I might find that some of the essays were drawn out too long, ..
Critical essay writing : Skills Hub: University of Sussex
BASIC EVALUATION GUIDELINES
Once you have understood the target journal article (and have ‘Established the facts’), you can use the questions below to begin to think evaluative about the article. You may find some of these questions are more relevant to your essay than others. In addition, your answers to these questions will be starting points in the development of your evaluation. You can, for example, use your answers to help you to identify additional relevant research and theory. You should also read the ‘CSP Coursework Guidance’ document on the VLE.
11. Are the aims of the research clear? Do they rise convincingly from previous research or observation? Have the authors convinced you that the study is worth carrying out? ?
12. If the research is quantitative, how are the variables operationalized? Is there a good argument for the validity of the operationalization? ?
13. Is the hypothesis (if there is one) clear? If there is no hypothesis, is the purpose of the paper clear? ?
14. Is the design appropriate for the purposes of the research? ?
15. Do the authors give sound practical or theoretical reasons for all their design ?decisions? ?
16. Could you, in principle, make a reasonable stab at replicating this ?investigation using the information provided? ?
17. Is the sample appropriate? To what extent can we generalise from it? ?
18. Are the results clearly presented? ?
19. Have the authors used appropriate statistical tests? Do they report missing ?data or outliers and say how these were dealt with? ?
20. Is it obvious how the research questions or hypothesis/es are being answered ?by the results? ?
21. How do the authors interpret their results? Are the authors’ claims supported ?by the actual data? ?
22. Are there any new or unexpected findings? If so, are they presented as a ?coherent part of the story? ?
23. Does the research come together as a unitary whole? Does the discussion ?refer back to the issues identified in the introduction? ?
24. Have the authors done what they set out to do? ?
25. What leads for future research does the paper give? Are these sensible in the ?light of their findings? ?
26. What is the value of the research? Does it answer an important question or ?does it seem trivial? Has it contributed to our understanding of the subject ?area? ?
27. Look back at the title and abstract. Do they give an accurate account of what ?you have just read? ?
So set out your plan for the essay at the outset and then use ..
When I came onto the project in the late 1970s, also influentialfor me were Marxism and the ideological critique of romantic authorship sincethese theories assumed a historical materialist base. This philosophicalposition was much more credible to explain history and historical change. Italso fit with my biography as a working-class daughter who was a first-generationcollege student. Itmatched my political progressivism. Turning to an eclectic group of Marxisttheorists—Harry Braverman, Raymond Williams, Jean-Louis Comolli, John Ellis,Louis Althusser, and other analyses of modes of production—I looked for(and found) valuable explanations about how and why labor divided and constructedsystems of bureaucracy and work patterns to insure both the standardization anddifferentiation of an entertainment product. One of the points that I stressedwas that “what was occurring was not a result of a Zeitgeist orimmaterial forces. The sites of the distribution of these practices werematerial: labor, professional, and trade associations, advertising materials,handbooks, film reviews” (CHC, 89). Although I had not beenreading contemporaneous structural-functionalist production of culture literatureby Howard Becker, Paul DiMaggio, Paul Hirsch, Richard A. Peterson, and others,similar general issues permeated both sets of literature even if the theoreticalexplanations differed.