care demand and shortages of staff, supplies and infrastructure. Beyond the direct effects and disruptions of each crisis, there are cascading effects such as delays in routine and non-emergency care. When these crises start to spread across political borders, there are governance, financial and cultural barriers that affect the ability to provide care equitably to all those in need.

These sudden shocks and disruptions have prompted policymakers, practitioners, and scholars to learn how to increase the resilience of health systems. In recent research, perhaps prompted by COVID-19, there is has been a surge of interest in the concept of resilience, and many reviews have already been conducted on this topic, exploring the presence of resilience in empirical studies, or whether we can learn from the concepts of resilience generally to improve health system performance. For example, Biddle et al. 2020 provide a narrative review of resilience concepts in empirical studies, but provide little in-depth characterisation of resilience characteristics and their relevant capacities, or their applications across different health systems, which could provide useful learning on how to operationalise resilience in different health system contexts [ 1 ]. As Forsgren et al. (2022, this issue) suggest, this focus on the theoretical has led to a lack of knowledge about which strategies for building resilience have been successful, a gap they seek to close [ 2 ]. Similarly, Khalil et al. (2022) point out the need to operationalise resilience concepts into healthcare practice [ 3 ]. However, what is missing is a thorough analysis of what resilience paradigms and concepts outside of the health domain can offer health systems research and practice. Wiig and O’Hara offer a particularly useful starting point with their analysis of the impact that resilience engineering concepts are having on health systems research [ 4 ]. Our aim here is to augment existing reviews on resilience in health systems, and to specifically compare the way resilience is operationalised in empirical studies to the core paradigms and conceptualisations of resilience from a broader set of domains (specifically, engineering sciences, socio-ecological sciences, organisational resilience, and community resilience). We thus take up the unique task, to review the paradigms and approaches to resilience, and map them on the different subsystems of the health system to which they are applied. Rather than bypass the possible variations in conceptual frameworks, we sought to track them; and thereby identify the relationship between conceptual origins showed in the literature, which parts of the health system they focus on, and the aspects of resilience used.

To achieve this objective, we had two specific sub-objectives which guided our search and review method:

To characterise the empirical studies dealing with resilience in health systems by (i) types of disasters, threats or events that have triggered these studies, (ii) the part of the health system covered, and (iii) the resilience concepts used in these studies.

To provide a review of reviews to show the various resilience paradigms and conceptualisations used across the health literature already synthesised by existing reviews.

Conceptualisations of resilience in other domains influencing our review

The word resilience stems from the Latin resilio, or ‘to jump back’ [ 5 ]. Resilience has double roots in socio-ecological systems and in psychology. In psychology, research has focused on the ability of individuals to deal with trauma and extremely adverse events (Comes et al., 2019 [ 6 ]). Studies focus on personality traits that help defend against exposure to extreme stress; this includes aspects such as meaningful purpose, agency and a growth mindset [ 7 ]. Taking a systems- rather than an individual perspective, in this paper we do not focus on psychological resilience.

In socio-ecological systems, the concept of resilience was introduced in Holling’s seminal paper to characterise the ability of a system to evolve and adapt under shocks and stresses [ 8 ]. Holling’s work inspired a rich body of work in fields ranging from resilience of ecosystems to climate adaptation [ 9 , 10 ]. Resilience in this realm is often defined as “ “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks ” [ 11 ], or the ability to persist by changing. This evolutionary perspective stresses the emergence of systems properties, and the rise of rare events, which “ can unpredictably shape structure at critical times or at locations of increased vulnerability ” [ 12 ]. This notion of resilience, however, is in contrast with the need for planning and decision-making, and does not fit the long lead-times and life cycles that are typical for decisions in health care planning and management.

In engineering, resilience is largely used to refer to the ability of some system to rapidly return to a single state of equilibrium or stability after a disruption, thereby ensuring continued functioning and rapid recovery from stress and disturbances [ 13 , 14 ]. Often, engineering resilience is associated with robustness, broadly understood as the ability to withstand shocks and ‘bounce back’ to the same performance level. These principles have been instrumental in identifying critical points in complex, interdependent infrastructure networks [ 15 ], analysing disruptions [ 16 ] or for designing new infrastructures and tools [ 17 ]. However, these approaches do not explicitly incorporate aspects of adaptation and transformation that socio-ecological systems or community resilience encompasses.

From the perspective of social-ecological resilience, which puts forward the concept of resilience as a non-equilibrium notion, there are important links to participation and self-organisation that are common to community resilience and the social capital theories of resilience [ 18 , 19 ]. These concepts focus on the networked sets of capacities that a community or organisation can generate, in order to be(come) resilient [ 20 ]. While community resilience focuses on the adaptive capacity of communities and their abilities to respond [ 20 ], organisational resilience seeks to explain the features of highly resilient organisations [ 21 , 22 ]. These concepts are also prominent in the disaster resilience literature, where resilience has been promoted as a way to analyse and understand the reaction of a system to a hazardous event, promoting activities such as improving coping capacities and livelihoods [ 23 ].

Overall, we observe three major principles that are meant to improve resilience: reducing impacts or consequences (robustness), reducing recovery time (absorption), and reducing future vulnerabilities (adaptation and transformation). These principles are represented to a different degree in the four paradigms that we are investigating here: socio-ecological systems resilience [ 8 ], engineering resilience [ 14 , 24 ], community resilience [ 20 ], and organisational resilience [ 21 , 22 ].

For our study, we sought to look for instances in which these concepts were used, addressed, or referred to, either in the empirical studies (aim 1 above) or in the reviews (aim 2 above).

We describe our work as a scoping review of empirical studies and reviews, which we explain as follows: We first searched for any studies relating to resilience and its accompanying definitions in the health literature, and applied inclusion/exclusion criteria (see full details below). We then divided our included studies into two categories to match our sub-objectives above: empirical or non-review studies were analysed according to the characteristics described in sub-objective (1) above, while all reviews were reviewed separately and key resilience themes and concepts were extracted for sub-objective (2). The results from both components were analysed together to satisfy our overarching objective. These components are conceptualised in Fig.  1 .

figure 1

Overview of the two sub-objectives for our study

Search method

We expanded the search string and method used by Turenne et al. 2019 [ 25 ], who provided a conceptual analysis of health systems resilience, by adding broader search terms that enabled us to include regional, local or care provider-based empirical studies. We also limited our search to PubMed, as our focus was to identify specifically how the health literature conceptualises and uses ‘resilience’ and compare this analysis to other disciplinary domains in our analysis and discussion. We conducted our search on 16 June 2021 which yielded 2773 results (see Supplementary file A for PRISMA flowchart); and the full search string is provided below:

(((“resilien*”[Title/Abstract]) OR ("coping strateg*"[Title/Abstract]) OR ("system responsiveness"[Title/Abstract]) OR ("system adaptation"[Title/Abstract])).

AND ( ("health* system*" [Title/Abstract]) OR ( (“health systems plans" [MeSH Terms]) OR ( "Health Planning/organization and administration"[Mesh])) OR ("Public Health/organization and administration"[Mesh]) OR ( "Organization and Administration/organization and administration"[Mesh] OR "Organization and Administration/prevention and control"[Mesh] OR "Organization and Administration/supply and distribution"[Mesh]) OR ("comprehensive health care/organization and administration"[Mesh]) OR ("Public Health Administration"[MeSH]) OR ("Public Health Systems Research"[MeSH]) OR ("health policy"[MeSH]) OR (national health programs/organization and administration[MeSH]) OR ("efficiency, organizational" [MeSH]) OR ("Health Services/organization and administration"[MeSH]))).

AND ("english" [Language]).

To remain up to date with the latest literature, and in response to helpful feedback from one of our reviewers, we updated our search in June 2023 which yielded a further 796 results. These are not included in the empirical study review (sub-objective (1) in Fig.  1 ), but we did include the extra n  = 23 reviews we found in the full-text review analysis (sub-objective (2)).

Eligibility criteria

For the analysis of empirical studies (sub-objective (1) in Fig.  1 ), we included studies if they met the following criteria:

Context: The study is conducted within any part of the health system (including primary care or social care settings, national decision-making, public health local or regional authorities). Individual psychological resilience (of patients or of the workforce) were excluded, unless the study explicitly related such individual resilience as a contributor to the resilience of the system.

