Journal Critique Research

You will complete 2 Journal Critiques in this course. You will read a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal article, written within the last 20 years, on a topic covered in this class and write a critique that is a minimum of 2 full pages and no more than 3.

This Journal Critique is a required part of the research process for your Research Paper. Since you will have finalized your Research Paper topic by the time this critique is due, you must pick an article that is relevant to your topic. If your article and critique show no relevance to the Research Paper topic, you will lose 10 points from your graded critique.

Besides preparing you for the Research Paper, the critiques have several purposes:

To expose you to scholarly journal articles.
To train you to write with clarity and concision.
To develop your ability to critically analyze scholarly works.
To teach you how to properly utilize the Turabian format.
To improve your technical writing skills (e.g., grammar and syntax).

Instructions

For each critique, find a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal article about 10–20 pages in length that covers an area in this course. A few peer-reviewed journals are the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Bibliotheca Sacra, Grace Theological Journal, and the Westminster Theological Journal. Since magazines (e.g., Christianity Today, Visions, etc.) are not considered scholarly, they do not contain the appropriate articles to critique. If you need assistance in locating a peer-reviewed scholarly journal article, please use the Online Student Library Services website. You may also email the Liberty University Online Librarian at research@liberty.edu for further information. The following are some topics you may want to consider for your critiques:

Philosophy of Language
Existentialism
Christianity and Culture
General Revelation
Special Revelation
Biblical Authority
Biblical Inspiration
Biblical Inerrancy
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
Attributes of God
Preexistence of God
Eternal Generation
Providence of God
Divine Sovereignty/Free Will
Predestination/Foreknowledge
Theodicy/The Problem of Evil
Doctrine of Creation
The Doctrine of Angels
The Image of God in Man
Total Depravity
Trichotomy/Dichotomy
Traducianism
The Fall of Man
The Doctrine of Sin

Read the article you select and then write a minimum of 2 full pages and no more than 3 pages. You are expected to read the articles with a critical eye and to interact with the author’s theology and worldview. Since you are not considered an authority, you must withhold personal references, opinions, attitudes, and values from the critiquing process. Please follow this template when writing each critique:

Title Page

Contents Page (Section headings should be as follows: Introduction, Brief Summary, Critical Interaction, Conclusion, Selected Bibliography, See LU Rawlings School of Divinity Writing Guide)

The body of your critique includes the following sections:

Introduction (2-3 paragraphs)
Provide a purpose statement.
Provide a brief overview of the paper’s contents.
Brief Summary (3-4 paragraphs)
Capture the thesis of the article.
Share the overall content of the article.
Critical Interaction (4-5 paragraphs)
The point is not whether you agree with the author’s point of view, but that you recognize what the author is discussing and what theological issues are at stake.
It is important for you to document your assessment of the author throughout. If you evaluate the author’s opinion, give an example along with an endnote to designate an outside source where the opinion can be observed.
Does the author approach the subject with any presuppositions/or biases?
With what theological and biblical perspectives does he/she approach the subject?
What is the author’s goal?
Has the author developed his/her thesis logically?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s arguments?
Did the author prove his/her thesis?
What are some applications that arise from this article?
Conclusion (2 paragraphs)
This is where you wrap up your work by conveying how well the author achieved his/her goals. Very briefly summarize your evaluations here.
Does the author leave you with any questions? If so, what are they?
Selected Bibliography (on a separate page)

The minimum of 2 full pages not to exceed 3-page requirement refers to the Introduction, Brief Summary, Critical Interaction, and Conclusion sections. It does not include the Cover page, Contents page, or Selected Bibliography. If your critique exceeds the 3-page requirement for sections I–IV, your grade will be reduced.

Make sure your critiques are formatted in the following manner:

Follow Turabian style[1] (as specified in the Turabian manual) for the critique (See the “LU Rawlings School of Divinity Writing Guide” for preferred Turabian standards).
Use footnotes to document research statements.
Use 1” margins all around.
Make text double-spaced.
Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
Indent the 1st line of a paragraph ½ inch.
Do not insert any extra lines or additional points between paragraphs.
Include a cover page, following the Journal Critique Sample Cover Page.

Consult the Journal Article Critique Grading Rubric to see how you will be graded for each critique. Students typically lose the most points in the Critical Interaction section. For whatever reason, some students have trouble discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the article.

[1]Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003).

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