Peer Review, Participants, and apa

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Peer Review, Participants, and APA

  • M.Ed. 6000
  • Session 3

Essentials of Peer Review How do you review a peer’s work in a constructive manner?

  • Writer:
  • Come to the workshop with your best possible draft.
  • Alert your reader to any concerns you have before they begin to read.
  • Ask questions and take notes as you’re discussing your writing.
  • Try not to get defensive. Be grateful for your reader’s time and attention.
  • At the same time, don’t feel obligated to take all of your reader’s advice. Remember that readers’ opinions may differ and that you’re ultimately responsible for your paper.

Essentials of Peer Review

  • Reader:
  • Ask the writer what you can be looking for as you read their essay.
  • Read the writer’s essay carefully.
  • Respond as a reader, pointing out where things don’t make sense, read smoothly, etc.
  • Be positive. Point out strengths as well as weaknesses, and be sensitive in how you phrase your criticism (“Could you clarify this section?” rather than “Your organization is a mess.”)
  • Be honest. Don’t say something works when it doesn’t. You’re not helping the writer if you avoid mentioning a problem.
  • Be specific. Rather than simply saying a paragraph is “confusing,” for example, try to point to a specific phrase that confuses you and, if possible, explain why that phrase is problematic.

Peer Review Activity

  • Get in your groups and read each other’s article critiques
    • Discuss the article
      • Was it well written?
      • Did the introductory material lead you to the purpose?
      • Could you understand the Method, Results, and Discussion?
    • Read each other’s critiques
      • Was it well written and understandable?
      • What could be improved?
      • What was well done?

Method Section

  • Participants
  • Procedures
  • Instruments


  • Target population
    • The group about which results are supposed to provide information or generalizations.
  • Research sample (Participant sample)
    • A subgroup of the target population
    • Should be representative of target population

Research Sample

  • Do the participants identified in the research report appear appropriate and sufficient to address the questions identified by the researchers as the objectives of the study?

Separate into your groups. Look at the participant description from two research reports. Answer the following question:

  • Separate into your groups. Look at the participant description from two research reports. Answer the following question:
    • Will the sample allow the researcher to answer the research question? Explain your reasoning

Target Population

  • Group about which the researcher wants to make inferences
  • Reflective exercise 3.2 (pg. 56)


  • More information about the participants is better – what do you need to know to assess whether the participants represent the target population?
    • Age
    • Gender
    • SES
    • Ethnicity
    • Disability status
    • Educational level
    • Etc.


  • Where were the participants?
    • Public school
    • Private school
    • Rural, urban
    • East coast, West coast, Midwest, International


  • When were the data gathered?
    • Before or after significant events
    • Long lag before publication
  • How was the sample selected?
    • Volunteers
    • Paid
    • Coerced
    • Human subjects protections

Sampling Procedures Low risk of a biased sample

  • Simple randomization
    • Start with a master population list and select participants using a random-number procedure
  • Stratified randomization
    • Relevant characteristics important to the study are retained
      • Example: If the population is split 50-50 for gender, you split the population into male and female groups and randomly take half of the sample from the female group and half from the male group.

Sampling Procedures

  • Cluster sampling
    • Randomly select groups (classes, etc.) to participate
  • Systematic sampling
    • Systematically selecting participants from a master population list
      • For example: every 7th name

Sampling Procedures Higher risk of a biased sample

  • Convenience selection
    • Choice of participants because they are a convenient, easily accessible group
    • Risk of obtaining a sample that doesn’t represent the target population is higher than with true randomization
  • Quota selection
    • Like stratified but not based on a master list. Use predetermined quotas to fill categories but not randomized
  • Purposive
    • Participants selected because the researcher believes he/she knows something about the group

Sampling Procedures Activity

  • In your groups, use the journals provided and discern the sampling procedures of three different articles. Explain how you know which procedure was used.


  • Why was this sample selected?
    • Is there any evident that might suggest that the researchers either purposefully or inadvertently selected a sampling procedure that could cause a bias in the answers to the research questions.


  • Evaluation exercise: p. 71-72

APA Style

  • Why?
    • Contribute to clear communication
    • Rules “spare readers a distracting variety of forms throughout a work and permit readers to give full attention to content” (APA 5th ed., p. xxiii)

APA - Bias

  • Guideline 1: Describe at the appropriate level of specificity.
    • Choose words that are accurate, clear, and free from bias.
    • Mention differences only when relevant
  • Be sensitive to labels
    • Call people what they prefer to be called - this could change
    • Person first
    • Parallel terms; man/woman, husband/wife; boys/girls (avoid always having socially dominant group first
  • p. 70

APA - Bias

  • Guideline 3: Acknowledge participation
    • Use “participants” rather than “subjects”
    • Use active voice so participants are “actors” rather than “acted upon”
  • Gender
    • Avoid ambiguity by specifically describing participants
      • Ex: Police officer vs. policeman
      • Reword when using “he” “she”, if possible
    • Transgender – persons whose gender identity or gender expression differs from their sex at birth
    • Transsexual -- transgender persons who live or desire to live full time as members of the sex other than their sex at birth (sexual reassignment rather than sex change)

APA - Bias

  • Sexual Orientation
    • Sexual orientation preferred to sexual preference
    • Differentiate between identity and behavior
    • Current terms: lesbians, gay men, bisexual men, bisexual women
  • Racial and Ethnic Identity
    • Use name preferred by group
    • Racial and ethnic groups are proper nouns and should be capitalized.

