How to talk about an article in English

Categories English By JadePosted on Format Film
How to talk about an article in English

Talking about an article in English can be scary! That is why many people stay quiet, and do not share their opinions. However, talking about texts you have read in English doesn’t have to give you anxiety — in this video, you will learn key phrases and expressions you can use to talk about the texts you have read. These phrases are suitable for academic, business, and social contexts when discussing texts such as reports and academic papers. Take a quiz on what you’ve learned here:


Hello, everyone. I’m Jade. What we’re talking about today is phrases you can use when you need to talk about an article, a report, or maybe it could be a book or something like that in a university context, but maybe also as well in a meeting you might need to say something about some literature you were supposed to read before that meeting. So, by watching today’s lesson, I’ll give you some phrases that you can build up and make some sentences where you can sound very informed, and very opinionated, and say all the right things in a business or academic context.

So, let’s take a look at these different phrases and sentences we can use. You can make direct statements of opinion about the article or what you’ve read. And to do that, you can use „I”. So you can say: „I thought”. If we’re talking about an article, you can say: „I thought the article was thorough”. „Thorough” means that something takes a look at all the important things, all the necessary things that it should cover for that kind of topic. Nothing is left out if it’s thorough.

If we’re talking about the introduction, that means the beginning, the beginning part of the article, perhaps you’ve got something interesting to say about the beginning. „The introduction was insightful.” If it’s insightful, you learnt something. „Yes, it was insightful. It was… It was… You know, I approve of it. It was insightful.”

Perhaps the rest of the article isn’t very good, but you’ve got something good to say about the introduction. Another variation of: „I thought”, or: „I think”, you could use it present tense as well, is: „In my opinion”. „In my opinion, because I know about these things, the case studies were too short.” A case study is where you get an example. Or you could say it’s like a story of someone who’s been through a particular situation, and usually case studies are put together to show how a business or organization helps somebody or solves a problem. So, you’ll often encounter case studies in the world of work. They’re meant to be persuasive, and they’re meant to move you to action or make you want to do something, or prove to you how something works or how something doesn’t work.

So, you could say: „The case studies were too short.” We use „too” for a negative opinion. So this wasn’t good about the case studies. We could use any other adjective. We could say: „too long”. We can build the sentence like that.

Next, you could use the same building block there: „The case studies were fairly persuasive.” Here, we’re using adverb, and then adjective. „Fairly” means quite, but „fairly” is the more formal version. And it’s a word that feels more academic, and it feels more like you’re giving a serious opinion if you say „fairly”. „It was fairly persuasive.” So they were good, but you know, maybe they could have been better. Here, you’re softening your praise. If you’re saying: „The case studies were persuasive”, that’s stronger. That’s like you approve of them more. But if you put „fairly” there, little bit less than without „fairly.”

Again, we’re still talking about „in my opinion”. „In my opinion, the findings”. „Findings” is another word for „conclusion”. „The findings were inconclusive.” If something is inconclusive, you’re not quite sure if the thing has been proven. It’s undecided. We’re not quite sure of the result or the outcome. Maybe more research needs to be done. If it’s inconclusive, we need to wait and see.

Moving on now, this is another way to give your opinion. You can say: „As I see it”, you’re using yourself, and your knowledge, and your way of viewing the world. You can look at it like that to pass your opinions and your knowledge to others. „The recommendations are unworkable.” So, many reports will make recommendations. So, they’ll analyze a situation. At the end, they’ll say: „We think this needs to happen.” Those are the recommendations. The recommendations are made by experts, experts who researched and made a report. You, on the other hand, may think that their recommendations are unworkable; they simply won’t work. They’re not as good as my recommendations on my report. They’re unworkable. They would not work in real life.

And you could say, as well: „As I see it, the report is first-rate.” That’s quite a formal way of saying excellent. It can’t be better. It’s excellent research and very well done, it’s first-rate.