Reaction Paper vs Article Critique vs Paper Review

December 20, 2022

Reaction Paper vs Article Critique vs Paper Review

Are you looking to learn more about reaction paper vs article critique vs paper review? You’ve come to the right place.

For many students, these types of papers may be some of the most confusing types of assignments to work on, but often, they’re easier to handle when you understand the structure and have the right approach to follow.

An important thing to keep in mind about reaction paper, art icicle critique, and paper review is that that they all involve evaluating other people’s written work, which can include literature, research studies, or published articles.

In this article, we share the differences between reaction paper, article critique, and paper review. We guide you through their varying writing styles (outlines), types, lengths, and tones.

1. Differences in Definition

Reaction Paper

In academic writing, a reaction paper is an assignment that involves providing your opinion on another person’s article or an abstract. It contains your thoughts and conclusions on a piece of written content by another author.

The purpose of a reaction paper is to gauge a student’s understanding and analytical skills in written journals.

Article Critique

An article critique evaluates an existing research article, scientific content, or literature. Then, it points out the main ideas of the written content and proves whether they’re factual or not. In class, your tutor uses this assignment to test your opinion formative skills on existing journals and research projects.

Review Paper

A review paper is a type of assignment that involves summarizing the existing published writings of a topic. It attempts to highlight the strides made in understanding that topic and its current standing. Its purpose is to synthesize the results observed from numerous literature papers and by that produce clear and concise arguments on a topic.

2. Differences in Length

Reaction Paper

A reaction paper is rarely as long as the paper review and article critique. The bulk of the task involves the identification of central aspects of study material and relating them with your thoughts, beliefs, or perspective.

Content can be anywhere from 1 to 5 pages depending on what exactly your instructor is testing in a topic.

Article Critique

An article critique engages your analytical, processing, and interpretive skills. Therefore, the content tends to be comprehensive and extensive as the writer presents the critical evaluation of the subject of discussion.

There’s no precise length but there are papers that have hundreds of pages of critical content.

Paper Review

Paper reviews tend to be shorter than the projects they’re assessing. The part that is central, and which mostly determines the length, is where the reviewer analyzes, synthesizes, and interprets existing data.

3. Differences in Writing Styles

Reaction Paper

Your instructor provides a book, video, or an article (material) that you’ll need to read and give you reaction or opinion. Therefore, the writing style involves summing up the material whilst providing your reactions or thoughts on sections that are relevant.

Here’s how to handle your reaction report:

Point out the author, the title of the book or article, and publication dates for magazines. Summarize the material by writing down the points that you wish to react to. While writing your main reaction points, use direct quotations from the material as a way of illustrating the key ideas.

Make sure anyone reading your work at this point can understand the core aspects of the original material. Avoid over-focusing on just a single aspect but rather draw out several for a conclusive work. Ensure your summary remains factual and objective.

If your instructor issued the specific points to react to, be sure to have them reflected in your summary. If not, assess whether there’s a relationship between the ideas of the material you’re reacting to and the class discussions.

Furthermore, identify the relationship between the key points and real-world problems.

Ask yourself how the article is changing your perspective about the issues discussed by the book or article. It helps you form strong reaction thoughts and opinions. Assess the merit of the material. Check the accuracy of its key points, relevance, organization, completeness, and all that.

Lastly, share your opinion on recommending the book or article to other readers.

The key takeaway point here is that the writing style of the reaction paper is mostly subjective since you share your thoughts on another person’s work.

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Article Critique

The writing style of the article critique generally involves evaluating, summarizing, and commenting on the gaps of an existing research article.

Below is how to go about it:

First, evaluate the specific topic(s) that you wish to review. Find out the significance, nature, scope, and any quality that defines its purpose. Read the index, preface, acknowledgments, and bibliography, which explain the author’s background and circumstances.

Then, identify the author’s thesis to ascertain whether there’s a strong personal opinion that he/she wants the audience to accept. Look for the theoretical assumptions discussed in the article to discover this.

Additionally, find out the relationship between the ideas of the research article and the topics in your course. Which specific concepts does the article have in common with your class topics?

Also, summarize all the materials that the research article uses in the presentation of its findings, arguments, and conclusions. Review its primary documents, quantitative data, historical accounts, literary analysis, and ideas formed from the author’s personal observation.

While at it, gage how exactly the backing materials relate to the research article. Ask yourself: what’s the correlation between the argument of the thesis and the reference materials?

