Review essays


What are Review Essays?

Review essays are a specific type of academic writing that combines elements of a literature review and an essay. They are typically assigned in various disciplines, including literature, history, sociology, and philosophy, among others. These papers involve critically analyzing and synthesizing multiple sources to provide a comprehensive overview and evaluation of a particular topic or subject.

In a review essay, the writer examines a specific body of literature or a collection of scholarly works related to the chosen topic. This literature can include books, journal articles, research papers, and other relevant sources. The purpose of this essay is to assess and present the existing knowledge and arguments surrounding the topic, highlighting key themes, debates, and gaps in the literature. Remember, that you can read tens of thousands of examples of papers on any type on StudyMoose.

How to Write a Review Essay

Writing a review essay allows you to delve into the existing literature on a particular topic, critically analyze multiple sources, and provide a comprehensive evaluation. By following these steps, you can craft a well-structured and insightful essay that contributes to the scholarly conversation.

Choosing a Topic

Before embarking on your review essay, it is crucial to select a topic that is both interesting and relevant. Consider the following steps when choosing your topic:

  • Identify your area of interest: Choose a subject that aligns with your academic or personal interests. This will make the process more enjoyable and engaging.
  • Define the scope: Determine the specific aspect or subtopic within your chosen field that you wish to explore. Narrowing down the focus will help you manage the vast amount of literature available.

Conducting Research

Once you have chosen a topic, it's time to gather relevant sources and conduct thorough research. Follow these steps to ensure a comprehensive review:

  • Identify key sources: Look for scholarly books, journal articles, research papers, and reputable online sources that address your chosen topic.
  • Take notes: While reading, make concise notes summarizing the main ideas, arguments, and key findings of each source. Organize your notes to facilitate later analysis.

Structuring Your Review Essay

A well-structured essay helps readers navigate your analysis and evaluation effectively. Consider the following structure:


  • Provide background information on the topic.
  • State the purpose of your essay and its relevance.
  • Present an overview of the main themes or arguments to be discussed.


  • Organize your analysis thematically, chronologically, or by contrasting viewpoints.
  • Group similar ideas and theories together to facilitate comparison and synthesis.
  • Critically examine and evaluate each source, highlighting strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the literature.
  • Support your claims with evidence from the reviewed literature.


  • Summarize the main findings and arguments discussed in the body.
  • Identify areas for future research and potential avenues of exploration.
  • Offer your final evaluation of the topic, considering the strengths and limitations of the existing literature.

Writing and Revising

When writing your review essay, keep the following points in mind:

  • Maintain a clear and concise writing style, avoiding excessive jargon.
  • Use appropriate citations and referencing to acknowledge the sources you have consulted.
  • Revise and edit your essay for coherence, logical flow, grammar, and spelling errors.
  • Seek feedback from peers or professors to ensure clarity and effectiveness of your arguments.


Writing a review essay requires careful planning, thorough research, and critical analysis. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process effectively and produce a paper that contributes to the existing body of knowledge. Remember to choose a compelling topic, conduct comprehensive research, structure your essay thoughtfully, and present well-supported arguments. Embrace the opportunity to engage with the scholarly conversation and offer new insights in your field of study.

Review Essay Writing Prompts

  • Prompt: Main Argument Assessment

Evaluate the main argument or thesis presented in the reviewed literature and analyze the supporting evidence and reasoning.

  • Prompt: Conflicting Viewpoints

Explore different perspectives or theories within the literature and discuss the implications of these conflicting viewpoints on the topic.

  • Prompt: Emerging Themes and Concepts

Identify and analyze the key themes or concepts that emerge from the reviewed literature, highlighting their contribution to our understanding of the topic.

  • Prompt: Methodology Evaluation

Assess the strengths and limitations of the research methodologies or approaches used in the reviewed literature.

  • Prompt: Gaps and Areas for Further Research

Identify any gaps or limitations in the existing literature and propose questions or areas that require further research

Review Essays Topic Ideas

  1. The portrayal of mental illness in contemporary literature.
  2. The impact of social media on interpersonal communication.
  3. A critical review of the effectiveness of educational technology in classrooms.
  4. The representation of gender roles in popular films.
  5. The influence of globalization on cultural diversity.
  6. A review of current research on climate change and its implications.
  7. The portrayal of race and ethnicity in modern television shows.
  8. The role of government policies in addressing income inequality.
  9. An evaluation of the impact of video games on cognitive development.
  10. The depiction of historical events in works of historical fiction.
  11. The effectiveness of alternative medicine approaches in healthcare.
  12. A review of contemporary art movements and their significance.
  13. The portrayal of marginalized communities in literature.
  14. The ethical implications of genetic engineering and biotechnology.
  15. The impact of mass media on body image and self-esteem.
  16. A critical analysis of the criminal justice system's approach to rehabilitation.
  17. The representation of LGBTQ+ characters in mainstream media.
  18. The role of women in leadership positions in corporate settings.
  19. A review of current theories on the origins of the universe.
  20. The portrayal of war and its consequences in literature.
  21. The effectiveness of mindfulness practices in reducing stress and anxiety.
  22. The influence of social norms on individual behavior.
  23. A critical evaluation of contemporary music trends and their cultural impact.
  24. The portrayal of environmental issues in documentary films.
  25. The role of technology in shaping modern education.
  26. A review of current theories on the nature vs. nurture debate.
  27. The representation of disability in literature and film.
  28. The impact of globalization on traditional art forms and craftsmanship.
  29. A critical analysis of the portrayal of Indigenous cultures in media.
  30. The influence of advertising on consumer behavior.
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