Review of an Empirical Study


RHET 203

Review of an Empirical Study  

Assignment Sheet

Reviewing previous work done in a discipline, or more realistically, on a specific topic in the discipline or sub-discipline, is a critical component of almost all disciplinary writing since any attempt to investigate something new or to review what is already known requires this. There are a variety of genre that students may find useful to read for these purposes, but this assignment requires that you read a quantitative empirical study. An empirical study by definition will have certain expected components: introduction, method, results, and discussion.  Within those sections, there will likely be other expected components.  There are different ways to review an empirical study depending on the rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, genre, stance, media/design). There are also several different types of empirical studies. In this course, you will practice reviewing two types—one which uses a quantitative methodology and one with a qualitative methodology.

The purpose of this review is typical for students: demonstrate that you can find, understand and evaluate research on a particular topic.  Reviews like this function as components of literature reviews in research papers.

The audience of this review is academic colleagues (professors and students) in your discipline, and any other educated and interested reader.

The genre for this review is an essay-length summary of an empirical study, which requires summaries of the primary sections of the study except for the literature review, and your analysis/synthesis..  Here are the expected rhetorical moves (RMs):

  1. The researcher(s), date, and purpose of the study.
  2. The method by which the purpose was investigated. This may or may not include the participants, the tools of data collection, and data analysis.
  3. The results of the study
  4. The researchers understanding of those results.
  5. Your analysis/synthesis of the study findings (focusing on what is the most relevant for your purposes).

The stance is two-fold. Primarily, your stance is to be an objective reporter. However, in RM 5, you are adding an educated analysis based on other work on the topic (not personal opinions). Your language choices contribute to your stance, such as your choice of signal verbs and conjunctions.

The media/design is an APA style academic paper with the features appropriate to the undergraduate psychology student/professor discourse community for which it is being written. This requires attention to detail including sufficient proof-reading. You will include a separate reference page with the complete citation for the study reviewed.

Additional Instructions:

Length is not critical here, but you will not likely accomplish all 5 moves in less than a page or two, and you will not have summarized enough if you need more than 4 pages.

Be sure to save your document in Word since that is all I will accept for your next draft on Canvas.  Please use the following convention when you give a name to your document:   LastnameQuan1

You do not need to have a title page for these short papers.  However, be sure to type your name, the date, the course and section in the upper left hand corner of the first page (single-spaced).

Please note that the values for the review components are not the same in the two drafts.  Every effort must be taken in the second draft to account for all peer and instructor feedback on the first draft.

If you receive a poor TurnitIn score on the first draft of either one of the empirical study reviews, you will be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit the draft for a grade, but this must be done within a week.

Rubric for Draft One:                                Rubric for Draft Two:

CriterionPoints 35 CriterionPoints 35
RM16 RM15
RM24 RM25
RM36 RM35
RM46 RM45
RM53 RM55
Stance5 Stance4
Style/Format5 Style/Format6

            Informal PROPOSAL for Literature Review Assignment

Formal Proposal Description

There are several different types of literature reviews. The Topic Literature Review is a common task for students since it requires investigating already published resources on a particular topic. This is sometimes referred to as “secondary research” since you will not be collecting original data for analysis.

The proposal for this type of literature review typically includes the following rhetorical moves:

  1. A description of the context or conditions, in which
  2. A particular issue or concern has emerged, and
  3. A clear indication of why this is important to investigate or understand more fully, as well as
  4. A plan for how this will be investigated, which includes a list of some of the relevant sources.

Informal Proposal

For the purposes of an informal proposal, we will work on these functions a little differently. Initially, you will go through these three steps in a small group. Then you will have time in class to write out your thoughts, perhaps in this order, or in the order above, but probably just in one paragraph.

First, express what the particular issue is that you are interested in.

Then, explain why you think this is an important topic to investigate. Think about what this knowledge will provide you and/or others with. What possible implications of knowing this are there?

Finally, consider the broader context into which the issue or concern fits or has emerged from.  

After class, you can continue to refine this proposal as you search for empirical research (hopefully in the last 5-10 years, more recent the better) to help you understand your topic.  You will need to bring this with links to at least 4 possible sources to your writing conference next week.    (There is nothing to upload anywhere. Just bring it with you.)


Meador, A. (2018). Examining recruitment and retention factors for minority STEM majors through a stereotype threat lens. School Science and Mathematics118(1-2), 61-69.

Review of an Empirical Study

According to Meador (2018), the number of minority STEM majors is low. There is a need for these numbers to be increased because when there is diversification in STEM fields, there are increased perspectives, views, and insights that can help improve these fields in numerous ways. Participation of minorities in STEM fields is rising, but at a slow rate; thus, Meador (2018) argues that this increment can happen by focusing on various aspects of STEM careers, especially recruitment and retention in high education.  Additionally, while higher education institutions are trying to recruit and retain minority students in STEM fields, engagement activities related to STEM and peer support have been found to positively impact the recruitment and retention of minority students in these fields.

However, Meador (2018) states that stereotype threat is one of the obstacles to affect minority students’ retention and recruitment in STEM careers. Stereotype threat mostly describes the deficit in performance among a given minority group compared to other domains. As a result, Meador (2018) argues that stereotype threat can reduce intellectual performance among minorities even though some studies view it as a cause for motivational pressure which can enhance success and effort. Therefore, Meador (2018) used stereotype threat as a guide in determining the impact engaging in STEM-related activities and peer support has on minority STEM majors’ retention and recruitment. As a result, Meador (2018) aimed to identify the factors contributing to minority STEM majors choosing a STEM field as a career and their perseverance in these fields……………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address:

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