The Journal Critique Assignment
SWK 6335: Social Work Research for Practice Summer 2020 – Dr. Shar
What is a Critique?
A critique contains, but is not limited to, criticism. But what exactly is criticism? Although the primary definition (as well as the first thing we usually associate) focuses on negative evaluation, the secondary definition gets to the heart of the assignments. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines criticism in the following manner:
2: the work or activity of making fair, careful judgements about the good and bad qualities of somebody/something, especially books, music, etc.
For our purposes, you will summarize, evaluate, and respond to an article that you select based on a particular list of criteria.
Selection Criteria
All articles used for the journal critique assignments for this course must meet the following criteria.
• Accessible through any of the Porter Henderson Library’s online databases (e.g., ProQuest)
• Published as a peer-reviewed article (i.e., not a book review, issue introduction, or editorial) in an academic journal (i.e., not a newspaper, magazine, or professional periodical)
• Focuses on a social work, sociological, psychological, or medical problem or topic found in social work practice
• Published within the past 5 years Items for Inclusion
All critiques should conform to APA 7th edition formatting guidelines, including a cover page and references page. The following outline presents an overview of main points and areas to identify in each journal critique.
Keep in mind that specific elements to address in the critique will be dependent on each particular article. Some elements that should be included may have been edited out or omitted. You should address instances where you believe something is missing or inadequately addressed. In other words, don’t just adhere to the following outline; use your judgment.
Journal Article Critique Assignment SWK 6335 – Summer 2020 – Dr. Shar

Outline Template
Type of the article
Is the article a research study, a literature review, or a meta-analysis?
Purpose of the article
What are the claims made/hypotheses posited?
Do the authors achieve their purpose (in your own estimation)?
Summary of the article
Does the article include all necessary components?
Was the article biased? How did you reach your conclusion about bias?
Critique of the article
Did the literature review support the hypothesis and the findings?
• Was there adequate evidence established in the literature review?
• Did the article identify a theory or theories to guide the study?
• Was a theoretical base (if any) appropriately applied to article focus?
• Was the evidence based in research and/or rooted in facts?
• Was the evidence accurate?
• Did the evidence logically and adequately support the claim(s) made?
Was the methodology adequately described?
• Was the research qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods?
• Was the methodology rigorous and sound (e.g., internal validity,
external validity, reliability of measurements, criteria used for sample
• Was the description sufficient to demonstrate replicability and
• Was the data analysis appropriately chosen based on the
Do the conclusion and discussion of the article match the purpose of the article and the findings of the data analysis?
• What were the results of data analysis and were they understandable?
• Were authors’ assumptions founded by the results of the analyses?
• Were the strengths and limitations adequately identified and discussed?
• Were conclusions logically reached?
• Were counterarguments acknowledged/weaknesses identified?
Additional General Instructions
• Each critique should be 3 to 5 pages of body text and include a cover page and references page.
• Critiques should be submitted via Blackboard. Email submissions will not be accepted.
• APA 7th edition formatting must be consistently used throughout each submission.
Journal Article Critique Assignment SWK 6335 – Summer 2020 – Dr. Shar

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