Process: The study relates to any aspect of resilience including, for example, adaptation, coping mechanisms, learning from a shock or disaster (see below for ‘resilience concepts’ used in data extraction and analysis).

Study type: Commentaries, editorials, news articles and conference proceedings were excluded.

Language: Only studies in English were included.

Time period: No date limitations were set.

For eligibility in the full-text review of reviews (sub-objective 2 above), we applied the same criteria, except for study type, since this had to be a review with an included search and analysis method (e.g., scoping review, systematic review, narrative review).

Study selection

We used the platform ‘Rayyan’ for screening the titles and abstracts. Three reviewers piloted the screening based on the inclusion/exclusion eligibility criteria. Two reviewers rescreened these relevant/possibly relevant records and we resolved the disagreements in group meetings. We followed arbitration by a third reviewer.

Following study selection, the studies were divided into two categories (Fig.  1 ): (a) empirical studies that concerned resilience of the health system, and (b) reviews (any method included). This resulted in n  = 87 articles included in part (a) and n  = 30 articles included in part (b) the review of reviews (see Supplementary file A for our adapted PRISMA-Scoping reviews flowchart). The following steps (data extraction and analysis) were conducted separately and their associated methods are reported in two parts below.

Data extraction and analysis

Data analysis for sub-objective 1: statistical analysis of empirical studies.

While the studies included in these statistical analyses were not reviewed in full, the following data from these articles were extracted:

General study publication information: This includes publication date, journal, authors, title, location of study (country).

Types of threat: This refers to the type of threat, event or disaster studied, including COVID-19, Ebola, environmental disasters, etc.

Part of the health system covered in study: This included health system (general/unspecified), community health workforce, primary care, community formal or informal actors (non-health), secondary care (hospital), public health (national, prevention), public health (national), regional/local public health organisations.

Resilience paradigms: To understand the use and evolution of the resilience concept and its characteristics within health systems research, we analysed the articles according to the underlying resilience research paradigm. We searched for the different resilience domain perspectives as outlined above. As we were aiming to embed the health resilience studies into the broader resilience discourse, we here focused on links to the existing fields, rather than on the emerging literature on health resilience. The categories included socio-ecological systems resilience, engineering resilience, community resilience, and organisational resilience.

Resilience aspects: We analysed the resilience phase or aspect considered. Following Manyena et al. (2019) [ 23 ] and their comprehensive review of the resilience literature, we distinguish preventive, preparedness, absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities. We use, whenever possible, the standards defined by UNISDR terminology Footnote 1 and combine these with recent a recent policy documents for the EU [ 26 ] and the IPCC Glossary Footnote 2 :

Prevention: “activities to provide outright avoidance of the adverse impact of hazards” (UNISDR)

Preparedness: “activities and measures taken in advance to ensure effective response to the impact of a hazard” (UNISDR)

Absorption: “ability of a system to keep or rapidly recover the same level of performance and service delivery (in terms of quantity, quality, and equity)” [ 26 ]

Adaptation: “process of adjustment to changing conditions, including risks and crises” [ 26 ]

Transformation: “a profound and often deliberate shift initiated by communities toward sustainability, facilitated by changes in individual and collective values and behaviours” (IPCC).

Resilience approach: Subsequently, we also analysed the approaches that were put forward or studied as a means to achieve resilience (e.g., robustness, agility, redundancy). Rather than diving deeply into the use and meaning of each concept, we here compare how the concepts are used across the different literatures, and which terms dominate.

Further, we followed Meerow et al.’s [ 27 ] approach in analysing resilience of what and to what. In the ‘ of what’ category, we analysed which parts of the health system were studied, ranging from specific departments within a hospital, to the public health system. Under ‘ to what’ we analysed the shocks or stresses that the system under consideration was supposed to, and the drivers for resilience. To understand how the different concepts are applied across paradigms and domains, we developed heat maps that show the frequency of co-occurrence of different terms.

We designed and tested the data extraction form in a spreadsheet shared via Google Sheets to enter: author-title of the review, year and location(s), country in which the empirical study was conducted, threat ( to what? ), the part of the health system that was studied ( of what? ), the underlying theoretical paradigm used, the resilience phase, and the concepts that were referred to as means to improve resilience. We also indicated if the related choices were not made specific or could not be inferred from the manuscript. To capture intersections between the concepts, and understand how different capacities are co-evolving or co-used, we analysed and counted all concepts that a paper touched upon, i.e., if a paper referred to e.g., absorption and adaptation, we counted it under both categories.

Where possible, we inferred paradigms and concepts as mentioned from the abstract. If that was not possible, the full papers were scrutinised for additional information. If the category could not be detected, we labelled the paper as ‘not specified’. In addition, because of the breadth of the field, we grouped papers where possible. For instance, papers that referred to ‘rapidly bouncing back’ were categorised under the resilience engineering paradigm.

Data extraction for sub-objective 2: review of reviews.

The reviews included in our study ( n  = 30) were reviewed via full-text review. We designed and tested a separate extraction form in a spreadsheet shared via Google sheets to include: type of review, resilience concepts identified in the review, and theoretical framework or underlying resilience framework or definition.

We present our results in two sections. In part (a) we describe the nature of the included empirical studies that address resilience in health systems. This includes the types of disasters or events that are either used for data or context for these studies, their chronology, the part of health system covered by the studies, methods used, and resulting knowledge contribution of the study. In part (b) we present the results of our full scoping review of reviews, focussing in particular on the way resilience is conceptualised in these papers. In the discussion following this section, we compare and contrast these conceptualisations to the principles of resilience identified within part (1).

(a) Describing empirical studies addressing resilience within health systems

We included a total of n  = 87 articles in the descriptive analysis, available in full in a table in Supplementary File C .

Nature of empirical studies on resilience in health systems

Our included articles are drawn from a broad spectrum of journals covering different fields and domains within healthcare (Fig.  2 ), with the highest number of publications in global health ( n  = 15, 17%) and public health ( n  = 13, 15%). These studies are also published in interdisciplinary journals, or in other domains, such as emergency management ( n  = 4, 5%) or computer science ( n  = 3, 3%).

figure 2

Distribution of journal categories considered in this review ( n  = 87)

Location and setting of empirical studies on resilience in health systems

The settings in which these included studies were conducted were distributed fairly evenly across Europe ( n  = 15, 17%), Africa ( n  = 15, 17%), and North America ( n  = 13, 15%), see Fig.  3 . For Asia, we distinguished the Middle East ( n  = 8, 9%), where papers often focus on conflict and refugees (e.g. [ 28 , 29 ], from South Eastern Asia and China ( n  = 6, 7%), where studies largely focused on emergency management departments [ 30 , 31 ]. Fewer studies were conducted in Oceania ( n  = 4, 5%) South America ( n  = 3, 3%) and Central America ( n  = 1, 1%). Few papers reported to focus generally on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) ( n  = 2, 2%) or global health systems issues ( n  = 1, 1%). A total of 18 papers (21%) did not specify the location of study within the title or abstract.

figure 3

Distribution of study locations ( n  = 87)

Threats prompting empirical studies on resilience

By categorising the studies according to their year of publication and the associated ‘threat’ (disaster, emergency etc.) that was studied, we were able to observe patterns in how these threats prompted resilience research over time (Fig.  4 ). The intersection of health and resilience clearly has gained importance in the academic discourse with the majority of papers published since 2018 ( n  = 47, 54%). Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic created another peak in health systems research (starting 2020, n  = 21 or 24%), after a slight drop in 2019. The 2021 data covers the papers published up to June 2021, when we conducted our search for empirical studies.

figure 4

Identified literature on health system resilience ( n  = 87) organised by threat or type of challenge and year (from 2004 until June 2021)

A majority of publications ( n  = 49, 56%) made specific the resilience challenge addressed, while 38 publications were generally referring to health systems resilience, driven by the general complexity and uncertainty that the health system is exposed to, but without referring to a clear threat or challenge. For the publications that refer to a threat, infectious diseases and epidemics ( n  = 24, 27%) formed the largest group of publications. Clearly, this category was dominated by COVID-19 ( n  = 13) and Ebola ( n  = 8) with other infectious diseases playing a minor role.

Many of the COVID-19 publications reported on the lessons learnt from the first wave of the pandemic across different countries [ 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 ]. The publications about Ebola (which gained prominence in 2015), were published from 2015 to 2020, speaking to the long-term challenges to the health system. While the initial publications focus on the immediate impact [ 36 ], the later studies shift to the development of the health system [ 37 , 38 ] and community resilience or community health workers [ 39 , 40 , 41 ].

