Research Paper Analysis: How to Analyze a Research Article + Example

Why might you need to analyze research? First of all, when you analyze a research article, you begin to understand your assigned reading better. It is also the first step toward learning how to write your own research articles and literature reviews. However, if you have never written a research paper before, it may be difficult for you to analyze one. After all, you may not know what criteria to use to evaluate it. But don’t panic! We will help you figure it out!

In this article, our team has explained how to analyze research papers quickly and effectively. At the end, you will also find a research analysis paper example to see how everything works in practice.

  • 🔤 Research Analysis Definition

📊 How to Analyze a Research Article

✍️ how to write a research analysis.

  • 📝 Analysis Example
  • 🔎 More Examples

🔗 References

🔤 research paper analysis: what is it.

A research paper analysis is an academic writing assignment in which you analyze a scholarly article’s methodology, data, and findings. In essence, “to analyze” means to break something down into components and assess each of them individually and in relation to each other. The goal of an analysis is to gain a deeper understanding of a subject. So, when you analyze a research article, you dissect it into elements like data sources , research methods, and results and evaluate how they contribute to the study’s strengths and weaknesses.

📋 Research Analysis Format

A research analysis paper has a pretty straightforward structure. Check it out below!

Research articles usually include the following sections: introduction, methods, results, and discussion. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss how to analyze a scientific article with a focus on each of its parts.

This image shows the main sections of a research article.

How to Analyze a Research Paper: Purpose

The purpose of the study is usually outlined in the introductory section of the article. Analyzing the research paper’s objectives is critical to establish the context for the rest of your analysis.

When analyzing the research aim, you should evaluate whether it was justified for the researchers to conduct the study. In other words, you should assess whether their research question was significant and whether it arose from existing literature on the topic.

Here are some questions that may help you analyze a research paper’s purpose:

  • Why was the research carried out?
  • What gaps does it try to fill, or what controversies to settle?
  • How does the study contribute to its field?
  • Do you agree with the author’s justification for approaching this particular question in this way?

How to Analyze a Paper: Methods

When analyzing the methodology section , you should indicate the study’s research design (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed) and methods used (for example, experiment, case study, correlational research, survey, etc.). After that, you should assess whether these methods suit the research purpose. In other words, do the chosen methods allow scholars to answer their research questions within the scope of their study?

For example, if scholars wanted to study US students’ average satisfaction with their higher education experience, they could conduct a quantitative survey . However, if they wanted to gain an in-depth understanding of the factors influencing US students’ satisfaction with higher education, qualitative interviews would be more appropriate.

When analyzing methods, you should also look at the research sample . Did the scholars use randomization to select study participants? Was the sample big enough for the results to be generalizable to a larger population?

You can also answer the following questions in your methodology analysis:

  • Is the methodology valid? In other words, did the researchers use methods that accurately measure the variables of interest?
  • Is the research methodology reliable? A research method is reliable if it can produce stable and consistent results under the same circumstances.
  • Is the study biased in any way?
  • What are the limitations of the chosen methodology?

How to Analyze Research Articles’ Results

You should start the analysis of the article results by carefully reading the tables, figures, and text. Check whether the findings correspond to the initial research purpose. See whether the results answered the author’s research questions or supported the hypotheses stated in the introduction.

To analyze the results section effectively, answer the following questions:

  • What are the major findings of the study?
  • Did the author present the results clearly and unambiguously?
  • Are the findings statistically significant ?
  • Does the author provide sufficient information on the validity and reliability of the results?
  • Have you noticed any trends or patterns in the data that the author did not mention?

How to Analyze Research: Discussion

Finally, you should analyze the authors’ interpretation of results and its connection with research objectives. Examine what conclusions the authors drew from their study and whether these conclusions answer the original question.

You should also pay attention to how the authors used findings to support their conclusions. For example, you can reflect on why their findings support that particular inference and not another one. Moreover, more than one conclusion can sometimes be made based on the same set of results. If that’s the case with your article, you should analyze whether the authors addressed other interpretations of their findings .

Here are some useful questions you can use to analyze the discussion section:

  • What findings did the authors use to support their conclusions?
  • How do the researchers’ conclusions compare to other studies’ findings?
  • How does this study contribute to its field?
  • What future research directions do the authors suggest?
  • What additional insights can you share regarding this article? For example, do you agree with the results? What other questions could the researchers have answered?

This image shows how to analyze a research article.

Now, you know how to analyze an article that presents research findings. However, it’s just a part of the work you have to do to complete your paper. So, it’s time to learn how to write research analysis! Check out the steps below!

1. Introduce the Article

As with most academic assignments, you should start your research article analysis with an introduction. Here’s what it should include:

  • The article’s publication details . Specify the title of the scholarly work you are analyzing, its authors, and publication date. Remember to enclose the article’s title in quotation marks and write it in title case .
  • The article’s main point . State what the paper is about. What did the authors study, and what was their major finding?
  • Your thesis statement . End your introduction with a strong claim summarizing your evaluation of the article. Consider briefly outlining the research paper’s strengths, weaknesses, and significance in your thesis.

Keep your introduction brief. Save the word count for the “meat” of your paper — that is, for the analysis.

2. Summarize the Article

Now, you should write a brief and focused summary of the scientific article. It should be shorter than your analysis section and contain all the relevant details about the research paper.

Here’s what you should include in your summary:

  • The research purpose . Briefly explain why the research was done. Identify the authors’ purpose and research questions or hypotheses .
  • Methods and results . Summarize what happened in the study. State only facts, without the authors’ interpretations of them. Avoid using too many numbers and details; instead, include only the information that will help readers understand what happened.
  • The authors’ conclusions . Outline what conclusions the researchers made from their study. In other words, describe how the authors explained the meaning of their findings.

If you need help summarizing an article, you can use our free summary generator .

3. Write Your Research Analysis

The analysis of the study is the most crucial part of this assignment type. Its key goal is to evaluate the article critically and demonstrate your understanding of it.

We’ve already covered how to analyze a research article in the section above. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Analyze whether the study’s purpose is significant and relevant.
  • Examine whether the chosen methodology allows for answering the research questions.
  • Evaluate how the authors presented the results.
  • Assess whether the authors’ conclusions are grounded in findings and answer the original research questions.

Although you should analyze the article critically, it doesn’t mean you only should criticize it. If the authors did a good job designing and conducting their study, be sure to explain why you think their work is well done. Also, it is a great idea to provide examples from the article to support your analysis.

4. Conclude Your Analysis of Research Paper

A conclusion is your chance to reflect on the study’s relevance and importance. Explain how the analyzed paper can contribute to the existing knowledge or lead to future research. Also, you need to summarize your thoughts on the article as a whole. Avoid making value judgments — saying that the paper is “good” or “bad.” Instead, use more descriptive words and phrases such as “This paper effectively showed…”

Need help writing a compelling conclusion? Try our free essay conclusion generator !

5. Revise and Proofread

Last but not least, you should carefully proofread your paper to find any punctuation, grammar, and spelling mistakes. Start by reading your work out loud to ensure that your sentences fit together and sound cohesive. Also, it can be helpful to ask your professor or peer to read your work and highlight possible weaknesses or typos.

This image shows how to write a research analysis.

📝 Research Paper Analysis Example

We have prepared an analysis of a research paper example to show how everything works in practice.

No Homework Policy: Research Article Analysis Example

This paper aims to analyze the research article entitled “No Assignment: A Boon or a Bane?” by Cordova, Pagtulon-an, and Tan (2019). This study examined the effects of having and not having assignments on weekends on high school students’ performance and transmuted mean scores. This article effectively shows the value of homework for students, but larger studies are needed to support its findings.

Cordova et al. (2019) conducted a descriptive quantitative study using a sample of 115 Grade 11 students of the Central Mindanao University Laboratory High School in the Philippines. The sample was divided into two groups: the first received homework on weekends, while the second didn’t. The researchers compared students’ performance records made by teachers and found that students who received assignments performed better than their counterparts without homework.

The purpose of this study is highly relevant and justified as this research was conducted in response to the debates about the “No Homework Policy” in the Philippines. Although the descriptive research design used by the authors allows to answer the research question, the study could benefit from an experimental design. This way, the authors would have firm control over variables. Additionally, the study’s sample size was not large enough for the findings to be generalized to a larger population.

The study results are presented clearly, logically, and comprehensively and correspond to the research objectives. The researchers found that students’ mean grades decreased in the group without homework and increased in the group with homework. Based on these findings, the authors concluded that homework positively affected students’ performance. This conclusion is logical and grounded in data.

This research effectively showed the importance of homework for students’ performance. Yet, since the sample size was relatively small, larger studies are needed to ensure the authors’ conclusions can be generalized to a larger population.

🔎 More Research Analysis Paper Examples

Do you want another research analysis example? Check out the best analysis research paper samples below:

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We hope that our article on research paper analysis has been helpful. If you liked it, please share this article with your friends!

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Definition and Introduction

Journal article analysis assignments require you to summarize and critically assess the quality of an empirical research study published in a scholarly [a.k.a., academic, peer-reviewed] journal. The article may be assigned by the professor, chosen from course readings listed in the syllabus, or you must locate an article on your own, usually with the requirement that you search using a reputable library database, such as, JSTOR or ProQuest . The article chosen is expected to relate to the overall discipline of the course, specific course content, or key concepts discussed in class. In some cases, the purpose of the assignment is to analyze an article that is part of the literature review for a future research project.

Analysis of an article can be assigned to students individually or as part of a small group project. The final product is usually in the form of a short paper [typically 1- 6 double-spaced pages] that addresses key questions the professor uses to guide your analysis or that assesses specific parts of a scholarly research study [e.g., the research problem, methodology, discussion, conclusions or findings]. The analysis paper may be shared on a digital course management platform and/or presented to the class for the purpose of promoting a wider discussion about the topic of the study. Although assigned in any level of undergraduate and graduate coursework in the social and behavioral sciences, professors frequently include this assignment in upper division courses to help students learn how to effectively identify, read, and analyze empirical research within their major.

Franco, Josue. “Introducing the Analysis of Journal Articles.” Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Teaching and Learning Conference, February 7-9, 2020, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sego, Sandra A. and Anne E. Stuart. "Learning to Read Empirical Articles in General Psychology." Teaching of Psychology 43 (2016): 38-42; Kershaw, Trina C., Jordan P. Lippman, and Jennifer Fugate. "Practice Makes Proficient: Teaching Undergraduate Students to Understand Published Research." Instructional Science 46 (2018): 921-946; Woodward-Kron, Robyn. "Critical Analysis and the Journal Article Review Assignment." Prospect 18 (August 2003): 20-36; MacMillan, Margy and Allison MacKenzie. "Strategies for Integrating Information Literacy and Academic Literacy: Helping Undergraduate Students make the most of Scholarly Articles." Library Management 33 (2012): 525-535.

Benefits of Journal Article Analysis Assignments

Analyzing and synthesizing a scholarly journal article is intended to help students obtain the reading and critical thinking skills needed to develop and write their own research papers. This assignment also supports workplace skills where you could be asked to summarize a report or other type of document and report it, for example, during a staff meeting or for a presentation.

There are two broadly defined ways that analyzing a scholarly journal article supports student learning:

Improve Reading Skills

Conducting research requires an ability to review, evaluate, and synthesize prior research studies. Reading prior research requires an understanding of the academic writing style , the type of epistemological beliefs or practices underpinning the research design, and the specific vocabulary and technical terminology [i.e., jargon] used within a discipline. Reading scholarly articles is important because academic writing is unfamiliar to most students; they have had limited exposure to using peer-reviewed journal articles prior to entering college or students have yet to gain exposure to the specific academic writing style of their disciplinary major. Learning how to read scholarly articles also requires careful and deliberate concentration on how authors use specific language and phrasing to convey their research, the problem it addresses, its relationship to prior research, its significance, its limitations, and how authors connect methods of data gathering to the results so as to develop recommended solutions derived from the overall research process.

