Please evaluate the attached research paper. You will be expected to show that you understand the kind of contribution the author(s) is / are making to an area of debate in education research. You might find it helpful to ask some of the following questions in order to ‘open up’ your chosen research text or texts. You do not have to cover all these questions, please use them as a guide. Remember that an ‘analysis’ does not mean coming up with needlessly critical complaints, for instance that the author should have interviewed ‘more participants’: the point is to relate this article(s) to your own interests and think about how it might inform – be a resource for – your own approach.
· Who is the author? What do you know about them, where are they located institutionally and in terms of discipline?
· What (kind of) journal is the article published in? Think about discipline, focus, readership…
· Is the problem or question to be addressed clearly outlined? And how is its importance established?
· What academic ‘conversation’ or body of literatures is the text engaging with?
· What kind of criteria might be appropriate for judging this text?
· How are knowledge claims established and defended?
· Could this text convince someone who was initially sceptical of the claims being made?
· How transparent is the research process? Do you have sufficient information to make a judgement regarding the findings?
· Where does this text get its authority?
· How does this text persuade?
· Whose ‘voices’ are privileged in this text? Who is silenced?
· Who is included in the research sample, and who is not? Does this matter?
· Who responded and who is ‘missing’?
· How are subjects drawn in this text? Who / what gets agency?
· What kind of reader is this text addressing?
· Where are the gaps, silences and inconsistencies in this text?
· What is the role of theory in this text?
· What account of methodology is provided (that is, theory about why certain methods have been used, theory about what is in the world and how we come to know it)?
· Is the evidence given sufficient to support the claims made? What other evidence would you like to see? Or, is ‘evidence’ the key issue here anyway?
· How are ethical issues addressed?
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