Review is basically a methodology which is employed in order to present a comprehensive understanding of authors knowledge regarding the topic and its utility in the future by a second person who could be his reader, a critique, his teacher or any other person wanted to analyse.
Now as far as review essay is considered it refers to an essay which is written as a synthesis of primary sources and secondary sources employed (in case of research essays) and of authors knowledge base, his expressions, methodology employed, probable conclusions reached etc.
Since the essays demonstrate an author’s ability to interlink his knowledge with expression, it becomes many at times subjective to understand the real context in which it is written as far as imaginative and abstract topics of essays are concerned. But for many others categories of essays like research essays, factual essays, interrogative essays, review essays play a very important role in understanding the true potential of the author.
A review essay will be considered good if it is able to demonstrate certain aspects which can be detailed out as-
First is it should be able to present a comprehensive foundation of the topic regarding its various dimensions, objectives and probable impacts and many a times even solutions required so that readers can get first hand knowledge of the entire subject of the essay.
Second is since it is a review essay it should be able to establish an interlinking as in the original context or literature regarding reach of the topic concerned, its various dimensions coverage by the author, expressions utilized by the author etc. so that proper understanding regarding the topic can easily be demonstrate as a part of the review essay and readers can get first hand knowledge of the depth of understanding of the author regarding the critical aspects of the subject is concerned.
Third is it should also be able to check the validity of the primary and secondary sources employed for the original Research and literature by the author regarding the topic. This will not only validate the credibility of the author but also of the arguments he has put forward regarding the topic.
Fourth is it should be able to provide future opportunities and impacts regarding the topic of the essay. This will make essay topic and arguments put forward progressive in nature and also far reaching for the times to come.
Fifth is It should be able to praise the technique and methodologies adopted by the author regarding the expression and conclusion reached of the topic concerned. This will not only boost the morale of the author but also develop research craving in the next generation authors.
Sixth is it should also be able to provide scope and ways of improvement aligning with the current situations for the topic concerned. This will not only instill an spirit of improvement but also a sense of responsibility in the authors.
Thus having all the above characteristics in an essay make it a good review essay altogether. In the same way naturally having above skills in an author can also able him to write a good review essay too. Such qualities include –
First is neutrality– while an author is writing a review essay he should be neutral so that his personal views can not hamper the letter and spirit of the original literature and its topic concerned.
Second is awareness– person should be aware regarding all or majority of the aspects of the topic of the essay is concerned so that he will be able to put a better view regarding the knowledge sources employed, expression utilised by the author for the topic and readers should not get confused or bored because of the repetition of the points by the author.
Third is expression– should be expressive so that his review essay can provide a clear picture of his thinking and does not go outside the purview of the topic concerned
Fourth is scope– person should be able to know the boundaries within which he has to put the review and also the dimensions and aspects needed to be discussed and should not reach outside the scope of the topic while writing a review essay for the topic concerned.
Thus it can be said that a person having all the skills will be able to construct a good review essay provided he is able to link his Qualities with the demands of the review essay discussed earlier.
By: Prafull Dwivedi
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