Reading and critically analyzing academic research in journal articles is an important part of learning and applying scholarly research for multiple applications within your discipline. The first four weeks of this course discussed the various components of research design. Your final assignment is an academic research-article critique. The purpose of this critique is to ensure that you know how to read and critically assess research for use in your own research, understand social problems in society, support decision making in public policy, or to influence one’s own individual research.
For this final assignment, read and critically review one of the journal articles listed below:
- “Experiences of Intimate Partner and Neighborhood Violence and Their Association With Mental Health in Pregnant Women”
- “An Investigation of the Influence of the Spatial Distribution of Neighborhood Violent Crime on Fear of Crime”
- “Military Service and Lifetime Arrests: Examining the Effects of the Total Military Experience on Arrests in a Sample of Prison Inmates”
- “Gender Differences on the Road to Redemption”
- “Afterschool School Triathlon Training for 11- to 14-year Old Girls: Influences on Academic Motivation and Achievement”
- “The Effect of Social Support, Gratitude, Resilience, and Satisfaction with Life on Depressive Symptoms Among Police Officers following Hurricane Katrina”
- “Economic Sanctions and the Dynamics of Terrorist Campaigns”
- “‘Gimme Shelter’: The Role of Democracy and Institutional Quality in Disaster Preparedness”
- “Subcultural Boundary Maintenance in a virtual community for body modification enthusiasts”
- “A Snapshot on the Daily Sedentary Behavior of Community-Dwelling Older African American Women”
- “Institutional Factors and Processes in Interagency Collaboration: The Case of FEMA Corps”
Next, apply the methods detailed in Using a Scientific Journal Article to Write a Critical Review (Links to an external site.) to critique the article you selected. At a minimum, the critique should include the following information:
- Introduction (about two pages): Summarize the article you chose, including the purpose of the study, the methodology utilized, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn by the author(s) utilizing questions posed in the reading. Utilize questions posed in the “Analyze the Text” section of Using a Scientific Journal Article to Write a Critical Review (Links to an external site.) to develop this section.
- Body (about five pages): Highlight the quality of the research article (both the strengths and weaknesses) as expressed through each section of the paper (i.e., introduction, methods, results, discussion, overview). Use questions posed in the “Evaluate the Text” section of “Using a Scientific Journal Article to Write a Critical Review (Links to an external site.)” to develop this section. Follow the “Evaluate the Text” prompts and include the following:
- Critique whether the researcher used the appropriate and ethical application of research methods in relation to their research goals.
- Assess whether the application of quantitative methods approaches, qualitative methods approaches or a combination (mixed methods) was appropriate in the article research.
- Interpret data and empirical findings in the research through an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses.
- Examine the role of the research design in the article by defending or critiquing the research method based on your assessment.
- Support the impact of the research by determining if it benefits social policy, theoretical knowledge, or both.
- Conclusion (about three pages): Discuss the significance of the research. Utilize questions posed in the “Establish the Significance of the Research” section of Using a Scientific Journal Article to Write a Critical Review (Links to an external site.) to develop this section.
The Academic Research-Article Critique paper
- Must be 10 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
- Must include a separate title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).
- Must utilize an academic voice. See Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resources for additional guidance.
- Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
- For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the Ashford Writing Center resources.
- Must use at least 2 scholarly sources in addition to the course text. One of these sources must be from the Ashford University Library.
- The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
- Must document any information used by sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)
- Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resources in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.