One: Browse some of the following links to become familiar with the
variety of professional journals available online.
Spend about an
hour browsing through some of the educational journal sites listed below.
You might want to bookmark a few of the sites that interest you so that
you can periodically catch up on the latest issues and ideas in education.
Most of these sites offer free access to journal articles or a sampling
of downloadable articles; others offer only abstracts and require you
to subscribe to read entire articles. If you read an abstract of a study
that interests you, you might want to search for that article in the
Task Two: Find
a research study that interests you and read for valuable information.
Choose a journal
article you find online or in the library (make sure the article is
about a research study). Some articles are long and laborious, so feel
free to scan for the most relevant information. Read the article well
enough to get a basic understanding of the researchers' methods and
If you would like,
you can choose a study that will help you in one of your other classes
this semester. For example, if you need to write a paper about literacy,
find a study that will help you prepare for that assignment.
Task Three: Classify
your study as Experimental, Correlational or Descriptive.
In an experimental
study, the researcher somehow manipulates soemthing in the natural
environment to test a theory, then measures the effect of that
change. For example, the researcher might measure the effects
of a new type of math instruction on a group of fifth-grade students.
An experimental study typically includes an experimental group
(the group that receives the treatment) and a control group (a
similar group that does not receive the treatment). In a good
study, the subjects are assigned to one group or the other at
In a correclational
study, the researcher studies two variables (GPAs and SAT scores,
for example) to see how they are related. They can be positively
correlated (the higher the GPA, the higher the SAT score), negatively
correlated (the higher the GPA, the lower the SAT ) or uncorrelated
(there appears to be little relationship between the two sets
study does just that—it describes a situation. The researcher
uses surveys, interviews or observation to learn something about
a social group such a specific first-grade class, gifted and talented
students at several school, etc., then reports that information.
An ethnography is a descriptive study in which the researcher
makes observations over a specified period of time.
Task Four: Write
a short summary of your article. Include the following componants:
& Class Section
the top of the page.
author, title and source of your article.
the study is experimental, correlational or descriptive.
||Write a paragraph
or that explains the findings of the study
own brief assessment of the study. Were the results interesting
to you? Does the study inform classroom practice? Do the researcher's
conclusions seem valid to you?
|See some examples
of summaries at the following address:
available at this time.