๐ŸŽฌ reviews

To understand reviews better, you need to know what they are, various types of reviews and how to write them like a professional. There is a various number of reviews but the most common reviews you will encounter in you academics includeโ€ฆ


Review TypeDescriptionSearchAppraisalSynthesisAnalysis
Critical reviewAims to demonstrate writer has extensively researched literature and critically evaluated its quality. Goes beyond mere description to include the degree of analysis and conceptual innovation. Typically results in hypothesis or model.Seeks to identify significant items in the field.No formal quality assessment. Attempts to evaluate according to contribution.Typically narrative, perhaps conceptual or chronological.Significant component: seeks to identify conceptual contribution to embody existing or derive new theory.
Literature reviewGeneric term: published materials that provide an examination of the recent or current literature. Can cover a wide range of subjects at various levels of completeness and comprehensiveness. It may include research findings.This May or may not include comprehensive searching.May or may not include quality assessment.Typically narrative.The analysis may be chronological, conceptual, thematic, etc.
Mapping review/systematic mapMap out and categorize existing literature from which to commission further reviews and/or primary research by identifying gaps in the research literature.Completeness of searching determined by time/scope constraints.No formal quality assessment.Maybe graphical and tabular.Characterizes quantity and quality of literature, perhaps by study design and other key features. May identify the need for primary or secondary research.
Meta-analysisTechnique that statistically combines the results of quantitative studies to provide a more precise effect on the results.Aims for exhaustive searching. May use funnel plot to assess completeness.Quality assessment may determine inclusion/exclusion and/or sensitivity analyses.Graphical and tabular with narrative commentary.Numerical analysis of measures of effect assuming the absence of heterogeneity.
Mixed studies review/mixed methods reviewRefers to any combination of methods where one significant component is a literature review (usually systematic). Within a review context, it refers to a combination of review approaches, for instance, combining quantitative with qualitative research or outcome with process studies.Requires either very sensitive search to retrieve all studies or separately conceived quantitative and qualitative strategies.Requires either a generic appraisal instrument or separate appraisal processes with corresponding checklists.Typically both components will be presented as narrative and in tables. May also employ graphical means of integrating quantitative and qualitative studies.An analysis may characterize both literatures and look for correlations between characteristics or use gap analysis to identify aspects absent in one literature but missing in the other.
OverviewGeneric term: summary of the [medical] literature that attempts to survey the literature and describe its characteristics.May or may not include comprehensive searching (depends on whether systematic overview or not).May or may not include quality assessment (depends on whether systematic overview or not).Synthesis depends on whether systematic or not. Typically narrative but may include tabular features.An analysis may be chronological, conceptual, thematic, etc.
Qualitative systematic review/qualitative evidence synthesisMethod for integrating or comparing the findings from qualitative studies. It looks for โ€˜themesโ€™ or โ€˜constructsโ€™ that lie in or across individual qualitative studies.May employ selective or purposive sampling.Quality assessment typically used to mediate messages, not for inclusion/exclusion.Qualitative, narrative synthesis.A thematic analysis may include conceptual models.
Rapid reviewAssessment of what is already known about a policy or practice issue, by using systematic review methods to search and critically appraise existing research.Completeness of searching determined by time constraints.Time-limited formal quality assessment.Typically narrative and tabular.Quantities of literature and overall quality/direction of effect of literature.
Scoping reviewPreliminary assessment of potential size and scope of available research literature. Aims to identify the nature and extent of research evidence (usually including ongoing research).Completeness of searching determined by time/scope constraints. May include research in progress.No formal quality assessment.Typically tabular with some narrative commentary.Characterizes quantity and quality of literature, perhaps by study design and other key features. Attempts to specify a viable review.
State-of-the-art reviewTend to address more current matters in contrast to other combined retrospective and current approaches. May offer new perspectives on an issue or point out area for further research.Aims for comprehensive searching of current literature.No formal quality assessment.Typically narrative may have tabular accompaniment.The current state of knowledge and priorities for future investigation and research.
Systematic reviewSeeks to systematically search for, appraise and synthesize research evidence, often adhering to guidelines on the conduct of a review.Aims for exhaustive, comprehensive searching.Quality assessment may determine inclusion/exclusion.Typically narrative with tabular accompaniment.What is known; recommendations for practice. What remains unknown; uncertainty around findings, recommendations for future research.
Systematic search and reviewCombine strengths of critical review with a comprehensive search process. Typically addresses broad questions to produce โ€˜best evidence synthesisโ€™.Aims for exhaustive, comprehensive searching.May or may not include quality assessment.Minimal narrative, a tabular summary of studies.What is known; recommendations for practice. Limitations.
Systematized reviewAttempt to include elements of the systematic review process while stopping short of a systematic review. Typically conducted as a postgraduate student assignment.May or may not include comprehensive searching.May or may not include quality assessment.Typically narrative with tabular accompaniment.What is known; uncertainty around findings; limitations of the methodology.
Umbrella reviewSpecifically refers to review compiling evidence from multiple reviews into one accessible and usable document. Focuses on a broad condition or problem for which there are competing interventions and highlights reviews that address these interventions and their results.Identification of component reviews, but no search for primary studies.Quality assessment of studies within component reviews and/or of reviews themselves.Graphical and tabular with narrative commentary.What is known; recommendations for practice. What remains unknown; recommendations for future research.

