Article Critique Select One Of The Articles From Your Literature Review For This Assignment


“My advice to new researchers who are critiquingliterature…is that you practice, that every time that you go through and youread a research article for a course paper
for your dissertation, for your doctoral study, that you read it with acritical eye.” —Dr. Gary Burkholder

Critiquingan article is a skill that researchers continuously hone throughout theircareers. By doing this, researchers can better understand existing literatureand improve their own research skills. For this Application, you will critiquean article as a first step toward completing a literature review.

Toprepare for this Application:

  • Selectone of the articles from your literature review for this assignment.
  • Reviewthe Journal Article Critique handout as well as the media segment onarticle critique.
  • Printout the Journal Article Critique handout and use the guidelines to helpyou read the article with a critical eye. Make notes on the handout tohelp you determine the overall strengths and weaknesses of the article.


  • Crafta 5-page article critique based on the guidelines in the Journal ArticleCritique handout.

JournalArticle Critique


Scholarly critique is an important aspect of your role asscholar-practitioner. Scholarly critique takes on a number of forms, of whichpeer review and critical reviews of the literature are two common examples. Thereare many examples of why it is important to develop good skills in scholarlycritique.

1. In the peer-review process commonly used by editors ofjournals, scholars review research prior to publication to ensure quality,relevance, and contribution to the field.

2. The system of tenure that is common in traditional collegesand universities depends on a process of peer review by departmentalcolleagues. At some point in time, you may be on such a committee (at auniversity or in some other setting) where you have to critically evaluate acolleague for promotion.

3. Because there is no such thing as the perfect researchstudy, scholarly critique is critical to understanding the limitations ofresearch studies and how those limitations could be addressed in futurestudies.

4. The critical literature review article requires goodcritical evaluation skills to help other scientists understand the currentstate of knowledge in a particular field of study in terms of what we know andwhat still needs to be more fully understood.

5. The skills you will develop in the critical evaluation ofarticles will also help you become a better reviewer of your own drafts. In theshort term, this better self-assessment will strengthen the work you submit todissertation committee members. In general, this approach helps researchersbecome their own “skeptics/critics,” thereby developing more valid researchdesigns and research write-ups that can better stand up to peer scrutiny.

6. Your dissertation requires a scholarly critique of theliterature, similar to a critical literature review. Thus, you need tounderstand how to train yourself to be a critical reader of the research. Ifyou want to become an expert on a particular topic, you also need to become anexpert on critically dissecting and evaluating the research studies in thatarea of study.

7. The scholar-practitioner model is one that relies onevidence-based practice. You are being trained to be critical consumers ofliterature so that you can make key decisions regarding best practices in thefield. Understanding best practices requires one to be able to criticallyevaluate study findings and determine whether those findings will remain validin “real-world” settings.

8. In the dissertation process, your committee is essentially ateam of peer reviewers who provide input to help you achieve the best possibleresearch project that demonstrates doctoral level scholarship.

Start the process of learning to be a critical reviewer of thescientific literature by dispelling a couple of common myths that you have.

·  “I am not worthy ofcritiquing something that has already been published in a peer-reviewed journal.”Infact, you have a lot of knowledge now about research design and statistics thatyou can use to determine if a study is truly valid and where the limits to thefindings exist. If you are not worthy of critiquing a published article, thencan you possibly be worthy of attaining scholarship in a particular discipline?

·  “If a study hasalready been published in a peer-reviewed journal, then it must be a reallygood study.” There is no such thing as a perfect study. In fact, justbecause a study is published does not guarantee that it is necessarily sound inall aspects. Studies may be good, but all studies have areas for improvement.Typically, three reviewers provide input; sometimes, it may be only tworeviewers. Thus, decisions are made based on a very small set of inputs, whichmeans that there may be key things missed that may not have been noticed by theoriginal reviewers.

Thus, the assignment to critique a peer-reviewed article should not beapproached as something negative. Peer review is one of the key processes thatsustains and furthers knowledge. Approach the critique from the followingperspectives:

1. You are reviewing a study that was deemed to be publishable,but challenge yourself to use the knowledge you have gained in your researchcourses to see how the study could be made even better.

2. Review research using the criteria described below tounderstand better where the gaps are in our understanding of the field.Limitations in sample size, sampling strategy, and design, for example, caneasily form the basis for another dissertation or scholarly research study.Therefore, you should use the critique as a means of generating ideas for yourown research as well as approaches you can take in your own dissertation toimprove the validity and overall soundness of your study.