Moreover, point out the alternate ways that exist in the presentation of content in the reference materials. Did the article’s author indicate awareness of them? If yes, point out the particular respects in either disagreeing or agreeing with them.

Comment on the theoretical topics or issues that the article raises. Conclude by sharing your personal opinion on the main ideas of the article.

What to remember here is that you have to be objective throughout your critique report. There’s very little room for expressing your opinion subjectively as is the case with the other two assignments.

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Paper Review

The writing style of the paper review involves majorly discussing the findings that a research paper has on a particular topic. Therefore, here you’re simply processing, summarizing, and then presenting your conclusions of an existing scientific paper.

Nearly all scientific journals have paper reviews written by professional peers and proponents in that field.

Below are ideas to help you write the assignment in an acceptable style:

Begin by developing the title page, which contains the reviewer’s background info. You’re the reviewer so write your name, course name, or number if applicable, date, or other guidelines that your instructor may provide. Professional review papers may require more details on the title page that are beyond the scope of this post.

Then create an abstract that briefly summarizes your review topic or subject. Commonly, it includes the key points of the research paper that you’re planning to discuss. As such, it’s a preview of your paper review.

Next, come up with an introduction to your paper review. Introduce the topic that you’re reviewing formally explaining any relevant background information. Define unfamiliar terms that might confuse your readers and the purpose of your review.

Still on introduction, state why your review is relevant to the research community. View your paper review as a formal way of entering into a conversation discussing a scientific topic. Also, disclose your thesis or the main idea that you want other people to get from your assessment.

Heading to the main body where information developing and supporting your thesis exists. Avoid just summarizing the literature that you are reviewing and instead analyze, synthesize, and interpret it.

Form the analysis by studying and presenting the connections that make the research paper valid for review. Then synthesize by explaining the significance and relevance of your review ideas to the topic. Lastly, interpret the literature by examining its meaning to the primary concepts of your thesis.

While developing your main body content, organize your points to help the readers make sense of your review. For example, begin each new section with a topic sentence that relates or points back to your thesis. Also, you can use meaningful subheadings that ensure your review is accomplishing its objective.

Importantly, revise your thesis often making sure it remains relevant to every discussion that you put in your paper.

Conclude by illustrating the connection between your thesis, main points, and broader discussion. In other words, tell readers the conclusions that you drew after writing your review paper. Just avoid presenting new facts at this point.

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4. Difference in Types

Only the reaction paper and the paper review feature numerous categories, although sometimes inexplicit.

Types of Reaction Papers

  • Descriptive reaction papers: These describe your impression on a book, article, or event that your instructor asks you to react to. You simply state what you feel or think after your interaction with the study material.
  • Critical reaction papers: This type of reaction paper evaluates your critical skills in analyzing a study material. Such an assignment will involve stating whether you agree or disagree with the creator.
  • Quantitative reaction papers: Where the study material or event is measurable, quantitative reaction papers are your probable assignment. You have to find a way to measure the content you read or watch in quantitative terms.

Types of Paper Reviews

  • Narrative review: This type of paper review involves studying the experience of the creator of a research paper. Therefore, you analyze and compare the theories and methods that are present in the content. In writing a narrative review, actively provide logical and qualitative arguments to be relevant to other reviewers.
  • Evidence review: A professional evidence paper review is the type that involves extensive study and interpretation of existing scientific journals. You need accurate information and materials to compose it. Mostly, you discuss other people’s ideas, their impact on the subject of study, and your findings or conclusions.
  • Systematic review: The systematic paper review involves the study and analysis of several data sources of a particular topic. You must use a structured methodology to answer the questions arising from a study as part of handling the review. Moreover, you might need to point out the disparities or contradictions existing in the original work.

5. Difference in Tone

Reaction paper

A reaction paper takes an informal approach as the writer expresses a personal opinion. You use the first language to explain your thoughts and opinions on study material.

Article critique

The tone of expressing critical comments on an article is formal. Your content remains largely objective with little room to express personal feelings or interpretations.

Paper review

A paper review is professional, which makes the acceptable tone to be formal. Although you express your conclusions on a topic at the end, you have to be objective. Also, you have to provide evidence of the material that you use to refer to form review opinions.

Final Thoughts

To this end, you can see how closely related reaction papers, article critiques, and paper reviews are to each other. Although they involve reviewing other people’s work, there are subtle differences in approach, length, content, and more.

Share your thoughts and comments below and let us know your experience with these projects. Even better, hire us to help you develop quality reaction papers, paper reviews, and article critiques.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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