Assignment: Critique a Journal Article

You have been provided a set of 2 journal articles to read. These articles comprise the famous Szasz-Ausubel debate about how we should understand and treat abnormal behavior. Your assignment is to write a critique of one of the articles. You will learn which article you will be responsible to critique in class.

How do you begin?

If you follow the steps in this outline, you should achieve your goal of accomplishing this academic assignment.

  1. Read both of the articles thoroughly and make notes on their strengths and weaknesses. Think about how you personally feel about this issue.
  2. Let a few days go by doing other things (Let your brain process what you have read).
  3. Re-read the article you must critique and formulate questions about the topic and how the author presents and addresses his thesis.
  4. Try to answer the questions or respond to the impressions you have of the issue and the authors treatment of it.
  5. Find articles by authors other than Ausubel or Szasz, who deal with this question, and read about what they think.
  6. Begin to write your critique by formulating and stating a thesis challenging or supporting the validity and relevance of your author's stated position or claims.
  7. Summarize and cite in text, views that support or refute the current article.  Provide references for your citations.
  8. Give your opinion about the issues addressed in the article.
  9. Write a conclusion.
  10. Format your paper using APA style as follows:

Double check your use of APA style.  Ask one of the senior psychology majors who know how to format APA papers, or bring your paper to your instructor no less than a week before it is due for a quick APA style check.

Rewrite your paper

If you wish to make a better than average grade on this assignment, it is suggested that you read other authors who weigh in on the issues presented and who may represent a different perspective. Use the views of other authors in your critique to support your arguments, cite them appropriately in text, and include them in your references.

There is a reason that the text of the critique is limited to 3 pages.  The challenge is to learn to write concisely and get your point across succinctly. If your paper is poorly written, contains grammatical errors, or is factually confused and/or is not in APA format when presented, it will earn a failing grade.