Improve Comprehension Skills

In addition to knowing how to read scholarly journals articles, students must learn how to effectively interpret what the scholar(s) are trying to convey. Academic writing can be dense, multi-layered, and non-linear in how information is presented. In addition, scholarly articles contain footnotes or endnotes, references to sources, multiple appendices, and, in some cases, non-textual elements [e.g., graphs, charts] that can break-up the reader’s experience with the narrative flow of the study. Analyzing articles helps students practice comprehending these elements of writing, critiquing the arguments being made, reflecting upon the significance of the research, and how it relates to building new knowledge and understanding or applying new approaches to practice. Comprehending scholarly writing also involves thinking critically about where you fit within the overall dialogue among scholars concerning the research problem, finding possible gaps in the research that require further analysis, or identifying where the author(s) has failed to examine fully any specific elements of the study.

In addition, journal article analysis assignments are used by professors to strengthen discipline-specific information literacy skills, either alone or in relation to other tasks, such as, giving a class presentation or participating in a group project. These benefits can include the ability to:

  • Effectively paraphrase text, which leads to a more thorough understanding of the overall study;
  • Identify and describe strengths and weaknesses of the study and their implications;
  • Relate the article to other course readings and in relation to particular research concepts or ideas discussed during class;
  • Think critically about the research and summarize complex ideas contained within;
  • Plan, organize, and write an effective inquiry-based paper that investigates a research study, evaluates evidence, expounds on the author’s main ideas, and presents an argument concerning the significance and impact of the research in a clear and concise manner;
  • Model the type of source summary and critique you should do for any college-level research paper; and,
  • Increase interest and engagement with the research problem of the study as well as with the discipline.

Kershaw, Trina C., Jennifer Fugate, and Aminda J. O'Hare. "Teaching Undergraduates to Understand Published Research through Structured Practice in Identifying Key Research Concepts." Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology . Advance online publication, 2020; Franco, Josue. “Introducing the Analysis of Journal Articles.” Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Teaching and Learning Conference, February 7-9, 2020, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Sego, Sandra A. and Anne E. Stuart. "Learning to Read Empirical Articles in General Psychology." Teaching of Psychology 43 (2016): 38-42; Woodward-Kron, Robyn. "Critical Analysis and the Journal Article Review Assignment." Prospect 18 (August 2003): 20-36; MacMillan, Margy and Allison MacKenzie. "Strategies for Integrating Information Literacy and Academic Literacy: Helping Undergraduate Students make the most of Scholarly Articles." Library Management 33 (2012): 525-535; Kershaw, Trina C., Jordan P. Lippman, and Jennifer Fugate. "Practice Makes Proficient: Teaching Undergraduate Students to Understand Published Research." Instructional Science 46 (2018): 921-946.

Structure and Organization

A journal article analysis paper should be written in paragraph format and include an instruction to the study, your analysis of the research, and a conclusion that provides an overall assessment of the author's work, along with an explanation of what you believe is the study's overall impact and significance. Unless the purpose of the assignment is to examine foundational studies published many years ago, you should select articles that have been published relatively recently [e.g., within the past few years].

Since the research has been completed, reference to the study in your paper should be written in the past tense, with your analysis stated in the present tense [e.g., “The author portrayed access to health care services in rural areas as primarily a problem of having reliable transportation. However, I believe the author is overgeneralizing this issue because...”].

Introduction Section

The first section of a journal analysis paper should describe the topic of the article and highlight the author’s main points. This includes describing the research problem and theoretical framework, the rationale for the research, the methods of data gathering and analysis, the key findings, and the author’s final conclusions and recommendations. The narrative should focus on the act of describing rather than analyzing. Think of the introduction as a more comprehensive and detailed descriptive abstract of the study.

Possible questions to help guide your writing of the introduction section may include:

  • Who are the authors and what credentials do they hold that contributes to the validity of the study?
  • What was the research problem being investigated?
  • What type of research design was used to investigate the research problem?
  • What theoretical idea(s) and/or research questions were used to address the problem?
  • What was the source of the data or information used as evidence for analysis?
  • What methods were applied to investigate this evidence?
  • What were the author's overall conclusions and key findings?

Critical Analysis Section

The second section of a journal analysis paper should describe the strengths and weaknesses of the study and analyze its significance and impact. This section is where you shift the narrative from describing to analyzing. Think critically about the research in relation to other course readings, what has been discussed in class, or based on your own life experiences. If you are struggling to identify any weaknesses, explain why you believe this to be true. However, no study is perfect, regardless of how laudable its design may be. Given this, think about the repercussions of the choices made by the author(s) and how you might have conducted the study differently. Examples can include contemplating the choice of what sources were included or excluded in support of examining the research problem, the choice of the method used to analyze the data, or the choice to highlight specific recommended courses of action and/or implications for practice over others. Another strategy is to place yourself within the research study itself by thinking reflectively about what may be missing if you had been a participant in the study or if the recommended courses of action specifically targeted you or your community.

Possible questions to help guide your writing of the analysis section may include:

Introduction

  • Did the author clearly state the problem being investigated?
  • What was your reaction to and perspective on the research problem?
  • Was the study’s objective clearly stated? Did the author clearly explain why the study was necessary?
  • How well did the introduction frame the scope of the study?
  • Did the introduction conclude with a clear purpose statement?

Literature Review

  • Did the literature review lay a foundation for understanding the significance of the research problem?
  • Did the literature review provide enough background information to understand the problem in relation to relevant contexts [e.g., historical, economic, social, cultural, etc.].
  • Did literature review effectively place the study within the domain of prior research? Is anything missing?
  • Was the literature review organized by conceptual categories or did the author simply list and describe sources?
  • Did the author accurately explain how the data or information were collected?
  • Was the data used sufficient in supporting the study of the research problem?
  • Was there another methodological approach that could have been more illuminating?
  • Give your overall evaluation of the methods used in this article. How much trust would you put in generating relevant findings?

Results and Discussion

  • Were the results clearly presented?
  • Did you feel that the results support the theoretical and interpretive claims of the author? Why?
  • What did the author(s) do especially well in describing or analyzing their results?
  • Was the author's evaluation of the findings clearly stated?
  • How well did the discussion of the results relate to what is already known about the research problem?
  • Was the discussion of the results free of repetition and redundancies?
  • What interpretations did the authors make that you think are in incomplete, unwarranted, or overstated?
  • Did the conclusion effectively capture the main points of study?
  • Did the conclusion address the research questions posed? Do they seem reasonable?
  • Were the author’s conclusions consistent with the evidence and arguments presented?
  • Has the author explained how the research added new knowledge or understanding?

Overall Writing Style

  • If the article included tables, figures, or other non-textual elements, did they contribute to understanding the study?
  • Were ideas developed and related in a logical sequence?
  • Were transitions between sections of the article smooth and easy to follow?

Overall Evaluation Section

The final section of a journal analysis paper should bring your thoughts together into a coherent assessment of the value of the research study . This section is where the narrative flow transitions from analyzing specific elements of the article to critically evaluating the overall study. Explain what you view as the significance of the research in relation to the overall course content and any relevant discussions that occurred during class. Think about how the article contributes to understanding the overall research problem, how it fits within existing literature on the topic, how it relates to the course, and what it means to you as a student researcher. In some cases, your professor will also ask you to describe your experiences writing the journal article analysis paper as part of a reflective learning exercise.

Possible questions to help guide your writing of the conclusion and evaluation section may include:

  • Was the structure of the article clear and well organized?
  • Was the topic of current or enduring interest to you?
  • What were the main weaknesses of the article? [this does not refer to limitations stated by the author, but what you believe are potential flaws]
  • Was any of the information in the article unclear or ambiguous?
  • What did you learn from the research? If nothing stood out to you, explain why.
  • Assess the originality of the research. Did you believe it contributed new understanding of the research problem?
  • Were you persuaded by the author’s arguments?
  • If the author made any final recommendations, will they be impactful if applied to practice?
  • In what ways could future research build off of this study?
  • What implications does the study have for daily life?
  • Was the use of non-textual elements, footnotes or endnotes, and/or appendices helpful in understanding the research?
  • What lingering questions do you have after analyzing the article?

NOTE: Avoid using quotes. One of the main purposes of writing an article analysis paper is to learn how to effectively paraphrase and use your own words to summarize a scholarly research study and to explain what the research means to you. Using and citing a direct quote from the article should only be done to help emphasize a key point or to underscore an important concept or idea.

Business: The Article Analysis . Fred Meijer Center for Writing, Grand Valley State University; Bachiochi, Peter et al. "Using Empirical Article Analysis to Assess Research Methods Courses." Teaching of Psychology 38 (2011): 5-9; Brosowsky, Nicholaus P. et al. “Teaching Undergraduate Students to Read Empirical Articles: An Evaluation and Revision of the QALMRI Method.” PsyArXi Preprints , 2020; Holster, Kristin. “Article Evaluation Assignment”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology . Washington DC: American Sociological Association, 2016; Kershaw, Trina C., Jennifer Fugate, and Aminda J. O'Hare. "Teaching Undergraduates to Understand Published Research through Structured Practice in Identifying Key Research Concepts." Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology . Advance online publication, 2020; Franco, Josue. “Introducing the Analysis of Journal Articles.” Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Teaching and Learning Conference, February 7-9, 2020, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Reviewer's Guide . SAGE Reviewer Gateway, SAGE Journals; Sego, Sandra A. and Anne E. Stuart. "Learning to Read Empirical Articles in General Psychology." Teaching of Psychology 43 (2016): 38-42; Kershaw, Trina C., Jordan P. Lippman, and Jennifer Fugate. "Practice Makes Proficient: Teaching Undergraduate Students to Understand Published Research." Instructional Science 46 (2018): 921-946; Gyuris, Emma, and Laura Castell. "To Tell Them or Show Them? How to Improve Science Students’ Skills of Critical Reading." International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education 21 (2013): 70-80; Woodward-Kron, Robyn. "Critical Analysis and the Journal Article Review Assignment." Prospect 18 (August 2003): 20-36; MacMillan, Margy and Allison MacKenzie. "Strategies for Integrating Information Literacy and Academic Literacy: Helping Undergraduate Students Make the Most of Scholarly Articles." Library Management 33 (2012): 525-535.

Writing Tip

Not All Scholarly Journal Articles Can Be Critically Analyzed

There are a variety of articles published in scholarly journals that do not fit within the guidelines of an article analysis assignment. This is because the work cannot be empirically examined or it does not generate new knowledge in a way which can be critically analyzed.

If you are required to locate a research study on your own, avoid selecting these types of journal articles:

  • Theoretical essays which discuss concepts, assumptions, and propositions, but report no empirical research;
  • Statistical or methodological papers that may analyze data, but the bulk of the work is devoted to refining a new measurement, statistical technique, or modeling procedure;
  • Articles that review, analyze, critique, and synthesize prior research, but do not report any original research;
  • Brief essays devoted to research methods and findings;
  • Articles written by scholars in popular magazines or industry trade journals;
  • Pre-print articles that have been posted online, but may undergo further editing and revision by the journal's editorial staff before final publication; and
  • Academic commentary that discusses research trends or emerging concepts and ideas, but does not contain citations to sources.

