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SOC110: Introduction to Sociology Dr. Sarah Goodrum. Tips for Critical Reading. Reading a Research Article Adapted from: Babbie, Earl. 2001. The Practice of Social Research, 9 th Ed . Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

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SOC110: Introduction to SociologyDr. Sarah Goodrum

Tips for Critical Reading

Reading a Research ArticleAdapted from: Babbie, Earl. 2001. The Practice of Social Research, 9th Ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing

  • What is the basic research question or problem? (try to state in one sentence)

    • What was the hypothesis, if any?

    • What were the independent and dependent variables in the hypothesis?

  • Was a particular theoretical framework (or sociological theory) used? Which one?

    • Would a different framework/theory yield different findings?

  • What prior research was reviewed? Was the review adequate?

  • Describe the methods used (e.g., population, sample selection, questions/measures, analysis techniques).

    • Were the methods used appropriate? Were they ethical?

  • What were the findings? (try to state in 2-3 sentences)

    • Did the findings confirm or refute the hypothesis, if any?

    • Did they confirm or refute previous research? How so? To what extent?

    • How can the findings be used to understand other populations or problems?

  • Critical Thinking

    • first, understand the material (before critiquing it)

    • then, examine and evaluate it:

      • don’t just accept what you read at face value

      • look for any underlying assumptions

      • ask yourself, if the findings would be different:

        • with a different theoretical approach? how so?

        • in a different time period or place? how so?

        • with a different methodological approach (e.g., population, sample selection, interview questions, analysis)? explain.

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