A suggested resource for this course is an excellent, easy to read (andrelatively inexpensive) text on how to approach the critical literature review.This would also be a great resource as you complete the literature review forthe dissertation.

Pyrczak, F. (2009).Evaluating research in academic journals:A practical guide to realistic evaluation (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA:Pyrczak.


·  5 pages maximum(not including the reference page).

·  Times Roman orArial 12-point font.

·  One-inch margins attop and bottom and along left and right sides.

·  Any editing marks(track changes or comments) are removed.

·  Paper isappropriately spell checked and grammar checked.

·  Must be a paperthat is available as full text through the Walden library.

·  At the end of thepaper, provide to the Instructor the full hyperlink to the full text article.

·  The article chosenmust have been published within the previous 5 years.


·  Introduction. Provide a brief and concise summary ofthe problem of the study and main findings. Cite the study using APA format andprovide the full citation at the end of the paper in a reference section.

·  Critique of the Literature Review. Some things toconsider are:

o Was the problem clearly articulated, and was ample evidenceprovided to support the problem being addressed?

o Was the theoretical or conceptual framework present, was itsrelationship to the present study described, and was it appropriate to theproblem being addressed?

o Was the literature cited appropriate to the topic?

o Was the literature primarily from current sources (within 5years of the article publication date)?

o Did the author choose citations judiciously, or did itappear that quantity of citations was emphasized over quality?

o Does the literature review present a clear and non-biasedapproach to the topic?

o Were the research questions and/or hypotheses clearlystated? Do they logically derive from the literature review?

·  Critique of the Methods/Research Design. Some things toconsider are:

o Were the participants adequately described in terms ofpopulation, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and sampling strategy?

o Is the sample representative of the population?

o Is there support that the sample size ensures adequatestatistical power?

o For qualitative, was the approach to sampling adequatelydescribed and justified? Is the number of participants in the study justified?

o Was there a statement indicating that IRB approval wasobtained?

o Were procedures for protecting participant rights included?

o Were the procedures for executing the design carefullydescribed in a way that you or other scientists could replicate the study?

o For qualitative, is the process for collecting, organizing,and analyzing the data appropriately transparent?

o Is the role and activity of the researcher in the datacollection setting/sites described?

o Were reliability and validity measures of questionnaires,scales, or other measurement instruments presented? Do measures exhibitadequate reliability and validity?

o Were instruments used in populations for which they may nothave been normed? Was there effort made to ensure reliability and validity inthe study sample?

o Was the design appropriate to test the hypothesis(es) oraddress the research questions?

o Was random assignment used? If not, what are the potentialflaws to internal and external validity?

·  Critique of the Results section. Some things toconsider are:

o Are the important characteristics of the sample described?

o Are participation rates (and attrition rates in longitudinalstudies) described? For longitudinal studies, was differential attritiondetermined?

o Were key descriptive statistics provided for all variables?

o Do the results address the hypotheses under question?

o For qualitative, were the findings tied back to the researchquestion?

o For qualitative, was it clear how findings arose? Werefindings linked to the application of steps/methodology described in themethods section?

o For mixed methods, are findings described in a holistic,complementary way in order to address the research questions?

o For mixed methods, is the necessity of each type of data(qualitative and quantitative) clear for answering each research question?

o Are tables and figures used effectively? Were tables notused when they would have been very helpful to the reader? For qualitative(when needed) are models used effectively (and labeled effectively) in order tounderstand findings and interpretations? (Models are sometimes included in thediscussion rather than the results section.)

o Are effect sizes and p-values reported for all inferentialfindings?

·  Critique of the Discussion section. Some things toconsider are:

o Are the results discussed in the context of the researchpresented in the literature review section?

o Are methodological limitations adequately addressed? Thinkin terms of sample representativeness, generalizability of results, andpotential threats to internal and external validity.

o Are implications for further research described?

o Are implications for practitioners described?

o Is the contribution/significance to the field in relation tothe continuum of inquiry clear?

o For a qualitative study, is there some discussion of theresearcher’s reflections, insights, challenges, biases, surprises, etc.?

·  Overall Evaluation. Some things to consider are:

o Evidence to support strengths and limitations of the study.

o Evidence that supports that the study was both reliable andvalid.

o Justification for why you would include this as an importantpiece of evidence in your study.


_____ ( 5)  Introduction


_____(10)  Critique of theliterature review


_____(10)  Critique of theMethods/Research Design


_____(10)  Critique of theResults Section


_____(10)  Critique of theDiscussion


_____( 5)  Overall Impression of the study


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