How to Critique Journal Articles in the Social Sciences:  by Scott R. Harris
135 pages, $21.95 list
1-4786-4692-6
978-1-4786-4692-1
eBook availability
How to Critique Journal Articles in the Social Sciences
Second Edition
Journal articles form the bedrock of social science, but they can be unfamiliar and intimidating to students. This brief, introductory guide helps readers appreciate the rigor and pitfalls of research by comparing it to more ordinary ways of knowing. Each chapter focuses on a key aspect of articles, demystifying step-by-step the complexities of social research.

Harris encourages readers to avoid naivete (accepting research findings as simple Truth) and cynicism (dismissing research as hopelessly flawed), and instead adopt a critical perspective that appreciates the strengths and weaknesses of any piece of scholarship. A new chapter on research design explores how scientists choose a broad approach to study a topic, which impacts subsequent research decisions. Exercises throughout allow readers to practice the highlighted techniques in class discussion, short assignments, or a major writing project. Comprehensive yet succinct and accessible, the second edition of How to Critique Journal Articles in the Social Sciences equips students with the confidence to read and understand social research for use in their education, careers, and personal lives.
Reactions
“Harris’ straightforward guidance enables PhD students to think critically about the information contained in journal articles, increasing their ability to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the information presented.” — John Read, Troy University

“It is an exceptional overview that has been well-received by students, both at the beginning of their program and as they develop their literature reviews.” — Marcia Godwin, University of La Verne
Table of Contents
1. Social Research versus Ordinary Ways of Knowing
2. What Is a Journal Article?
3. Defining Key Terms
4. Literature Reviews
5. Research Design
6. Measurement
7. Sampling
8. Analysis
9. Ethics
10. Politics
11. Why Read Journal Articles—and Think Critically about Them?