Journal Article Critique Template

This template is adapted from Weiten & McCann. (2013). Psychology: Themes and variations (3rd Canadian Ed.) (p. 78).

FORMAT: Your paper must be double-spaced, using Times New Roman, 12-point font and one-inch margins all around. Your report should be 625-700 words, PLUS the title page and References page. Please submit your assignment in a <docx>, <doc>, or <rtf> document format. See the APA Style Tutorial to assist you with the APA formatting requirements.

Title Page (new page)

Running head: [Abbreviated title and page number]

NOTE: The running head/pager header and page numbers are embedded on each page. The page header is a shortened version of your assignment title. See the journal critique sample and the APA Style Tutorial. 

Title of article

Author of article

Student’s name

Student’s AU ID

Course number




Body of the Text (new pages)

NOTE: Your report must be in narrative form (not question-answer, question-answer).

I. Research Question or Problem

Ask yourself, “Is the question or problem clearly stated?” State the question or problem in your own words.


II. Introduction

The introduction of a research article presents an overview of the problem studied in the research. Ask yourself, “Is there a review of the literature related to the problem or question?” “How many references are cited?” Review and summarize the research (e.g., theories and previous research) in your own words. Cite all sources.

III. Methodology

The methods section of a research article should be detailed enough to permit another researcher to attempt to replicate the study. Ask yourself, “Does the researcher explain the methods used in the study?” “Who or what was the population studied?” “How were they selected?” “What did the participants do for the study?” “What instruments were used to gather data?” Paraphrase the methodology in your own words and cite from the article using APA Style.

NOTE: Paraphrasing involves restating another writer’s text, explanation, argument, or narrative in your own words.  Paraphrased material may be similar in length to the original text, but is substantially different in wording and sentence structure. A paraphrase is considered an indirect quote, so it does not require quotation marks. However, it must be attributed/cited to the original source. For purposes of this assignment, include page numbers, or, where applicable, paragraph citations.

IV. Results

The results section of a research article reports the raw data and statistical analysis obtained in the study. Ask yourself, “Are the results clearly stated and understandable?” “Did the results answer the question or clarify the hypothesis?” “Are there tables or graphs?” Paraphrase the results in your own words and cite from the article using APA Style.

V. Discussion/Conclusions

The discussion section of a research article includes the conclusions drawn by the author(s). Ask yourself, “Are the results discussed?” “Are there suggestions for practical implications?” “Are there recommendations for further research?” Write your answers to these questions in your own words and cite from the article using APA Style.

VI. References

The reference section of a research article lists the bibliographic references for any studies cited. Ask yourself, “Were the references selected related to the author’s research?” “Were the references cited within the body of the text?” “Were the references from the same source or were there a variety of sources?” “Were the references current or out-dated?”

VII. Personal Reaction

The personal reaction section is included here to enable you to critically analyze the knowledge you gained about the topic researched, about methodology, about APA Style, and about the meaningfulness of the research. Ask yourself, “Was it well written and organized?” “What did I learn from reading the article?” “What further questions did it generate?” “What are some of the limitations of the article?” State your reactions in your own words.

NOTE: You may use Roman numerals (as above) or Arabic number (as in the sample critique). Your headings should be identical to those in this template.

Reference(s) (heading is centred on a new page)

Name(s) of the author(s) (i.e., last name and initials). Copyright/publishing date. Title of article. Journal name, volume number, issue number (as applicable), page numbers, and doi. (If the doi is not available, please provide the URL).

Choice of journals

Benjamin, L. T. (2000). The psychology laboratory at the turn of the 20th century. American Psychologist, 55(3), 318-321. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.3.318

Robins, R. W., Gosling, S. D., & Craik, K. H. (1999). An empirical analysis of trends in psychology. American Psychologist, 54(2), 117-128. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.2.117

Taylor, A. K., & Kowalski, P. (2012). Students’ misconceptions in psychology: How you ask matters . . . sometimes. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 12(3), 62-77. ERIC Number: EJ992117

Vokey, J. R., & Read, J. D. (1985). Subliminal messages: Between the devil and the media. American Psychologist, 40(11), 1231-1239. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.40.11.1231.

Zimbardo, P. G. (2004). Does psychology make a significant difference in our lives? American Psychologist, 59(5), 339-351. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.59.5.339

Title Page            Includes 10 elements: page header (running head), page number, title of article, author of article, student name, AU ID, course number, assignment number, tutor, and date.       5              /5           


Research Question & Introduction           The research question or problem is clearly stated in the student’s own words. The research is accurately summarized. 5              /5


Methodology    Clearly relates the selected references to the article. Quality and variety of references are noted. Summary of methodology is clearly stated in the student’s own words. Methods, population, and selection criteria are clearly stated. Data instruments are identified. Paraphrasing is complete and accurate, using the student’s own words. 26-30     /30        


Discussion & Conclusions              Results and implications are clearly and accurately described and related to the research question or problem. Quality and variety of references are noted. Includes reports on graphs or tables, if applicable. Further research is discussed. Paraphrasing is complete and accurate, using the student’s own words.                 26-30     /30


References & Personal Reactions             Excellent, integrated discussion of the strengths and limitations, based on the sources reviewed and the student’s own analysis.   11-15     /15

Writing Skills

and APA Style    Excellent organization and use of headings. Free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Consistent use of APA Style (6th ed.) in references (primary) and citations (primary and interpreted, and/or secondary). Includes page/paragraph numbers in all citations.    11-15     /15

Total                                      /100

*Paraphrasing involves the rewording (i.e., in your own words) of another writer’s text, explanation, argument, or narrative. It is about the same length as the original, but is substantially different in wording and sentence structure. A paraphrase does not require quotation marks. However, it must be attributed/cited to the original source. For purposes of this assignment, include the page number or, where applicable, paragraph citation.

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