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In this assignment, you are asked to critically review three articles from the reading
list of a particular week. You can combine required and recommended readings any
way you want. For example, you can pick three required readings, three
recommended readings, two required and one recommended, etc. However, you
cannot combine readings from different weeks. If there are less than three readings
in the required reading list for the week in which you submit the response paper,
you need to pick the remaining reading from the recommended reading section.
Students can choose the topic/Week in which they would like to hand in the
Response Paper. The Response Paper can be submitted at any time between Week 2
and Week 12. The Response Paper is due by the end of the Week in which you
choose to submit it. For example, if you choose to write your response paper on
“Left-Wing Extremism,” the topic covered in Week 3, then you need to submit the
paper by the Sunday at the end of Week 3, by 11.59 pm.
All sources that are used need to be properly documented. Students may use any
citation style of their choice (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, etc.), but need to be
consistent throughout.
Papers must be:
1) Between 4-5 pages in length (not including the cover sheet and the
2) Calibri, Verdana, or Arial font, 12pt font, 1.5-double spaced, and with
normal width margins
3) Paginated
4) Include a cover sheet that contains the student’s name; the date; the
course name and number; the week/topic of the response paper; and a
list of the three readings.
5) Include a bibliography
6) Required Software:
7) Assignments should be submitted as a .doc, docx, or pdf file. If you do
not currently have Office, MS Office software (PC or Mac) is available
to UML students at the following URL:
If you are working on mobile devices (which I do not recommend), you
will need to download one of the many free apps from their app store.
Response papers should start by briefly summarizing the main argument made in the
three chosen readings, but the bulk of the paper must offer a critique of these three
readings. The majority of the critique should be devoted to the substance of the
articles, but critiques can also relate to a structural and stylistic aspects of the article,
as long as the majority of the paper covers substantive aspects.
In critiquing each of the articles, students can ask themselves a number of questions.
These questions are designed to help you critique the papersyou DO NOT need to
answer each of these questions (and even if you wanted to do that, there is not
enough space available to do so).
Is the purpose of the article clear?
Does the author/s put forward a plausible argument?
Is there a clear connection between the research question and the
Is the argument presented in a logical and coherent fashion?
Are there inconsistencies in the text?
Does the author ask the right question?
Does the author provide evidence for his argument, and if so, how strong is
that evidence?
Is the argument outdated/irrelevant?
Does the author consider alternative explanations?
Can the authors argument be applied to examples other than used by the
Is the argument outdated/irrelevant?
Is the article well structured? If not, what could have been done
What are the limitations of the article?
Structure of the Response Paper:
1) Students should introduce each article in turn. Briefly present the research
question of each article and the main argument, as well as key findings.
2) Provide a critique to the article. In critiquing, you may ask yourself some of the
questions from the above list, but you can also build your critique around other
questions/issues that you have come up with on your own.
3) Repeat the first two steps for the second and third articles.
4) Briefly summarize your critique of the three articles, offering strengths and
weaknesses of each.
Papers are graded based on the following criteria:
Substance of the critique Is the critique fair and substantiated by evidence?
Logic Are the answers logical and coherent? Are the answers structured in a
logical and coherent fashion?
Clarity – Does the student articulate his/her points clearly?
Originality Does the student offer an interesting argument?
Sources and referencing – Does the student cite the sources used appropriately?
Does the student use a reasonable amount of sources? Has the student made a
reasonable effort to rely on readings, rather than class discussion or lecture
notes, whenever possible?
Adherence to guidelines – Did the student adhere to all the guidelines for the
response papers (page limitation, formatting, bibliography, etc.)?