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Critical Review of Journal Article

Write a short summary of the article. This will be your abstract and should occupy less than a page, double-spaced.

Write a list of issues that you need to cover in the paper, and then write a first draft. Be certain to state the research question(s) and/or hypothesis (hypotheses) if appropriate. Describe the research methods – how and where did the author collect and analyze these data? Describe the results? What did the author find? Briefly describe the importance of the results. Remember that the results should answer the research question(s)!

Edit to make sure that you’ve included everything and followed APA writing style. Here are the basic APA guidelines to edit:

 Eliminate wordiness.
 Use specific, concrete language.
 Use accurate language.
 Rely on paraphrasing rather than quoting too much.
 Check for spelling and typos.
 Ask someone else to read the paper to make sure that you’ve covered all the necessary points.
 Make sure that the paper looks the way that you want to present your work.

Components of the Critical Review

Title Page

Title area Use a clear and concise title.
Center the title, your name, name of institution on the page both horizontally and vertically (Word will do this automatically).

Running head On the top left side of the title page, type the words “Running head” and then the words that you’ll use to identify the topic of your work. Keep this brief. And don’t use your name. The “running head” appears only on your title page.

Header The “header” and a page number belong in the upper right hand corner of EVERY page after the title page. If you use Word, then open the View menu and click on Header. Type in the words to use and then click on the page number symbol. The “header” should include the first 2-3 main words of your title.

Abstract not needed for this assignment.

When used you would write a very short paragraph (150-200 words) to describe your topic, the main points of the body of the paper, and the paper’s conclusion(s). The Abstract should appear on its own page with the word “Abstract” centered at the top. Don’t indent the Abstract paragraph, but do double space.

Paper Contents

Your paper should include four sections: Introduction, Methods, Results (of data collection and analysis), Discussion/Conclusion.

Start a new page for the body of the paper. Don’t use the word “introduction” as a heading, but center your title on the first page of the body. Directly under the title of your paper on the first page, place a full bibliographic citation for the article so that your reader can see immediately what article you will critique. Use the appropriate headings for subsequent sections of the paper. The headings in this guide follow the APA style for headings in your papers.

The Introduction (remember not to use this heading) should include:
• a brief overview of the purpose, methodology, significant findings, and conclusions of the article,
• a sentence or two about the author(s) if that information is available with the article,
• a sentence about the intended audience of the article, and
• a comment on the impact of the article. If you feel ambitious, you could check for the article online and – if it’s available electronically – use the link: trick at Google to see whether other people have cited the article.

You should also talk briefly about the literature that this author includes or references as he presents his research. Does the discussion of literature tell you why the current research was necessary and where it belongs in the “big picture”? Further, can you find research questions and/or hypotheses clearly stated? And does the article define specialized terminology for the reader?

The Methods section should identify the research methodology used in the research and comment on whether the author clearly explained the method and any limitations to the design. You should comment on any description of the participants in the study and say whether the sample seems appropriate, and you should discuss the instrument(s) used to collect and to analyze the information.

The Results section should tell whether the author’s major findings appear clearly in the article and whether the results have answered the research questions. Does the author present supporting data? Are there clear tables and graphs?

Finally, the Discussion (or Conclusion) section should discuss whether the results of the research validate the author’s conclusions and recommendations? If there are differences between what the author expected to find and what he actually found, does the article explain those differences? Does the article offer suggestions for future research and – if so – what sort of research?

Complete your critique by offering your own personal judgment about the research in the article. Is the research timely and worthwhile? Are you aware of any significant omissions or errors in any stage of the research? Are the results original? Is the article clearly written and readable?

Remember that only sources from which you quote directly or paraphrase should appear in your reference list. Any background reading that you do should not appear on this list.