1. Essay: A critical review of research article from relevant academic refereed journals.
Task 1: Essay: A critical review of a research paper (2000 words)
You are required to write a critical review of the selected paper.
Guidance on reviewing papers:
2. What contribution does the paper make to knowledge in the field. What problem(s)/issue(s) the paper address? Why the study is important?
3. Identify the main focus and arguments of the author(s).
4. Identify any explicit/implicit theory/framework used in the paper and any explicit/implicit approach that the author(s) might have employed.
5. Are the methods employed appropriate
6. Are the findings supported by evidence? Identify the evidence base used to support the arguments
7. Note any concerns you have about (a) use of theory; (b) reliability and validity of the evidence base
8. Summarise the strengths and limitations/weakness of the work, etc.
Suggested structure of the paper review:
• Introductory paragraph (purpose, the details of the paper being reviewed, structure of how the paper will be reviewed)
• An overview of the paper (capturing the focus of the paper, approach employed, key arguments and conclusions)
• Critical review (e.g. separate paragraphs on paper’s key contribution, what body of literature it contributes to, key arguments/hypothesis, implicit/explicit theories, methodology/methods employed, evidence base to support arguments, etc.)
• Conclusions (summary of key contribution, strengths and weakness/limitations of the paper, who would benefit from this paper)
• Presentation Format: ESSAY
• Always keep a copy of your work. Always keep a file of working papers (containing for instance copied journal article and
• early drafts of your work, etc.) that show the development of your work and the sources you have used.
Explanation of submission requirements and further guidance
• The assessment for this module is subject to a word limit to ensure consistency of approach across all modules. Your work should not exceed the limit indicated (excluding appendices). Do not feel that you have to “achieve” this word count in your work. What is important is that the work satisfies the stated learning outcomes which are articulated through the assessment criteria (see following).
• The requirement to keep a file of working papers is important. There may be circumstances where it is difficult to arrive at a mark for your work. If this is so you may be asked to submit your file within 3 working days and possibly meet with your tutor to answer questions on your submission.
• The following three learning outcomes are tested in this assignments of this modules:
Tested for this piece of assessment
1. Develop a critical understanding of the philosophy and theories of the Social Sciences which underlie research methods; epistemologies of research are examined with the strategies and frameworks of research practice.
2. Develop a critical understanding of research methods. Qualitative and quantitative approaches are introduced and applied to Islamic studies textual and fieldwork settings. The ethics and politics of social research together with approaches to both writing a research proposal and a dissertation are similarly addressed.
3. Critically examine classical and contemporary modes of research into religion such as phenomenology, ethnography, and textual critical analysis.
Assessment Criteria for this assessment
1. Demonstrate an ability to critically review literature, synthesise and contrast viewpoints and draw conclusions. In particular, be able to identify the key focus, and critically evaluate explicit theory/implicit research approaches employed, research methods, evidence base used to support the arguments, and strengths and limitations/weakness of academic works.
2. Ability to communicate effectively: quality of presentation, coherence of structure and English, adherence to the word limit and quality and quantity of references – logical, well structured, clear and concise writing; convincing, coherent arguments and evidence of wide reading, free of spelling and grammatical errors. Consistent Citation and Referencing system
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