You will need to write a three-page review of the article that you’ve chosen. DO NOT simply summarize. Remember, analysis is more than just summary (i.e., describing). Analysis involves breaking down ideas into smaller parts, synthesis involves assembling and arranging ideas, and evaluation involves making and defending judgments based on evidence. The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your ability to explain and apply the topics being discussed in class. The skill of writing involves good practices. One such practice is to use a three-step approach: prewriting, writing, and revising.
Before you start writing your paper, make sure you understand what you’ve read
Read the article
Then read it again
Did you understand what you read? Try reading it one more time
Take notes…make sure that you’ve got a handle on what the basic ideas and findings are of the article
Identify the variables, do you understand what they are and why they are important and how they relate to each other?
Identify the theory or hypotheses that are being evaluated (especially if it is a scientific study and not a review)
Do you understand the types of questions they are asking?
Don’t get bogged down in the methods or statistics
especially if you’re not sure what they mean
Don’t get bogged down on sample size, unless they are making outrageous claims with a very small sample
Before you start “writing” it may be helpful to outline what you want to say
Use key words and phrases only, no need for complete sentences, that can come later
Gather all your “data” and think about how you want to organize it
Consider the main organizing principle, make sure that your ideas flow from one to the next and do not hop around.
Begin with the outline
You’ll need to provide some summary of the article and its major findings, but this should not take up too much space
More importantly, the writing will focus on three skills:
Analyzing can involve some or all of the following
Identifying the most important information in the article (facts, experiences, data the author(s) used to support their conclusions
Identifying the key conclusions and inferences presented by the author
Identifying the key concepts needed to understand the article (figuring out the most important ideas needed to understand the author’s line of reasoning)
Identifying assumptions underlying the author’s thinking (what’s been taken for granted)
Identifying the implications of the author’s line of reasoning (consequences of findings)
Synthesizing is the process of putting all those elements of the analysis together with other ideas and thoughts
It’s okay if you go outside of the article
What other information, ideas, findings, are relevant to understanding the current article?
Synthesizing involves integrating various facts and pieces of information.
Evaluating is the process of decisions using evidence
Based on what has been analyzed and synthesized, what is your evaluation of the findings?
Are their any implications the author may have missed? If so what are they and why are they important?
Why are the findings of the author important? What consequences (seen or unforeseen) might they have?
In what direction might future research want to go? What is an unanswered question that came to you from having analyzed and synthesized the findings of the article?
But don’t get confused, this is NOT an organizing principle!
The three skills above make up the CONTENT of your review, and you may want to have a mix of all three throughout the paper
They do NOT necessarily go in that order
Give it a break, come back to it, and then read it over again to make sure that it is concise and clear
Read carefully to find errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
Criteria for Success: Excellent work is characterized by depth of analysis. This means that you took some time to think about the implications of what you read. You tried to connect different aspects of what you’ve read and learned about (not only in this class) and provided an explanation. In addition, you did more than just reiterate the findings of the article. You connected, contrasted, and evaluated.
I want to you to show me that you understand and can apply the material from this course. Successful assignments (and those earning a higher grade) will have made an attempt to understand and explain all of the course material and demonstrate application of the course material.
Successful work will have the following characteristics:
Thoughtful responses that explain how you have understood the course material and you don’t just rewrite what the article said.
Provide depth of analysis and evaluation; it’s clear you took some time to think about the implications and spent time trying to understand and explain.
Doesn’t seem like it was slapped together the night before…come one folks, don’t try to bullshit a bullshitter…
Success is that you are not just checking off the boxes of the assignment, but that you are trying to get a deeper, richer understanding of yourself.
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