The primary motivation of the article

Instructions: Over the course of the semester, you are responsible for selecting four research articles beyond course readings and providing summaries for each. Your research summaries, each covering one article, must be submitted to Canvas by the listed due dates.

Select a research article from any of the journals listed under Journals in the SOCI 4540 Library Guide. Your choice of article must be related to the topic of one of the course modules. For example, if you choose to submit a summary for Module 5: Immigration and Racial and Ethnic Identity, then your choice of article must be relevant to the topic of immigration. For help on how to select and search for articles within the course library guide, refer to the following: Guide to Accessing and Selecting Journal Articles.pdf 

Your research summary should cover the following, in narrative format:

  1. The primary motivation of the article (i.e., why do the authors think their study is relevant or important?) and research questions asked.
  2. Theories or conceptual frameworks used in the study – including any used to support the study’s main points and any critiqued by the study
  3. The data and methods used in the study (i.e., how was the study actually carried out?)
  4. The primary findings of the study (i.e., what did the study actually discover?)
  5. A critical assessment of the article, including:
    1. Which parts of the article did you agree with and why? What are the strengths of the article, in your opinion? For example, did the author(s) use a theory or draw a conclusion that you find particularly relevant?
    2. Which part of the article did you disagree with and why? What are the weaknesses of the article, in your opinion? For example, did the author(s) overlook an important factor or fail to take into consideration an important perspective?
  6. A concluding paragraph connecting the article to other course materials and/or to contemporary events

Formatting: You must include the full citation of the research article at the end of your summary, properly formatted in ASA-style (Quick_Tips_for_ASA_Style.pdf ). Your research summaries should be no more than two single-spaced pages in Times New Roman (font size 12) in Microsoft Word format with one-inch margins all around. A template for the assignment is available on Canvas.

SOCI 4540_Research Summary Template.doc

Research Summary_Student Example 1.pdf 

Research Summary_Student Example 2.pdf 

Tips: 

  • Most research articles include an abstract with a summary of the main points and findings of the study which is useful for deciding if you are interested in the article and for understanding key points to use in your research summary.
  • Choose an article that uses research methods you are comfortable with. If you choose an article using methods you do not fully understand, you can sign up for office hours to discuss it.
  • Make sure you read the article thoroughly – preferably more than once – to make sure you are really understanding the arguments and conclusions being made.
  • Do NOT copy and paste text directly or quote extensively from the research article – your research summary should use your own words to paraphrase the relevant points from the article.
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