Counseling Article Critique

This assignment is designed to assess skill acquisition in regards to being able to read,
understand, and critique articles from the counseling field.
Students will evaluate one scholarly research article in a 7–8-page article critique (not including
title page and references). Articles may reflect a variety of research methodologies (i.e.,
quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method). Students are expected to evaluate all sections of the
article; introduction/literature review, method, results, and discussion/conclusion.
Students are expected to follow APA 7 professional paper outline (except the abstract section).
Along with the critic make sure to submit a PDF of the original article.
Students should use the outline provided below and address the following questions in their
Evaluating Introduction/ Literature Review
• Did the researcher(s) present an adequate rationale for conducting the study, and are
gaps in the literature clearly identified?
• So what? What difference will the study make to the fields of counseling or
• Is the literature review thorough and comprehensive?
• Did the researcher(s) demonstrate any potential biases in the literature review?
• Are all important concepts clearly defined by the researcher(s)?
• Did the researcher(s) clearly describe previous methods that are relevant to
understanding the purpose for conducting this study?
Evaluating Purpose Statement
• Is the purpose statement clearly based on the argument developed in the literature
review? Is there a clear connection?
• Can the type of study that was conducted be identified based on the purpose
statement? Did the researcher(s) use words such as comparisons, relationships,
illuminate, change over time, or describe?
• Are the variables of interest clearly identified in the purpose statement? If the study is
a true experimental design, did the researcher(s) clearly identify the independent and
dependent variables? What are they? In qualitative or descriptive studies, is there at
least one variable of interest that is clearly identified? What is it?
• Is the population of interest clearly identified in the purpose statement?
• Do the study and the purpose statement focus on problems that are researchable?
Evaluating Hypothesis
• Did the researchers identify a working hypothesis or a theory they were testing?
• Is the hypothesis parsimonious with current theories or research?
Evaluating Method
• Are relevant demographic characteristics of the sample clearly identified?
• Do the methods of sample selection used by the researcher(s) provide a good
representative sample based on the population?
• Are there any apparent biases in selection of the sample?
• Is the sample size large enough for the study proposed?
• Did the researcher(s) use the appropriate sampling technique for the purpose and type
of research design employed?
• Are volunteers used? If so, what is the response rate? If the response rate is low, did
the researcher(s) attempt to determine if those who volunteer are significantly
different from those who do not participate?
Instruments for Qualitative Methods
• Is there a clear and adequate description of the instrument?
• What types of measures were used in the study (direct observation and behavioral
measures and/or interview)? Identify any problems or limitations with the types of
measures used.
• Does the instrument appear to be appropriate for the sample (e.g., are there any crosscultural, gender, and/or diversity biases)?
• What type of research design was used in the study?
• Is the research design consistent with the purpose and hypothesis presented in the
• Are the independent variables clearly defined? Are the independent variables so
clearly defined that they can be replicated using the information provided in the
procedures section?
• Identify any threats to internal validity. How are they threats?
• Identify any threats to external validity. How are they threats?
Evaluating Results
For Qualitative Methods
• What units of analysis were used, and were they clearly identified (review Chapter
• What tactics or strategies for coding and interpreting the data were made (e.g.,
identifying themes, clustering, creating metaphors)? Are they clearly described?
• Are concrete examples of the data clearly linked to identified themes, concepts,
and/or theories? Are these examples adequate?
Evaluating Discussion/Conclusion
• Did the researcher(s) clearly restate the purpose and research hypotheses or
• Did the researcher(s) clearly discuss the implications of the findings and how they
relate to theories, others’ findings, and actual practice?
• If relevant, did the researcher(s) provide alternative explanations of the results
obtained when there is discrepancy with other sources or expected outcomes?
• Did the researcher(s) identify potential limitations of the study and the results?
• Did the researcher(s) identify possible directions for future research?

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