Research Article Critical Annotation

A critical annotation is more than a summary; it also evaluates the material in terms of its usefulness and quality.

You will write a CRITICAL Annotation for your assignments.

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(Guideline & Rubric)

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The following is a systematic way of evaluating a quantitative research article.

Prepare your critical annotation with appropriate headings and use APA format. State the complete reference for the research [author, title, journal, pages, and URL (if applicable)]. A complete citation of the article goes at the top of the page, below your heading.


Brief Summary (5 pts.)

Write a Summary of the article (limited to one paragraph). The summary involves briefly but accurately stating the key points of the article for a reader who has not read the original article.

The following Questions are meant to GUIDE you through the critique. You do not have to answer every question below in the following sections.

Review of Literature & Theoretical Framework (5 pts)

  • Does the literature review make the relationships among the variables explicit or place the variables within a theoretical/conceptual framework? What are the relationships?
  • What gaps or conflicts in knowledge of the problem are identified?
  • Are the references cited by the author mostly primary or secondary sources?
  • Do the researchers’ clinical, substantive, or methodological qualifications and experience enhance confidence in the findings and their interpretation?

Statement of the Problem or Purpose (5 pts)

  • What is the problem and/or purpose of the research study?
  • Does the problem or purpose statement express a relationship between two or more variables? If so, what is/are the relationship(s)? Are they testable?
  • What significance of the problem, if any, has the investigator identified?
  • Are the hypotheses testable?

Population & Sample (5 pts)

  • Was the population identified and described?
  • What type of sampling method is used? Is it appropriate to the design?
  • Does the sample reflect the population as identified in the problem or purpose statement?
  • Is the sample size appropriate? To what population may the findings be generalized? What are the limitations in generalizability?

Research Design (5 pts)

  • What type of design is used?
  • Does the design seem to flow from the proposed research problem, theoretical framework, literature review, and hypothesis?
  • What type(s) of data-collection method(s) is/are used in the study?

Data Collection Instruments & Measurement (5 pts)

  • Are the specific instruments adequately described and were they good choices, given the study purpose and study population?
  • Observational methods: Who did the observing? How were the observers trained to minimize bias? Was there an observational guide? Were the observers required to make inferences about what they saw? Is there any reason to believe that the presence of the observers affect the behavior of the subjects?
  • Physiological measurement: Is a rationale given for why a particular instrument or method was selected? If so, what is it? What provision is made for maintaining the accuracy of the instrument and its use, if any?
  • Interviews: Who were the interviewers? How were they trained to minimize the bias? Is there evidence of any interview bias? If so, what was it
  • Questionnaires: What is the type and/or format of the questionnaire(s) (e.g. Likert, open-ended)? Is (Are) it (they) consistent with the conceptual definition(s)?
  • Does the reliability & validity of each instrument seem adequate? Why?

Data Analysis (5 pts)

  • Were analyses undertaken to address each research question or test each hypothesis?
  • What descriptive or inferential statistics are reported?
  • Were these descriptive or inferential statistics appropriate to the level of measurement for each variable?
  • Are the inferential statistics used appropriate to the intent of the hypotheses?

Conclusions (5 pts)

  • Are the results interpreted in the context of the problem/purpose, hypothesis, and theoretical framework/literature reviewed?
  • Are the generalizations within the scope of the findings or beyond the findings?
  • Do the researchers discuss the implications of the study for clinical practice or further research and are those implications reasonable and complete?


  • Is the report well written, well organized, and sufficiently detailed for critical analysis?
  • Do the researchers’ clinical, substantive, or methodological qualifications and experience enhance confidence in the findings and their interpretation?
  • Is the report well written, well organized, and sufficiently detailed for critical analysis?


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