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Institute of Education Faculty of Culture and edagogy

John ORegan (adapted from material by Catherine Walter) !" #E$O% &asic Research $'ills $essions

Reading and Evaluating Research Literature


Part of article Abstract Introduction Information questions What is the story in a nutshell? What is the central argument of this piece? Whats the authors research question, and hy is s!he in"estigating it? Some possible critical questions Does this story seem to make sense? What is the crux of the abstract? #o does this question fit in ith hat I kno ? Am I interested in this question? Do I ha"e an opinion!critical "ie on this question? Is the author reporting and critiquing other scholars opinions? %r is the author reporting and critiquing things that other scholars ha"e gi"en evidence for? &And is the e"idence briefly summarised?' #o recent &i(e( dated' is the ork being reported? )ey texts ill not necessarily be recent( What is the central argument in this section? What reporting "erbs does the author use &claim, report, '? What ords does the author use to qualify!hedge the truth of an argument &obvious, clearly, may well be, undoubtedly, seems'? Is the methodology appropriate for its purpose? #as the author gi"en enough information so that you could replicate the data collection and analysis? If there are appendices of sample data collection instruments or sample data, do they seem ell.constructed and plausible? Is the data reported clearly? Is the data reported completely enough? Is the data reported rigorously? Are the conclusions that the author dra s 5ustified by the data s!he has reported? 6ould a different conclusion ha"e been dra n from the same data? Are conclusions and speculations clearly differentiated? What ords does the author use to qualify!hedge the truth of their argument? What ords does the author use to indicate the generali7ability of hat s!he is saying &e(g(, all, every, 7ero article'

$iterature re"ie

#o much of the bigger question ha"e other people ans ered, and in hat ays? Do the other people agree!disagree? What part of the question hasnt been ans ered?

*ethod

Is the author using quantitati"e or qualitati"e methods or both? #o has the author set about ans ering the question, i(e(+ ,( What sort of data has s!he used? -( #o has s!he collected and analysed it? Whats the data &e"idence'?

/esults

Discussion

What kno ledge is the author adding to the field, i(e(+ ,( #o do the data ans er the question? -( What conclusions does the author dra ? 0( What are the limitations of the contribution? 1( Does the author speculate on other possible implications? 2( Does the author ackno ledge any limitations to the research? 3( What questions remain to be ans ered? 4( Does this correct a pre"ious misunderstanding in the field?

Institute of Education Faculty of Culture and edagogy

John ORegan (adapted from material by Catherine Walter) !" #E$O% &asic Research $'ills $essions

Institute of Education Faculty of Culture and edagogy

John ORegan (adapted from material by Catherine Walter) !" #E$O% &asic Research $'ills $essions

The research text as a critical object: methodological framework 1 8extual boundaries+ *odes of representation+ 8opic and reading position+ 8he frame of the text( What is included in it? #o many parts does it ha"e? 8he "isual semiosis of the text( #o does the text look? #o is it laid out? What is the topic? What is the preferred reading &What does the text ant the reader to kno , learn, understand'? #o much shared kno ledge is the reader assumed to ha"e? What distincti"e representati"e features are displayed in the text &lexis, grammar, genre'? Does the text refer to the riter &self' and reader &other'? %rientation to kno ledge( What disciplinary frame orks does the text belong to!e"oke? What disciplinary schemas does the text rely on!e"oke?

Discourse features+ Identity+ 9pistemological orientation+

Steps to go through Descriptive Interpretation+ 8he formal properties and features of the text: representati"e con"entions &meaning modes+ "isual, lexical, grammatical, rhetorical': the topic: the preferred reading( 8he representati"e con"entions being dra n on and ho they are used( 6on"entional features in kno ledge construction( 8he epistemological frame ork and schemas of the discipline as reali7ed in the text( #o does the text reali7e the disciplines kno ledge forming function in relation to the ider social orld?

Representative Interpretation+ Social Interpretation+

;ased on %/egan, <( =( &->>3'( 8he text as a critical ob5ect+ %n theorising exegetic procedure in classroom.based critical discourse analysis( 3&-' Critical Discourse Studies, ,4?.->?(

Institute of Education Faculty of Culture and edagogy

John ORegan (adapted from material by Catherine Walter) !" #E$O% &asic Research $'ills $essions

Discourse features: @ocabulary #o formal or informal is the text? Are sentences short or long? What effects do these choices ha"e on the reading of the text? What disciplinary "ocabularies are employed in the text? Do any particular phraseologies seem popular in the text? What ords are gi"en capital letters, italici7ed, underlined, put in in"erted commas? #o are abbre"iations and!or acronyms reali7ed?

Arammar What common grammatical structures are used in the text? #o do these choices affect the argument of the text? #o is hedging reali7ed? What personal pronouns are used? When and ho does the riter use them? In the text as a hole hich information is put first? What is themati7ed? What is gi"en prominence? When are acti"e and passi"e constructions used? What is usually foregrounded or backgrounded?

Aenre!rhetorical structures What larger.scale structures does the text exhibit &problem!solution: general!specific'? What con"entional features does the text exhibit &in text citations, footnotes, $atinisms, bibliographical references, subheadings, numbering, quotations, tables etc'? #o are these reali7ed?

Some good websites for reading academic articles critical thinking http+!! (yukoncollege(yk(ca!Bagraham!guides!guidec(shtml Araham, A(, Cukon 6ollege( A guide to reading and analy7ing academic articles( 6oming to grips ith reading and riting academic articles( $ast "ie ed -- %ctober ->>?( Good general overview. If you missed t e session, a good strategy would be to start by reading t is. http+!! (u(ari7ona(edu!Bmlindsey!sirlsDreading! $indsey, *(, Eni"ersity of Ari7ona( Fome tips on reading research papers( $ast "ie ed -- %ctober ->>?( 9specially good bits entitled+ =arts of a research paper: /ead the paper 0 times to extract information for your purpose( http+!! (canberra(edu(au!studyskills!learning!critical Academic Fkills =rogramme, Eni"ersity of 6anberra, Australia( 6ritical thinking( $ast "ie ed -%ctober ->>?( Got only about reading: an excellent introduction to the sub5ect of critical thinking( http+!! ( riting(utoronto(ca!ad"ice!reading.and.researching!critical.reading =rocter, *(, Eni"ersity of 8oronto( 6ritical reading to ards critical riting( $ast "ie ed -- %ctober ->>?( !ery good s ort introduction to critical t in"ing. http+!! (uq(edu(au!student.ser"ices!$earning

Institute of Education Faculty of Culture and edagogy

John ORegan (adapted from material by Catherine Walter) !" #E$O% &asic Research $'ills $essions

*andy, $esley and )atherine &sic', 8he Eni"ersity of Hueensland $earning Assistance Enit( Irequently asked questions( $ast "ie ed -- %ctober ->>?( # good page on considering t e purpose of your reading $ you will be reading for different purposes during your course. #nswers t e %uestion &I can't "eep up wit all t e reading. (ow do I tac"le it)' http+!!studymore(org(uk!reading(htm /oberts, A(, *iddlesex Eni"ersity( /eading, from 8he A;6 Ftudy Auide( $ast "ie ed -- %ctober ->>?( *e organised our discussion in t e section around reading an article. + is website is a good s ort summary of points to remember w en you are reading boo"s.