Select a topic of interest from the course and critically examine three articles associated with that topic. You may choose from the required readings or select your own readings (ensure that they are scholarly articles). (Please check with your lecturer if you choose readings that are not on the course reading list.)
For each article, your critical examination should include:
identification of the type of article it is (If it is reporting on research, identify the features of the research quantitative, qualitative, large-scale, small scale, etc. If it is theoretical or philosophical, identify the nature of that inquiry)
the aim of the research/article
your discussion of what the article contributes to the research.
Conclude your close reading with a summary of how all three articles contribute to your understanding of this topic.
Word length: Maximum 1800 words (approx. 450 words per article, and a 450 word summary)
Additional informationClose reading assignment guide The following notes may support you in writing your assignment. You may select three course readings and/or journal articles that you have found related to one topic of interest. Close reading involves developing a deep understanding of a particular text. Often used in literature studies when studying small passages of text, close reading, in this assignment, requires you to become very familiar with your three articles (or chapters).
Critical examination involves reading, thinking and evaluating the text with care and insight and where possible/applicable engaging with different ways to think about the topic. It invites a thoughtful, considered, and justified examination of the article. It is not a description or summary of an article/ chapter, neither is it a personal opinion piece, rather it is your attempt to evaluate and analyse the articles/chapters merits/contributions to the research/topic/study.
Critical examination is an important academic skill to develop at postgraduate level. It involves recognising, analysing and evaluating the argument, research approaches and findings, reasoning and forms of argumentation in the chapter, books and articles you read.
Questions you can ask yourself as you read each article which may be useful in writing your assignment include: What is/are the key theory/ies or conceptual idea/s of the paper? What are the methods used in the study? Were they appropriate and valid? What data analysis process was used? Does it lead logically from the methodology and methods? What is important or significant or relevant about the studys findings? How might I assess the accuracy of any findings? Is this argument backed up by evidence (from literature or data/findings of this particular study)?
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What else have I read that would help me decide if I agree or disagree with what the article/chapter is expressing? What other perspectives might add value to considering the contribution of this paper (e.g., to practice, policy or teacher professional learning)? Note 1: These are suggested questions to help get you started. Not all of the questions are relevant for each article/chapter and there may be other questions that you ask yourself too. Note 2: We recognise that many of the topics in this course are very new to you, and for most of you, if not all of you, this is your first encounter with these topics and ideas. We take this into full consideration when marking the assignment.
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