JOURNAL ARTICLE SUMMARY ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
You are tasked to obtain one recent article (i.e., published after 2010) from the journal – American Politics Research (and no other journal). Full text articles from this journal are accessible electronically via the library webpage. You must choose an article (NOT a book review, editorial, commentary, or anything else) that addresses some element of the political, economic, and/or social forces that are shaping contemporary national governmental policy in the United States.
For each article:
To receive full-credit for this assignment your chosen article needs to be attached to your summary (as one complete electronic document). A separate reference sheet listing your one article in Chicago Style (author date) format needs to be provided at the end of your summary. You must submit your article summary via the Canvas assignment page. Summaries turned in past the deadline will not be accepted without instructor approval.
To familiarize yourself with empirical research in the field of US government and public policy.
This project is worth 200 points.
11 p.m. Tuesday, May 1
PART I: SUMMARY OF ARTICLE
Generally, the first section of a journal article is considered the “Introduction” section. You may see this exact heading in your article. Because this is such a common initial section in all such reports, some authors do not use a formal heading. You should know that all written parts prior to the “Method” section in your article are part of this “Introduction” section. Authors generally provide the reader with background information in this section. They often review the existing literature on the topic to highlight their objectives for the stated research. By reading this section, you should understand the goals or the hypotheses for the research.
In your summary, you should first describe the objectives of the given research. If the authors provide information about specific aims or hypotheses, you need to give a brief explanation of these hypotheses. Use your own language. You can paraphrase but if you directly copy sentences, make sure to use quotation marks and cite the page. Keep in mind that I deduct points for over-reliance on authors’ language. So please do not write a paper that relies heavily on quotations. I want to read what YOU have to say about the article.
This is generally the second section of the article. This section provides a summary of the procedures utilized by the authors to carry out the research. Generally, authors provide you with a description of specific research methods. However, some authors may not, so you may need to make inferences. For example, do they rely on data derived from interviews with political leaders, census data, content analysis of newspaper headlines, etc? It is also common for authors to provide an explanation for their choice of specific methods.
In your summary, you should provide a brief explanation of these (stated or implied) procedures. Keep in mind that you don’t need to state every single procedure that was utilized. Your task is to be selective and in a one or two paragraph format, summarize to the best of your ability the researchers’ procedural methods.
This is the last section of the article, although sometimes it may be broken into two sections. In this section, authors generally provide a summary of the findings of their study. They state whether their initial hypotheses were supported or rejected. Authors also discuss the implications of their findings and make recommendations for future research.
In your summary, you should provide a summary of the section/s. Briefly highlight the conclusions of the study and their possible implications.
PART II: RESEARCH EVALUATION
In this section of your article summary, you are tasked to critically evaluate the research study that you’ve read. This should be roughly a page in length. Provide your own opinions about the validity and the reliability of the research. Consider the following items prior to writing this section. Please keep in mind that you do not need to address every single item listed here but you should try to provide a comprehensive analysis by addressing as many of the items as you reasonably can.
What were the weaknesses and strengths of the research study?
Do you believe that research in this area was needed? Do you think that this type of research is important? Explain your rationale.
Do you agree with the researchers’ hypotheses? Why or why not?
Do you agree with the findings of the study? Can you relate the findings to your firsthand experiences?
Were the findings surprising? Explain.
What are the implications of this research?
What should future researchers investigate? If you were granted funding to build upon this study, what specific areas would you further investigate?
Example of reference in Chicago Style format:
Cunningham, Peter J. 2015. “Many Medicaid Beneficiaries Receive Care Consistent With Attributes Of Patient-Centered Medical Homes.” Health Affairs 34:1105-1112. Accessed January 1, 2016; doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0141.
Review Chicago Style (author date) (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html (Links to an external site.) [click on the author date tab]) on this webpage; also check in with the reference librarian.
Please, please, please – follow these directions to the letter! You will be graded not only on your writing ability but also on how well you follow instructions.
1) You should avoid direct quotations of the author(s) words as much as possible. The goal is to use your words to summarize. However, certain information – like the authors’ specific hypotheses (if they have them) – must be quoted directly in order to accurately relay essential information to the reader. As a rule of thumb, just ask yourself before you quote directly if the information you are conveying must be presented that way or if you can reasonably paraphrase/reconfigure the language.
2) This is not a blog post or diary entry. Throughout your summary, do not start sentences with “I” – as in, “I think the article…” So, avoid using “I…” and “In my opinion…” and the like. [This was an issue in the “good” summary sample I provided you and cost that student significant points.] Use professional/academic tone and language throughout.
3) Do not assume the reader understands technical jargon on its face. Provide a very brief description/definition in your summary of any technical term that you introduce. Remember, that you have read the article (in full, repeatedly) while your reader may not have necessarily read it.
4) Keep each section’s relevant facts in that section (i.e., Introduction, Method, etc). So, don’t reference data or methods of analysis in your “Introduction” section. Don’t discuss the author’s results in the “Method” section. Etc.
Finally, if you submit and then PRIOR TO THE OFFICIAL DEADLINE realize that you made errors, you may correct and resubmit before the deadline passes. You must then tell me which submission you want me to grade.
NB: We do not resell papers. Upon ordering, we do an original paper exclusively for you.
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