Journal Analysis Assignment - Myers . Writing@CSU, Colorado State University; Franco, Josue. “Introducing the Analysis of Journal Articles.” Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Teaching and Learning Conference, February 7-9, 2020, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Woodward-Kron, Robyn. "Critical Analysis and the Journal Article Review Assignment." Prospect 18 (August 2003): 20-36.

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How to Critically Analyse an Article

Critical analysis refers to the skill required to evaluate an author’s work. Students are frequently asked to critically analyse a particular journal. The analysis is designed to enhance the reader’s understanding of the thesis and content of the article, and crucially is subjective, because a piece of critical analysis writing is a way for the writer to express their opinions, analysis, and evaluation of the article in question. In essence, the article needs to be broken down into parts, each one analysed separately and then brought together as one piece of critical analysis of the whole.

Key point: you need to be aware that when you are analysing an article your goal is to ensure that your readers understand the main points of the paper with ease. This means demonstrating critical thinking skills, judgement, and evaluation to illustrate how you came to your conclusions and opinions on the work. This might sound simple, and it can be, if you follow our guide to critically analyse an article:

  • Before you start your essay, you should read through the paper at least three times.
  • The first time ensures you understand, the second allows you to examine the structure of the work and the third enables you to pick out the key points and focus of the thesis statement given by the author (if there is one of course!). During these reads and re-reads you can set down bullet points which will eventually frame your outline and draft for the final work.
  • Look for the purpose of the article – is the writer trying to inform through facts and research, are they trying to persuade through logical argument, or are they simply trying to entertain and create an emotional response. Examine your own responses to the article and this will guide to the purpose.
  • When you start writing your analysis, avoid phrases such as “I think/believe”, “In my opinion”. The analysis is of the paper, not your views and perspectives.
  • Ensure you have clearly indicated the subject of the article so that is evident to the reader.
  • Look for both strengths and weaknesses in the work – and always support your assertions with credible, viable sources that are clearly referenced at the end of your work.
  • Be open-minded and objective, rely on facts and evidence as you pull your work together.

Structure for Critical Analysis of an Article

Remember, your essay should be in three mains sections: the introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.

Introduction

Your introduction should commence by indicating the title of the work being analysed, including author and date of publication. This should be followed by an indication of the main themes in the thesis statement. Once you have provided the information about the author’s paper, you should then develop your thesis statement which sets out what you intend to achieve or prove with your critical analysis of the article.

Key point: your introduction should be short, succinct and draw your readers in. Keep it simple and concise but interesting enough to encourage further reading.

Overview of the paper

This is an important section to include when writing a critical analysis of an article because it answers the four “w’s”, of what, why, who, when and also the how. This section should include a brief overview of the key ideas in the article, along with the structure, style and dominant point of view expressed. For example,

“The focus of this article is… based on work undertaken…  The main thrust of the thesis is that… which is the foundation for an argument which suggests. The conclusion from the authors is that…. However, it can be argued that…

Once you have given the overview and outline, you can then move onto the more detailed analysis.

For each point you make about the article, you should contain this in a separate paragraph. Introduce the point you wish to make, regarding what you see as a strength or weakness of the work, provide evidence for your perspective from reliable and credible sources, and indicate how the authors have achieved, or not their goal in relation to the points made. For each point, you should identify whether the paper is objective, informative, persuasive, and sufficiently unbiased. In addition, identify whether the target audience for the work has been correctly addressed, the survey instruments used are appropriate and the results are presented in a clear and concise way.

If the authors have used tables, figures or graphs do they back up the conclusions made? If not, why not? Again, back up your statements with reliable hard evidence and credible sources, fully referenced at the end of your work.

In the same way that an introduction opens up the analysis to readers, the conclusion should close it. Clearly, concisely and without the addition of any new information not included in the body paragraph.

Key points for a strong conclusion include restating your thesis statement, paraphrased, with a summary of the evidence for the accuracy of your views, combined with identification of how the article could have been improved – in other words, asking the reader to take action.

Key phrases for Critical Analysis of an article

  • This article has value because it…
  • There is a clear bias within this article based on the focus on…
  • It appears that the assumptions made do not correlate with the information presented…
  • Aspects of the work suggest that…
  • The proposal is therefore that…
  • The evidence presented supports the view that…
  • The evidence presented however overlooks…
  • Whilst the author’s view is generally accurate, it can also be indicated that…
  • Closer examination suggests there is an omission in relation to

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How to Critically Discuss

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  • A Research Guide
  • Writing Guide
  • Article Writing

How to Analyze an Article

  • What is an article analysis
  • Outline and structure
  • Step-by-step writing guide
  • Article analysis format
  • Analysis examples
  • Article analysis template

What Is an Article Analysis?

  • Summarize the main points in the piece – when you get to do an article analysis, you have to analyze the main points so that the reader can understand what the article is all about in general. The summary will be an overview of the story outline, but it is not the main analysis. It just acts to guide the reader to understand what the article is all about in brief.
  • Proceed to the main argument and analyze the evidence offered by the writer in the article – this is where analysis begins because you must critique the article by analyzing the evidence given by the piece’s author. You should also point out the flaws in the work and support where it needs to be; it should not necessarily be a positive critique. You are free to pinpoint even the negative part of the story. In other words, you should not rely on one side but be truthful about what you are addressing to the satisfaction of anyone who would read your essay.
  • Analyze the piece’s significance – most readers would want to see why you need to make article analysis. It is your role as a writer to emphasize the importance of the article so that the reader can be content with your writing. When your audience gets interested in your work, you will have achieved your aim because the main aim of writing is to convince the reader. The more persuasive you are, the more your article stands out. Focus on motivating your audience, and you will have scored.

Outline and Structure of an Article Analysis

What do you need to write an article analysis, how to write an analysis of an article, step 1: analyze your audience, step 2: read the article.

  • The evidence : identify the evidence the writer used in the article to support their claim. While looking into the evidence, you should gauge whether the writer brings out factual evidence or it is personal judgments.
  • The argument’s validity: a writer might use many pieces of evidence to support their claims, but you need to identify the sources they use and determine whether they are credible. Credible sources are like scholarly articles and books, and some are not worth relying on for research.
  • How convictive are the arguments? You should be able to judge the writer’s persuasion of the audience. An article is usually informative and therefore has to be persuasive to the readers to be considered worthy. If it does not achieve this, you should be able to critique that and illustrate the same.

Step 3: Make the plan

Step 4: write a critical analysis of an article, step 5: edit your essay, article analysis format, article analysis example, what didn’t you know about the article analysis template.

  • Read through the piece quickly to get an overview.
  • Look for confronting words in the article and note them down.
  • Read the piece for the second time while summarizing major points in the literature piece.
  • Reflect on the paper’s thesis to affirm and adhere to it in your writing.
  • Note the arguments and the evidence used.
  • Evaluate the article and focus on your audience.
  • Give your opinion and support it to the satisfaction of your audience.

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Writing a Critical Analysis

What is in this guide, definitions, putting it together, tips and examples of critques.

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This guide is meant to help you understand the basics of writing a critical analysis. A critical analysis is an argument about a particular piece of media. There are typically two parts: (1) identify and explain the argument the author is making, and (2), provide your own argument about that argument. Your instructor may have very specific requirements on how you are to write your critical analysis, so make sure you read your assignment carefully.

research article analysis paper

Critical Analysis

A deep approach to your understanding of a piece of media by relating new knowledge to what you already know.

Part 1: Introduction

  • Identify the work being criticized.
  • Present thesis - argument about the work.
  • Preview your argument - what are the steps you will take to prove your argument.

Part 2: Summarize

  • Provide a short summary of the work.
  • Present only what is needed to know to understand your argument.

Part 3: Your Argument

  • This is the bulk of your paper.
  • Provide "sub-arguments" to prove your main argument.
  • Use scholarly articles to back up your argument(s).

Part 4: Conclusion

  • Reflect on  how  you have proven your argument.
  • Point out the  importance  of your argument.
  • Comment on the potential for further research or analysis.
  • Cornell University Library Tips for writing a critical appraisal and analysis of a scholarly article.
  • Queen's University Library How to Critique an Article (Psychology)
  • University of Illinois, Springfield An example of a summary and an evaluation of a research article. This extended example shows the different ways a student can critique and write about an article
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  • Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 4:33 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.pittcc.edu/critical_analysis

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Open Access

Peer-reviewed

Research Article

Anxiety, Affect, Self-Esteem, and Stress: Mediation and Moderation Effects on Depression

Affiliations Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Affiliation Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Affiliations Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, Department of Psychology, Education and Sport Science, Linneaus University, Kalmar, Sweden

* E-mail: [email protected]

Affiliations Network for Empowerment and Well-Being, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, Center for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health (CELAM), University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Ali Al Nima, 
  • Patricia Rosenberg, 
  • Trevor Archer, 
  • Danilo Garcia

PLOS

  • Published: September 9, 2013
  • https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265
  • Reader Comments

23 Sep 2013: Nima AA, Rosenberg P, Archer T, Garcia D (2013) Correction: Anxiety, Affect, Self-Esteem, and Stress: Mediation and Moderation Effects on Depression. PLOS ONE 8(9): 10.1371/annotation/49e2c5c8-e8a8-4011-80fc-02c6724b2acc. https://doi.org/10.1371/annotation/49e2c5c8-e8a8-4011-80fc-02c6724b2acc View correction

Table 1

Mediation analysis investigates whether a variable (i.e., mediator) changes in regard to an independent variable, in turn, affecting a dependent variable. Moderation analysis, on the other hand, investigates whether the statistical interaction between independent variables predict a dependent variable. Although this difference between these two types of analysis is explicit in current literature, there is still confusion with regard to the mediating and moderating effects of different variables on depression. The purpose of this study was to assess the mediating and moderating effects of anxiety, stress, positive affect, and negative affect on depression.

Two hundred and two university students (males  = 93, females  = 113) completed questionnaires assessing anxiety, stress, self-esteem, positive and negative affect, and depression. Mediation and moderation analyses were conducted using techniques based on standard multiple regression and hierarchical regression analyses.

Main Findings

The results indicated that (i) anxiety partially mediated the effects of both stress and self-esteem upon depression, (ii) that stress partially mediated the effects of anxiety and positive affect upon depression, (iii) that stress completely mediated the effects of self-esteem on depression, and (iv) that there was a significant interaction between stress and negative affect, and between positive affect and negative affect upon depression.

The study highlights different research questions that can be investigated depending on whether researchers decide to use the same variables as mediators and/or moderators.

Citation: Nima AA, Rosenberg P, Archer T, Garcia D (2013) Anxiety, Affect, Self-Esteem, and Stress: Mediation and Moderation Effects on Depression. PLoS ONE 8(9): e73265. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265

Editor: Ben J. Harrison, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Received: February 21, 2013; Accepted: July 22, 2013; Published: September 9, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Nima et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: The authors have no support or funding to report.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Introduction

Mediation refers to the covariance relationships among three variables: an independent variable (1), an assumed mediating variable (2), and a dependent variable (3). Mediation analysis investigates whether the mediating variable accounts for a significant amount of the shared variance between the independent and the dependent variables–the mediator changes in regard to the independent variable, in turn, affecting the dependent one [1] , [2] . On the other hand, moderation refers to the examination of the statistical interaction between independent variables in predicting a dependent variable [1] , [3] . In contrast to the mediator, the moderator is not expected to be correlated with both the independent and the dependent variable–Baron and Kenny [1] actually recommend that it is best if the moderator is not correlated with the independent variable and if the moderator is relatively stable, like a demographic variable (e.g., gender, socio-economic status) or a personality trait (e.g., affectivity).

