Article Summary Format
SOC 3610: Research Methods
Stephen M Marson, Ph.D.


Directions: Each research article response due in this course should follow this format.  You should copy the headings (in bold) into your document and provide the necessary information under each heading. The material under each heading should make sense when reading it out loud, on its own. Use complete sentences and proper grammar to form a well-written paragraph of a few sentences under each heading, where appropriate.  Do not use a bulleted or outline style to answer the questions under each heading.
 

Citation:
Simply put the article citation in ASA format. ASA format is the format used in American Sociological Review and other top sociology journals. It is only slightly different from APA.
Here is an example:
Sampson, Robert J. and W. Byron Groves. 1989. “Community Structure and Violent Crime: Testing Social Disorganization Theory.” American Journal of Sociology. 94(4), 774-802.
 

Basic Summary:
What does this piece of research aim to study? What is the problem it attempts to address? What are the goals stated by the researcher(s)? What literature do they draw from? Why is this research important?
 

Hypothesis or Hypotheses:
Find their stated hypotheses and list them here. There may only be one. If they are not clearly stated, tell me what you think the hypotheses are, what assumptions they make or what goals they hope to accomplish. 

 

Data Source and Method of Collection:
What type of data is used? Did the researchers collect their own data or use an existing data source? How was this data collected? When was it collected? Where was it collected? What was the unit of analysis? How many observations were used? (In other words, what was their N?)
 

Variables:
What variables, or concepts, were measured in their study? How were they measured?
    --Dependent Variable(s): What was the main dependent variable?
    --Independent Variable(s): What were some of the independent variables?
Why were they included?


Method of Analysis:
What methods were used to analyze the data? How was the data presented? If this is a qualitative study, were specific interviews included (either in part or in their entirety)?  Was an interview instrument provided? If this is a quantitative study, were the tables organized and easy to interpret? Was any type of survey instrument provided?
 

Major Findings:
What did the researchers point out as their major findings? Do you agree based on you reading of the article?
 

Conclusions and Critique:
What conclusions do the researchers draw from the stated findings? Did they find support for or reject their hypotheses?