Empirical Article Summary & Review
Reading: Laura Beth Nielsen. 2000. “Situating legal consciousness: Experiences and attitudes of ordinary citizens about law and street harassment,” Law and Society Review 34(4): 1055-1090.
1) Read the selected text, assessing its content, structure, and style.
2) Write a 3-4 page summary and analysis of the article.
3) Ideally, the first page or so of your write up should provide a brief overview of article content. Specifically, I want you to identify the article’s main argument and methodology. In other words, what is the authors’ thesis and how did she set out to support this thesis using empirical evidence?
4) Subsequently, you should use the bulk of the paper to critique the reading. Use the following questions to guide you:
a. In general, is the paper well-written? Does it make sense? Is it interesting? What do you think of the author’s writing style and voice? Who do you think her intended audience was?
b. How did the author develop her argument? What evidence did she use to convince you?
c. What was her research design and how robust was her methodology? Does she acknowledge and account for the limitations of her empirical approach?
d. What other research does the author mention? How is this article situated within the literature? Who does she cite? Can you identify her theoretical framework? What Sociological topics are covered in the article?
e. What is the relevance of the article? Was it compelling? Does the author achieve the objectives she promised? Did you learn anything from reading this article?
5) The assessment should end with a question for class discussion.
1” margins, 12 pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and edited for grammar and spelling mistakes. Include page numbers. Use ASA guidelines for citation.
ALL OF THESE BELOW SHOULD BE ADDRESSED IN THE SUMMARY
Summary of Argument (6 pts)
What is the overall argument and main points of the article
Commentary on Writing Style (2pts)
How effective is the author’s writing style
Discussion of Argument Development and Evidence (3 pts)
How does the author develop their argument and what supporting evidence do they supply
What contribution is the author making to what conversation
Relevance of the Article (2pts)
How does the article contribute to understandings of society/your understanding of sociology
Discussion Question (1 pt)
Fewer than 3 errors per page (3 pts)
3-5 errors per page (2 pts)
More than 5 errors per page (1 pts)
Original Thought (1pt)
Goes beyond the expectations of the assignment and adds some aspect of original analysis, or perspective, or approach