Somewhat surprisingly, natural disasters find relatively few mentions with a total of 5 publications (6%) that cover Hurricane Sandy e.g., [ 42 , 43 ] and earthquakes in Central America (e.g., Haiti [ 44 ]) and South Eastern Asia (Fukushima e.g., [ 45 ]). Economic stresses and shocks ( n  = 7, 8%) have gained importance in the aftermath of the 2011 financial crisis across geographical locations (e.g., [ 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 ]). The ongoing war and conflicts in the Middle East and the subsequent refugee crises have inspired a range of health resilience papers since 2016 ( n  = 9, 10%) [ 28 , 29 , 50 ].

Components of the health system covered by empirical studies, compared to threats

Focusing on the question which parts of the health systems are the objects of investigation, Fig.  5 shows that most studies focus on the health system generally, without further specification ( n  = 40, 46%), followed by secondary care (specifically, hospitals; n  = 21, 24%). The articles focussed on health systems generally cover diverse challenges and specific threats ranging from conflict and economic crises to antimicrobial resistance [ 51 , 52 , 53 , 54 ]. In contrast, the resilience of hospitals is often studied in general terms, with the majority of papers studying the regular disruptions, uncertainties and complexities with which a hospital is confronted [ 55 , 56 , 57 , 58 ], rather than specific and/or external shocks or stresses. Primary care ( n  = 9, 10%) is mostly discussed in a post-disaster or conflict context [ 53 , 59 , 60 ]. National public health organisations ( n  = 8, 9%) [ 61 ], regional and local public health care organisations ( n  = 6, 7%) [ 62 ] and community actors (formal, informal and workforce) ( n  = 4, 5%) (eg [ 40 ]) have received less attention. Figure  5 shows that the publications on communities were driven by the literature on Ebola (e.g. [ 39 , 40 , 63 ]), which also have promoted a shift towards community.

figure 5

Literature on health resilience ( n  = 87) organised by location in the health system (resilience of what?) and threat or type of challenge (resilience to what?)

Aspects and phases of resilience used in empirical studies

Conventionally, the health resilience literature distinguishes three main capacities or outcomes: absorption, adaptation and transformation [ 1 , 64 ]. However, our findings show that many of the empirical studies we found focussing on resilience—given that they are rooted in the risk, safety, and emergency management domain—also focus on prevention and control (e.g. [ 31 , 46 ]) as well as preparedness [ 65 , 66 , 67 ] as key capacities and outcomes. Especially in response to COVID-19, several authors focus on preparing for or preventing pandemics (e.g., [ 33 , 68 , 69 ]). While conventionally, these outcomes are considered as a part of risk management rather than resilience [ 26 ], the health resilience literature integrates both realms under the umbrella of resilience.

Figure  6 shows that the idea of absorption, or rapidly bouncing back, is the most used resilience aspect ( n  = 35, 40%) with a wide range of applications, ranging from communities recovering from natural disasters [ 42 ] to the ability of emergency departments to absorb a surge of patients [ 30 , 70 ] or external disturbances [ 71 ]. Preparedness ( n  = 25, 29%) and adaptation ( n  = 15, 17%) follow. Prevention & control ( n  = 8, 9%) are primarily referred to in literature that describes resilience to epidemics and infectious disease (see above). Transformation ( n  = 5, 6%) has received limited attention [ 49 ], often in conjunction with other qualities, such as adaptation (e.g., [ 59 ]. And while the resilience literature often stresses the need to absorb, adapt and recover, only two publications (2%) refer to all three capacities [ 28 , 50 ]. Strikingly, both of these publications focus on the situation of Syrian refugees.

figure 6

Analysis of specific resilience capacities or outcomes ( n  = 87)

Underlying resilience paradigm or disciplinary contributions in empirical studies

To track how these different research traditions and paradigms are influencing the field of health resilience, we analysed the publications for mentions of the underlying field. Most publications do not make the research tradition in which they are embedded specific ( n  = 36, 41%, e.g. [ 72 , 73 , 74 ]). Of those that make explicit an underlying research paradigm, resilience engineering is the most prominent ( n  = 19, 22%, e.g. [ 60 , 75 , 76 ]). This finding is also in line with the prominence of ‘absorption’ or the rapid response to shocks discussed earlier. Figure  7 highlights that resilience engineering is applied throughout most health subsystems, but is especially prominent in secondary care (hospitals), e.g. [ 30 , 56 , 77 ]. Community resilience and organisational resilience are following ( n  = 12 and n  = 10 respectively). Community resilience approaches find application in both local and regional public health organisations [ 65 , 78 ], in analyses of the formal and informal community actors or workforce [ 41 , 63 ] as well as in the study of the health system as a whole [ 37 , 79 ]. Organisational resilience is applied to the different levels of public health organisations (local / regional) [ 31 , 80 ] as well as secondary care (hospitals) [ 66 , 70 , 81 ]. The social-ecological systems roots of resilience find the least application, both in the health system [ 51 ] as well as within hospitals [ 47 ], confirming our findings of the limited application of transformation in the health resilience literature.

figure 7

Literature on health resilience organised by location in the health subsystem (resilience of what?) and resilience paradigm ( n  = 87)

Approach to developing and building resilience

Even broader than the different categories and capacities that constitute resilience are the approaches that are used or analysed to improve or manage resilience in health systems. Most prominently described is the need for surge capacity to respond to a rapid shock such as a natural disaster or an epidemic ( n  = 18, 21%) (e.g., [ 45 , 79 , 82 ], followed by resilience capacity, as a generic umbrella term ( n  = 12, 14%, e.g. [ 28 , 37 ]), trust ( n  = 8, 9% [ 83 ]) and leadership ( n  = 7, 8% [ 84 ]). Other concepts that are broadly used in resilience management or resilience engineering receive surprisingly little attention, such as robustness [ 85 ], redundancy [ 71 ], flexibility [ 57 ] or agility [ 34 ] (all below five mentions).

Figure  8 shows the clear divide of the studied approaches to resilience by the different resilience paradigms, also illustrated by the dendrogram, showing the hierarchical relationships between the different uses of the concepts in the discourse. While resilience engineering emphasises the need for concepts and terms such as ‘coordination’, ‘robustness’, ‘flexibility’, ‘teams’ and different ‘capacities’, the discourse in the literature that is rooted in community resilience stresses ‘collaboration’, ‘trust’, ‘training’, and ‘leadership’. Both resilience engineering and community resilience-oriented approaches acknowledge the need for ‘information’ and ‘surge capacity’. Social capital-oriented literature is focusing primarily on the role of ‘networks’, while the organisational and social-ecological systems resilience literatures stress the need for ‘diversity’.

figure 8

Heatmap and dendogram of the approaches to build and manage resilience for the different resilience paradigms. (socio-ecological systems—social-ecological resilience; ORG—organisational resilience; SoCap—Social Capital; COMM—community resilience; RE—resilience engineering). Mapping only for papers that mention both resilience paradigm and approach

(b) Describing how resilience is conceptualised in the health domain based on reviews

We included a total of n  = 30 articles in the review of reviews, included in Table 1 ( n  = 17 up to June 2021, matching the date of the empirical studies analysed in (a), plus a further n  = 23 reviews published after June 2021 up to June 2023). These included systematic reviews ( n  = 11), scoping reviews and other or non-systematic. Not surprisingly, most of the reviews were published more recently: 2022 ( n  = 10), 2021 ( n  = 5), 2020 ( n  = 4). Most of them identify what constitutes ‘resilience’ in health systems, but only few refer to conceptualisations in non-health domains such as engineering and other sciences for example, Biddle et al. 2020 [ 1 ] and Hess et al. (2012) [ 86 ]. Many of the earlier reviews refer to the definition of resilience by Kruk et al. (2017), which includes being adaptive, self-regulating, diverse, aware, and integrated [ 87 ]. These characteristics draw on socio-ecological systems paradigms but this allusion is not explicitly mentioned in the reviews using them as a conceptual framework. In later reviews, authors mostly appealed to the domains of resilience identified by Blanchet et al. (2017) [ 88 ], which includes the concept of transformation, but that aspect is not in fact widely used (e.g. [ 1 ]).

