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Journal analysis

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Imagine that the editor of a journal has asked you to analyze an article from the journal by evaluating the following questions:

  • Is the article a well-written technical document?
  • Have the authors proven their thesis using scientific methodologies?

Note that you are analyzing the article for readability and scientific methodology. You are not providing a summary of the content. Also, note that Sections 2 and 3 in the Guidelines below will be the main sections of your report.

Due draft upload to Canvas before the start of class for PR: Wednesday, October 16, 2019.

Final draft due: Wednesday, Oct 21, 2019

Both the Canvas copy and the paper copy are required for a grade to be earned.

Length: 4 pages, single-spaced, 12-point font, blank line between paragraphs

Format: Informational report to the journal editors (specific names). For sample layouts of an informational report, see Markel, chapter 17.

Your Canvas submission MUST include: (1.) your informational report, (2.) a screenshot from Ulrich’s Web, (3.) a copy of the first page of the journal article, and (4.) the grade sheet.

Grade: 100 points or 10% of course grade

A. Find a Journal Article. This section will be completed during your visit to the MLK Library.

Find a peer-reviewed, technical article from a high quality professional technical journal, preferably related to your major. You are required to select an article from a professional journal and not a magazine because this makes a difference in trusting the validity of the data. You must check Ulrich’s Web to ensure you have a peer-reviewed article. Please take a screenshot. The journal must be dated between 2011 and 2016.

When you have chosen your article, look at the journal and identify the editors of the journal. Also find other details about the journal that might help in your introduction (see Part B Guidelines Section 1 below.)

B. Guidelines:

  1. Introduction
    1. State the purpose of your memo and forecast your report’s content.
    2. Give brief information about the journal. Discuss the following: Journal name? Peer reviewed? Exclusively online? Available for subscription? Published monthly, quarterly? Publisher’s name? Intended audience?
    3. Provide information about the article. You could include some of the following: Who are the authors? What universities are they from? What are their degrees? Who is the intended audience for the article? What is the main purpose of the article? What year was the article published?
    4. Explain why you chose the article and how you found it.
  1. Readability and writing qualities
    1. Establish your analysis of the article’s “readability” based on Markel’s Characteristics of a Technical Document (pp. 7 and later chapters). Provide several specific examples from the article to show how it follows the six characteristics. Do not use words such as “good” or “great.” Explain “why.” How have the authors used tables, graphs, and figures?
    2. What is your conclusion concerning the writing quality of the article? Use Markel’s Measures of Excellence in Technical Communication (pp. 7–9, and later chapters). Provide several examples from the article.
  2. Scientific methodologies
    1. Briefly explain the scientific method or the design process used in the article. Markel’s text will help with understanding scientific methods and real science. See Markel’s Experiments showing the scientific method: p. 134. Cunningham’s Principles of Environmental Science will also be helpful. See section 1.4 “Science helps us understand our world” and section 1.5 “Critical thinking.”
    2. Briefly explain pseudoscience. Use critical thinking, and check for pseudoscience versus real science (examples in lecture and text). Discuss why this article is not pseudoscience. Provide examples in your report.
  3. Conclusion
    1. Summarize your analysis and explain whether the article contributed to your understanding of ways to present your research. Why would this be a good journal for you to submit to in the future?
    2. What is your impression of the journal?
    3. What key points did you learn for your future writing?
  4. References
    1. Provide references for any sources used including Markel and the journal article reference. Use APA format. For proper documentation, please see the following:
      1. Markel Technical Communication, Appendix Part B
      2. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ (Links to an external site.)

C. Objectives of this assignment:

  • To explain, analyze, develop, and criticize ideas effectively (Area Z, SLO 2)
  • To organize and develop documents (Area Z, SLO 3)
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the methods and limits of scientific investigation (Area R, SLO 1)
  • To distinguish science from pseudoscience (Area R, SLO 2)

D. Policies from the Syllabus: