– Don’t use direct quotes – Your article summary must include a few specific sections, as described below. Please note that which particular sections are required depends on whether you are summarizing an empirical article or a review article. If your summary is missing any sections, it will initially receive a score of 0. However, you will be invited to revise and resubmit your summary. As long as you do so before the final deadline, you can still receive full credit for that summary. Empirical articles: If you are summarizing an empirical article (i.e. an article that presents one or more new research studies, not a review of past studies), you must include the following 5 sections in your summary: 1. Background: Why did the author(s) conduct this study? What theory and/or hypothesis are they testing? (Note: If there are several hypotheses, you can just list 3 of them.) 2. Methods: Who were the participants, and how were they Results: What were the key results (findings)? Did these results support the researchers’ hypothesis? (If there were several findings, you can just discuss 3 of them.) 4. Strengths and weaknesses: To exercise your creative and critical thinking skills, please describe at least 1 strength and 1 weakness of the study or studies that were presented. For example, how representative was the sample of the population of interest? Did the study do a good job of capturing (measuring or manipulating) key variables? Were there any problems with how the study was designed or conducted? Can you think of any alternative explanations for the findings, other than the explanation the authors proposed? 5. Implications and broader impacts: How do the findings inform theory (e.g., did they support a particular theory, challenge that theory, or add nuance)? Why do the findings matter in the “real world”? For example, could information gained through this study be used to help design new interventions, programs, or policies? Review articles: If you are summarizing a review article (i.e. a summary/critique of multiple past studies, not an empirical article presenting new studies), you may notice that it tends to provide an overview of key hypotheses, findings, and strengths and weaknesses of this area of research as a whole, rather than providing more detailed information about specific studies. If that’s the case, please include the following sections: 1. Summary of main points: Summarize the main points in each section of the review article as best you can. 2. Strengths and weaknesses: To exercise your creative and critical thinking skills, please describe at least 1 strength and 1 weakness of the body of research being reviewed. For example, how representative have samples in this area of research been of the population of interest? Have studies in this area generally done a good job of capturing (measuring or manipulating) key variables? Have there been any problems with how studies have been designed or conducted? Can you think of any alternative explanations for key findings in this area? Are there any gaps or disagreements in this area of research?) 3. Implications and broader impacts: How have findings in this area of research informed theory (have findings generally supported a particular theory, challenged that theory, or added nuance)? Why do findings from this area of research matter in the “real world”? For example, could information gained through studies in this area of research be used to help design new interventions, programs, or policies?
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