Journal Article Assignment

Students are to obtain a journal article from a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal to review for the assignment.  This article should be relevant to the field of corrections as well as the book for the class – NewJack: Guarding Sing Sing. You should choose an article in which researchers actually conduct a study, and not simply a review of other research or an article written by a third party summarizing the research. Therefore, you should see headings (such as Methods, Results, Discussion) in your article or, if you do not see similar headings or sections, do not use that article! 

The assignment should use the following heading format (although the information may vary in the body of the article):

  1. American Psychological Association style citation:
  • This link can assist you with APA citations: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ (Links to an external site.)
  • I also posted an APA citation document in the folder on Canvas.
  • You are also always welcome to stop by my office and ask too. 🙂
  1. Purpose and prior findings:
  • What is the purpose of this study?
  • What led researchers to want to study this question?
  • What has been done in the past?

This content is usually in the first section of the article, and you will notice that the authors usually cite several other researchers and studies. The introductory section contains the previous research and findings that have left some sort of logical gap in the information base.

  1. Hypothesis or Research Question:
  • What does the researcher predict will happen in their study?
  • What question does the research intend to answer?
  1. Method:
  • What type of data did the researchers use?
  • What tests, interviews, or surveys did the researchers use?
  • What is the sample size?
  • What was the analytic strategy used?

The ultimate goal of a good methods section is in the ability of another researcher to replicate (re-do the experiment in the same way the original researchers did). However, if a reader knows what the researcher did to derive their findings, sometimes you can develop more or less confidence based on that knowledge. Be as specific as possible!

  1. Results:
  • What were the main findings of the study?
  • Were the results consistent with the hypotheses?

The results section tends to be confusing for most people because of the statistical complexity.  I do not expect you to interpret the statistical information, but you should be able to get a sense from the text regarding the findings. When you search for articles, I would recommend that you choose an article without a difficult results section. It may aid you in your interpretation.  Even if the numbers and statistical terms are difficult to understand, careful examination of the written language around the statistics can give you a better idea of the findings.

  1. Discussion/Conclusions:
  • What was the overall conclusion?
  • Did the researchers discuss any flaws in their findings?
  • What is the significance of the findings?
  1. Critical Review:
  • How is this article related to the book – NewJack: Guarding Sing Sing

Notes:

  • You will submit the assignment via Canvas with Turnitin to check for plagiarism.
  • Try to choose an article that you can understand. If you cannot find one, ask me and I will help you.
  • The questions that I have listed above are not “required” questions but are only questions to guide your thinking.

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