Understanding and Evaluating Research: A Critical Guide shows students how to be critical consumers of research and to appreciate the power of methodology as it shapes the research question, the use of theory in the study, the methods used, and how the outcomes are reported. The book starts with what it means to be a critical and uncritical reader of research, followed by a detailed chapter on methodology, and then proceeds to a discussion of each component of a research article as it is informed by the methodology. The book encourages readers to select an article from their discipline, learning along the way how to assess each component of the article and come to a judgment of its rigor or quality as a scholarly report.

Orienting and Supportive Elements of a Journal Article

Orienting and Supportive Elements of a Journal Article

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the different role that secondary journal article elements play relative to the primary elements
  • Become familiar with the orienting and supportive bookends to a research report
  • Gain familiarity with the recommended conventions for the orienting elements of a journal article (i.e., authors’ names and affiliations, article title, abstract, and keywords)
  • Gain familiarity with the recommended conventions for supportive elements of a journal article (i.e., references, footnotes and endnotes, appendices, acknowledgments, and biographies)


The three previous chapters dealt with critical research literacy, research methodologies, and the role of conceptual frameworks, theories, and models in scholarship. Before delving into details about the many conventions pursuant to reporting research (see Figure 4.1), this and ...

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