smith says …….., jones would disagree H u m a n i t i e s

smith says …….., jones would disagree H u m a n i t i e s

Requirement: Find scholarly (peer reviewed) article on your topic (Public Health)

Audience: Academic, so avoid “I,” “you,” and other informal language

Purpose: To gain proficiency in working with scholarly literature

The first, summary, paragraph should begin with a signal or lead-in phrase mentioning the author(s) of the article and the topic (e.g. “Smith and Jones (2003) investigated. . .” (for APA style—note the year after the authors’ names).The summary paragraph should not contain any of your reaction to the author(s)’s points; instead, it should be a vastly shortened but accurate rendering of the author(s) main point. All details on evidence to support that argument need not be included. Pay attention to the following:

  • What is the topic?
  • Is the article primary or secondary?
  • What is the genre? For scholarly articles these may include the following: original research articles, literature reviews, case studies, theoretical articles, or meta-analyses.
  • What is the author’s research question, hypothesis, or thesis?
  • What are the authors’ research methods (e.g., how was evidence gathered and what did it

consist of)?

6.What conclusions were reached?

7.Be sure you have correctly cited page numbers for all quotations, paraphrases, and specific

information from your text, such as statistics, but keep quotes to a minimum. In the natural

and social sciences paraphrase is preferred.

The second analysis, or discussion, paragraph should contain your reflections/discussion on some aspect of the article. You might consider what you found as a particular strength or weakness in the article, and say why; for example, is the evidence strong enough to support the conclusion or thesis? Was the research question answered? Did you find limitations in the author(s)’s argument or research that they did not mention? This will give you a chance to join the conversation! We have been working on rhetorical analyses of various genres so far this semester, but now we are moving on so don’t spend time on analyzing audience and purpose for your selection—it will be the same for all scholarly articles. Work on the information authors present.


The third, synthesis paragraph should examine any similarities or differences found in your sources (at this point, all three SA’s). Think of using a template, e.g., While Smith says…….., Jones would disagree/or considers another aspect of the problem when s/he observes….These may be aspects of your topic, methods used, results, or conflicting approaches to a question or problem. Please remember to correctly cite all three articles on your references page!

  • Try to avoid using the word “article,” for example, “the article says” or “In Smith’s article…” In the first instance use the author(s)’s name—that’s what counts. It is the author speaking, not the article, which is only a vehicle for his/her/their words; in the second instance, it will be clear that you are talking about a specific piece of writing by Smith, so just say “Smith asserted/argued/cautioned, etc.”
  • You may include the article title in the beginning when you introduce the author and the topic, but additional mentions of the title are redundant and distracting.
  • Emphasize content over form in your analysis/discussion. Describing structural aspects of articles is not useful (e.g., the vocabulary was easy to read; the author included tables and or graphs). Critique the authors’ research, findings, or methods instead.
  • Avoid locutions such as “so-and-so did a great job”; that is definitely not academic writing! Also avoid “so-and-so figured out”; here something like “determined,” “found,” or “discovered” sounds much more professional.