Critical review paper
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to learn more about a specific area of interest within child development by having you select, read, and critically comment on a primary-source research article.
Topic: You must select an appropriate research article (see below for details) on any topic covered in class or raised in the textbook, with the caveat that it must include research involving human children. If your article is not about research with human children, your paper will receive a score of zero.
The research article must be published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. Some good research journals that cover development include: Developmental Psychology, Developmental Science, Child Development, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, Cognitive Development, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Social Development, Infant and Child Development, Personality and Individual Differences, and Journal of Cognition and Development. This is not an exhaustive list.
The article you select on must be a report of empirical work (e.g., not just describing a theory) and must be a report of a study (or studies) that the authors conducted. It cannot be a meta-analysis or discussion of others’ work. Additionally, it cannot be a chapter in a book nor can it be a thesis dissertation. Make sure that the selected article was published in the last 10 years (i.e., the publication date is 2008 or later). It is, however, fine if you consult older work to familiarize yourself with your topic.
(a) a cover page with your name, the course code, my name, the word count (including everything from the first word of the introduction to the last word of the discussion, not including the reference page, the title page, or the abstract of the selected article), and the title of your topic;
(b) a brief introduction to the topic that contextualizes it (explains the significance of the topic, situates it within the area of child development, defines the main terms, etc.);
(c) a brief introduction to your selected article that makes clear the study’s goals and defines any additional key terms;
(d) a concise summary of your chosen article (this includes information about the participants, the method, the findings, and the author(s)’ interpretation);
(e) a critical commentary on your research article (keep in mind that critical can include both negative and positive aspects), making sure to include justifications for comments;
(f) a reference page listing all cited sources; and
(g) the abstract of your selected article (cutting and pasting is fine, as is a screen shot of the abstract) – the abstract is not included in the word count of your assignment.
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