Assignment #1: Journal Article Review

| March 26, 2014

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Assignment #1: Journal Article Review
After you have read the materials for this section of the course and reviewed your notes and exercises from class/discussion, you are ready to complete this assignment!
This assignment invites you to search the sociology research journals on any topic related to people and society in which you have a great interest. Select one journal article in which researchers report their original findings on your topic. Discuss the effectiveness of the article for better understanding your topic.
Search the LAVC Library electronic databases (Infotrac/Expanded Academic) for refereed or peer-reviewed articles in social science research journals. Be sure to notice that the article you pick is an actual full text research report–not a book reviews, citation only, theoretical discussion, or review of research.
Be sure you do NOT choose an article in a non-refereed or non-peer-reviewed journal since those are popular press journals with articles written by journalists, not scientists. Be sure you do NOT choose an article that is not an original research report since book reviews and editorials do not include the information you need to do this assignment.
If you are unaware of how to do such a search, download the “How to find research journal articles” handout. (Click here)
Be sure to look through a few different articles before choosing your article. Some are longer than others and some are written more “densely” than others. Make sure you are choosing a research article or report – not an editorial, book review, conference speech, or meta-article (overview of lots of research).
Make a copy of the article by ‘printing’ it to a pdf and emailing it to yourself (or save on a flash drive or computer). Print out a copy, if you’d like, to mark it with highlights and write yourself some notes. There is a discussion area in which to post the pdf of the article.
Read the article, read it again with the outline below in mind, and spend some time thinking about their findings in relation to what we’ve been discussing and the outline – and then write up your review using the outline below. Be sure to edit it at least twice before turning it in.
If you’re near campus, make good use of campus resources (Writing Center, General Tutoring).
Appropriate Research Journals: American Sociological Review, Gender & Society, Journal of Marriage & Family. Make sure your research article comes from the peer-reviewed and scholarly SOCIOLOGY research journals and are original research reports, not editorials or book reviews, etc.; If you have a question about a journal, send me a message!
Outline (Be sure to apply the rubric criteria to each section as you edit): ?
Introduction: What is the main topic of this paper? Why did you choose it?
Overview: What is the subject of the article? Describe briefly the main research questions (hypotheses) of the article. If there are many hypotheses, choose one or two that are most interesting to you.
Method: What method of scientific investigation did they use? Survey? Observation? Experiment? Describe how they gathered their data:, identify anything that makes sense to you: sample size & recruitment, procedures, etc..
Findings: What are their most important findings? Most articles will have a number of findings–choose the one or two those most interesting to you instead of trying to describe all of them. Were their hypotheses supported? (Notice how their findings should relate directly back to the initial description of their study–each hypothesis they mention in the first part of the article should be mentioned in the findings section.)
Your Critique: What are the limitations of this study? Did they make any mistakes? Did they leave something important out? Is there a reason we should not give this study much attention? Mention what they saw as their limitations and whether or not you agree.
Discussion: How does the study help us understand the topic (or not)? How is the study useful? Is it more useful for certain groups but not for others?
Conclusions: Overall, why is this study useful for us to know about? What have you learned about the topic after reviewing this article?
References: Cite your article. Citation format: Author(s) (Year Published) “Article Title.” Journal Title. Volume: Number (Pages)
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