select two journal articles published within the same field and for different journals, and then produce a critical comparison of the two.

Research methods and study skills


You should select two journal articles published within the same field and for different journals, and then produce a critical comparison of the two.

The papers should be in a field that is appropriate to your degree (i.e Msc Quantity Surveying) . At the least, they must be related to the built environment, more specifically it is preferable if a subject directly associated with your forthcoming research project or a module that you have studied.

The journals should be academic journals, which have undergone a peer-review process.

The subject of the papers should not be identical, but within the same general field.

The papers need to adopt a different research paradigm approach to the field. That is, one must be interpretivist and the other positivist.

Points to Consider

Read the Assessment Criteria section below, carefully.

The comparison should include:
Method and methodology, and how these have been used. You should both compare the two different approaches and analyse each within its own terms of reference.
An evaluation of the literature analysis and the placing of the work into a particular context. Again, how each individually developed the literature and how the two compare in their views should be discussed.
Validity of the inferences derived from the evidence
Conclusions, and where these are to be developed further
The authors writing style
A view on the relative quality of the respective journals and how well the editorial places it within the issue.

The following assessment criteria will apply to this coursework. You should ensure that the work that you submit appropriately addresses and corresponds with these criteria. You will find module learning outcome-related criteria on the associated QA10 form.

Assessment Criteria
Further Guidance
1Contextualisation of the research area
The areas that are being explored by the researchers should be concisely explained and summarised. The papers should be placed within this, and draw attention to any traditions that the authors are following/ drawing upon.
2 Examination of the method and methodologies adopted
The key issue to draw out is the comparison between the two research paradigms: interpretivist and positivist. In addition to comparing the two approaches, why they adopted different ones to the same field, also examine each in its own terms of reference. The research approaches and methods used by the researchers in each article should be discussed in a critical way potential for limitations and any possible biases should be identified. The student should explain why the approaches used were (or were not) suitable for the area of research. Alternative means by which these research questions could have been investigated, if appropriate, should be discussed.
3 Examination of the literature review
The student should examine how thoroughly the research is placed into a context, and how this guides the work itself.
4 Demonstration of understanding of method/ methodology and how it can be used
The conclusions that the researchers drew from their studies should be considered. The strength of evidence should be discussed and the reliability and validity of the conclusions should be assessed.
5 Comparison of the journals and editorial placement of the paper
Draw conclusions upon what the research says about the relative value of each journal, and how they are placed within the particular issue.
6 Breadth of literature referred to and compliance with Harvard referencing system.
A range of reliable methodological and subject-specific literature should be used to justify assertions.
The Harvard referencing system should be adhered to, both for citation within the text and in the list of references/bibliography at the end.

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