As you embark on your career as a student, it is very likely that you will be asked to prepare papers or essays that require you to do “research” or to conduct a “literature review” on a particular topic



Research Article Summary – Due October 7, 2020

As you embark on your career as a student, it is very likely that you will be asked to prepare papers or essays that require you to do “research” or to conduct a “literature review” on a particular topic. You may find information from many sources such as books, textbooks, government documents, the Internet, and periodicals such as magazines and academic journals. The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize you with research articles that are published in academic journals.

Academic journals are periodicals that are published on a regular basis and therefore contain the latest findings in specific fields. Academic journals generally contain two types of articles:

  1. Literature reviews provide an overview of the findings of research on a specific topic. They are secondary information sources because they report on the work of other people.
  2. Research articles report on the original research conducted by the author(s) of the article. Research articles are primary information sources that report on the original work of the authors. Authors will provide a description of the research questions that were being asked in the study (sometimes in the form of specific hypotheses), the sample and method used to gather data, the method of data analysis, and the findings and conclusions of the study. 

For this assignment you are required to prepare a summary of a research article published in an academic journal that reports on original research. You are free to choose research on any topic that is related to families. Journal of Family Issues, Family Relations, and Journal of Marriage and Family are journals that are commonly used to report on research in the field of family studies. These journals are available online through the University of Manitoba Libraries. However, you do not need to limit your search to these journals. Many other appropriate journals may be found by searching through the University of Manitoba Libraries. The limitation on your choice of articles is that it must have been published within the last five years. Make sure there is a methods section that describes how the authors conducted their research.

There are a few ways to search for journal articles. If you are not particular about the topic of the article that you summarize, you can simply browse through journals to pick an article. You can access journals online by going to the University of Manitoba Libraries homepage and searching by journal title. For example, you could type the title Journal of Family Issues and then explore the journal and select an article.

If you would like to summarize an article on a particular topic, you can search through the on-line databases available through the University of Manitoba Libraries. I like to search for articles through EBSCOhost, because so many peer reviewed articles from academic journals are available through this database. You do not need to use this database, but it will help you get started if you are uncertain about the process. From the Libraries homepage, under "Find" click "Databases A-Z". Next, look under “E” for EBSCOhost Full Text. After you enter your ID and PIN number you will need to choose a database from within EBSCOhost. I always use “Academic Search Complete”, because it contains academic sources. Once you continue, you will be on the search page where you can search by topic. You can limit your search to peer reviewed journals from periodicals and you can also limit your search by date of publication. More information on searching for research articles is available through the University of Manitoba Libraries  Finding an article will take some time. It is best not to leave this for too long.


The summary of the research article should be brief (maximum of one typed double-spaced page using 12-point font and one-inch margins) and should contain the following components:


Reference Information: Full reference information should be presented at the top of the page. This is the format used in annotated bibliographies and this assignment resembles an annotated bibliography.  Reference information should be displayed in APA (7th edition) format. Information on citing sources using APA format can be found online through the Academic Learning Centre or the University of Manitoba Libraries. Students can also borrow a printed copy of the APA manual from the library or purchase a copy of the manual through the University of Manitoba Bookstore.

Purpose and theoretical orientation: What was the purpose of the study or what was the researcher(s) trying to find out? Note: In some research, several very specific hypotheses are tested. You do not need to include a lengthy list of hypotheses; just state the general purpose of the study. Was the theoretical perspective used by the researchers identified? If so, what was it? If no theoretical perspective was identified, state this.

Methods: What methods were used to collect the data for this study? For example, was a survey used? Were in-depth interviews used? Was it an experiment? Was it secondary analysis (analyzing data collected in a different study)? 

Sample: From whom was information collected? For example, was a random sample of households in Canada used? Were women who have children attending day care surveyed? Were men who choose to be “househusbands” interviewed? How large was the sample?

Data analysis: How were the data analyzed? Was qualitative analysis that generated themes and categories used? Was quantitative analysis using statistical procedures applied? Note: Students are not expected to have a sophisticated knowledge of statistical analysis techniques. It is fine to just report that “statistical procedures were used in the data analysis”. 

Findings: What were the general findings of the study?

Note: If the research article includes several hypotheses, you do not need to discuss whether or not support was found for each of them. Look for general findings or conclusions.

In this assignment as in any other assignment, you must avoid plagiarism. Try to put information in your own words. You are listing the source of information at the top of the page, so you do not need to cite the source again within the text of the summary if you have used your own words and paraphrased information from the article. However, if you use any direct quotations, you must use quotation marks and provide the page number of the article from which the quotation was lifted. Refer to the examples of direct quotations found in the instructions for Assignment 3.

All assignments are submitted in UM Learn in the assignment submission folder labelled for each assignment. The assignment must be a Word file and the file title should be Research Summary and your surname (or example, "Research Summary, Smith"). Please do not submit PDF or other file formats. All assignments must include a title pageAlways keep a backup copy of your work and save this each time you work on the assignment. It is your responsibility to check to see that the assignment has been received in UM Learn and that the file can be opened.

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