Although both types of analysis lead to different conclusions [3] and the distinction between statistical procedures is part of the current literature [2] , there is still confusion about the use of moderation and mediation analyses using data pertaining to the prediction of depression. There are, for example, contradictions among studies that investigate mediating and moderating effects of anxiety, stress, self-esteem, and affect on depression. Depression, anxiety and stress are suggested to influence individuals' social relations and activities, work, and studies, as well as compromising decision-making and coping strategies [4] , [5] , [6] . Successfully coping with anxiety, depressiveness, and stressful situations may contribute to high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence, in addition increasing well-being, and psychological and physical health [6] . Thus, it is important to disentangle how these variables are related to each other. However, while some researchers perform mediation analysis with some of the variables mentioned here, other researchers conduct moderation analysis with the same variables. Seldom are both moderation and mediation performed on the same dataset. Before disentangling mediation and moderation effects on depression in the current literature, we briefly present the methodology behind the analysis performed in this study.

Mediation and moderation

Baron and Kenny [1] postulated several criteria for the analysis of a mediating effect: a significant correlation between the independent and the dependent variable, the independent variable must be significantly associated with the mediator, the mediator predicts the dependent variable even when the independent variable is controlled for, and the correlation between the independent and the dependent variable must be eliminated or reduced when the mediator is controlled for. All the criteria is then tested using the Sobel test which shows whether indirect effects are significant or not [1] , [7] . A complete mediating effect occurs when the correlation between the independent and the dependent variable are eliminated when the mediator is controlled for [8] . Analyses of mediation can, for example, help researchers to move beyond answering if high levels of stress lead to high levels of depression. With mediation analysis researchers might instead answer how stress is related to depression.

In contrast to mediation, moderation investigates the unique conditions under which two variables are related [3] . The third variable here, the moderator, is not an intermediate variable in the causal sequence from the independent to the dependent variable. For the analysis of moderation effects, the relation between the independent and dependent variable must be different at different levels of the moderator [3] . Moderators are included in the statistical analysis as an interaction term [1] . When analyzing moderating effects the variables should first be centered (i.e., calculating the mean to become 0 and the standard deviation to become 1) in order to avoid problems with multi-colinearity [8] . Moderating effects can be calculated using multiple hierarchical linear regressions whereby main effects are presented in the first step and interactions in the second step [1] . Analysis of moderation, for example, helps researchers to answer when or under which conditions stress is related to depression.

Mediation and moderation effects on depression

Cognitive vulnerability models suggest that maladaptive self-schema mirroring helplessness and low self-esteem explain the development and maintenance of depression (for a review see [9] ). These cognitive vulnerability factors become activated by negative life events or negative moods [10] and are suggested to interact with environmental stressors to increase risk for depression and other emotional disorders [11] , [10] . In this line of thinking, the experience of stress, low self-esteem, and negative emotions can cause depression, but also be used to explain how (i.e., mediation) and under which conditions (i.e., moderation) specific variables influence depression.

Using mediational analyses to investigate how cognitive therapy intervations reduced depression, researchers have showed that the intervention reduced anxiety, which in turn was responsible for 91% of the reduction in depression [12] . In the same study, reductions in depression, by the intervention, accounted only for 6% of the reduction in anxiety. Thus, anxiety seems to affect depression more than depression affects anxiety and, together with stress, is both a cause of and a powerful mediator influencing depression (See also [13] ). Indeed, there are positive relationships between depression, anxiety and stress in different cultures [14] . Moreover, while some studies show that stress (independent variable) increases anxiety (mediator), which in turn increased depression (dependent variable) [14] , other studies show that stress (moderator) interacts with maladaptive self-schemata (dependent variable) to increase depression (independent variable) [15] , [16] .

The present study

In order to illustrate how mediation and moderation can be used to address different research questions we first focus our attention to anxiety and stress as mediators of different variables that earlier have been shown to be related to depression. Secondly, we use all variables to find which of these variables moderate the effects on depression.

The specific aims of the present study were:

  • To investigate if anxiety mediated the effect of stress, self-esteem, and affect on depression.
  • To investigate if stress mediated the effects of anxiety, self-esteem, and affect on depression.
  • To examine moderation effects between anxiety, stress, self-esteem, and affect on depression.

Ethics statement

This research protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Gothenburg and written informed consent was obtained from all the study participants.

Participants

The present study was based upon a sample of 206 participants (males  = 93, females  = 113). All the participants were first year students in different disciplines at two universities in South Sweden. The mean age for the male students was 25.93 years ( SD  = 6.66), and 25.30 years ( SD  = 5.83) for the female students.

In total, 206 questionnaires were distributed to the students. Together 202 questionnaires were responded to leaving a total dropout of 1.94%. This dropout concerned three sections that the participants chose not to respond to at all, and one section that was completed incorrectly. None of these four questionnaires was included in the analyses.

Instruments

Hospital anxiety and depression scale [17] ..

The Swedish translation of this instrument [18] was used to measure anxiety and depression. The instrument consists of 14 statements (7 of which measure depression and 7 measure anxiety) to which participants are asked to respond grade of agreement on a Likert scale (0 to 3). The utility, reliability and validity of the instrument has been shown in multiple studies (e.g., [19] ).

Perceived Stress Scale [20] .

The Swedish version [21] of this instrument was used to measures individuals' experience of stress. The instrument consist of 14 statements to which participants rate on a Likert scale (0 =  never , 4 =  very often ). High values indicate that the individual expresses a high degree of stress.

Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale [22] .

The Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale (Swedish version by Lindwall [23] ) consists of 10 statements focusing on general feelings toward the self. Participants are asked to report grade of agreement in a four-point Likert scale (1 =  agree not at all, 4 =  agree completely ). This is the most widely used instrument for estimation of self-esteem with high levels of reliability and validity (e.g., [24] , [25] ).

Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule [26] .

This is a widely applied instrument for measuring individuals' self-reported mood and feelings. The Swedish version has been used among participants of different ages and occupations (e.g., [27] , [28] , [29] ). The instrument consists of 20 adjectives, 10 positive affect (e.g., proud, strong) and 10 negative affect (e.g., afraid, irritable). The adjectives are rated on a five-point Likert scale (1 =  not at all , 5 =  very much ). The instrument is a reliable, valid, and effective self-report instrument for estimating these two important and independent aspects of mood [26] .

Questionnaires were distributed to the participants on several different locations within the university, including the library and lecture halls. Participants were asked to complete the questionnaire after being informed about the purpose and duration (10–15 minutes) of the study. Participants were also ensured complete anonymity and informed that they could end their participation whenever they liked.

Correlational analysis

Depression showed positive, significant relationships with anxiety, stress and negative affect. Table 1 presents the correlation coefficients, mean values and standard deviations ( sd ), as well as Cronbach ' s α for all the variables in the study.

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.t001

Mediation analysis

Regression analyses were performed in order to investigate if anxiety mediated the effect of stress, self-esteem, and affect on depression (aim 1). The first regression showed that stress ( B  = .03, 95% CI [.02,.05], β = .36, t  = 4.32, p <.001), self-esteem ( B  = −.03, 95% CI [−.05, −.01], β = −.24, t  = −3.20, p <.001), and positive affect ( B  = −.02, 95% CI [−.05, −.01], β = −.19, t  = −2.93, p  = .004) had each an unique effect on depression. Surprisingly, negative affect did not predict depression ( p  = 0.77) and was therefore removed from the mediation model, thus not included in further analysis.

The second regression tested whether stress, self-esteem and positive affect uniquely predicted the mediator (i.e., anxiety). Stress was found to be positively associated ( B  = .21, 95% CI [.15,.27], β = .47, t  = 7.35, p <.001), whereas self-esteem was negatively associated ( B  = −.29, 95% CI [−.38, −.21], β = −.42, t  = −6.48, p <.001) to anxiety. Positive affect, however, was not associated to anxiety ( p  = .50) and was therefore removed from further analysis.

A hierarchical regression analysis using depression as the outcome variable was performed using stress and self-esteem as predictors in the first step, and anxiety as predictor in the second step. This analysis allows the examination of whether stress and self-esteem predict depression and if this relation is weaken in the presence of anxiety as the mediator. The result indicated that, in the first step, both stress ( B  = .04, 95% CI [.03,.05], β = .45, t  = 6.43, p <.001) and self-esteem ( B  = .04, 95% CI [.03,.05], β = .45, t  = 6.43, p <.001) predicted depression. When anxiety (i.e., the mediator) was controlled for predictability was reduced somewhat but was still significant for stress ( B  = .03, 95% CI [.02,.04], β = .33, t  = 4.29, p <.001) and for self-esteem ( B  = −.03, 95% CI [−.05, −.01], β = −.20, t  = −2.62, p  = .009). Anxiety, as a mediator, predicted depression even when both stress and self-esteem were controlled for ( B  = .05, 95% CI [.02,.08], β = .26, t  = 3.17, p  = .002). Anxiety improved the prediction of depression over-and-above the independent variables (i.e., stress and self-esteem) (Δ R 2  = .03, F (1, 198) = 10.06, p  = .002). See Table 2 for the details.

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.t002

A Sobel test was conducted to test the mediating criteria and to assess whether indirect effects were significant or not. The result showed that the complete pathway from stress (independent variable) to anxiety (mediator) to depression (dependent variable) was significant ( z  = 2.89, p  = .003). The complete pathway from self-esteem (independent variable) to anxiety (mediator) to depression (dependent variable) was also significant ( z  = 2.82, p  = .004). Thus, indicating that anxiety partially mediates the effects of both stress and self-esteem on depression. This result may indicate also that both stress and self-esteem contribute directly to explain the variation in depression and indirectly via experienced level of anxiety (see Figure 1 ).

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Changes in Beta weights when the mediator is present are highlighted in red.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.g001

For the second aim, regression analyses were performed in order to test if stress mediated the effect of anxiety, self-esteem, and affect on depression. The first regression showed that anxiety ( B  = .07, 95% CI [.04,.10], β = .37, t  = 4.57, p <.001), self-esteem ( B  = −.02, 95% CI [−.05, −.01], β = −.18, t  = −2.23, p  = .03), and positive affect ( B  = −.03, 95% CI [−.04, −.02], β = −.27, t  = −4.35, p <.001) predicted depression independently of each other. Negative affect did not predict depression ( p  = 0.74) and was therefore removed from further analysis.

The second regression investigated if anxiety, self-esteem and positive affect uniquely predicted the mediator (i.e., stress). Stress was positively associated to anxiety ( B  = 1.01, 95% CI [.75, 1.30], β = .46, t  = 7.35, p <.001), negatively associated to self-esteem ( B  = −.30, 95% CI [−.50, −.01], β = −.19, t  = −2.90, p  = .004), and a negatively associated to positive affect ( B  = −.33, 95% CI [−.46, −.20], β = −.27, t  = −5.02, p <.001).

A hierarchical regression analysis using depression as the outcome and anxiety, self-esteem, and positive affect as the predictors in the first step, and stress as the predictor in the second step, allowed the examination of whether anxiety, self-esteem and positive affect predicted depression and if this association would weaken when stress (i.e., the mediator) was present. In the first step of the regression anxiety ( B  = .07, 95% CI [.05,.10], β = .38, t  = 5.31, p  = .02), self-esteem ( B  = −.03, 95% CI [−.05, −.01], β = −.18, t  = −2.41, p  = .02), and positive affect ( B  = −.03, 95% CI [−.04, −.02], β = −.27, t  = −4.36, p <.001) significantly explained depression. When stress (i.e., the mediator) was controlled for, predictability was reduced somewhat but was still significant for anxiety ( B  = .05, 95% CI [.02,.08], β = .05, t  = 4.29, p <.001) and for positive affect ( B  = −.02, 95% CI [−.04, −.01], β = −.20, t  = −3.16, p  = .002), whereas self-esteem did not reach significance ( p < = .08). In the second step, the mediator (i.e., stress) predicted depression even when anxiety, self-esteem, and positive affect were controlled for ( B  = .02, 95% CI [.08,.04], β = .25, t  = 3.07, p  = .002). Stress improved the prediction of depression over-and-above the independent variables (i.e., anxiety, self-esteem and positive affect) (Δ R 2  = .02, F (1, 197)  = 9.40, p  = .002). See Table 3 for the details.

