One of the goals in this class is to give you the skills to be a more critical thinker about research in our everyday world. By “critical” we don’t necessarily mean “find fault,” but what we do mean is assess or examine closely, questioning everything. Please read the following blog post by a noted Sociologist of the family: The fathers behind teen births While I wouldn’t expect you in everyday life to find the original study that the data came from, I would expect you to be able to ask similar skeptical questions when you encounter results of research. To this end, you are going to practice applying your critical lens to one of the empirical research articles you have been assigned to read this semester.
For much of your education you were probably rewarded for descriptive writing (“they said…”). You were rewarded for simply reading comprehension and might even have been penalized for offering up your ideas! Hopefully in college you have been encouraged/required and rewarded for critical writing (“I say…”). To help you see the differences between these two types of writing, I am referring you to this publication “A short guide to critical writing..” “A short guide to critical writing..” – Alternative Formats
So what do I expect you to do for this class? Your assignment is to write a two page essay that is a critical analysis of ANY of the assigned empirical articles from this semester. The essay should use standard essay format with proper citation (APA or ASA) and proper grammar/mechanics. Your essay will be critical in that you will be demonstrating that you can apply the concepts learned in class to a “real” research project. This paper is worth 20 points. Here is a repeat of the document from the beginning of the semester which explains what kinds of things you should be questioning as you read.. methods guide for journal article critique.docx methods guide for journal article critique.docx – Alternative Formats
Use this document as a brainstorming guide, NOT as a template for your paper. Please note that I have read all the assigned articles, so while you should include a brief overview of the article, the emphasis should be on BRIEF.
You might like to take a look at this example
of a journal article critique, be sure to have your “comments” feature turned on in word, as I have commented the margins to point out a few things. This critique was based upon this article article – Alternative Formats which examines fatal child neglect.
Rubric for critical analysis paper:
An introduction that contains a thesis statement. (2.5 points)
Proper organization and mechanics. (5 points)
The body of your paper contains at least 3 critical points about the article whether that be indicating the article’s strengths, weaknesses or a combination thereof. Appropriate vocabulary and concepts are used in that critical analysis. (12 points)
A conclusion (2.5 points)