Most of the reviews refer to multiple levels or locations at which resilience can be addressed and assessed, and the importance of including stakeholders from service providers to governments to patients themselves in design and planning processes in order to build resilience. The Resilience in Healthcare group [ 113 ] in particular notes that patients are part of resilient responses, and draw from their analysis of multiple levels where ‘resilience characteristics’ can be found– ‘individual, team, management and organizational’. Other approaches take up the healthcare system components via the WHO, thus using a modular approach to the system as a whole (eg. Bayntun et al. 2012 [ 90 ]).

In terms of resilience aspects or phases, about half the reviews prior to 2021 draw out ‘preparedness’ as a notion covered by their included studies. Hess et al. 2012 [ 86 ] take up ‘adaptive capacity’, specifically in relation to climate change; and ‘adaptation’ is further covered by Zhong [ 91 ], Chamberland-Rowe et al. 2019 [ 95 ], Haldane et al. 2021 [ 79 ], while Turenne 2019 [ 25 ], Foroughi et al., [ 105 , 107 ], Thu [ 109 ], Fridel et al. 2020 [ 98 ], Fleming [ 110 ] and Ismail [ 112 ], also make explicit mention of ‘transformation’ in addition to adaptation. Transformation and preparedness is also covered in the scoping review by Nuzzo et al. 2019 [ 94 ]. However, despite more recent reviews mentioning and identifying the concept of transformation in the studies they reviewed, they note that its application and use is less present in empirical work.

The key messages that stand out from these reviews is the lack of a common definition of resilience [ 25 , 94 , 98 ], and the scarce or underdeveloped use of learning and transformation as concepts operationalised in the empirical literature, which is also in line with our findings from the empirical literature. Furthermore, Nuzzo et al. 2019 point out the lack of implementation frameworks to translate resilience capacities into something that health system actors can employ in response to crises [ 94 ]. However, the more recent reviews have started to focus on the importance of operationalising resilience in practice (e.g. [ 2 , 3 ]). Despite the turn toward community resilience (learning, empowerment) and socio-ecological resilience (self-organization, transformation) concepts being recognized as important—in contrast to the more linear, engineering resilience approaches—this theoretical turn has not (yet) resulted in the adoption of those concepts in practice.

Health systems operate at the intersection of technical and social, and possibly social-environmental, systems. Figure  9 shows that they are complex systems, ranging from community services to highly specialised experts in hospitals and requiring local, regional, and national coordination. Moreover, they are embedded in the broader social-environmental, socio-economic, governance and infrastructural context (see Fig.  9 ). These systems shape and influence the shocks and stresses that the health system may be exposed to (black boxes in Fig.  9 ), but also determine its capacity to rapidly respond.

figure 9

The health system as an adaptive complex system, and its interdependencies to other systems, grey boxes indicate shocks or stresses to health system

This breadth of applications and resilience challenges, as well as focal areas and time horizons considered is reflected in the health resilience literature: we found a wide variety of resilience approaches and schools, published in various health journals as well as in journals from neighbouring disciplines, most notably emergency management & computer science. Not surprisingly, applications that focus on physical infrastructure or built environment focus on resilience engineering, and bring approaches for improved planning, management, and operations of these infrastructures. For community, governance, or dealing with socio-ecological change, however, other concepts are vital that focus on self-organisation, learning, empowerment, and transformation. Because of the nature of the health system as a complex adaptive system of systems, the challenge to resilience in health is integrating these different facets and paradigms of resilience, because they all are vital to the health system.

In our study, we trace the roots of these resilience approaches to build and review the underlying schools of thought or paradigms and approaches to resilience. This produces a unique map, distinguished from previous reviews, placing concepts in alignment with the different subsystems of the health system to which they are applied. Further, by including both an analysis of empirical studies and review of reviews, we were able to validate our own preliminary findings: first, the empirical studies analyses served to identify what non-health domain concepts were present and in which patterns; and the reviews served to identify what resilience concepts were already being discussed in the literature. Putting the two together helped us formulate our conclusions and identify gaps in theoretical concepts from other domains present in the literature. Generally, our review shows that the field is fragmented, especially in terms of approaches and ‘schools of thought’ from non-health domains appealed to in the literature, as well as in terms of the health systems settings in which these are used. In the following paragraphs, we address the implications of these results.

First note that the intersection of health and resilience clearly has gained importance in the academic discourse with most papers published since 2018 (Fig.  4 ). This is a continued trend that confirms the findings of the review by Biddle et al. (2020) [ 1 ]. What our analysis further highlights is that most studies focus on either the resilience of health systems generally (and thereby responding to an external shock or stress), or on resilience within hospitals and thereby to the inherent uncertainty, volatility, and dynamics that are typical for the health system. Less attention has been given to community-based care, whether formal or informal, although the shift towards community did explicitly take place in reports on studies that focussed on responses to the Ebola outbreaks.

Second, conventionally, the resilience literature distinguishes three main capacities or outcomes: absorption, adaptation and transformation [ 1 , 64 ]. However, our findings show that many of the empirical studies in health– especially those rooted in the risk, safety, and emergency management domain—focus on prevention and control as well as preparedness as key capacities and outcomes. While traditionally, these outcomes are considered as a part of risk management rather than resilience, the health resilience literature integrates both realms under the umbrella of resilience. The most used resilience aspect is ‘absorption’ or ‘rapidly bouncing back’ (Fig.  6 ), followed by preparedness and adaptation. What has previously received less attention (both in our empirical studies and in the reviews) is ‘transformation’, although this was pertinent in Ebola related studies. Outside of these studies, most focussed on preparedness and absorption, while it may be that COVID-19 has prompted a shift towards adaptation. However, the three combined aspects of absorbing, adapting and recovering seldom appear together, despite the resilience literature stressing the need to refer to all three.

Thirdly, of the various resilience paradigms influencing empirical work, ‘resilience engineering’ is the most prominent one mentioned, which is in line with the prominence of ‘absorption’ or ‘rapid response’ also highlighted. These concepts are closely linked as resilience engineering focuses on a single state of equilibrium or stability to which a resilient system rapidly returns after a shock. Despite being mentioned in most health subsystems in our included sample, it is especially prominent in hospital settings (Fig.  7 ). ‘Community resilience’ approaches find applications primarily in local and regional public health organisations, in studies of the health system as a whole (unspecified) and, not surprisingly, in formal and informal community actors. ‘Organisational resilience’ is applied to the different levels of public health organisations (local / regional) as well as secondary care (hospitals). The ‘social-ecological systems roots of resilience (relating to ‘transformation’ and multiple equilibria) find the least application, both in the health system as well as in hospitals.

Fourth, the different theoretical and conceptual roots also have implications for the approaches that are considered to build or improve resilience. While resilience engineering emphasises the need for coordination, robustness, flexibility, teams and different capacities, the literature that is rooted in community resilience stresses collaboration, trust, training, and leadership. Both resilience engineering and community resilience-oriented approaches acknowledge the need for information and surge capacity, as noted in the reviews we reviewed. Social capital-oriented literature is focusing primarily on the role of networks, while the organisational and social-ecological systems resilience literature stress the need for diversity.

As such, our findings show that the contemporary definitions of health systems resilience, along with the approaches to measure or build resilience, have not yet explicitly addressed important conceptual dilemmas or tensions apparent in the health resilience literature.

These conceptual dilemmas are related to:

Paradigm & school: as health systems resilience is situated at the intersection of engineering, social, organisational, community, and socio-ecological systems resilience, bridges between the different schools of thought need to be found that allow for an integration of approaches and operationalisations. This concerns especially the question of a single equilibrium (restorative; bouncing back) versus multiple equilibria and transformational change.

Temporality: intricately connected to the question of paradigm is the temporality considered. We find that the health resilience literature considers a wide variety of time horizons, even though there is a dominance of shorter time spans. The single equilibria approaches consider a relatively narrow frame to absorb and respond to a shock or stress. This is in contrast with the community and socio-ecological systems based approaches that stress the need to build trust, change, adapt and transform the health system. Without a clear definition of time horizons, measuring resilience becomes a conundrum, as different time horizons will lead to different results.

Normativity: resilience is both used as a descriptive concept, to objectively measure how long it takes a system to recover performance (absorption), and as a normative concept, connected to terms such as inclusion, distributive justice, or sustainability. Especially the question of how values are or should be embedded into different resilience definitions and measurements remains open, making the underlying choices opaque and implicit. The lack of a clear discussion around the values that are conveyed through resilience, such as whose resilience is measured (and over what time horizon) has severe repercussions on our ability to measure resilience.