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.t003

Furthermore, the Sobel test indicated that the complete pathways from the independent variables (anxiety: z  = 2.81, p  = .004; self-esteem: z  =  2.05, p  = .04; positive affect: z  = 2.58, p <.01) to the mediator (i.e., stress), to the outcome (i.e., depression) were significant. These specific results might be explained on the basis that stress partially mediated the effects of both anxiety and positive affect on depression while stress completely mediated the effects of self-esteem on depression. In other words, anxiety and positive affect contributed directly to explain the variation in depression and indirectly via the experienced level of stress. Self-esteem contributed only indirectly via the experienced level of stress to explain the variation in depression. In other words, stress effects on depression originate from “its own power” and explained more of the variation in depression than self-esteem (see Figure 2 ).

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.g002

Moderation analysis

Multiple linear regression analyses were used in order to examine moderation effects between anxiety, stress, self-esteem and affect on depression. The analysis indicated that about 52% of the variation in the dependent variable (i.e., depression) could be explained by the main effects and the interaction effects ( R 2  = .55, adjusted R 2  = .51, F (55, 186)  = 14.87, p <.001). When the variables (dependent and independent) were standardized, both the standardized regression coefficients beta (β) and the unstandardized regression coefficients beta (B) became the same value with regard to the main effects. Three of the main effects were significant and contributed uniquely to high levels of depression: anxiety ( B  = .26, t  = 3.12, p  = .002), stress ( B  = .25, t  = 2.86, p  = .005), and self-esteem ( B  = −.17, t  = −2.17, p  = .03). The main effect of positive affect was also significant and contributed to low levels of depression ( B  = −.16, t  = −2.027, p  = .02) (see Figure 3 ). Furthermore, the results indicated that two moderator effects were significant. These were the interaction between stress and negative affect ( B  = −.28, β = −.39, t  = −2.36, p  = .02) (see Figure 4 ) and the interaction between positive affect and negative affect ( B  = −.21, β = −.29, t  = −2.30, p  = .02) ( Figure 5 ).

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https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.g003

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Low stress and low negative affect leads to lower levels of depression compared to high stress and high negative affect.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.g004

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High positive affect and low negative affect lead to lower levels of depression compared to low positive affect and high negative affect.

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073265.g005

The results in the present study show that (i) anxiety partially mediated the effects of both stress and self-esteem on depression, (ii) that stress partially mediated the effects of anxiety and positive affect on depression, (iii) that stress completely mediated the effects of self-esteem on depression, and (iv) that there was a significant interaction between stress and negative affect, and positive affect and negative affect on depression.

Mediating effects

The study suggests that anxiety contributes directly to explaining the variance in depression while stress and self-esteem might contribute directly to explaining the variance in depression and indirectly by increasing feelings of anxiety. Indeed, individuals who experience stress over a long period of time are susceptible to increased anxiety and depression [30] , [31] and previous research shows that high self-esteem seems to buffer against anxiety and depression [32] , [33] . The study also showed that stress partially mediated the effects of both anxiety and positive affect on depression and that stress completely mediated the effects of self-esteem on depression. Anxiety and positive affect contributed directly to explain the variation in depression and indirectly to the experienced level of stress. Self-esteem contributed only indirectly via the experienced level of stress to explain the variation in depression, i.e. stress affects depression on the basis of ‘its own power’ and explains much more of the variation in depressive experiences than self-esteem. In general, individuals who experience low anxiety and frequently experience positive affect seem to experience low stress, which might reduce their levels of depression. Academic stress, for instance, may increase the risk for experiencing depression among students [34] . Although self-esteem did not emerged as an important variable here, under circumstances in which difficulties in life become chronic, some researchers suggest that low self-esteem facilitates the experience of stress [35] .

Moderator effects/interaction effects

The present study showed that the interaction between stress and negative affect and between positive and negative affect influenced self-reported depression symptoms. Moderation effects between stress and negative affect imply that the students experiencing low levels of stress and low negative affect reported lower levels of depression than those who experience high levels of stress and high negative affect. This result confirms earlier findings that underline the strong positive association between negative affect and both stress and depression [36] , [37] . Nevertheless, negative affect by itself did not predicted depression. In this regard, it is important to point out that the absence of positive emotions is a better predictor of morbidity than the presence of negative emotions [38] , [39] . A modification to this statement, as illustrated by the results discussed next, could be that the presence of negative emotions in conjunction with the absence of positive emotions increases morbidity.

The moderating effects between positive and negative affect on the experience of depression imply that the students experiencing high levels of positive affect and low levels of negative affect reported lower levels of depression than those who experience low levels of positive affect and high levels of negative affect. This result fits previous observations indicating that different combinations of these affect dimensions are related to different measures of physical and mental health and well-being, such as, blood pressure, depression, quality of sleep, anxiety, life satisfaction, psychological well-being, and self-regulation [40] – [51] .

Limitations

The result indicated a relatively low mean value for depression ( M  = 3.69), perhaps because the studied population was university students. These might limit the generalization power of the results and might also explain why negative affect, commonly associated to depression, was not related to depression in the present study. Moreover, there is a potential influence of single source/single method variance on the findings, especially given the high correlation between all the variables under examination.

Conclusions

The present study highlights different results that could be arrived depending on whether researchers decide to use variables as mediators or moderators. For example, when using meditational analyses, anxiety and stress seem to be important factors that explain how the different variables used here influence depression–increases in anxiety and stress by any other factor seem to lead to increases in depression. In contrast, when moderation analyses were used, the interaction of stress and affect predicted depression and the interaction of both affectivity dimensions (i.e., positive and negative affect) also predicted depression–stress might increase depression under the condition that the individual is high in negative affectivity, in turn, negative affectivity might increase depression under the condition that the individual experiences low positive affectivity.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their openness and suggestions, which significantly improved the article.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: AAN TA. Performed the experiments: AAN. Analyzed the data: AAN DG. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: AAN TA DG. Wrote the paper: AAN PR TA DG.

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Home » Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

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Research Paper

Research Paper

Definition:

Research Paper is a written document that presents the author’s original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue.

It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new knowledge or insights to a particular field of study, and to demonstrate the author’s understanding of the existing literature and theories related to the topic.

Structure of Research Paper

The structure of a research paper typically follows a standard format, consisting of several sections that convey specific information about the research study. The following is a detailed explanation of the structure of a research paper:

The title page contains the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s), and the affiliation(s) of the author(s). It also includes the date of submission and possibly, the name of the journal or conference where the paper is to be published.

The abstract is a brief summary of the research paper, typically ranging from 100 to 250 words. It should include the research question, the methods used, the key findings, and the implications of the results. The abstract should be written in a concise and clear manner to allow readers to quickly grasp the essence of the research.

Introduction

The introduction section of a research paper provides background information about the research problem, the research question, and the research objectives. It also outlines the significance of the research, the research gap that it aims to fill, and the approach taken to address the research question. Finally, the introduction section ends with a clear statement of the research hypothesis or research question.

Literature Review

The literature review section of a research paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the topic of study. It includes a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature, highlighting the key concepts, themes, and debates. The literature review should also demonstrate the research gap and how the current study seeks to address it.

The methods section of a research paper describes the research design, the sample selection, the data collection and analysis procedures, and the statistical methods used to analyze the data. This section should provide sufficient detail for other researchers to replicate the study.

The results section presents the findings of the research, using tables, graphs, and figures to illustrate the data. The findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with reference to the research question and hypothesis.

The discussion section of a research paper interprets the findings and discusses their implications for the research question, the literature review, and the field of study. It should also address the limitations of the study and suggest future research directions.

The conclusion section summarizes the main findings of the study, restates the research question and hypothesis, and provides a final reflection on the significance of the research.

The references section provides a list of all the sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style such as APA, MLA or Chicago.

How to Write Research Paper

You can write Research Paper by the following guide:

  • Choose a Topic: The first step is to select a topic that interests you and is relevant to your field of study. Brainstorm ideas and narrow down to a research question that is specific and researchable.
  • Conduct a Literature Review: The literature review helps you identify the gap in the existing research and provides a basis for your research question. It also helps you to develop a theoretical framework and research hypothesis.
  • Develop a Thesis Statement : The thesis statement is the main argument of your research paper. It should be clear, concise and specific to your research question.
  • Plan your Research: Develop a research plan that outlines the methods, data sources, and data analysis procedures. This will help you to collect and analyze data effectively.
  • Collect and Analyze Data: Collect data using various methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments. Analyze data using statistical tools or other qualitative methods.
  • Organize your Paper : Organize your paper into sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Ensure that each section is coherent and follows a logical flow.
  • Write your Paper : Start by writing the introduction, followed by the literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and follows the required formatting and citation styles.
  • Edit and Proofread your Paper: Review your paper for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure that it is well-structured and easy to read. Ask someone else to review your paper to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Cite your Sources: Ensure that you properly cite all sources used in your research paper. This is essential for giving credit to the original authors and avoiding plagiarism.

Research Paper Example

Note : The below example research paper is for illustrative purposes only and is not an actual research paper. Actual research papers may have different structures, contents, and formats depending on the field of study, research question, data collection and analysis methods, and other factors. Students should always consult with their professors or supervisors for specific guidelines and expectations for their research papers.

Research Paper Example sample for Students:

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health among Young Adults

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults. A literature review was conducted to examine the existing research on the topic. A survey was then administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Introduction: Social media has become an integral part of modern life, particularly among young adults. While social media has many benefits, including increased communication and social connectivity, it has also been associated with negative outcomes, such as addiction, cyberbullying, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults.

Literature Review: The literature review highlights the existing research on the impact of social media use on mental health. The review shows that social media use is associated with depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health problems. The review also identifies the factors that contribute to the negative impact of social media, including social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Methods : A survey was administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The survey included questions on social media use, mental health status (measured using the DASS-21), and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Results : The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Discussion : The study’s findings suggest that social media use has a negative impact on the mental health of young adults. The study highlights the need for interventions that address the factors contributing to the negative impact of social media, such as social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Conclusion : In conclusion, social media use has a significant impact on the mental health of young adults. The study’s findings underscore the need for interventions that promote healthy social media use and address the negative outcomes associated with social media use. Future research can explore the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health. Additionally, longitudinal studies can investigate the long-term effects of social media use on mental health.

Limitations : The study has some limitations, including the use of self-report measures and a cross-sectional design. The use of self-report measures may result in biased responses, and a cross-sectional design limits the ability to establish causality.

Implications: The study’s findings have implications for mental health professionals, educators, and policymakers. Mental health professionals can use the findings to develop interventions that address the negative impact of social media use on mental health. Educators can incorporate social media literacy into their curriculum to promote healthy social media use among young adults. Policymakers can use the findings to develop policies that protect young adults from the negative outcomes associated with social media use.

References :

  • Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2019). Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: Evidence from a population-based study. Preventive medicine reports, 15, 100918.
  • Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Barrett, E. L., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., … & James, A. E. (2017). Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among US young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 1-9.
  • Van der Meer, T. G., & Verhoeven, J. W. (2017). Social media and its impact on academic performance of students. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 16, 383-398.

