Article summary #1, #2, and #3

5 points each.

Summary for article #1 due September 22.
Summary for article #2 due September 29.
Summary for article #3 due October 6.

Write a summary of a scholarly social science article published in an academic journal. You must check with me first to make sure that your article counts. If you write a summary of something that is not an academic social science article I will give you a 0 and make you redo it with an appropriate article.

The article should be broadly on the topic of your term paper. Choose articles based on your research question, not based on what you think your case studies might be. (For example: if you are really interested in the civil war in Syria, find articles about civil wars generally; if you are really interested in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, find articles about presidential primaries generally.)

Describe, as precisely as possible, the following:

  • the research question
  • the hypothesis
  • the key independent variables
  • the dependent variable
  • the units of observation
  • the findings

Typically, good summaries run at least two pages. For help with definitions of these terms, see the textbook or just ask me.

As part of this assignment, you will present one of the articles to the class. In your presentation, you will explain all of the structural elements of the article (research question, hypothesis, and so on).

Your written summary must include a complete citation. I will return, ungraded, any assignment that does not include a complete citation.

If you change your paper topic after completing any of these assignments, your score for the summary of any article that is not on your new topic will change to a 0 and will you have the opportunity to redo it on the new topic for up to full credit if the original assignment was turned in on time.

Here is how to do the assignment:

  1. Use Google Scholar to search. Find an article published in a scientific journal that tests a hypothesis with evidence. If you aren’t absolutely certain your article counts, check with me. If you use an article that is not a scientific article I will make you redo the assignment. Here is my tutorial about how to use Google Scholar.
  2. Find the full text of the article. Do this by searching for the title of it through the Marymount Library. Download the pdf of the article so that you have access to it. Here is a tutorial from Hall Baldwin, the political science librarian, about how to do that.
  3. Read the article. Identify the research question, hypothesis, units of analysis, independent variable, dependent variable, and findings. You may need to meet with me so I can help you with this part. Set a meeting time with me using my appointment calendar.
  4. Write down your summary and email it to me.