Study Guide for Critically Reading Scholarly Articles


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This template is designed to guide a collaborative composition assignment. Using a wiki or Google Docs, students can 'crowdsource' complex scholarly articles by distributing the questions. The template has also been used to enable students to create a class handout for a discussion they lead about an assigned article. This template could function as a study guide that prepares students for a quiz, synthesis essay, or in-depth class discussion about the conventions of academic writing. Regardless, the content would help instructors create lesson plans about academic writing conventions and college-level standards of reading comprehension.

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Study Guide for Critically Reading Scholarly Articles

  1. 1. Study Guide for a Scholarly Article Group Members Names: [“Article Title”] by [Author’s name(s)] I. Article Summary Purpose of Research What investment does the author have in this issue? What is the goal of the article? How do you know? Please include specific page numbers and examples from the text, and/or biographical information about the author, to defend your response. Thesis What is the authors’ main argument? Methodology What are the authors’ methods? What strategy does the author use to make and defend their argument? Key Concepts/Terms What terms does the author choose to define? What terms/concepts seem to be repeated throughout the article? Arguments and Support What claims does the author make to support their main argument (thesis)? How does the author go about defending their claims? Does the author offer enough support for her or his position? Counter-Arguments Does the author offer any alternative points of view? How does the author negotiate between the alternative point of view and their own main claims? Author’s Stance Does the author have an identifiable tone toward his or her subject? If so, what is it? II. Group Evaluation of the Article Application to Real-Life Situations Do your experiences or the experiences of your peers confirm or deny the article’s findings? Discuss any differences you had among each other as a group. Offer the reader at least two real-life scenarios in which the ideas of this article would be applicable. Limitations of Author's Claim Carefully examine the author's claim. How might the author's claim be true in some cases, but not in others?
  2. 2. Author Credibility Where does the study appear? Who is this person writing for? What are the author’s qualifications? Underlying Assumptions of Author's Claim and Reasons* What would the audience have to believe in order to agree that the author's claim is warranted/valid/necessary? Connection to Current Events Briefly summarize at least two current events that demonstrate and/or challenge your author's arguments. Post links, as well. Connection to Research Topics In what ways does this article connect to one or more of our major research areas? How might your group, or other members of the class, use this article for their proposal? Group Argument Which aspects of the article stood out to most members of the group? What did you want to know more about? What connections exist between this article and another article you have read for the course so far? What's significant about those connections?