1) From the Introduction: A) What is the basic research question for the article – what are the authors trying to discover? What are the main variables of the study? B) What research “gap” is identified by the author that he or she is attempting to “fill”? In other words, what did the earlier studies NOT INVESTIGATE or include in their research that the current paper does? How will this study be (NOTE: The paper will not likely use the term “gap” but it should explain how the current study is different from previous, similar studies.)
2) From the Methods: A) Who are the participants? (Age, gender, ethnic background) How many? How were they recruited? B) What sort of study design does it seem that the authors used; correlational, experimental, quasi-experimental? Please briefly explain why you believe this is the design; what description in the methods led you to believe this? (e.g. “The authors used three surveys and did not control any of the variables, so this sounded like a ________ design.”)
3) From the Results: What statistical test or tests did the authors report to answer their MAIN research question? It’s OK if you do not know what it means, but just try to figure out which statistic is the “main” one. (e.g. “The authors reported that r = .46, p < .01 showing that X is related to Y.”)
4) From the Discussion: A) What seems to be the main message the authors are giving in the discussion; what do they say about the major results of the study? B) What “limitations” do they mention; what do they say about any weaknesses in in their research?
Evaluate the Research Paper:
5) From the Introduction: Did you find the description of prior research to be mostly helpful or confusing in understanding the current study? Explain why or why not (For example, were the terms confusing, were there too many or not enough details, was it well organized and easy to follow or seem to jump too quickly from idea to idea?)
6) From the Methods: Name one weakness with the study design or procedure that the author did NOT mention already (in the Discussion). If you can’t think of something other than what the author has already said, what could a new study do to address the problem that they mention?
7) From the General Discussion: Compare the main conclusions of the study to the original “gap” mentioned in the introduction; do they match? Why or why not?