Note: the instructions BelowRequirements: Your evaluation should include – ALL sections 1-5, – 1 section from 6-10 (based on design in your article), and – 1 section from 11-12 (based on analysis in your article).SOCIOLOGY331RESEARCH METHODSHW1:EVALUATION OF A PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLE (25 points):Dueno later than 11:55p ET on Sunday of Week 3 – submit using link in Sakai AND toturnitin.comPURPOSE: The purpose of exercise is to conducta detailed, critical evaluation ofthe research design, methods and analysis of a study written up and publishedin a peer-reviewed journal. Studentswill be using Wolfer’s (2007) critical questions for evaluating writtenresearch to evaluate an article; these questions are provided below. Tips on Finding a Peer Reviewed JournalArticle may be found under Lessons>Course Materials>Resources.Article selection tips:select anarticle from a peer-reviewed Sociology Journalthearticle should clearly be written about a study the author conductedameta-analysis of multiple studies is not appropriate for this assignmentsecondarydata analysis of an existing national data set is OK, but be sure youunderstand what you are readingRequirements:Your evaluation shouldinclude – ALL sections 1-5, – 1 section from 6-10 (based on design inyour article), and – 1 section from 11-12 (based on analysisin your article).This assignment does NOThave to be written in essay format. Youmay organize it by section/chapter number, question number with question text,and then your answer.APA formatting should beused throughout. Any time yourparaphrase or directly quote a source (such as your article), in-text citationsshould be used. A full APA-formatted referenceshould be included at the beginning or end of assignment. See Course Materials>Resources for APATips.1.Title (3 pts)Is the title specific enough to differentiate it fromother related topics?Do subtitles, if present, provide important informationregarding the research?Are the main variables expressed in the title?Are the terms in the title easily understood by mostpeople?Does the title avoid any reference to the study’sresults?Overall, is this a good title? Why or why not?2. Ethical Evaluation(2.5 pts)Are the steps the researcher took to honor ethicalresponsibilities to individuals clear? Are they appropriate? Are they enough?If there were any findings (based on your readings oftables or other means of data presentation) that refuted the researcher’shypothesis, did he address these findings?If any results were unexpected, did the researcherdiscuss any explanations for the unexpected effects?Didthe researcher adequately acknowledge the limitations of the research?Overall,has the researcher adequately fulfilled his ethical obligations?3. Literature Review(4 pts)Isthe material presented in the literature review relevant to your researchinterests?Isthe special problem area identified in the first paragraph or two of thereport?Doesthe researcher establish the importance of the research problem?Hasthe researcher been appropriately selective in deciding what studies to includein the literature review?Isthe research cited recent?Isthe literature review critical?Isthe researcher clear as to what is research, theory and opinion?Overall,do you think this is an adequate literature review? Why or why not?4. Operationalizationand Measurement (5.5 pts)Isthe conceptualization suitably specific?Arethe definitions productive?Howmany different dimensions are being measured at once?Arethe various dimensions sufficient?Arethe actual questions (or a sample of them) provided?Isthe response format clear, or, when not already clear, does the researcherprovide information on the response format? Is there any information on restrictions in respondents’ responses?Ifthe researcher is using a published instrument, does he or she cite sourceswhere additional information can be found?Hasthe researcher avoided overstating the preciseness of the measurement?Doesthe researcher provide some measure of reliability? What type of reliability is established? Do the measures indicate adequate reliabilityfor your purposes?Doesthe research provide some measure of validity? What measures of validity are presented and are they adequate for yourpurposes?Overall,is the measurement appropriate and adequate given the research purpose?5. Sample Strategy (3pts)Doesthe research goal lend itself to generalization? Is the broad sampling methodappropriate for the research goal?Doesthe researcher provide information regarding the study population? The sample?Isthe exact sampling method (e.g. simple random, purposive) specified? Remember, it is not sufficient for aresearcher to simply state that a sample was selected ‘randomly.’Isthe sample size sufficient, given the research goals, the degree of accuracythe researcher desires, and the nature of the population studied? Given the nature of the research, is thesample size sufficient?Ifthe researcher uses a probability sample, does he or she generalize thefindings to the appropriate population? If the researcher uses a non-probability sample, does he or she refrainfrom generalizing to a wider population?Overall,is the sampling appropriate?Your evaluationshould include ONE of the following sections (6-10) (4 pts):6. ExperimentsCanyou identify a treatment variable that indicates that an experiment is themethod of observation?Howmany groups were studied?If there were two or more groups, did the researcheruse random assignmentsIf the researcher did not use random assignment, did the researcher present evidence thatthe groups were similar regarding key variables at the beginning of the study?Isthe treatment and any pre- or posttests described in sufficient detail thatfacilitates replication?Isdeception necessary?If so, is the deception within the parameters of theresearch topic?Have the participants been