Article Analysis Writing Steps

Like an abstract in a published research article, the purpose of an article summary is giving the reader a brief, structured overview of the study that was done. It is important that you understand that writing an article summary is a low-stress activity. By using these tips, the task becomes very easy. To write a good analysis, you must know (a) what is important to say and (b) how to condense important information. The better you understand a subject, the easier it is to write both knowledgeably and briefly about it (this is the rationale for essay exams).

Getting started. Put down your pen and read all your notes to get an overview. Eliminate irrelevant notes. Drop anything that does not connect with something else in your notes (the earliest-taken notes are the most likely ones to be dropped).

Write a first draft. Use the same order as the article itself used, but should look something like the below guideline for analysis:

· Paragraph One: Include an introduction to the paper by describing indicating what the research is about. Tell the reader what the focus of the research is and state the hypotheses or research questions.

· Paragraph Two: Identify the subjects and the procedures used in the study.

· Paragraph Three (and possibly Paragraph Four): Present the variables and how each was measured. Be specific. Identify the name of the measurement and a brief description of each.

· Paragraph Five: Discuss the results of the study. Did the data support the stated hypotheses? Use the results and discussion section for this.

· Paragraph Six through Eight: Critique the study. Specify what was done well and what

could have been improved. Some other questions to answer include:

· Was the research valuable?

· Was the study practical/helpful? To whom?

· Was the study done ethically?

· Should more research be done in this area?

· To whom do the results of this study affect?

· What should be the next step to be in this line of research?

· Paragraph Nine: Conclusion

Edit for completeness and accuracy. Add information for completeness where necessary. More commonly, if you understand the article, you will need to cut redundant or less important information. Stay focused on the research question; get rid of glittering generalities.

Edit for style. Write as though explaining something to ‘an intelligent, interested, naive, and slightly lazy listener’ (e.g., yourself, your classmates, your parents). That is, expect your reader to be interested, but do not make them have to struggle to understand you.

· Eliminate wordiness, including most adverbs (“very”, “clearly”). Why say “The results clearly showed that there was no difference between the groups”? You lose no meaning if you just say, “There was no difference between the groups”.

· Use specific, concrete language. Use precise language and cite specific examples to support assertions. Avoid vague references, e.g., “this” (“this illustrates” should be “this result illustrates”). Sentences that start with “I feel” often signal unsupported statements.

· Use scientifically accurate language. For example, you never “prove” theories in science, you “support” or “fail to find support for” them.

· Rely primarily on paraphrasing, not direct quotes. In scientific writing, paraphrasing an author’s ideas is more common than using direct quotes. You must cite your paraphrases. In this assignment, you are only allowed 3 sentences to be quoted directly. If you use a direct quote, use quotation marks and proper citation.

· Check for spelling and typographical errors.

· Re-read what you have written. Ask other people to read it; they will catch things that you miss.

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