Appendix : The survey used in this study is provided below.

Social Media and Mental Health Survey

  • How often do you use social media per day?
  • Less than 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • 2 to 4 hours
  • More than 4 hours
  • Which social media platforms do you use?
  • Others (Please specify)
  • How often do you experience the following on social media?
  • Social comparison (comparing yourself to others)
  • Cyberbullying
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
  • Have you ever experienced any of the following mental health problems in the past month?
  • Do you think social media use has a positive or negative impact on your mental health?
  • Very positive
  • Somewhat positive
  • Somewhat negative
  • Very negative
  • In your opinion, which factors contribute to the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Social comparison
  • In your opinion, what interventions could be effective in reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Education on healthy social media use
  • Counseling for mental health problems caused by social media
  • Social media detox programs
  • Regulation of social media use

Thank you for your participation!

Applications of Research Paper

Research papers have several applications in various fields, including:

  • Advancing knowledge: Research papers contribute to the advancement of knowledge by generating new insights, theories, and findings that can inform future research and practice. They help to answer important questions, clarify existing knowledge, and identify areas that require further investigation.
  • Informing policy: Research papers can inform policy decisions by providing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. They can help to identify gaps in current policies, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and inform the development of new policies and regulations.
  • Improving practice: Research papers can improve practice by providing evidence-based guidance for professionals in various fields, including medicine, education, business, and psychology. They can inform the development of best practices, guidelines, and standards of care that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • Educating students : Research papers are often used as teaching tools in universities and colleges to educate students about research methods, data analysis, and academic writing. They help students to develop critical thinking skills, research skills, and communication skills that are essential for success in many careers.
  • Fostering collaboration: Research papers can foster collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers by providing a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. They can facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that can lead to innovative solutions to complex problems.

When to Write Research Paper

Research papers are typically written when a person has completed a research project or when they have conducted a study and have obtained data or findings that they want to share with the academic or professional community. Research papers are usually written in academic settings, such as universities, but they can also be written in professional settings, such as research organizations, government agencies, or private companies.

Here are some common situations where a person might need to write a research paper:

  • For academic purposes: Students in universities and colleges are often required to write research papers as part of their coursework, particularly in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Writing research papers helps students to develop research skills, critical thinking skills, and academic writing skills.
  • For publication: Researchers often write research papers to publish their findings in academic journals or to present their work at academic conferences. Publishing research papers is an important way to disseminate research findings to the academic community and to establish oneself as an expert in a particular field.
  • To inform policy or practice : Researchers may write research papers to inform policy decisions or to improve practice in various fields. Research findings can be used to inform the development of policies, guidelines, and best practices that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • To share new insights or ideas: Researchers may write research papers to share new insights or ideas with the academic or professional community. They may present new theories, propose new research methods, or challenge existing paradigms in their field.

Purpose of Research Paper

The purpose of a research paper is to present the results of a study or investigation in a clear, concise, and structured manner. Research papers are written to communicate new knowledge, ideas, or findings to a specific audience, such as researchers, scholars, practitioners, or policymakers. The primary purposes of a research paper are:

  • To contribute to the body of knowledge : Research papers aim to add new knowledge or insights to a particular field or discipline. They do this by reporting the results of empirical studies, reviewing and synthesizing existing literature, proposing new theories, or providing new perspectives on a topic.
  • To inform or persuade: Research papers are written to inform or persuade the reader about a particular issue, topic, or phenomenon. They present evidence and arguments to support their claims and seek to persuade the reader of the validity of their findings or recommendations.
  • To advance the field: Research papers seek to advance the field or discipline by identifying gaps in knowledge, proposing new research questions or approaches, or challenging existing assumptions or paradigms. They aim to contribute to ongoing debates and discussions within a field and to stimulate further research and inquiry.
  • To demonstrate research skills: Research papers demonstrate the author’s research skills, including their ability to design and conduct a study, collect and analyze data, and interpret and communicate findings. They also demonstrate the author’s ability to critically evaluate existing literature, synthesize information from multiple sources, and write in a clear and structured manner.

Characteristics of Research Paper

Research papers have several characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of academic or professional writing. Here are some common characteristics of research papers:

  • Evidence-based: Research papers are based on empirical evidence, which is collected through rigorous research methods such as experiments, surveys, observations, or interviews. They rely on objective data and facts to support their claims and conclusions.
  • Structured and organized: Research papers have a clear and logical structure, with sections such as introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. They are organized in a way that helps the reader to follow the argument and understand the findings.
  • Formal and objective: Research papers are written in a formal and objective tone, with an emphasis on clarity, precision, and accuracy. They avoid subjective language or personal opinions and instead rely on objective data and analysis to support their arguments.
  • Citations and references: Research papers include citations and references to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in the paper. They use a specific citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Peer-reviewed: Research papers are often peer-reviewed, which means they are evaluated by other experts in the field before they are published. Peer-review ensures that the research is of high quality, meets ethical standards, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field.
  • Objective and unbiased: Research papers strive to be objective and unbiased in their presentation of the findings. They avoid personal biases or preconceptions and instead rely on the data and analysis to draw conclusions.

Advantages of Research Paper

Research papers have many advantages, both for the individual researcher and for the broader academic and professional community. Here are some advantages of research papers:

  • Contribution to knowledge: Research papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field or discipline. They add new information, insights, and perspectives to existing literature and help advance the understanding of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Opportunity for intellectual growth: Research papers provide an opportunity for intellectual growth for the researcher. They require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, which can help develop the researcher’s skills and knowledge.
  • Career advancement: Research papers can help advance the researcher’s career by demonstrating their expertise and contributions to the field. They can also lead to new research opportunities, collaborations, and funding.
  • Academic recognition: Research papers can lead to academic recognition in the form of awards, grants, or invitations to speak at conferences or events. They can also contribute to the researcher’s reputation and standing in the field.
  • Impact on policy and practice: Research papers can have a significant impact on policy and practice. They can inform policy decisions, guide practice, and lead to changes in laws, regulations, or procedures.
  • Advancement of society: Research papers can contribute to the advancement of society by addressing important issues, identifying solutions to problems, and promoting social justice and equality.

Limitations of Research Paper

Research papers also have some limitations that should be considered when interpreting their findings or implications. Here are some common limitations of research papers:

  • Limited generalizability: Research findings may not be generalizable to other populations, settings, or contexts. Studies often use specific samples or conditions that may not reflect the broader population or real-world situations.
  • Potential for bias : Research papers may be biased due to factors such as sample selection, measurement errors, or researcher biases. It is important to evaluate the quality of the research design and methods used to ensure that the findings are valid and reliable.
  • Ethical concerns: Research papers may raise ethical concerns, such as the use of vulnerable populations or invasive procedures. Researchers must adhere to ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants to ensure that the research is conducted in a responsible and respectful manner.
  • Limitations of methodology: Research papers may be limited by the methodology used to collect and analyze data. For example, certain research methods may not capture the complexity or nuance of a particular phenomenon, or may not be appropriate for certain research questions.
  • Publication bias: Research papers may be subject to publication bias, where positive or significant findings are more likely to be published than negative or non-significant findings. This can skew the overall findings of a particular area of research.
  • Time and resource constraints: Research papers may be limited by time and resource constraints, which can affect the quality and scope of the research. Researchers may not have access to certain data or resources, or may be unable to conduct long-term studies due to practical limitations.

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  • NATURE INDEX
  • 01 May 2024

Plagiarism in peer-review reports could be the ‘tip of the iceberg’

  • Jackson Ryan 0

Jackson Ryan is a freelance science journalist in Sydney, Australia.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Time pressures and a lack of confidence could be prompting reviewers to plagiarize text in their reports. Credit: Thomas Reimer/Zoonar via Alamy

Mikołaj Piniewski is a researcher to whom PhD students and collaborators turn when they need to revise or refine a manuscript. The hydrologist, at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, has a keen eye for problems in text — a skill that came in handy last year when he encountered some suspicious writing in peer-review reports of his own paper.

Last May, when Piniewski was reading the peer-review feedback that he and his co-authors had received for a manuscript they’d submitted to an environmental-science journal, alarm bells started ringing in his head. Comments by two of the three reviewers were vague and lacked substance, so Piniewski decided to run a Google search, looking at specific phrases and quotes the reviewers had used.

To his surprise, he found the comments were identical to those that were already available on the Internet, in multiple open-access review reports from publishers such as MDPI and PLOS. “I was speechless,” says Piniewski. The revelation caused him to go back to another manuscript that he had submitted a few months earlier, and dig out the peer-review reports he received for that. He found more plagiarized text. After e-mailing several collaborators, he assembled a team to dig deeper.

research article analysis paper

Meet this super-spotter of duplicated images in science papers

The team published the results of its investigation in Scientometrics in February 1 , examining dozens of cases of apparent plagiarism in peer-review reports, identifying the use of identical phrases across reports prepared for 19 journals. The team discovered exact quotes duplicated across 50 publications, saying that the findings are just “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to misconduct in the peer-review system.

Dorothy Bishop, a former neuroscientist at the University of Oxford, UK, who has turned her attention to investigating research misconduct, was “favourably impressed” by the team’s analysis. “I felt the way they approached it was quite useful and might be a guide for other people trying to pin this stuff down,” she says.

Peer review under review

Piniewski and his colleagues conducted three analyses. First, they uploaded five peer-review reports from the two manuscripts that his laboratory had submitted to a rudimentary online plagiarism-detection tool . The reports had 44–100% similarity to previously published online content. Links were provided to the sources in which duplications were found.

The researchers drilled down further. They broke one of the suspicious peer-review reports down to fragments of one to three sentences each and searched for them on Google. In seconds, the search engine returned a number of hits: the exact phrases appeared in 22 open peer-review reports, published between 2021 and 2023.

The final analysis provided the most worrying results. They took a single quote — 43 words long and featuring multiple language errors, including incorrect capitalization — and pasted it into Google. The search revealed that the quote, or variants of it, had been used in 50 peer-review reports.

Predominantly, these reports were from journals published by MDPI, PLOS and Elsevier, and the team found that the amount of duplication increased year-on-year between 2021 and 2023. Whether this is because of an increase in the number of open-access peer-review reports during this time or an indication of a growing problem is unclear — but Piniewski thinks that it could be a little bit of both.

Why would a peer reviewer use plagiarized text in their report? The team says that some might be attempting to save time , whereas others could be motivated by a lack of confidence in their writing ability, for example, if they aren’t fluent in English.

The team notes that there are instances that might not represent misconduct. “A tolerable rephrasing of your own words from a different review? I think that’s fine,” says Piniewski. “But I imagine that most of these cases we found are actually something else.”

The source of the problem

Duplication and manipulation of peer-review reports is not a new phenomenon. “I think it’s now increasingly recognized that the manipulation of the peer-review process, which was recognized around 2010, was probably an indication of paper mills operating at that point,” says Jennifer Byrne, director of biobanking at New South Wales Health in Sydney, Australia, who also studies research integrity in scientific literature.

Paper mills — organizations that churn out fake research papers and sell authorships to turn a profit — have been known to tamper with reviews to push manuscripts through to publication, says Byrne.

research article analysis paper

The fight against fake-paper factories that churn out sham science

However, when Bishop looked at Piniewski’s case, she could not find any overt evidence of paper-mill activity. Rather, she suspects that journal editors might be involved in cases of peer-review-report duplication and suggests studying the track records of those who’ve allowed inadequate or plagiarized reports to proliferate.

