The year is 1969, and you are a social scientist at the University of Toronto. One of your responsibilities as a scientist is to participate in scientific peer review. You receive the following letter from the editor of the journal Sociometry (the journal that published Travers and Milgram’s study on the small world phenomenon).
Remember to carefully review the rubric (below) before beginning to write. If you have any questions, please post them on the “Course Logistics” discussion board.
When composing your assignment, consider the following as a guide for how it will be graded (25 points total):
- For element 1 & 3 of the review (enumerated in the prompt), how well does the review answer each one?
5 – The review includes all of the relevant information, supports claims well with evidence and/or logical argument, and everything is clear.
4 – The review includes all of the relevant information, supports claims with sufficient evidence and/or logical argument, but something remains unclear.
3 – The review includes all of the relevant information, but several claims are not well supported by the evidence provided, are poorly argued, or are unclear.
2 – The review misses one or more important pieces of information, multiple claims are not supported by the evidence provided, and/or multiple points are unclear.
1 – The review’s answer to the question is not coherent, does not attempt to provide evidence or logical argument, or mostly does not discuss relevant information.
0 – No meaningful contribution is attempted.
- How well does the review address element 2 of the review (evaluation of study design and discussion of limitations)?
10 – The review briefly notes the study’s merits, then identifies and clearly explains important weaknesses of the study’s design, and suggests concrete steps that would improve the study. Everything is clear.
8 – The review briefly notes the study’s merits, then identifies and explains important weaknesses of the study’s design, and suggests concrete steps that would improve the study. Some things remain unclear.
6 – The review briefly notes the study’s merits, then identifies some weaknesses of the study’s design, and suggests steps that would improve the study. Several things are poorly explained and/or remain unclear.
4 – The review misses several critical points about the study’s design. It may note the study’s merits, but several identified weaknesses are unclear or not important, and steps for improvement are unclear.
2 – The review may note the study’s merits, but fails to identify important weaknesses of the study or suggest clear ways that would improve the study. Most things are poorly explained or incoherent.
0 – No meaningful discussion of the study design.
- Is the review organized and clearly written? Obviously, there should not be grammatical or spelling errors.
5 – Beautiful prose—nearly ready for publication in professional journal.
4 – Minor errors or organizational problems that do not interfere with comprehension.
3 – Small errors or organizational problems that begin to interfere with comprehension
2 – Several major errors or organizational problems that interfere with comprehension
1 – Major errors that seriously interfere with comprehension.
0 – Incomprehensible gobbledygook.
A couple notes on references:
- You are NOT expected to draw on outside readings for this review. Drawing on the in-class readings and lecture is sufficient for this assignment, in which case you do not need to formally cite your information.
- If, for whatever reason, you find it necessary to bring include material from outside of this class, you must cite your sources in-text as well as list them in a Bibliography or works cited page.
- You may use any reference style you like (e.g., APA/ASA), as long as you are consistent and you include sufficient information to identify the reading.
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