The purpose of this assignment is to help you create (or further) a foundation of research-based knowledge in your specific focus area. You will review five empirical, peer-reviewed journal articles highly relevant to your focus area within your master’s degree concentration.
For each article, you are to write a critical summary with a maximum of three pages (APA style). You can order the summaries in any logical way you seem appropriate (topics, questions asked, methods used, final answers, etc.). References for each article, as well as any additional sources used, should be collected at the end of the paper in an APA style references section.
Begin with an introductory paragraph or two to explain the focus of your critical analysis and why the topic is important and relevant to your interests and/or professional development.
Each critical summary should include:
1. Level 1 Heading comprised of Authors’ last names and year.
– Describe the authors’ research question(s) and/or purpose(s). What problem are they trying to solve? What important question are they trying to answer?
– Describe the units of study, sampling procedures, and sample. Describe the design and/or procedures of the study. Describe the data, data collection, and data analysis strategies.
4. Results of Data Analysis.
– Summarize the results of the analysis. Present the actual results of the analysis here, rather than any interpretations. Be mindful of any efforts to use statistical significance as an indicator of importance or credibility of findings. Be careful to identify any claims made by the author(s) that are not directly supported by the outcomes of the analysis.
– Summarize what you concluded from the results. This should be based on your interpretation of the results. Use a critical lens: is there a difference between the interpretations of the author(s) and what you interpreted?
– Actively evaluate the credibility/adequacy of any conclusions made by the authors (e.g. any biases? misinterpretations?) when you present your own. For quantitative results, refer back to previously assigned materials (from this course and others) as applicable. Focus on, summarize, and make conclusions based on the actual magnitude of the main results of the data analysis. For qualitative results, pay attention to what the authors present as evidence and the generalizations they may make.
– The most important issue is the degree to which the final conclusions of a study are considered to be credible and/or trustworthy and are usable and practical. What is your “take away” from the study? How can it guide practice or policy? The last paragraph of your summary should explain how the findings of the article may or may not contribute to your intended goals or practice.
– Finally, you may close your Critical Analysis with a Concluding Remarks section. After you summarize and critique all five articles, summarize and conclude your findings. Connect back to your chosen topic or theme.