Building resilience: connected to the lack of a clear stance on what constitutes resilience, or how it can be measured, is the broad variation of approaches that are introduced to improve resilience. While within engineering-oriented approaches, there is an emphasis on robustness, redundancy, and surge capacity, qualities such as trust, distributive justice, or adaptive capacity are stressed in the social-oriented resilience approaches. However, because the health system is an interconnected system-of-systems, what is needed is a toolkit of resilience building approaches that addresses different facets of resilience across different parts of the health system. Further, it is not known how the different approaches of building resilience would propagate and influence resilience in other areas of the health system.

These fundamental theoretical and conceptual dilemmas lead to a fragmentation of resilience concepts across the different realms of the health system (see Fig.  9 ) and make it difficult to develop a comprehensive definition of health systems resilience.


Our search was conducted for empirical articles up to June 2021, and for reviews up to June 2023. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued interest in health system resilience, we are likely to be missing more recent articles that have covered the field further. Articles included in the descriptive statistics were tagged manually (for ‘threat’, ‘resilience concept’ and ‘part of the health system’) upon reading the title and abstract. We note that reading only titles and abstracts for half of our study is a potential limitation to our analysis. For example, it may be that the full text of these n  = 87 articles would have resulted in different tags (for example, while the abstract may have referred to COVID-19 in its abstract, the full paper itself may have focussed on health system resilience more generally, without reference to a specific threat). Similarly, many articles were labelled as ‘no specific threat’, while in the full text itself, reference might have been made to specific threats such as Ebola or a natural disaster. To mitigate this type of error, where there was ambiguity in the abstract, the full text was read by one author so that the appropriate label was found for the article in question. Therefore, for the purposes of this portion of our results, where our aim was to understand the most salient and dominant theories, paradigms, approaches and threats relating to resilience, the need for full-text review was on a case-by-case basis and not required for the full set of articles. By contrast, for our second set of results, full-text review was conducted on the included reviews, since our intention was to give an overview of the discourses in the field addressed in existing reviews. Finally, we note that our databases were limited to those via Pubmed, and a wider search (e.g. including EMBASE) could have identified further studies to be included in our review, and to the English language, also limiting the global publications that could have contributed to our findings.

While there are valuable lessons to learn about health system resilience through existing empirical work and reviews, the literature does not yet address important conceptual dilemmas relating to the underlying research paradigm or school, temporality, normativity, and building resilience. These fundamental theoretical and conceptual dilemmas and lead to a fragmentation of resilience concepts across the different realms of the health system make it difficult to develop a comprehensive definition or application of health systems resilience.

The health system is characterised by connections within and between the complex and adaptive sub-systems, ranging from community actors to local, regional, or national public health organisations to secondary care. Without a comprehensive definition and framework that captures these interdependencies, operationalising, measuring and improving resilience becomes challenging. We suggest that the different parts of the health systems should be conceptualized as networked subsystems. This will allow researcher to study resilience at the intersection of the different realms, and to understand how resilience propagates through different parts of the health system.

Availability of data and materials

All data included in the analysis in this study are available within the manuscript itself as supplementary files.

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The Harvard Gazette

Hope for progress survives terror and war, new study finds wide gap in sat/act test scores between wealthy, lower-income kids.

TPanelists Tarek Masoud (from left), Amaney Jamal, David Makovsky, Khalil Shikaki, and Shai Feldman at Klarman Hall.

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Panelists Tarek Masoud (from left), Amaney Jamal, David Makovsky, Khalil Shikaki, and Shai Feldman at Klarman Hall.

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Can the Israelis and Palestinians find peace? Scholars discuss — and debate — long history of conflict, prospects for a durable accord

By Christina Pazzanese Harvard Staff Writer

Date November 22, 2023 November 27, 2023

Scorecard reveals risk of dementia, stroke

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Scholars revisited the long history of Israel-Palestine conflict leading up to the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas and weighed potential steps toward peace before hundreds of Harvard community members at a recent Klarman Hall event.

“We’re here because of dead civilians, Jewish and Arab,” said moderator Tarek Masoud, faculty chair of the Middle East Initiative and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Governance at Harvard Kennedy School , which co-hosted the Nov. 20 discussion  with Harvard Business School .

The third such gathering convened by the Middle East Initiative in recent weeks, the event, which unfolded as Israel and Hamas negotiated a cease fire and hostage deal, was an attempt to share scholarly expertise with students so they can make better sense of the crisis and perhaps contribute to a solution, Masoud said. Srikant Datar, dean of the Business School, urged attendees to approach the talk “with open-mindedness and a commitment to empathy and learning.”

Amaney Jamal talking.

"If violence were going to solve this conflict, it would have already," said Amaney Jamal (center), dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

It’s important to separate the terror unleashed by Hamas from the plight of Palestinians in Gaza, said David Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who served as senior adviser to the State Department’s Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations from 2013 to 2014.

“This was a deliberate decision by the Hamas leadership to do [these] atrocities,” he said. “The people of Gaza did not commit these atrocities.”

Hamas chose to attack at a moment when its leadership believed Israel had been weakened by internal strife over the overhaul of Israel’s judiciary by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Makovsky. Another key factor was the worry that a normalization pact between Saudi Arabia and Israel would be “game over” for the terror group, leaving Hamas isolated from the other Arab nations that had struck accords with Israel.

Panelists agreed that Hamas members are terrorists, not freedom fighters. They also agreed that Netanyahu has used Hamas in the past to help thwart peace efforts.

“The current Israeli government, led by Netanyahu, is the same government that has been trying for most of the last 16 years to create conditions, or to support conditions, that have essentially prevented any progress in that direction,” said Khalil Shikaki, director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. “Hamas was very instrumental in providing that kind of environment.”

At times, Masoud politely refereed passionate disagreements among the scholars over who did what during the decades that precipitated this crisis, further underscoring the enormous challenge facing those who wish to engage in reasoned debate on the subject.

On what the way forward looks like, the panelists were uncertain.

For Netanyahu, success in the short term would be to eliminate Hamas’ fighting and governing capacity and to free the hostages held in Gaza, said Shai Feldman, a professor of Israeli politics and society at Brandeis University. But eventually, the Israeli people will force a “major reckoning” internally about the policies and strategies the prime minister and his allies adopted.

Asked what role the international community can play to facilitate peace, Feldman said that if Hamas is defeated, perhaps a regional coalition made up Egypt, Jordan, and/or Saudi Arabia could temporarily take control in Gaza and make an effort to rejuvenate the Palestinian Authority, which was pursuing a two-state solution with Israel before Hamas rose to power in 2006.

“If violence were going to solve this conflict, it would have already,” said Amaney Jamal, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a daughter of Palestinian immigrants. “I would rather see our policies and efforts and the Palestinian Authority … make the message of peace and reconciliation far more attractive than any other message.”

She added: “This starts with people seeing tangible changes on the ground, but also political leaders to step up and sanction their leaders when they’re espousing violence and vitriol and hatred and the dehumanization of the other. We have been victims of this conflict since we were born. We would love to turn the page and be able to live with peace and dignity as Israelis, as Palestinians.”

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Harvard Law students participate in the National Day of Action at Harvard University in Cambridge on 16 November 2023.

Harvard journal accused of censoring article alleging genocide in Gaza

Harvard Law Review declined an essay by Palestinian doctoral candidate Rabea Eghbariah after it had been initially approved

A prestigious journal published by Harvard Law School has been accused of censorship after it refused to publish an academic article accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, allegedly because editors feared a backlash.

The Harvard Law Review, which is run by the school’s student body, declined the 2,000-word essay – titled The Ongoing Nakba: Towards a Legal Framework for Palestine – by a Palestinian doctoral candidate, Rabea Eghbariah, after it had been edited, fact-checked and initially approved.

The article, commissioned after Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel, followed by an Israeli assault on Gaza, would have been the first by a Palestinian scholar ever published by the review. The Intercept originally broke the story.

It argued that events in Gaza – where more than 14,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its military offensive – met the terms of genocide as defined by the United Nations convention. The article also called for a legally recognised crime of “Nakba” (catastrophe), the Arab word used to describe the forced removal of Palestinians from their homes at the time of Israel’s founding in 1948.

