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Article Summary + Critique (50 Points)
1. Choose an article that applies to animal behavior or animal cognition for which you would like to
read, summarize, and critique. Read the abstract of each article to ensure that you choose one you
find interesting and easy to understand. The article must be published within the past 5 years.
2. Read and re-read the article until you feel you have a clear “picture” of the research question, how
it was addressed, what was found, and how these findings were interpreted. Take notes as you read
that you refer to when writing your summary. When you have reached this point, set the article
aside for a day or two and allow yourself time to “digest, reflect, and rethink” the information.
3. Include a Title Page and format everything APA. An example is included below. You do not need
an abstract. You should include a Reference page that references your article and any other work
you discuss in your summary. Do not include the entire reference in your paper text. Instead cite it
as you would any other piece of literature. E.g., “Rubenstein and Alcock (2018) examined the
effects of…” Use the headers below (Method, Results, Discussion, and Critique) to separate your
Your summary will be graded on the extent to which you demonstrate (1) a clear understanding of
each of the three main sections of the article and address all points therein, (2) the clarity of your
writing, including your ability to stay within the page limitations and follow APA format and style
where applicable. Points will be deducted if information is not provided, is provided but is incorrect, or
is poorly written. This is the information I will be looking for in each section:
Introduction: (10 points)
a) Problem statement: What is the main issue, question, or problem that the authors seek to
investigate? Include the species under investigation.
b) Lit Review: How is the problem contextualized in the literature? Summarize the previous
research reviewed in the paper… what has already been done, what we learned, what questions
c) Theoretical framework/rationale: What is the rationale behind this research and/or the authors’
hypotheses? What overarching theoretical account are they trying to support or disprove (it will
likely be one we’ve covered in the text).
d) Research variables: IV(s) and levels and DV(s) – This may be less clear for studies that are
observational, use comparative designs, etc. In this case, you will need to describe the approach
and identify the variables.
e) Hypotheses: What is the author’s hypothesis(es) and predictions?
Method: (10 points)
a) Sampling: How many subjects (species) were there and who were they? How were subjects
b) Research design: What research design was used (within subjects/repeated measures, between
subjects, observational, comparative)?
c) Data collection methods: How were the data collected? Describe the general method/procedure.
Results: (5 points)
a) Interpretation of results: What did the results indicate? What conclusions were drawn? Don’t
include any specific numbers/statistics here. Instead, describe the effects that were observed
and the findings. Were hypotheses supported?
Results: (5 points)
a) Interpretation of results: What did the results indicate? What conclusions were drawn? Don’t
include any specific numbers/statistics here. Instead, describe the effects that were observed
and the findings. Were hypotheses supported?
Discussion: (5 points)
b) Limitations and Future Directions: What did the authors mention as some limitations and/or
future directions for their study? What are the next steps in this line of work?
Critique (20 points)…. Now you will critique the article
1. Review the questions listed at the end of this document. These questions are meant to serve as a
reading guide – you should ask yourself these questions when reading the article you have
chosen. You are not required to answer all of these questions in your paper. These questions
only serve as a reading guide to help you identify strengths and weaknesses of an article or
study. I’ve highlighted those topics that might be particularly relevant to your critique. Review
the article with these questions in mind, and then base your critique on what you feel are the
most noteworthy strengths and weaknesses.
2. Start a new section of your paper labeled “Critique,” and critique the article primarily on its
scientific merit. This critique does not have to be all negative – you may feel that there are some
particularly strong points of the research that you wish to highlight and so you should do so. The
key is that you must justify the basis for your positive or negative evaluation by including
specific reasons and examples related to the article content.
a. Some Do’s and Don’ts:
i. Do NOT simply state, “The authors’ literature review was adequate.” You’ll want
to explain and give support for why the authors’ literature review was adequate:
“The authors clearly indicated how the research problem was related to other
findings in the literature. For example, the authors described that the findings of
Harris and Nunez (2000) indicated that children can reason about social exchange
from the age of five years, but did not indicate whether any development could be
expected between the ages of five and seven.”
ii. Do NOT say, “The authors did a good job of using APA format.” This is a peer-
reviewed and published APA paper. Of course they used the right format!
iii. Be careful criticizing sample size. Sample sizes could ALWAYS be bigger. But if
the authors find a statistically significant difference, this means their sample size
was sufficient to do so. You may critique how well they can generalize to a larger
population based on their sample, but again, you need to support this argument.
3. You should organize your critique around four main points (a combination of four strengths or
weaknesses). At the beginning of each paragraph, you should write a topic sentence (e.g., “The
authors’ literature review was adequate”) followed by a few supporting statements and then a
concluding sentence. When you are ready to discuss the next point of your critique, start a new
4. The final draft (summary and critique) should be no more than 4-5 pages of double-
spaced, typed, 12-pt. Times New Roman font (excluding Title page and References). Be
concise, but also organize information into distinctive paragraphs. Editing is 95% of the
writing process, so be sure to leave yourself time to write, set your work aside, and then
edit/revise when you can read it with a fresh pair of eyes.
5. Your critique will be graded on (1) your ability to provide an insightful, thoughtful critique,
including how well you justify your criticisms or lack thereof, and (2) the clarity of your writing,
including your ability to stay within the page limitations and follow APA format where applicable.
Please just make this exact 5 pages, there will be points taken of if I pass 5 pages
My articel is attached, that is the only article/source that should be used. This paper will go through Thank you.

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