Piniewski’s team is also concerned about the rise of duplications as generative artificial intelligence (AI) becomes easier to access . Although his team didn’t look for signs of AI use, its ability to quickly ingest and rephrase large swathes of text is seen as an emerging issue.

A preprint posted in March 2 showed evidence of researchers using AI chatbots to assist with peer review, identifying specific adjectives that could be hallmarks of AI-written text in peer-review reports .

Bishop isn’t as concerned as Piniewski about AI-generated reports, saying that it’s easy to distinguish between AI-generated text and legitimate reviewer commentary. “The beautiful thing about peer review,” she says, is that it is “one thing you couldn’t do a credible job with AI”.

Preventing plagiarism

Publishers seem to be taking action. Bethany Baker, a media-relations manager at PLOS, who is based in Cambridge, UK, told Nature Index that the PLOS Publication Ethics team “is investigating the concerns raised in the Scientometrics article about potential plagiarism in peer reviews”.

research article analysis paper

How big is science’s fake-paper problem?

An Elsevier representative told Nature Index that the publisher “can confirm that this matter has been brought to our attention and we are conducting an investigation”.

In a statement, the MDPI Research Integrity and Publication Ethics Team said that it has been made aware of potential misconduct by reviewers in its journals and is “actively addressing and investigating this issue”. It did not confirm whether this was related to the Scientometrics article.

One proposed solution to the problem is ensuring that all submitted reviews are checked using plagiarism-detection software. In 2022, exploratory work by Adam Day, a data scientist at Sage Publications, based in Thousand Oaks, California, identified duplicated text in peer-review reports that might be suggestive of paper-mill activity. Day offered a similar solution of using anti-plagiarism software , such as Turnitin.

Piniewski expects the problem to get worse in the coming years, but he hasn’t received any unusual peer-review reports since those that originally sparked his research. Still, he says that he’s now even more vigilant. “If something unusual occurs, I will spot it.”

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-01312-0

Piniewski, M., Jarić, I., Koutsoyiannis, D. & Kundzewicz, Z. W. Scientometrics https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-024-04960-1 (2024).

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Liang, W. et al. Preprint at arXiv https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2403.07183 (2024).

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Can green finance reduce carbon emission? A theoretical analysis and empirical evidence from China

  • Research Article
  • Published: 10 May 2024

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  • Peifeng Jiang 1 ,
  • Chaomin Xu 2 &
  • Yizhi Chen   ORCID: orcid.org/0009-0007-7399-5378 3  

As an important way for China to achieve its dual-carbon goal, green finance has become the foundation for promoting high-quality economic development in China. In order to clarify the mechanism of green finance on carbon emissions, this paper puts green finance into the economic model and deduces the relationship between green finance and carbon emission reduction. This paper is based on the panel data of 30 provinces in China (excluding Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) from 2008 to 2019, using the individual fixed effect model, dynamical model, mediator model, and SDM model to study the impact of green finance on carbon emissions and its impact path of upgrading of the industrial structure and the development of science and technology based on the measurement of the green finance development index of each province by the entropy method. The findings show that the development of green finance can reduce carbon emission significantly, which can be sustained until at least the third phase and generates spatial spillover effects; regional heterogeneity analysis finds that the development of green finance shows geographical discrepancies: compared with the eastern and western regions, the development of green finance in central region can reduce carbon emissions more significantly; not only can the development of green finance directly reduce carbon emission, but also through the upgrading of industrial structure and technological innovation. The research not only provides a new perspective and supplementary empirical evidence for understanding the carbon emission reduction effect of green finance, but also offers some useful references for green finance to contribute to carbon emission reduction.

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This paper is funded in accordance with the China Association for Science and Technology for the 2022 Graduate Science Popularization Ability Improvement Project (KXYJS2022064) Jiangsu Provincial Postgraduate Practice Innovation Program (KYCX23_1097).

Yizhi Chen thanks the China Association for Science and Technology for the 2022 Graduate Science Popularization Ability Improvement Project (KXYJS2022064) Jiangsu Provincial Postgraduate Practice Innovation Program (KYCX23_1097) for its support.

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Peifeng Jiang

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Contributions

Author 1 (first author): Peifeng Jiang. PF contributed to the conceptualization, methodology, design, theoretical model derivation, and data analysis of the study and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript.

Author 2: Chaomin Xu. CX contributed to the investigation, former analysis, data analysis, validation, and writing of the study.

Author 3 (corresponding author): Yizhi Chen. YC contributed to the project administration, supervision, revising, and editing of the study.

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Conceptualization

Under the background of the increasingly serious problem of carbon emissions, how China achieves “carbon peak” and “carbon neutrality” shows its pursuit of high-quality economic development and its responsibility of a major country. In addition, whether China can achieve “carbon peak” and “carbon neutrality” will significantly affect the global carbon reduction action. But there are few theoretical research on carbon emission and green finance. So this paper attempts to construct an economic model of green finance and carbon emission.

Methodology

This paper uses the individual fixed effect model, dynamical model, mediator model, and SDM model to study the impact of green finance on carbon emissions and its impact path of upgrading of the industrial structure and the development of science and technology.

The data processing, modeling analysis, and plotting in this paper were carried out using Excel and Stata.

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Jiang, P., Xu, C. & Chen, Y. Can green finance reduce carbon emission? A theoretical analysis and empirical evidence from China. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-024-33572-8

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Published : 10 May 2024

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Novel Nuclear Reactors and Research Reactors

HPR1000 Pressurizer Degassing System Design and Analysis Provisionally Accepted

  • 1 Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), China

The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

In HUALONG-1 Unit (HPR1000), the hydrogen (H2) concentration should be reduced to 15 ml(STP)/kg 24 hours before reactor shutdown when Reactor Vessel is scheduled to be opened. Traditional degassing method by letting down the reactor coolant through Chemical and Volume Control System will take longer time and its operation is more complicated. To shorten the degassing time and simplify the operation, this paper proposes a pressurizer degassing system design for HPR1000 by applying the pressurizer as a thermal degassing equipment. Then, the degassing system optimization analysis is carried out under full range of steady operating conditions during shutdown, and the optimal size of the flow limiting orifice plate is obtained.Meanwhile, in order to verify the transient characteristic during the entire degassing process to ensure the operating safety, a dedicated transient degassing program based on an improved non-equilibrium multi-region pressurizer model and a transient degassing model is used then to carry out a transient simulation analysis on this process.The transient simulation results show that, under bounding condition of hot-zero power operation, during the entire degassing process, the pressurizer's pressure drops by a maximum of 0.038 MPa, and the water level rises by 0.016 m above the normal level. As can be seen, both of the pressure and water level are within the normal operation band and shall not initiate any safety signal. Meanwhile, the entire transient process lasts about 24 minutes, and then enters into a stable degassing period. It takes about 5.2 hours to remove the gas dissolved in Reactor Coolant from 35 ml(STP)/kg to 15 ml(STP)/kg. The analysis shows the pressurizer degassing system designed for HPR1000 is safe, effective and reliable.

Keywords: Pressurizer Degassing, HUALONG-1 Unit (HPR1000), Non-equilibrium multi-region model, Degassing Transient, Degassing Optimize, System design

Received: 26 Mar 2024; Accepted: 10 May 2024.

Copyright: © 2024 Cui and Cai. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Zhiyun Cai, Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

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A Study on The Clothing Acquisition & Disposal Practices by Street Sweepers

research article analysis paper

Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science [Empowered Autonomous]

Department of Textiles and Fashion Designing S.N.D.T Women’s University, Head of Department: Dr. Armaiti Shukla

Dr. Armaiti Shukla and Khan Mantasha

Abstract: This study examines the clothing acquisition and disposal practices among street sweepers, focusing on the strategies employed by these individuals to obtain and manage their attire. The methods used by street sweepers to acquire and handle their clothes are the primary subject of this study, which looks at their acquisition and disposal habits. Furthermore, as sustainable practices gain prominence, the effective disposal of worn-out clothing also becomes crucial. The research employs a comparative approach, analysing the practices of street sweepers in different geographical regions. Data is gathered via interviews and observations providing a thorough grasp of the procurement and disposal procedures.

INTRODUCTION

Street sweepers play a crucial role in maintaining cleanliness and sanitation in urban environments. These individuals oversee removing trash, litter, and other waste materials from sidewalks, roadways, and public areas. Their line of work often takes them outside in inclement weather and requires heavy labour, so they must wear clothes that are comfortable, safe, and long-lasting. Clothing acquisition and disposal practices among street sweepers are significant as they directly affect their job performance, well-being, and overall quality of life. The acquisition of suitable attire presents unique challenges for street sweepers, considering factors such as affordability, accessibility, and availability of resources. Additionally, preserving sustainable practices and reducing environmental effects depend heavily on the proper disposal of old or damaged garments.

Clothing acquisition can occur through different mechanisms. First, they receive cloth directly from the employing organisations, second, they purchase specific cloth themselves, and the last will be the donation. If they purchase on their own, so exploring their preferences for specific brands, or do they buy the clothes from the secondhand market, what area they buy, the budget, types of garments, and factors influencing their purchasing decision like cost, availability, personal style, comfort, and workplace policies.

The disposal of clothing is another important aspect of the street sweepers’ routine. Due to the nature of their work, clothing items may experience significant wear and tear. The contact with dirt and debris can lead to the deterioration of garments. When the clothes become excessively damaged and worn out how do they 

discard them, whether they follow any specific protocols, recycling initiatives, or organisation guidelines for clothing disposal or do they just through in landfill? Adopting a comparative approach, this study will scrutinise clothing acquisition and disposal practices among street sweepers across diverse geographical regions. Through this comparative analysis, valuable insights can be gained regarding the effectiveness of different strategies and best practices that can be implemented within varying contexts.

AIM OF STUDY: – To investigate the Garment purchasing habits of street sweepers and disposing methods. 

OBJECTIVE: – 1] To examine the daily routines, work schedules, challenges, and responsibilities of street sweepers. 

2] To explore the motivations and factors that lead individuals to pursue a career as street sweepers. 

3] To investigate the sources of clothing. 

4] To investigate how they dispose of the damaged or worn-out cloth.

METHODOLOGY: – This study employs qualitative research to gather in-depth insights into the clothing acquisition and disposal practices of street sweepers. The research involves conducting semi-structured interviews of purposive samples with street sweepers from various geographic locations to capture a diverse range of perspectives. The interviews are supplemented with direct observations of street sweepers during their work shifts to gain a deeper understanding of their clothing choices and behaviour.

Review of Literature 

Many recent studies focused on how street sweepers clean the city, the role of street sweepers, what are the challenges they face, what they wear, etc. My study is about how street sweepers acquire clothes as well as how they discard them. In a recent article by (The Indian Express-2023), the BMC has decided to provide the employees with a deep blue uniform, with ready-made, eye-catching orange and yellow stripes embroidered on shirts and pants but earlier they used to wear a khaki colour uniform, for men’s, they have a full set of uniform but in case of women’s they wear a khaki colour shirt over saree. Now they are offering unisex uniforms that are made to be worn by both sexes, but these uniforms are provided by the BMC.

A recent article [Horizons-2022] From darkness to dignity [Menon-2022], examines the challenges faced by them. Street sweepers play a crucial role in maintaining cleanliness and sanitation in urban environments. These individuals are in charge of removing trash, litter, and other garbage from sidewalks, roadways, and public areas, they risk their health regularly. They face numerous challenges in their day-to-day work, which can impact their efficiency and well-being.  Addressing all the challenges requires a multi-faceted approach that includes providing adequate training, safety equipment, and resources to the street sweepers.