To understand reviews better, you need to know what they are, various types of reviews and how to write them like a professional. There is a various number of reviews but the most common reviews you will encounter in you academics includeโ€ฆ

Once you have comprehended the various type of reviews out there, you will now need to know how to write them as a professional. Below are guidelines on how to write perfect reviews.


Step One: Decide what to look at in a review


The first thing you need to do before you start your review is decided what aspects of the item you are going to evaluate.  What I mean is this: what is it that can be good or bad about something youโ€™re going to review?

For instance:

In films and videos; When youโ€™re watching a video, you can look at the acting, the special effects, the camera work, or the story, among other things.  Those are all items you can examine and decide if they are well or poorly done.

In books; you can look at the plot, the characters, and the way that the author puts words together.

In a restaurant; With a restaurant, you can look at the food, the service, and the setting.

In fact, everything has qualities you can analyze and evaluate; you just need to sit down and figure out what they are.


Step Two: Decide What Makes Something Good or Bad


Before you can decide whether something is good or bad, you have to figure out what you comprehend by โ€œgoodโ€ and โ€œbad.โ€

  • Whats your take on stories that have a lot of action or a lot of character development?
  • How do you like acting, realistic or acting thatโ€™s wild?
  • Do you like authors to use a lot of complicated words, or very simple words?

You decide.  Whatever you like, apply those standards to the thing you are reviewing.


Step Three: Getting Started with your Review


Open with an introduction paragraph that does the following things:

  • catches the readerโ€™s attention;
  • identifies the thing youโ€™ll be reviewing (for instance, the title of the book or movie);
  • identifies the author, star, or director, if appropriate.

Write a full paragraph about each of the aspects you want to examine, making sure each paragraph does these things:

  • opens with a topic sentence that says what the paragraph is about;
  • should include several detail sentences that prove the point you are trying to make;
  • uses quotes or examples from the book or movie, if possible, to help prove your point.

End with a conclusion paragraph that does the following:

  • Briefly restates the main ideas of the review;
  • makes a judgment about the book or movie or whatever, saying whether it is good or bad (some reviewers give ratings, like four stars or two thumbs up);
  • recommends that the reader go to the movie or read the book or buy a meal at the restaurant (or not if it is no good).

Sample Game Review 


Game title: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 


More instructions:

Reviews are fertile ground for rhetorical analysis because they often talk about why a public discourse or work of art is compelling, successful, persuasive OR NOT in terms of the types of appeals or rhetorical strategies that are used by the author. For this essay, write a magazine-style review for a film, book, album, theater or concert experience, vacation destination, restaurant, art exhibit or museum, public lecture, architectural project or any object or event that other people can observe or participate in.

Your priority should be to review subjects from 2017-2018 unless you have a specific reason for reviewing something from the past (the re-release of a classic film, or a set of current events that makes your topic immediately relevant to an audience in 2018). You do not have to write a positive review: negative reviews are often the most fun to read. However, you should aim for a balance between the strengths and weaknesses of the topic you are reviewing. Reviews are not summaries. Only 1-2 paragraphs of a review should summarize the subject; the bulk of the essay should be an analysis of where, when, or why something works or fails to work for (i.e. fails to persuade) its audience.


Sample Answer:



The goal of a review is to evaluate or judge something. We judge things every day. For example, you have a favorite band or television show, and you like one supermarket more than you like another. These are judgments. When you write a review, your job is to state your opinion or judgment and support it. You do this by presenting reasons and evidence.

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