[Answered] CCPR5007 – Critical analysis of a previously published academic article. (Research Methods 1 (CCPR)


[Answered] CCPR5007 – Critical analysis of a previously published academic article. (Research Methods 1 (CCPR)

University of Glasgow

School: School of Culture and Creative Arts

Course: Creative Industries & Cultural Policy MSc

Credits: 10

Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)

Assignment 1 Details:

For this assignment, you are expected to produce a 1250 word (including references) critical analysis of ONE previously published academic article.

You can choose from the following selection of academic articles. Choose ONE:

  • Boyle, K. (2010) ‘Watch with baby’: Cinema, parenting and community, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 13 (3), 275-90.
  • Mavoa, J., Carter M. and Gibbs, M. (2017) Children and Minecraft: A survey of children’s digital play, New Media & Society, 20 (9), 3283.-3303.
  • Livingstone, S., Ólafsson, K., Helsper, E J., Lupiáñez-Villanueva, F., Veltri, G. A. and Folkvord, F. (2017) Maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks for children online: the role of digital skills in emerging strategies of parental mediation. Journal of Communication, 67 (1), 82-105.
  • Awan, F. & Gauntlett, D. (2013), Young People’s Uses and Understandings of Online Social Networks in Their Everyday Lives, Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 2013, 21 (2), 111-132.
  • Briggs, M. (2009) BBC Children’s Television, Parentcraft and Pedagogy: Towards the “Ethicalization of Existence”, Media, Culture and Society, 31 (1), 22-39.

Your essay should give a clear and critical account of the article, outlining the research approach and research methods it deploys, and providing an informed critical evaluation of the design of the study.

To do this, you will need to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the methods it uses not in abstract terms, but through closely worked and clearly referenced analysis of the article you have selected. Your essay should also explain how the research design and methods deployed within the study work to generate the particular kinds of evidence that the article offers about its subject and how they shape the arguments and conclusions that the authors present. Your critical analysis should be informed by (properly cited) theoretical work on research methods in order to place the article within the relevant research traditions, consider its limitations and evaluate its success.

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Notes on approaching the assignment

Selecting Your Article:

In order to select one article you will have to survey the articles suggested. This means using the library to locate the article, whether physically or online, and making use of the academic apparatus – including the abstract and bibliography, the nature of the journal and the academic affiliation of the author – to enable you to make an informed evaluation of the article’s content and likely approach. You should not choose arbitrarily!

Identifying Explicit or Implicit Methods and Approaches

While articles from some social science research traditions will often include a clearly marked ‘methods’ section, explaining what the researcher has done and why, studies produced within humanities disciplines can require a bit more detective work to discern the methods and techniques involved. Always begin with a careful reading of the introduction and any abstract provided. However, another good starting point is to scour the notes and/or references to see what kinds of prior academic work and primary sources they are using as evidence. You can then examine the main text to see what they actually do with them. Whatever type of study you tackle, if you can manage to evaluate the underlying assumptions of the work as well as its stated aims, processes and conclusions, then you will be working towards a higher level of analysis and critical insight.

Writing Emphasis

Remember that the emphasis in your essay should be on your evaluation of the research method/s used, not the subject that the researchers that you are writing about were investigating. In other words, don’t write a critique about the topic addressed within the article. Do explain how the methods deployed in the selected article produce particular kinds of evidence about that topic. This means you need to be very conscious of the all the points where you are summarising the findings and arguments of the authors – all such descriptions should be clearly working as evidence to support your argument about the author/authors’ methods and research design. To do this well, you must always make it absolutely clear to the reader what is your critical viewpoint and what is an idea, concept or critical reflection that comes from the key article itself (or perhaps even from another source, cited by the key article).

Framing the Ideas of the article in Your Own Words

Especially for those writing in a second language, one of the trickiest aspects of this task can be working out how to accurately represent the methods and ideas described within the article without either relying on excessive direct quotation or – more problematically – slipping into accidental plagiarism. Firstly you need to be absolutely clear about what constitutes good academic practice in this respect. Do the ‘avoiding plagiarism’ practice exercises and test (the link is on Moodle) to get a feel for what good paraphrasing looks like and what is considered unacceptably close to the original wording. Particularly when you are trying to describe new concepts, expressed in unfamiliar technical jargon, it can be very tempting to borrow the phrasing from the original article and rearrange the structure slightly or make minor word substitutions. However, this is very bad practice and is liable to result in a low grade. It is difficult to develop confidence and an original critical voice when writing about an unfamiliar topic, so the best way to approach the problem is to ensure you achieve a deep level of understanding of the methods and research practices being used. If you can explain the research processes and ideas plainly and clearly in your own words, this demonstrates that you have fully understood what all the technical terms mean. A secure grounding in the research methods literature will help you to achieve this.

Using Other Research Methods Literature

When you explain and evaluate the research methods and methodology used in the article, you should engage with, draw on and reference at least two other pieces of research methods literature. These must be listed in a bibliography in the end of your assignment. You can use the core texts as well as the Extended Reading Suggestions on the Research Methods Moodle or visit the ‘further reading’ slides and Moodle sections for each class as a starting point, but do make time to browse the library and have a look at what else is available. Please remember that the total word count for the assignment is 1250 (+/- 10%) including references, so you need to demonstrate that you can use other methodology literature effectively, and strike a balance between using sufficient other literature to corroborate your points, without using up your words with unnecessary references.

Marking Criteria

The following criteria will be used to mark the assignment:

  • How well have you situated the study within the relevant research tradition/s?
  • How well do you demonstrate an understanding of the role of research design in producing academic evidence and arguments?
  • How well have you identified and explained the method/s, underlying assumptions and research processes involved in the study?
  • How effectively do you draw on other academic literature to support your analysis?
  • What level of critical insight do you achieve in your analysis of the study and its use of methods?
  • How well is the essay structured, written, referenced and presented?

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