In the article Sarfare, S., & Sarfare, S. (2022, April 16), thrift shopping increased in demand after the pandemic, when it comes to some lifestyle decisions, the epidemic proved to be an eye-opener. The emphasis is on reducing expenses wherever possible since many are being forced to accept salary reductions and many are even losing their jobs. Consequently, there is a noticeable shift in purchasing. Suddenly, thrift shopping and purchasing pre-owned items are in demand. Consumer behaviour in thrift shopping refers to the attitudes, motivations and decision-making processes that individuals engage in when shopping for secondhand items. Thrift shopping has gained popularity in recent years, and understanding consumer behaviour in this context can provide insights into why people choose thrift shops and how they navigate the thrift shopping experience. Overall, consumer behaviour in thrift shopping is shaped by a combination of factors such as affordability, unique appeal, sustainability considerations, and the thrill of the hunt.

How often buy new clothes

  Table No. 1- How often do they buy new clothes?

                     Fig no.1 – to analyse how often street sweepers buy new clothes.

The above graph shows how often street sweepers buy clothes, in the income group of 5k- 10k, 2% of males buy quarterly where 2% of females buy clothes monthly, and 2% of them buy quarterly and annually as well. In the income group of 11k-20k, 2% of males buy weekly, 4.4% buy clothes monthly, 2% of them buy quarterly and 2% annually, while in females, 4.4% buy monthly, 9% buy clothes quarterly, 4.4% annually. In the income group 21k-30k, 2% of males buy clothes weekly, 11% buy monthly, 7% go for quarterly, the highest 13% buy annually, 2% buy weekly, 7% buy Monthly, and 7% go annually to buy new clothes. In the income group of 31k-40k, 4% of males prefer to buy clothes annually, while 4% of females buy clothes monthly, and 2% of them buy them annually. In the income group of 41k-50k, 2% of males buy clothes quarterly and 2% of females buy clothes annually. In the income group of 61k-70k 2% of males buy clothes weekly. According to the data analyses, Most of them buy new clothes annually and quarterly.

Budget range for shopping 

Table no.2 – what is their Budget range for shopping?

Fig no.2- To analyse the Budget range for shopping and the platform from where they purchase garments 

The above graph shows the budget range for shopping and which platform street sweepers prefer for shopping. 2% of males and 2% of females with a budget of less than 500 prefer to shop from local stores. In the budget range of 500-1k, 13% of males prefer local stores, where 2% of males prefer online platforms for shopping, and 16% of females only prefer local stores for shopping. In the budget range of 2k-3k, 20% of males and 24% of females prefer local stores, while 4% of males and 2% of females go for online shopping, and 2% of males like to shop in malls. In the budget range of 4k-5k, 7% of males and 2% of females go to local stores, 4% of males prefer online, whereas 4% of males prefer malls for shopping. In the budget range of 6k-7k, 4% of males prefer online shopping, 4% of males choose malls for shopping, and 2% of females prefer local stores. The above graph shows that, for shopping, the preference for local stores is higher, than for online platforms and malls. In the graph, it also shows that none of them prefers second-hand markets or thrift stores for shopping.

Method of disposing of the garment

The above pie chart shows the disposing methods the street sweepers prefer, it includes both males and females. There are 3 ways, discard as regular waste, recycle or donate it to charity, 7% of them discard old clothes as regular waste, where 15% of them recycle it, and the majority of them which is 78% of them Donate it to the charity. 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, this study aims to generate valuable insights into clothing acquisition and disposal practices among street sweepers with the ultimate goal of improving their working conditions, job satisfaction, and overall well-being by addressing the unique challenges faced by street sweepers in acquiring suitable clothing and exploring sustainable disposal practices, this research can contribute to the betterment of urban environments and the communities they serve.

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    Save the word count for the "meat" of your paper — that is, for the analysis. 2. Summarize the Article. Now, you should write a brief and focused summary of the scientific article. It should be shorter than your analysis section and contain all the relevant details about the research paper.

  3. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Assignments

    A journal article analysis paper should be written in paragraph format and include an instruction to the study, your analysis of the research, and a conclusion that provides an overall assessment of the author's work, along with an explanation of what you believe is the study's overall impact and significance.

  4. Learning to Do Qualitative Data Analysis: A Starting Point

    On the basis of Rocco (2010), Storberg-Walker's (2012) amended list on qualitative data analysis in research papers included the following: (a) the article should provide enough details so that reviewers could follow the same analytical steps; (b) the analysis process selected should be logically connected to the purpose of the study; and (c ...

  5. PDF Analyzing Research Articles

    Analyzing Research Articles: A Guide for Readers and Writers1 Sam Mathews, Ph.D. Department of Psychology The University of West Florida The critical reader of a research report expects the writer to provide logical and coherent rationales for conducting the study, concrete descriptions of methods, procedures, design, and analyses, accurate and clear reports of the findings, and plausible ...

  6. A practical guide to data analysis in general literature reviews

    This article is a practical guide to conducting data analysis in general literature reviews. The general literature review is a synthesis and analysis of published research on a relevant clinical issue, and is a common format for academic theses at the bachelor's and master's levels in nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, public health and other related fields.

  7. How to conduct a meta-analysis in eight steps: a practical guide

    2.1 Step 1: defining the research question. The first step in conducting a meta-analysis, as with any other empirical study, is the definition of the research question. Most importantly, the research question determines the realm of constructs to be considered or the type of interventions whose effects shall be analyzed.

  8. Critical Analysis: The Often-Missing Step in Conducting Literature

    The research process for conducting a critical analysis literature review has three phases ; (a) the deconstruction phase in which the individually reviewed studies are broken down into separate discreet data points or variables (e.g., breastfeeding duration, study design, sampling methods); (b) the analysis phase that includes both cross-case ...

  9. PDF APA Style Research Article Activity

    Step 3: Analyzing a Research Article. Research articles are typically dense with information. The following questions provide an organized way . for you to break down the parts of the research article and understand its purpose, methods, findings, and implications. Consult Chapter 3 of the . Publication Manual for more. Introduction. 1.

  10. (PDF) Critical Analysis of Clinical Research Articles: A Guide for

    Critical Analysis of Clinical Research Articles: A Guide for Evaluation Leonardo Roever 1* , Elmiro Santos Resende 1 , Angélica Lemos Debs Diniz 1 , Nilson Penha-Silva 1 , Giuseppe Biondi-Zoccai ...

  11. How to Write a Research Paper

    A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research. Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research.

  12. Writing a Scientific Review Article: Comprehensive Insights for

    2. Benefits of Review Articles to the Author. Analysing literature gives an overview of the "WHs": WHat has been reported in a particular field or topic, WHo the key writers are, WHat are the prevailing theories and hypotheses, WHat questions are being asked (and answered), and WHat methods and methodologies are appropriate and useful [].For new or aspiring researchers in a particular ...

  13. Introduction to systematic review and meta-analysis

    It is easy to confuse systematic reviews and meta-analyses. A systematic review is an objective, reproducible method to find answers to a certain research question, by collecting all available studies related to that question and reviewing and analyzing their results. A meta-analysis differs from a systematic review in that it uses statistical ...

  14. How to Critically Analyse an Article

    Overview of the paper. This is an important section to include when writing a critical analysis of an article because it answers the four "w's", of what, why, who, when and also the how. This section should include a brief overview of the key ideas in the article, along with the structure, style and dominant point of view expressed.

  15. How to Analyze an Article Analysis Format & Example

    Step 4: Write a critical analysis of an article. Follow your plan and write the paper. Do not be afraid to express your point of view and give examples. It is also important to correctly cite the article you are analyzing and all additional materials.

  16. Writing a Critical Analysis

    This guide is meant to help you understand the basics of writing a critical analysis. A critical analysis is an argument about a particular piece of media. There are typically two parts: (1) identify and explain the argument the author is making, and (2), provide your own argument about that argument.

  17. Introduction to Research Statistical Analysis: An Overview of the

    Introduction. Statistical analysis is necessary for any research project seeking to make quantitative conclusions. The following is a primer for research-based statistical analysis. It is intended to be a high-level overview of appropriate statistical testing, while not diving too deep into any specific methodology.

  18. Critical appraisal of published research papers

    INTRODUCTION. Critical appraisal of a research paper is defined as "The process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, value and relevance in a particular context."[] Since scientific literature is rapidly expanding with more than 12,000 articles being added to the MEDLINE database per week,[] critical appraisal is very important to distinguish ...

  19. Anxiety, Affect, Self-Esteem, and Stress: Mediation and ...

    Background Mediation analysis investigates whether a variable (i.e., mediator) changes in regard to an independent variable, in turn, affecting a dependent variable. Moderation analysis, on the other hand, investigates whether the statistical interaction between independent variables predict a dependent variable. Although this difference between these two types of analysis is explicit in ...

  20. Research Paper

    Definition: Research Paper is a written document that presents the author's original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue. It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new ...

  21. Literature Review & Critical Analysis Tool for Researchers

    It also helps in writing up articles or full length thesis by introducing researchers to the methods, constraints and demands of each mode of research presentation. All in all Enago Read has been responsive to user concerns and has been driven by it. This remains its most imp USP.

  22. Research articles

    Pulmonary arteries in coelacanths shed light on the vasculature evolution of air-breathing organs in vertebrates. Camila Cupello. Gaël Clément. Paulo M. Brito. Article Open Access 09 May 2024.

  23. Plagiarism in peer-review reports could be the 'tip of the iceberg'

    Dorothy Bishop, a former neuroscientist at the University of Oxford, UK, who has turned her attention to investigating research misconduct, was "favourably impressed" by the team's analysis.

  24. Can green finance reduce carbon emission? A theoretical analysis and

    As an important way for China to achieve its dual-carbon goal, green finance has become the foundation for promoting high-quality economic development in China. In order to clarify the mechanism of green finance on carbon emissions, this paper puts green finance into the economic model and deduces the relationship between green finance and carbon emission reduction. This paper is based on the ...

  25. A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research

    A research question is what a study aims to answer after data analysis and interpretation. The answer is written in length in the discussion section of the paper. Thus, the research question gives a preview of the different parts and variables of the study meant to address the problem posed in the research question.1 An excellent research ...

  26. A Critical Analysis of the Psychological Concepts in the ...

    This research paper offers a critical analysis of the psychological concepts ingrained within the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian scripture. The Bhagavad Gita, the dialogue that transpires between Lord Krishna and the warrior Arjuna delves into the human psyche and explores themes of morality, obligation, and the inner workings of the human ...

  27. Single-Cell Multi-Omics Analysis of IASO Bio's Equecabtagene Autoleucel

    This paper focuses on the single-cell multi-omics analysis of the fully human BCMA targeting autologous CAR-T cell injection (Equecabtagene Autoleucel, Eque-cel, R&D code: CT103A) in the treatment ...

  28. HPR1000 Pressurizer Degassing System Design and Analysis

    In HUALONG-1 Unit (HPR1000), the hydrogen (H2) concentration should be reduced to 15 ml(STP)/kg 24 hours before reactor shutdown when Reactor Vessel is scheduled to be opened. Traditional degassing method by letting down the reactor coolant through Chemical and Volume Control System will take longer time and its operation is more complicated. To shorten the degassing time and simplify the ...

  29. A Study on The Clothing Acquisition & Disposal Practices

    METHODOLOGY: - This study employs qualitative research to gather in-depth insights into the clothing acquisition and disposal practices of street sweepers. The research involves conducting semi-structured interviews of purposive samples with street sweepers from various geographic locations to capture a diverse range of perspectives.

  30. Apple targets Google staff to build artificial intelligence team

    According to a Financial Times analysis of hundreds of LinkedIn profiles as well as public job postings and research papers, the $2.7tn company has undertaken a hiring spree over recent years to ...