Students will select and read two educational research papers with two contrasting research methodologies (e.g. one paper may engage solely with qualitative methodologies the other quantitative methodologies; one may use case studies, the other ethnography etc.). The essay will provide an assessment of the aims of the papers and how these methodologies were used to meet these aims, along with the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches chosen (2,000 words):

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What is the authors’ motive? What are they trying to do in writing this?
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You are not writing a story or narrative – the word ‘critique’ implies a level of evaluation
Use the guidance sheets for critical reading
Writing is in the third person
ensure that you are clear about the authors’ intentions – you are then in a better position to determine how well these have been achieved
Consider the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the methodologies
Look out for the epistemological positions of the authors. If these aren’t apparent try and suggest what they might be based on the methodology chose.

Critical Synopsis of journal articles/other texts

1. Publication Details (author, year, title, publication)

2. What is the relevance of this text? Why am I reading this?

3. What is the authors’ motive? What are they trying to do in writing this?

4. How are their findings/conclusions relevant to what I want to find out?

5. How convincing is what the authors are saying? Can their evidence be challenged?

6. What use can I make of this? How will this influence my research/essay/dissertation?

• When looking to compare information or sources you can ask as a reflection, how do these articles/sources support or refute one another?

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