Review essay – Important Writing Guidelines for Students

There are many types of essay writing, and a review essay is a different kind of essay. In this type of essay, the author reviews a piece of literature or work of non-fiction (books, journal articles) and critically appraises the reviewed text. Writing a review essay is quite easy, provided you know the proper guidelines; therefore, this article will tell you how to write a review essay.

What is a review essay?

A review essay pertains to the evaluation of a piece of text (fictional or non-fictional). The reviewer formulates arguments and shares his or her perspectives on the key issues brought up by the author of a work of literature. The book is discussed critically, and the author’s viewpoints are backed up by facts. In some cases, review essays encompass the review of multiple research papers on a specific topic and critically tracing the overall developments in the field. Creating a case for the material included in the essay and finishing an ordered evaluation are two crucial phases. The essay’s author should draw on previous writings and the insights of professionals while providing a critical analysis. Review essays generally follow this format: introduction, work overview, thoughtful assessment, and conclusion.

A review essay is a compilation of original literature sources (most often research articles published in scholarly publications) on a particular subject. A review essay shows that the author has a solid grasp of the literature and is capable of developing a meaningful interpretation. The review gives the field a fresh viewpoint even though the author does not share any new findings. When writing a review, one can use a variety of strategies:

Contemporary Research Overview

A review essay on contemporary research pertains to the overview of contemporary and recent research studies on a particular subject. The author provides a novel perspective on the issue and identifies the gaps that future researchers can fill. The author writes a critical appraisal of the research studies acknowledging the contributions of researchers while at the same time being critical of the existing lacks and points them out to advance the growth of knowledge in a given field.

Historical Review

Historical review essays pertain to the evaluation of past studies on an issue. It can be an overview of past research papers and tracing their development over time. Also, it can be an overview of past books of literature to trace the evolution of ideas. In general, the purpose of a historical review is to survey the development of ideas in a particular field and assess the initial stages, important findings to date, and significant theories.

Comparative Review

A comparative review essay compares and contrasts the viewpoints on a particular subject from multiple angles. A comparative review can reveal the research that endorses each side of a disagreement, if there is one, over a certain procedure or idea. By contrasting one perspective with another, an examination of comparisons of perspectives may introduce a new viewpoint.

Synthesis Review

Synthesis review essays seek to synthesise one field of knowledge with another discipline. There are cases when a particular research issue is under exploration in two different subject areas. But the core issue is the same; therefore, an author can write a synthesis review to amalgamate the findings of different fields on the issue to provide a new perspective.

How to write a review essay?

Narrow down your focus

Writing a review essay requires narrowing down the scope of your essay. You must focus on specific aspects of an issue rather than writing a full overview of the entire field of knowledge on an issue. You can select the most relevant literature sources that are crucial for developing an understanding of the issue. If the scope of your essay is limited and focused, it helps to write an in-depth analysis of a particular issue. You can narrow down the scope of your review by selecting a general topic in a field that matches your interests. Read the literature on the issue and look for the most relevant papers and key discussions that are crucial to highlight the important developments.

Analysis, Synthesis and Interpretation

A review essay is not a summary of the reviewed sources. It requires analysis, synthesis, and interpretation of the key ideas of the reviewed literature. It is not sufficient to only share the information you have obtained; you also need to discuss its value and usefulness to the topic. Create a coherent thesis statement at the outset of your writing and consider which readings have contributed to the development and support of your thoughts.

Use Authentic Sources

A review essay provides a critical overview of the academic sources; therefore, it is imperative to use authentic sources. You must select appropriate literature sources accessed and retrieved from academic databases and reputed journals.

Source Documentation

It is evident that the information you describe in a review essay is not your own, so it is important to cite all of your sources correctly. Proper citation of the sources is essential for two reasons. Firstly, the reader should have the chance to identify the sources the writer has examined since they can help the readers to use them in their research. Secondly, it protects the writer from accusations of plagiarism. You can use APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago-style citations for documenting the sources. If you need help documenting the sources, you can always reach out to expert researchers at Cheap Essay Writing Services.

Avoid Quotations

While writing a review essay, it is imperative to avoid long quotations and repeatedly quote the author’s words. Students often write long quotations and use direct quotations incessantly. Direct quotations should only be used when the author intends to create an effect on the reader’s mind or clarify a concept that can be best illustrated in the author’s words only. In other cases, it is best to summarise the ideas in your own words.

Conclusion

Writing a review essay entail narrowing down the scope of your review, identifying the relevant sources and analysing, synthesising and interpreting the ideas rather than writing a summary of the existing literature.

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