Is necessary background information and previous research described in the introduction?
Assignment: Mass incarceration Case-study
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Read the introduction section of the article. Is the hypothesis clearly stated? Is necessary background information and previous research described in the introduction? In addition to answering these basic questions, you should take note of information provided in the introduction and any questions that you may have.
Read the methods section of the article. Is the study procedure clearly outlined? Can you determine which variables the researchers are measuring? Remember to jot down questions and thoughts that come to mind as you are reading. Once you have finished reading the paper, you can then refer back to your initial questions and see which once remain unanswered.
Read the results section of the article. Are all tables and graphs clearly labeled? Do researchers provide enough statistical information? Did the researchers collect all of the data needed to measure the variables in question? Again, make note of any questions you have or any information that does not seem to make sense. You can refer back to these questions later as you are writing your final critique.
Read the discussion section of the article. How do the researchers interpret the results of the study? Did the results support their hypothesis? Do the conclusions drawn by the researchers seem reasonable? The discussion section offers students a good opportunity to take a position. If you agree with the researcher’s conclusions, explain why. If you feel that the researchers are incorrect or off-base, point out problems with the conclusions and suggest alternative explanations. Another alternative is to point out questions that the researchers failed to answer in the discussion section.
Use the following guide to help structure your critique paper:
Introduction – Begin your paper by describing the journal article and authors you are critiquing. Provide the main hypothesis or thesis of the paper and explain why you think the information is relevant.
Thesis Statement – The final part of your introduction should include your thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the main idea of your critique. Your thesis should briefly sum up the main points of your critique.
Article Summary – Provide a brief summary of the article, outlining the main points, results and discussion. Be careful not to get too bogged down by your summary. Remember, this section of your paper should highlight the main points of the article you are critiquing. Don’t feel obligated to summarize each little detail of the main paper. Focus instead on giving the reader an overall idea of the content of the article.
Your Analysis – In this section, you should provide your critique of the article. Describe any problems you had with the author’s premise, methods, or conclusions. Your critique might focus on problems with the author’s argument, presentation or on information, and alternatives that have been overlooked. Organize your paper carefully and be careful not to jump around from one argument to the next. Argue one point at a time. Doing this will ensure that your paper flows well and is easy to read.
Conclusion – Your critique paper should end with an overview of the articles argument, your conclusions and your reactions.
This rubric is designed to evaluate a student’s critique on statistical article in a scholarly journal.
Points = 20
A poor job of providing the required information is performed by the writer.
The assigned category needs work.
The writer does a good job applying the category to the journal article.
The writer completely covers all required information.
Appropriate use of standard English and correct grammar.
The writer uses standard English and correct grammar throughout the critique.
No attempt is made at usage of standard English grammar.
There are numerous grammar and spelling errors.
There are some spelling and grammar errors throughout the paper
No errors exist in in grammar and spelling.
A brief summary of the thesis statement and article is included.
No thesis or summary is given.
A thesis or summary of the article is attempted, but is severely lacking in more than one area.
A thesis and summary of the article is provided, but is lacking in one area.
A thesis and brief summary of the article is given with all the required information.
Statistical Evidence is clearly delineated and evident throughout the article critique.
Statistical evidence is not noted within the critique.
Statistical Evidence is poorly delineated and poorly evident throughout the article critique.
Statistical Evidence is delineated and moderately evident throughout the article critique.
Statistical Evidence is clearly delineated and evident throughout the article critique.
Analysis and Conclusion
The critique contains information on how this topic might apply to their major field of study.
No implications are mentioned.
One implication is mentioned, but is poorly developed in the reflection.
One or more implications are given and are sufficiently clarified.
Implications are clearly explicated and demonstrate critical thinking skills
You will focus heavily on the clarity of variables, analysis, conclusions and improvements that could be made to the article.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CLASS
Discussion Questions (DQ)
Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses.
Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality
Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes
I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.
Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours