Research Article Analysis

I. Select a contemporary, field-specific Canadian research article from a refereed journal


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I have attached the peer reviewed article (Building Research Capacity in Child Welfare) that I will be using for the essay. Kindly note that this is not an argumentative essay but rather a research article analyses. I have also attached a draft copy of my work, although not perfect but should give you an idea of how to proceed with critically reviewing the flaws found in the article and feel free to update the thesis statement which should show the 3 flaws you plan to discuss further. Also you are allowed to cite two other articles in the essay.


Note the research question which my article should answer is : How can Child Welfare Services in Canada be improved to help children who are at risk of abuse and neglect?




II. Plan your analysis


Your analysis of the argument advanced in the research article that you have selected needs to be critical. In planning your analysis, make use of as many relevant skills as you like from our lessons (and from chapter 8 of Browne and Keeley’s Asking the Right Questions, if you like). Consider, for instance, the quality the reasoning, any significant ambiguity in the argument’s language (its key terms), its assumptions, any fallacies it contains, its use of various sorts of evidence, any faults in its treatment of causes, its use of statistics, any place(s) where significant information is omitted, anywhere that alternative conclusions are overlooked, and other tactics for questioning, challenging, and critically appraising the argument. Ultimately, ask yourself this: “On what basis could this argument be rejected?” or “Even if I were to accept this argument, how could it be refined and improved?”


Organize your main points into a thesis statement that critically addresses the article’s argument. Your thesis needs to express your acceptance or rejection of the article’s argument on the basis of a set of critical points that you intend to make about it. Summarizing the article’s essential argument briefly within your introductory paragraph will allow you to set up the analysis of it that follows. Your summary should identify the argument’s issue, conclusion and reasons, but not the details of its evidence and style since these take us beyond summarizing. The body of your analysis should be devoted to making critical observations and posing searching questions that open up the argument’s flaws, any misgivings about it that you may have, and relevant perspectives that the researcher(s) may have overlooked. However, do not use the article’s argument as a springboard to discuss the issue from your own point of view or to make your own argument on the issue. Your aim is to critique the argument, not to write an argument of your own. In a brief concluding paragraph, suggest new directions that you believe future research on this issue would benefit from pursuing. As you conclude your analysis, you should be amplifying your thesis so that it echoes in the minds of your readers, so that readers can see why your critical perspective on the argument is useful, and so they can see where ongoing research should be directed for the benefit of clients—of a specific demographic—in your field.


III. Compose your analysis


Your analysis should be a minimum of 500 words, though it may well be longer. Those that have scored well in the past have been significantly longer, often 750 words or so. Quality matters more than quantity, but for an assignment like this to be successful, it needs to be thoroughly critical, and that cannot easily be done in a short span. As the assessment criteria for this assignment show, when grading it, emphasis will fall on both its analytical strength and its effectiveness as a piece of writing. The style you use when analyzing an argument is actually a part of the analysis itself: in critiques of this kind, effective style tends to be efficient, direct, precise, and evidence-oriented.


Wherever appropriate, use the terms that researchers use when discussing their work, and that we have reinforced in class. A clear use of our terminology will enable you to dissect the argument you are examining with precision and critical insight. Examples include the two verbs we often use when referring to a survey: the researchers have “designed and conducted their survey in order to …” “Their sample’s representativeness is limited by its unreasonably small size, by its disappointing breadth, and by its non-randomness.” Aim at using an intelligent—but not highly technical—vocabulary. Over-writing can be defined as trying, unsuccessfully, to sound professional but in the end sounding unclear and pretentious. On the other hand, under-writing involves avoiding all terminology and trying to sound folksy, with plenty of slang and home-spun, down-home wisdom. Obviously, both can avoided by being yourself but also stretching yourself by learning how to use research terms well, not to “sound” a certain way but just to get work done—the work of argument analysis. Our terminology is the shape taken by our analytical tools, so the two are inseparable. We need to know our terms.


Proofreading, editing, and documentation skills are also critical parts of the quality of an analysis, so give them attention too. Also, making good use of the assignment models provided will also support your efforts to perform a rigorous analysis and to learn from the experience.


Research Article Analysis: Assessment Criteria Sheet



1. The analysis is minimally 500 words long. Yes __ No __


2. The analysis is on a contemporary, Canadian research article from the field, rather than merely a news report, editorial, or article summary, and is not one of the articles used by you or your partner(s) in your Lit. Review.

Yes __ No __


3. The analysis is written clearly. U S E


4. The analysis is mechanically correct. In other words, it is competent in spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and A.P.A. in-text citations. U S E




5. The introductory paragraph of the analysis has a clear thesis statement about the research article’s argument, rather than an indication that the analysis will merely summarize the text or use it as a springboard to discuss its issue.



6. The body paragraphs of the analysis are unified and provide sufficient support for the thesis.




7. The concluding paragraph of the analysis is effective. U S E




8. The analysis reflects an accurate understanding of the research article’s argument.




9. The analysis effectively critiques the argument of the research article.




10. The analysis integrates effective references (quotations, paraphrases and/or summaries) from the research article in support of its main points.


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