But plans to publish it as a blogpost were abandoned after a crisis meeting of more than 100 editors. The rejection was reportedly driven by fears that publication might harm editors’ career prospects by provoking a backlash that could include having their personal details disclosed in an attempt at public shaming, a process known as “doxxing.”

Working on the review is a well-trodden path for law school students, who later advance to high-flying careers in politics, elite law firms, and clerkships at the US supreme court. Barack Obama served as the review’s president during his time as a Harvard law student.

The decision was criticised in a statement issued by 25 editors, who said such a rejection was unprecedented and motivated by fear.

“At a time when the Law Review was facing a public intimidation and harassment campaign, the journal’s leadership intervened to stop publication,” they wrote, according to the Intercept. “The body of editors – none of whom are Palestinian – voted to sustain that decision. We are unaware of any other solicited piece that has been revoked by the Law Review in this way.”

The review’s editor, Apsara Iyer, told Eghbariah, in an email that the decision “was not based on your identity or viewpoint”.

However, a separate email written by an online editor, Tascha Shahriari-Parsa, and reported by the Nation suggested otherwise.

“The discussion did not involve any substantive or technical aspects of your piece,” Shahriari-Parsa told Eghbariah. “Rather, [it] revolved around concerns about editors who might oppose or be offended by the piece, as well as concerns that the piece might provoke a reaction from members of the public who might in turn harass, dox or otherwise attempt to intimidate our editors, staff and HLR leadership.”

In response, Eghabriah, a human rights attorney, complained to editors that the decision amounted to “discrimination” and “outright censorship”.

The article was eventually published by the Nation under the headline The Harvard Law Review Refused to Run This Piece About Genocide in Gaza.

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In it, Eghbariah cites several scholars who argue that Israeli actions meet legal criteria for genocide, before adding: “And yet, leading law schools and legal scholars in the United States still fashion their silence as impartiality and their denial as nuance.

“Palestine is where genocide can be performed as a fight of ‘ the civilised world ’ against the ‘enemies of civilization’ itself. When contrasted with Jewish-Israeli life – the ultimate victims of European genocidal ideologies – Palestinians stand no chance at humanisation .”

Noting that genocide was enshrined into the UN charter and international law due to the crimes of the Holocaust, he envisions a similar legally defined outcome for Palestinian experiences. “We must imagine that one day there will be a recognised crime of committing a Nakba, and a disapprobation of Zionism as an ideology based on racial elimination ,” he concludes.

The controversy over the article follows a series of rows that have engulfed Harvard and other universities in the wake of Hamas’s assault, which led to the killing of 1,200 people and the kidnapping of around 240 others.

Larry Summers, a former Harvard president and US treasury secretary, denounced the university for failing to condemn an open letter left by a pro-Palestinian student group in the campus’s main courtyard in the immediate aftermath of the atrocities that put the blame on Israel.

“In nearly 50 years of @Harvard affiliation, I have never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am today,” he tweeted. He said the letter and university officials’ failure to condemn it “allowed Harvard to appear at best neutral towards acts of terror against the Jewish state of Israel”.

His criticism prompted the current Harvard president, Claudine Gay, to publicly condemn Hamas’s “barbaric atrocities”. But she rejected calls to name and punish students who signed the open letter, saying the university “embraces a commitment to free expression”.

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Porn: An Oral History

Even apart from its punning subtitle, Porn seems to have the makings of one of those dubious inquiries into sexual experience whose high-minded claims to sociological or scientific interest will be undermined on every page by the hot, pervy details of people’s sex lives. But Polly Barton’s oral history turns out to be something different. A British translator of Japanese fiction, Barton interviews nineteen friends and acquaintances of different ages, genders, and sexual identities about the place of pornography in their lives. There isn’t really any history, and none of the participants is involved in making pornography—the interviews are all about its consumption. Barton’s interviewees describe their first, sometimes accidental, discovery of porn. Or finding something alarming in a partner’s search history. Or watching porn with partners. These are the kinds of scenes that would seem inevitably to acquire a pornographic energy of their own in the telling. Interestingly, they don’t.

The project has its roots in an experience that Barton had many years ago, at age twenty-one, in a video store while she was living in rural Japan. The shop had a separate room for porn videos that she was not aware of until a fellow browser beside her suddenly seemed to vanish. Where had he gone? Barton spotted a hole in one of the walls, concealed by pink satin curtains. She now observed a ritual that she hadn’t noticed before: men (it was always men) would pretend to study the TV box sets for a while, then dart through the curtains. A few minutes later they came back out with what she now realized was porn.

Barton did not want to go into the porn room (“I didn’t want to see the rows of DVD s with pictures that would probably make me feel strange and uncomfortable”), but she came to enjoy watching the men perform their ruse, not minding—indeed feeling “a faint sense of jubilation”—that her presence by the pink curtains might be discomfiting to them:

I think [it] was something to do with feeling the tables had been turned: until that point in my life, I’d felt that porn was a mechanism used to make me feel embarrassed or somehow hemmed in both existentially and physically, or at least, which did make me embarrassed and hemmed in, for a host of reasons that I found it difficult to unravel.

Barton didn’t want to be uncomfortable with the porn videos—she wanted to be as blasé as the video store clerks who read out “Edward Penishands” in the same neutral tone they used for any customer purchase. She was aware that there are many kinds of porn, and she knew the feminist line about the importance of female sexual agency. She felt the good feminist position was to be pro-porn, or at least porn-comfortable. But instead of an ordinary part of life, pornography seemed like life’s indecent obverse. Porn was to waking life as the pink-curtained room was to the main room. As “Edward Penishands” was to “Edward Scissorhands.”

Years passed, but not Barton’s “tortured ambivalence” about porn consumption (including her own). By then, public forums swirled with contradictory talk about porn—its addictiveness, its misogyny, its liberating variety, its salutary or detrimental effects on relationships. Barton was aware of the work on pornography in philosophy and film studies departments, the documentaries and podcasts about the porn industry, the porn addiction recovery community, and the right-wing movement to restrict access to pornography. But while there was no shortage of discourse, “I still hadn’t had a real conversation about it with someone I wasn’t going out with,” she writes. “I had no idea what [my friends] might think, or feel, or do, or watch.” She decided to write about it and sent a group e-mail to acquaintances and friends asking if anyone was willing to be interviewed, anonymously, about their experiences with porn, in preparation for a book she planned to write. In fact, the first nineteen interviews she recorded became, with minimal editing, the book itself.

Her subjects, identified only by gender, age, and sexual orientation, are drawn from a small pool of her social and professional worlds. Most of them live in the UK, some in the US or Japan. They range in age from early twenties to early eighties, with most in their thirties; some are married or in long-term relationships, others are single, including single by choice. As Barton acknowledges, the book makes no attempt to be anything like a comprehensive survey. Instead, it models the kinds of conversations she thinks are still missing from our social lives, showing the reader “what it looked like to talk about these things, amongst friends.”

Online erotic material is part of nearly every subject’s life. Many watch, or have watched, porn on popular sites like Pornhub and xHamster. Others subscribe to OnlyFans accounts or follow “porny Instagrams” and Tumblr porn blogs. One follows two real-life couples who post their own videos on Pornhub. One reads stories on Literotica, another on fan fiction sites. (One likes their written pornography in actual books, printed and bound.)

A woman in her thirties who describes herself as fat prefers major sites to smaller, independent channels because of the variety of body types she can find among the amateur content. “Until discovering Pornhub a few years ago, I had genuinely not seen any images of fat people having sex,” she tells Barton. A man in his eighties supplements his visits to xHamster with an occasional full-length film that he watches with a partner: “If you have something which lasts an hour and twenty minutes, the development gives you more sexual satisfaction than an instant shot of fellatio or cunnilingus or ejaculation.” A woman in her thirties takes something like the opposite view: “I don’t want to watch all the narrative build-up…. Basically I really enjoy very graphic close-ups of genitals having intercourse.”

Most have been looking at some form of porn since adolescence. One was first shown online pornography by his father when he was twelve. Another had a group of friends who would steal magazines from train station kiosks. Another accidentally discovered porn at a slumber party, through an innocent Web search for a popular brand of pencil cases called Bang on the Door. No one is categorically against porn, but nor do they seem under the tyranny of sex positivity. “There’s an infinite number of things that people get off on,” reflects a gay trans man in his thirties. “So interesting and so stupid. I feel bad for all of us, honestly.”

