International Educational Review

How to write a review article

1. Check the journal’s aims and scope

Make sure you have read the aims and scope of International Educational Review before you start writing.

2. Define your scope

Define the scope of your review article and the research question you’ll be answering, making sure your article contributes something new to the field.

3. Finding sources to evaluate

When finding sources to evaluate, use multiple search engines/databases so you don’t miss any important ones.

4. Writing your title, abstract and keywords

Spend time writing an effective title, abstract and keywords. This will help maximize the visibility of your article online, making sure the right readers find your research. Your title and abstract should be clear, concise, accurate, and informative.

5. Introduce the topic

Does a literature review need an introduction? Yes, always start with an overview of the topic and give some context, explaining why a review of the topic is necessary. Gather research to inform your introduction and make it broad enough to reach out to a large audience of non-specialists. This will help maximize its wider relevance and impact.

Don’t make your introduction too long. Divide the review into sections of a suitable length to allow key points to be identified more easily.

6. Include critical discussion

Make sure you present a critical discussion, not just a descriptive summary of the topic. If there is contradictory research in your area of focus, make sure to include an element of debate and present both sides of the argument. You can also use your review paper to resolve conflict between contradictory studies.

7. Sum it up

As part of your conclusion, include making suggestions for future research on the topic. Focus on the goal to communicate what you understood and what unknowns still remains.

8. Use a critical friend

Always perform a final spell and grammar check of your article before submission.

You may want to ask a critical friend or colleague to give their feedback before you submit. If English is not your first language, think about using a language-polishing service.

What is the difference between a research article and a review article?

   Research article    Review article
Viewpoint           Presents the viewpoint of the author Critiques the viewpoint of other authors on a particular topic     
Content               New content      Assessing already published content 
Length                  Depends on the word limit provided by the journal you submit to   Tends to be shorter than a research article, but will still need to adhere to words limit         


Before you submit your review article…

Complete this checklist before you submit your review article:

•             Have you checked the journal’s aims and scope?

•             Have you defined the scope of your article?

•             Did you use multiple search engines to find sources to evaluate?

•             Have you written a descriptive title and abstract using keywords?

•             Did you start with an overview of the topic?

•             Have you presented a critical discussion?

•             Have you included future suggestions for research in your conclusion?

•             Have you asked a friend to do a final spell and grammar check?