APA - Bias

  • Disability – maintain the worth of all individuals as human beings
    • Person first
      • Person with ______
      • Person living with ______
      • Person who has __________
  • Age
    • Boys/girls (0-12)
    • Young man/young woman/male adolescent/ female adolescent
    • Men/women

APA - Grammar

  • Verbs
    • Use active rather than passive voice
      • Hint – passive usually uses was, were, is, are
    • Past tense to express an action or condition at occurred at a specific, definite time in the past (researcher’s work)
    • Present tense to express a past action or condition that did not occur at a specific time or is continuing
  • p. 77
  • Subject/Verb Agreement
    • “data”, “phenomena”, “alumni” (etc.) are plural
    • Read aloud to hear it
  • Pronouns
    • Must agree (singular or plural) with the noun it replaces
      • The student turned in their work (wrong)
    • Must agree in gender (use “who” for humans, “that” or “which” for animals and things)

APA - Grammar

  • Misplaced Modifiers
    • Place modifier as close as possible to the word it modifies
  • Relative Pronouns and Subordinate Conjunctions
    • That vs. Which
    • While and Since
    • While vs. Although, And, But
    • Since vs. Because

APA - Hyphenation

  • In general, “if a temporary compound recedes what it modifies, it may need to be hyphenated, and if it follows what it modifies, it usually does not” (p.97)
  • Principle 1: If a compound adjective can be misread, use a hyphen.
  • Principle 2: In a temporary compound that is used as an adjective before a noun, use a hyphen if the term can be misread or if the term expresses a single thought.
  • p. 97

APA - Hyphenation

  • Principle 3: Most compound adjective hyphen rules are applicable only when the compound adjective precedes the term it modifies.
  • Principle 4: Write most words formed with prefixes as one word (see table 3.3 for exceptions)
  • Principle 5: When two or more compound modifiers have a common base, this base is sometimes omitted in all except the last modifier, but the hyphens are retained.

APA – Headings

  • Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and
  • Lowercase Heading
  • Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
  • Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
  • Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
  • Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
  • p. 62

APA Seriation

  • Within a paragraph or sentence, identify elements in a series by lowercase letters in parentheses.
    • The four choices were (a) hamburgers, (b) pizza, (c) salad bar, and (d) lasagna.
    • Within a sentence use commas to separate three or more elements that do not have internal commas; use semicolons to separate three or more elements that have internal commas.
  • Separate paragraphs in a series, such as itemized conclusions or steps in a procedure, are identified by an Arabic numeral (1,2,3) followed by a period but not enclosed in or followed by parentheses. You could also use bullets
  • p. 63
  • Use the “Oxford”
  • comma

Style and Organization Scholarly Writing

  • Continuity in Presentation of Ideas
    • Use punctuation appropriately
    • Transition words – then, next, after, therefore, consequently, as a result, in addition, moreover, furthermore, similarly, but, conversely, nevertheless, however, although, whereas
  • Smoothness of Expression
    • Past tense when describing research that has been done.
  • Tone
    • Contrast the position of different researchers
      • Professional non-combative manner
    • No contractions
      • Cannot rather than can’t, etc.

Economy of Expression

  • Economy of Expression
    • Avoid jargon, wordiness, redundancy (p. 67)
    • Vary sentence length
  • Precision and Clarity
    • Use correct definitions of words, not colloquial definitions
    • Avoid regional dialect
    • Watch pronouns – make sure referent is clear
    • Avoid anthropomorphism (gotta love that word!)

Literature Review Organization

  • This is an ANALYTICAL paper
    • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • Example of an analytical thesis statement:
  • An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.
  • The paper that follows should:
  • explain the analysis of the college admission process
    • High test scores
    • Strong extracurricular background
  • explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Literature Review Organization

  • Write your thesis statement
    • Examples
      • In order for native Spanish speaking students to find success in reading their teachers need at least two specific skills: (a) a reading program tailored to their students’ needs, and (b) an understanding of their students’ home cultures.
      • This issue will be explored by examining the nature of learning problems exhibited by immigrant and language minority students of English who are assumed to have learning-related disabilities.
  • More thesis statement examples
    • This paper examines recreational gaming: the learning outcomes, educational benefits and barriers, and emotional effects.
    • Childhood obesity is a very serious health concern due to the medical risks and social implications; however, it is also an area of heath that can be managed and in some cases prevented with proper education and higher levels of physical activity.

Outline the remainder of your paper

  • Outline the remainder of your paper
    • Organize your studies to support your Thesis statement
  • Write the rough draft
    • Analyze, synthesize, summarize
  • Put it aside for a few days and go back and work on it
  • Read it aloud
  • Email or give it so a member of your group to read and critique
  • Literature Review Organization


  • I. Introduction with thesis statement
    • This paper examines recreational gaming: the learning outcomes, educational benefits and barriers, and emotional effects.
  • Body of Paper
    • Learning Outcomes of Gaming
    • Educational Benefits and Barriers
      • What studies say, how are the studies the same, how are they different, what do we know, what remains unknown
    • Emotional Effects of Gaming
      • What studies say, how are the studies the same, how are they different, what do we know, what remains unknown
  • Conclusion

Next Session

  • October 6
  • Read Chapter 4
  • Do Article Critique #2
  • Print and work on APA 2

APA Practice

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