Some people find that too much porn can intrude on their own fantasy lives and on the sex they have with their partners, and they are careful to moderate their viewing. A woman in her late twenties says she takes a porn hiatus if she finds herself watching it so regularly that it becomes difficult to masturbate without porn. Another interviewee, a gay man in his early thirties, has cut way back on what had become a daily porn habit, feeling that when he watched too much of it he would unconsciously act out the generic formulas and “sexual scripts” with partners. But another, a straight man in his late thirties raised in a religious Christian household, has gone in the opposite direction—from fearing that he was addicted to porn to having the liberating realization that porn was not actually causing problems in his relationships.

A lot of Barton’s subjects describe picking their way through a minefield of content they dislike or find ethically questionable. “If it’s an ‘Oh sorry, pizzaboy, I have no wallet’–type scenario, I won’t watch it,” says one of the subjects, a gay man in his forties. “If it’s an interview with someone first and then sex happens or something, I find that really fascinating.” A straight man in his thirties says, “I’m not really looking for the stepsister wants stepbrother’s dick stuff, which seems to be a blight upon the whole thing.” A queer woman tells Barton, “I haven’t found a way to look for mainstream lesbian porn without immediately getting five pop-ups with fifteen penises in them.” A straight woman likes to see “people having sex that is dominating, but feels consensual…. There’s a real slippery line between consensual stuff and people just abusing a woman, and the woman looking like she’s not enjoying it.” “Part of the whole experience of watching,” another woman sums up, “is having to scroll past or shut your eyes to stuff that you think is abhorrent or troubling.”

For what it’s worth, in this small and self-selecting group there’s not a strong division by gender when it comes to either consumption habits or opinions. One woman recalls feeling furious when she saw “eight person gang-rape or something [like that]” in her boyfriend’s browser history. Another woman says she feels apprehensive when she learns the porn preferences of a man she’s seeing:

The moment I’m confronted with their porn consumption, I’m like: Oh, that’s the thing you’re going to expect me to conform to, and I immediately feel I’m being pigeonholed. It’s only a matter of time before I’ll be requested to behave in a certain way that doesn’t come naturally to me.

Yet a straight man says the same thing about his encounters with women—or specifically, American women. After living in England, France, and the Netherlands, he moved to the US and was struck by the fact that the women he went home with gave him detailed directions based on their favorite porn: “It would be like, Okay, now you’re going to do this, and now you’re going to do that, and now you’re going to do this…. It felt empty of content, somehow, formulaic. Where did you get this from? And why am I strangling you?”

What does distinguish women’s testimony is their sense that as they move around in the world, they are regularly seen as living pornography. “I don’t know what came first,” says an interviewee in her thirties who is Japanese British and remembers white men in the street calling her “geisha” and “China doll” from the time she was in elementary school, “my understanding that Asian women were fetishized, or being aware of porn.” Barton herself tells one of her interview subjects that porn

feels tied up with everything unpleasant I’ve experienced as a woman, from teenagehood on…. When I first encountered porn, I had a strong feeling that this lies at the heart of everything I’m experiencing in interacting with men, this is why I’m being treated the way I am.

On the evidence of the transcripts gathered here, Barton is right that people have learned to talk about sex “without blushing.” More than that, we—or some subset of us—are able to talk about sex in a way that conveys narrative control of our material. We have mastered confession, made it our mode: no one in the book seems to stammer in embarrassment or yield information haphazardly. In fact, everyone is so thoughtful, reasonable, and forthright that the interviews themselves throw into doubt the idea that there’s an uncomfortable silence around porn consumption. Certainly it doesn’t seem like a silence that’s terribly hard to break.

While Barton’s subjects coolly take the measure of the porn scene, she herself emits a steady pulse of anxiety and dismay. She initially describes her feeling about pornography as “a nebulous, all-pervasive worry and discomfort,” but as the interviews unfold, it seems like her concerns run in one direction: porn’s potential misogyny and its negative influence on how heterosexual men view and treat women. She sprinkles her misgivings like a trail of breadcrumbs throughout the book.

“In principle, if I’m with a man, I have no issues with him watching porn,” she tells one interviewee, a straight man in his thirties. “But…I’m concerned that the type of porn will be gang-banging a slut who was gagging for it.” “I still to this day,” she tells a woman in her twenties, “find heterosexual porn quite a scary territory.” In another conversation she says:

The idea of going out with a secret misogynist is scary. I know that’s a really silly way of putting it, but it makes me angry to think about men pretending to be all woke and then actually behind closed doors getting off to “Blonde Slut Gets Pummelled by my Monster Cock.”

Barton, who also goes out with women, has never felt the same fear or suspicion with female partners: “Whatever she’s watching, it’s totally fine, I don’t really feel threatened…. With men, I feel like: Are you pretending to be nice to me but secretly fantasizing about hurting women?”

Speaking with another of her interviewees about his porn preferences and turnoffs, Barton chimes in with her own: “For me, ninety-five percent of the straight, mainstream porn you find on Pornhub feels to some degree exploitative, or if not exploitative, then at least replicating this phallocentric, problematic…” She pauses, searching for a word, and her interlocutor has a suggestion:

Degrading, I guess?
Yes, degrading, exactly.

In another interview, Barton says that porn makes her feel that there is “an unbridgeable gap” between straight men and women. “Which makes me think, if this is how straight men are then I can’t be with a straight man. That’s not my calm, settled position, but sometimes that feeling flares up.”

There’s more than ambivalence here: to my ear it sounds like incredulity and anger verging on repudiation. Some pointed questions seem to want to emerge from Barton’s interview comments, perhaps about the ethics of filming or watching realistic-looking violent sex scenes, or about why it is that everyone searching for porn has to be routed through a gallery of cock-pummeled sluts on the way to whatever they’re looking for.

But when Barton turns outward to address her readers in the concluding chapter, she doesn’t seem able to gather her sentiments into any sort of critical perspective. In fact, the conclusion is notably inarticulate compared to her winning introduction. Unbound from the requirements of social-scientific or journalistic methodology, free to say pretty much anything she wants about pornography, Barton only points back to the need for more talk:

What I’ve come to realize about porn over the course of these conversations is that what scares me the most about it—what I now believe has always scared me the most about it—is the way that the shame and the silence and the guilt and the awkwardness surrounding it, in combination with its compulsive and private nature, work to produce a sense of passivity, a lack of agency and responsibility, that come through on the rare occasions we do speak of it in any earnest way.

Are shame and compulsiveness really what we’ve been hearing in these interviews? And what is it that we should be taking responsibility for? What exactly is the problem , as she sees it?

You get the feeling that Barton really, really wants someone else to formulate her objections to porn. That she exhorts us to talk and keep talking in the hopes that we will venture some negative views, test them against one another, coalesce around a set of opinions, and articulate the community values that mainstream hetero porn can be said to be violating. Yet the interviews themselves cast some doubt on this prospect: a lot of people don’t like certain things about online pornography, but they’re not necessarily the same things, and meanwhile most of them also like other things about porn.

The so-called pro-sex feminist activists and scholars who dissented from the anti-porn movement in the 1980s didn’t do so out of a love of what they saw on porn shop shelves. They readily agreed that plenty of porn was misogynistic. It was one of the first points they wanted to get out of the way in order to say something else. “As the most cursory observation suggests,” wrote Ellen Willis in her 1979 essay “Feminism, Moralism, and Pornography,” “there are many varieties of porn, some pernicious, some more or less benign.” In the introduction to her study of twentieth-century porn films, Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible” (1989), Linda Williams wrote:

The question I wish to pose regarding early illegal and later mass-produced legal film and video pornography is therefore not whether it is misogynistic (much of it is) or whether it is art (much of it is not); rather, I wish to ask just what the genre is and why it has been so popular.

Candida Royalle, one of the first women to direct X-rated films, has said that she got her start in the 1970s because she was “horrified to see how sexist” most adult film was. The sex columnist and writer Susie Bright recalls, in an obituary for Andrea Dworkin, that she and other sex-positive types

saw the sexism of the porn business…but we also saw some intriguing possibilities and amazing maverick spirit. We said, “What if we made something that reflected our politics and values, but was just as sexually bold?”

Of course, a lot of porn is misogynistic, bu t… It was their favorite independent clause, the one that freed them to do the work they found pressing: to turn their political energies to a different cause, to formulate theories of sexuality along lines that were not strictly feminist, to make their own pornography, to study pornography without having to establish or disprove or debate the question of sexism in the political terms of the day.

