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| April 11, 2015

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By 7:00 pm, Wed., March 19, please submit a two- or three-page comparative summary and critique of two journal articles that you will be using in your final research paper. If possible, try to choose articles focusing on the same topic. Ideally, you will be able to re-use parts of this assignment in your final research paper. Please double-space and use one-inch margins all round. (Note: you have a 2-day grace period for submitting this assignment before any late penalties kick in.)

Here’s some advice on structuring and developing your comparative summary and critique:

Introductory paragraph. Begin by introducing your research topic and the two articles you are reviewing. Do not include the full title of the articles you are using; just refer to the sources by using the author’s last name and the date of publication, as in the following hypothetical sample introduction:

The role of early education for autistic children has been the subject of much recent research. For example, Han (2005) reported on a controlled study of a special educational approach for autistic children, while Rogers, Hammerstein, and Hart (2006) presented a case study of a single child in a program similar to that described by Han. In this paper, I review and critique both studies.

Body of your paper. The body of your paper may be two to several paragraphs long. Try to avoid very, very short or extremely long paragraphs. The discussion of each article may take one to three paragraphs. Look for logical spots at which to break very long paragraphs.

Begin by summarizing the first article, explaining the nature of the article, the research methods, and the findings or conclusions. In other words, explain what claims the authors make (what conclusions they come to) and what evidence they provide for those claims. Point out any methodological weaknesses you see, and comment on the overall strengths and weaknesses of the article, focusing more on content and method than on the organization or writing style. For example, indicate whether the article provides helpful resources or information for practitioners in the field. Do the same for the second article, but as you proceed, make connections or comparisons to the first article where appropriate. Since this is a fairly short paper, I recommend not using headings.

Conclusion. You may just need a sentence or two to provide closure to your paper, but you could include a more robust conclusion if you like.

Reference list. Your paper should include proper in-text citations and a complete reference list for all sources used in the paper. (Only two sources are required for this paper. However, if you wish, you may use additional sources in your introduction.)

Click on the link immediately below to submit your assignment. Be sure to include your name on all file attachments and in your file name. Do not use .pdf format. Use .doc, .docx, or .rtf format, please.

 

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