Scholarly/analytic critique of a journal article (20%). You will select a scholarly article based on original research (research that uses primary data) in the field of urban studies and write an analytical critique of it. Your paper will summarize the research undertaken, discuss the approach and methodology chosen for the research and offer an opinion as to whether these were appropriate to the research; you will also offer an opinion on the credibility of the data produced and the conclusions drawn. This is not a ‘book report’. You are expected to engage with the issues raised in the article and to conclude by pointing out questions arising from these issues and how they were addressed (or not) by the author/s. Questions you may want to ask yourself include:
1. Has the author formulated a problem/issue?
2. Is it clearly defined? Is its significance (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established?
3. Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective?
4. What is the author’s research orientation (e.g., interpretive, critical science, combination)?
5. What is the author’s theoretical framework (e.g., psychological, developmental, feminist)?
6. What is the relationship between the theoretical and research perspectives?
7. Has the author evaluated the literature relevant to the problem/issue? Does the author
include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with?
8. In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design (e.g., population,
intervention, outcome)? How accurate and valid are the measurements? Is the analysis of the
data accurate and relevant to the research question? Are the conclusions validly based upon
the data and analysis?
9. In material written for a popular readership, does the author use appeals to emotion,
one-sided examples, or rhetorically charged language and tone? Is there an objective basis to
the reasoning, or is the author merely “proving” what he or she already believes?
10. How does the author structure the argument? Can you “deconstruct” the flow of the
argument to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect
11. In what ways does this book or article contribute to our understanding of the problem
under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? What are the strengths and limitations?
12. How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing?
The paper may not exceed 1,000 words (not including title page and bibliography); please do a word count and note final tally on the title page (on all assignments). Put the full reference of the article on the front page and attach a copy of the article to your paper. If you chose to use other readings to aid you in your analysis, they must be referenced at the end of the assignment using Chicago style. This is a misleadingly short assignment: clear and concise writing requires structure, thought, and repeated editing.