But they deferred a certain kind of onerous reckoning. Is mainstream porn misogynistic? To a lot of people, it scans that way. But anyone trying to answer the question today must work with an enormous, constantly changing online archive that includes amateur, indie, and studio-produced content scattered across many different sites and platforms, making it nearly impossible to define the parameters of a term like “straight, mainstream porn.”

We don’t even seem to have an effective critical language for thinking the question through. Sexist , problematic , phallocentric —these terms are useful for pointing out the unacknowledged biases and blind spots of many kinds of cultural products, but they’re not very well suited to making meaningful critical statements about the content of pornography. Porn may recirculate stereotypes, but a work of pornography can’t be said to have blind spots or biases: it makes no claims to psychological or emotional realism, to fully formed characters, to representing the world as it is. Is the average blow job video sexist? How do we know?

Is sexism inherent in the text? Or is it in the indexing systems and categories of the porn sites? Or is it an effect of phallocentric porn’s disproportionate numbers and top billing on the sites? Or is sexism a function of how porn is interpreted by its viewers, of their readiness to think that male or female performers represent, or refer to, men and women in the world, categorically? Does repeating the idea that these kinds of videos are insulting to the real-world population of women actually contribute to making them so? To judge by Porn , we seem far from being able to explain heterosexual pornography satisfactorily to ourselves.

In the meantime, friends in conversation supply each other with whatever phrases first come to mind—often the ones that are familiar from overuse, that have been overwritten with decades of conflicting political meanings and intentions, that blur rather than clarify the object of scrutiny, that dig us deeper into the grooves of received ideas. Porn is…what’s the word? Degrading .

Barton is, I think, too quick to attribute her interviewees’ somewhat subdued voices to awkwardness or guilt. Their willingness to compartmentalize is not necessarily a sign that they’re stifled by embarrassment; on the contrary, it might mean that they’ve accepted the idea that if you embrace sexual liberalism you have to help maintain a climate of respect for sexual variety and difference. What looks like passive resignation may in fact be an active suspension of judgment: even those who aren’t crazy about a lot of things they see in porn might decline to condemn any type of pornographic fantasy, even the mainstream hetero male kind, so as not to risk reviving an atmosphere of shame, guilt, and sexual conformism. In the porn commons, people are bound to encounter a lot of things they don’t like, after all; one person’s discomfort is not in itself an indication that someone else has done something wrong.

Nevertheless, I came around to her larger point: there is something lacking, or unduly constrained, in the discourse on porn. Objections to the porn status quo have been raised by people concerned with actual abuse that ends up circulating on the sites; with sexism and harassment still common in the industry; with porn addiction; with children’s early exposure. These are objections raised by (or on behalf of) people who feel themselves to be directly, negatively affected by some aspect of production or distribution. They are not exclusively or even primarily feminist concerns; the political right is currently leaning on these issues to put regulatory pressure on porn sites as well as on nonpornographic LGBTQ online content and sex education materials.

But unharmed malcontents like Barton herself seem reluctant to articulate their views, as if believing that only victim testimony or sociological data can legitimate an opinion. Her inability to present any kind of substantive concluding chapter seems emblematic of a larger difficulty: it’s been hard to find ground on which to raise critical questions about the current state of porn from a liberal or progressive point of view. Notably, she feels free to complain about porn while talking with her interview subjects, but not in the considered piece of writing that she addresses to the public.

No surprise: in the solitude of writing, the responsible porn critic hears an imaginary chorus of protest to the kinds of arguments she might be tempted to make. “But I like this kind of porn—and I’m a woman.” “Censorship usually ends up suppressing queer and feminist porn while leaving misogynistic porn in circulation.” “Why do straight men have to answer morally for their porn preferences when no one else does? Aren’t you just perpetuating double standards in another form?” “Can you really condemn 95 percent of straight male porn? A lot of it is just about female characters who want to have sex. Why is that wrong?” And, inevitably: “Who gets to decide which porn makes the cut?”

No, someone in Barton’s liberal sex-positive position can’t reasonably be against porn, not even so-called straight male porn. But there’s so much more to say than the merely reasonable. Why, in fact, should anyone be expected to have only moderate responses to a cultural product that often exemplifies and celebrates immoderation, that gleefully showers what society holds dear in a rain of semen? Even if we value pornography’s will to travesty, there’s something absurd about the lingering post-1980s liberal consensus that says this moving, flashing wall of provocation can arouse us to orgasm but never to criticism.

The trouble is, immoderate responses to pornography have tended to be voiced by people who position themselves against the whole enterprise and go on to wage campaigns of censorship. React, condemn, suppress—in the history books these actions seem a single, continuous gesture, one long swing of the axe into the saloon window. An interviewee in her thirties recalls encountering a book by Dworkin in a feminist reading group: it was “horrifying” and “full of hate and right-wing sentiment.” *

But one can write critically about porn without being interested in censorship, or making alliances with the homophobic right. It’s precisely as people who have a stake in pornography that women, along with others, can give voice to whatever disenchantment, or anger, or ambivalence, they feel. In the online era phallocentric porn has gone maximal while sexual double standards, harassment, and violence are still very much extant and disproportionately borne by women. The fact that our society has created a vast simulacrum of female lust before creating the conditions in which women can be sexually free is unacceptable. That is grounds enough for at least one kind of cri de coeur.

“Porn’s bad! Porn’s bad!” says one of Barton’s interviewees, a straight man in his thirties. That’s not the sum total of everything he thinks about it, as he explains, but he allows that particular feeling its turn on the stage. It could be that what we need is for more people to feel free to say—playfully, provisionally, for the sake of argument, as an opening gambit, as the first stage of their dialectic—“porn is bad!” They could, for that matter, begin with “Porn is good!”—an idea as underdeveloped as its opposite in these interviews.

What someone like Barton needs is a rhetorical mode, or perhaps a literary form, that can channel all her antipathy toward the porn she dislikes, a form that frees her to hate what she hates about pornography without feeling limited to purely earnest and actionable statements. This kind of writing probably won’t look like an op-ed or a polemic. It probably won’t point the way to immediate political action, and may well leave us with irresolvable dilemmas. It could be performative and overstated, it could argue with itself, it could be polyphonic, comic, satirical.

This writing could in fact be fictional. Sometimes it seems like the voices in Porn want to be poured into a novel, where they can express their positions more fully and freely. A sprawling panorama of a world in the vise of porn. You can imagine some of the situations described in the book, such as finding something unexpected in a partner’s search history, depicted five or ten different ways. Barton’s references to “scary,” “secret” misogynists suggest a Gothic treatment, but the scenario might be more fruitfully explored in a lower key: What if a character found something in their partner’s porn history that was simply a turnoff?

Or, better yet, mock Gothic—a new Northanger Abbey . The heroine had misunderstood her partner’s porn search history. Years of reading Me Too testimonies left her jumping to conclusions. “Gangbang” doesn’t necessarily mean gang-rape in porn world, after all, and her partner turns out to be a fan of that cheerful sub-subgenre in which many men gather to help a woman get pregnant. He doesn’t want to hurt her—he wants to have a baby with her! And with seven or eight of his friends. She can invite her friends, too, and together they will bring forth the next generation. The children, paternity obscured, will be raised communally and doted on by all, having been conceived on what was universally acknowledged to be the hottest night of everyone’s life.

A Bitter Season in the West Bank

A New Language of Modern Art

How America Ends and Begins Again

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In the newsroom and in Hollywood, a new vernacular is emerging to describe sexual assault.

May 25, 2023 issue

Amia Srinivasan’s The Right to Sex is rare in its ability to speak to a plural audience—queer and straight, multiracial and multigendered—with the assumption that we have some common interests in sex and dating even if we have varied experiences of them.

September 22, 2022 issue

Like many of her narrators, Lydia Davis is a taxonomist of daily life.

December 2, 2021 issue

Elaine Blair is a regular contributor to The New York Review . (December 2023)

See “Fighting for Her Life,” my essay about Dworkin’s work, The New York Review , June 27, 2019.  ↩

Leonard Schapiro (1908–1983)

December 22, 1983 issue

Short Review

July 20, 1972 issue

Dorothy Day (1897–1980)

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Dying for Life

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Cheer Up, John Paul II

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Discreet Charm of Nihilism

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Tolnay’s Michelangelo

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From ‘The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony’

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