debriefed so they know thetrue nature of the study (and can enact their right to privacy by declining toparticipate after the fact?)Basedon the description of treatment and experimental procedure, do you see any redflags regarding ethical issues?Didthe researcher use assistants?If so, did the researcher state that they were properlytrained?If so, did the researcher specify any special measuresto make sure that the assistants administered the treatment properly?Isthe setting natural or artificial (in a laboratory)?If it’s in a laboratory, does the researcher recognize thatexternal validity may be weak?If it’s in a natural setting, does the researcherrecognize that there may be some differences in the environments of the variousgroups?Overall, do you think the experimental design is sound?7. SurveyIsthe research topic worded appropriately for survey research?Didthe researcher specifically state which type of survey method was used?Dothe survey questions adequately address the topic?Arethe survey questions constructed correctly?Didthe researcher provide any information about the response rate? Did theresearcher provide any information about follow-up mailings or other ways ofincreasing response rate? What are the implications of the response rate?Didthe researcher explain how he or she guaranteed anonymity or confidentiality?Overall,is the survey methodology effective and appropriate?8. Field ResearchDoesthe research describe the selected site? Does the research provide someexplanation as to how that site was chosen?Didthe researchers explain how they addressed gatekeepers?Didthe researcher address how he developed field relations? If conflict arose, did the researcher makeany comment about how personal or research problems in the field wereaddressed?Didthe researcher adequately protect the identity of the respondents? Did theresearcher address other ethical considerations?Didthe researcher describe, at least in passing, his method of note taking? Does the method seem adequate?Inthe analysis, does the researcher present general patterns of behavior andsupport those patterns with data such as quoted comments? Does the researcheruse quotes selectively?Doesthe researcher make any mention of issues of validity and/or reliability?Overall,is the research adequate?9. Unobtrusive MeasuresWhatis the researcher’s research purpose or hypothesis? Is content analysis an appropriate method ofobservation?Whatare the researcher’s units of analysis? What are the units of observation (if they are different than the unitsof analysis)?Isthe researcher studying a population or a sample of these units? If the researcher is studying a sample, is ita probability sample? If so, was itcorrectly drawn? If the researcher isnot studying a population or a probability sample, is he or she appropriatelycautious about the nature of any conclusions?Doesthe researcher identify the characteristics and level of content beinganalyzed? Does the researcher explainhow material is coded, especially for issues of latent content?Didthe researcher do any type of pretest with other coders to test forreliability? Where they any tests forvalidity?Arethe conclusions consistent with the units of analysis?Arethe results clearly presented and the conclusions appropriate?Generally,is the method of observation done appropriately?10. EvaluationResearchWhatis the purpose of the evaluation presented?Isthe nature of the program described in detail?Arethe goals presented and can the goals that the author presents be evaluated?Whattype of observation method is used? Is it appropriate, given the real-liferestrictions of evaluation research?Isa control group used? If so, how has the researcher tried to show that it isequivalent to the experimental group? Ifnot, does the researcher adequately explain its omission?Howare people selected for program participation? Does this affect theinterpretation of findings, and, if so, does the researcher discuss this?Arethe results clearly explained?Howdoes the article address the other areas of evaluation discussed in earlierchapters?Your evaluationshould include ONE of the following sections (3 pts):11. QualitativeAnalysisIsthe results section a cohesive essay?Doesthe researcher connect the results to any general research questions or goals?Isthe perspective of the results presentation appropriate? Does it match theresearch technique?Hasthe writer presented enough examples to support the conclusions? Do the examples make the readers ‘believe’the researcher’s points?Doyou have reason to believe that the presence of the researcher influenced theactions or statements of other group members? If this is possible, has theresearcher addressed it in the research?Especiallyin field research (although this may be an issue to a lesser degree in otherforms of qualitative data gathering), does the researcher discuss how he or sheinteracted with subjects in the field, what problems arose, and how theresearcher addressed them?12. QuantitativeAnalysisIsthe results section a cohesive essay with the important findings highlighted?Inthe essay, does the researcher tie the results to the research hypotheses orgoals stated in the introduction?Ifthere are tables or graphs, are they clearly presented?Doesthe researcher present any descriptive statistics?Arethe statistics appropriate for the level of measurement?Arethe conclusions the researcher draws appropriate for the statisticalinformation?Inthe discussion section, does the researcher briefly summarize the researchpurposes, methodologies, and key findings (in a non-statistical manner)?Doesthe researcher acknowledge any methodological or statistical weaknesses?Arethe implications of the research or suggestions for future research discussed?Overall,is the results section adequate?Overall,is the discussion section adequate?
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