Math 1431H – Honors Introduction to Statistics
Literature Critique
Spring Semester 2014


You will critique articles that utilize statistics in support of their thesis statement. You will complete four (4) critiques throughout the semester. At least two (2) need to be published in research journals. The other two critique may be from popular media. Here are some acceptable sources from popular media:

Due dates: Two (2) are due by 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, 20 March 2014 and two (2) are due by 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 27 April 2014. If either of the first two are submitted by 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 4 March 2014, then I will grade and comment on the critique and you may correct your critique and re-submit it by the due date. No late assignments will be accepted.

How to critique an article

Here are the minimum issues (0.1 point for each) to address in the critique:

  1. Provide citation in APA style (see for help.

  2. Is the purpose clearly identified?
  3. Does the article show any evidence of the author's biases? If so, describe the biases (be specific).

  4. Does the author provide citations for data used in the article? If so, is the source of the data reliable? Explain.

  5. Describe the authors' use of descriptive statistics, probability, and inferential statistics.

  6. Are the descriptive statistics, probability, and inferential statistics used correctly? If not, please identify and describe how the misuse of statistics affects the logical coherence of the article. For example, consider the use of statistical graphs, appropriate measures of center and spread, sampling, check the conditions for any test-statistics used, identification of potential outliers or lurking variables, correlation vs. causation, data collection, etc.

  7. Analyze the supporting argument for the authors' position. Does the conclusion logically follow from the evidence? Are there lurking variables that the author missed? Explain.

  8. Is the article clearly written? Explain.

  9. Do you agree or disagree with the authors' position? Explain.


The 2-3 page, grammatically-correct and in paragraph format with 1-inch margins, critique must be typewritten in 12pt font and double-spaced (0.1 point for correct format). There should be no title; however, include only the following in the header of the document: