Describe the article


Description of in-class activity/written assignment


These exercises will help you work through the process of critically reading and analyzing scientific journal articles. For each article, Answer the general questions listed below along with any specific questions added by the instructor or members of your group. For the last article, students will answer the general questions and design additional questions specific to the article. Keep in mind the focus of the exercise is interpretation of statistical methods, not necessarily the research findings. Also consider that being unclear about was published in a journal article does not necessarily indicate a failure on your part to understand. A good article should make concepts clear to a reader who has some understanding of basic statistical concepts. Include your personal impression in your critique.

The general questions are:

Using these questions as the basis for your presentation or paper, I have filled in some information pertaining to the format you should use.

Begin with a brief synopsis of the paper (one to two paragraphs, IN YOUR OWN WORDS) that describes the work performed, the reason for doing the study, the research question, and the main finding(s).

Now answer the following questions. You may simply list them and answer or format as you see fit, as long as everything is addressed, if possible. 1. What are the authors affiliations and who funded the study? This information may provide insight into the level of expertise of the authors and the potential for bias.

2. What basic research question are the authors trying to answer? Do the data come from one study or are they from various sources (aggregated data). What makes that research question significant? (Why does it matter?) 3. What data did the authors collect? Is missing data accounted for? Is the data available for other researchers to evaluate?

4. What statistic tests were utilized? Was the methodology clear? If correlation or regression was used, did the authors include confidence intervals or make the dataset publicly available?

This will be the most important part of your paper. Be sure to describe the test and how it was used in this particular study. Also note other tests that could have been used, if appropriate.

( be sure to describe the statically tests deeply)

5. What is the authors' interpretation of their data? Were the interpretations clearly stated? In some articles, note if a p-value was used and if you can tell how the p-value was derived (what type of testing) and if confidence intervals were also reported. Many journals require confidence intervals in addition to, or instead of, p-values

6. Do you agree with the authors interpretation and use of a particular test? Can you suggest a better method of interpreting, analyzing or presenting data? Did the authors attempt to extend their results to what is already known on the topic? 7. Do you think that the data they collected supports their conclusions? Why or why not?

Finish with a brief wrap up of the findings and possible future research.

Make sure all the content is IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Plagiarism from the article itself or other sources will result in a reduction of your score.

Grading rubrics:

For the final paper:

Possible Points

Earned Points

1. Was each general question answered?


2. Was each statistical method used in the article discussed?


3. Was a moderate level of understanding demonstrated?


4. Was the proper terminology used and were terms not commonly used by lay people defined?


5. Was the paper well-organized and clearly written by the student? (not copied and pasted)