There are several aims of this assignment: first to get you familiar with using a database that you may use in your discipline. Second, to give you an introductory framework to asking critical questions of the research (both academic and non) you read. Third, to give you a set of questions that will help you discern the important information in the article and hopefully read more effectively. This chart from the University of Nottingham may help you think critically about your article: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studentservices/documents/description-vs-analysis—learnhigher.pdf
It is to be 7 to 10 pages in length, double spaced…. If you are using APA format please note that your title page is not page one, page one is your first full page of text. I have no preference as to citation styles just make sure you use one that includes all the relevant information. No, you do not have to include the article when you submit the assignment.
Pro tips: don’t block quote your answers – summarizing and conducting a critical analysis will demonstrate your own understanding of the material.
This is a report so you do not need to include a thesis statement or research question.
Please review a single article.
Develop a topic of interest within the social sciences (this can be related to your field of study but not required) – do not use articles that have been assigned in courses. The point is to go through the database searching process and build skills that will make your time more effective and efficient.
Locate a social sciences journal – the article you choose needs to be peer reviewed. Please make sure that the article presents research results and is not a review of literature (in this course we are going to examine several different types of methods and you should be able to work with them – for the different methods we will use this term see course outline). Also, I would prefer that the authors conduct their own research rather than rely on secondary data (this is most common when looking at quantitative work – relying on survey data collected through organizations such as Statistics Canada or other national/organizational equivalents.)
Questions to address:
Identify the general problem being studied – what is the author’s research question?
What is the theory the author(s) is/are testing? Using x (may) cause y identify the social phenomenon and the variables they are testing within the study.
What are the major concepts discussed in the literature review? What are they and how are they defined?
What type of research methods were used in the article? What was the process? (eg. who (sample), where, when, how…)
What are the results/findings?
How are the results used to answer the original research question(s)?
Were there any ethical issues? How were they addressed? If the authors claim that there are no ethical issues what might they have needed to account for?
What are the general strengths/weaknesses of the article? Describe.
What is/are the methodological strengths and weaknesses of the article? Describe.
Do you have any other questions about the research, the process, the concepts, that you feel need further explanation?
Please make sure that you use citations throughout the assignment even though you are using a single article. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.
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