Journal Article Analysis Workbook and PowerPoint Walkthrough

Teaching Political Science at a Community College: Resource Set Two

Josh Franco, Cuyamaca College

In 2007, I am sitting in a class with a little over half dozen junior-level transfer students at UC Merced, a loud “Wham!” echoes throughout the room. With that, our professor walked out of our undergraduate economics course after telling us that we needed to learn how to read journal articles.

Our initial reaction was shock. And our second reaction was anger. Anger that we were told to do something, without being given guidance or instruction on how to do it. It was upsetting that we were scolded for not knowing how to do something without being given the opportunity to learn how to do it to begin with.

When I tell this story in my face-to-face classes, I am a bit more animated. This was a formative moment in my academic career, not because it was a moment of success, or a moment of failure, or a moment of celebration, rather it was a moment of clarity. It was the moment I realized that professors aren’t necessarily teachers.

Fast forward to eleven years to 2018, and now I am sitting in my office as a Lecturer at UC Merced. When I receive an email from a student asking:

“I was wondering if you are available today I noticed your office hours are from 1:00-2:00pm I was wondering if I’m able to stop by around 12:00pm? I wanted to get a bit more information on the puzzle part of the JAA?”

“Thank you for the email. My office hours were changed from 1-2pm to 9:30am-10:30am. Would you like to schedule an appointment for today at 12:00pm?” I replied

“Yes I would like to schedule an appointment for 12:00pm.” They responded.

We met about half an hour later. I greeted the student, asked them how I could help, and they basically said they didn’t know how to analyze the journal article. I was surprised and asked how long he’d been at UC Merced: he transferred in from a community college. And instantly I remembered my experienced 11 years earlier.

Again, when I share this story in my face-to-face classes, I am a bit more animated.

Peer-reviewed journal articles are a staple of every academic discipline. New knowledge is published in articles. So how is the next generation, arguably more diverse than any generation before it, supposed to be contribute to new knowledge if they are not purposefully introduced to analyzing journal articles?

This workbook is the beginning of my answer to this question.

  1. Journal Article Analysis Workbook
  2. Journal Article Analysis PowerPoint Presentation
  3. Journal Article Analysis PowerPoint Presentation: Writing Out a Research Design
  4. Journal Article Analysis Walkthrough YouTube Recording


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