Reviewing little bits of literature

A student contacted me by email today with this question:

I was looking for some guidance or templates on writing an academic review for sections of a text and/or an article.  Can you point me to any resources on the website that may be of assistance?

I thought that raised an interesting question, one that other doctoral candidates and emerging academic writers might have.

Here is what I responded:

There is no difference in how you would review a small section or a whole book.

In reviewing any kind of literature, you would identify themes, key points, write down useful quotes and paraphrases, and then summarise the work (say using the Cornell method).
In reviewing any kind of research, you would report on the strength of the argument. You would synthesise your findings, introducing your sentences via phrases like these, and making it cohesive through linking words.
The text we most often recommend at Academic Skills is The Literature Review by Machi and McEvoy. I would also recommend Pat Thompson’s blog Patter in the Literature Review category.
I hope some of this helps you to write your review with confidence, facing all kinds and lengths of literature!
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