The Proseminar is an important site (though not the only one) for developing your skills to read and write critically about educational research. There is no more important component of academic literacy for you to develop, quickly and deeply, than the ability to “critique” empirical researchÑthat is, research that gathers data (hence, empirical) and draws inferences from those data. Developing these skills will make you a better reader, a better writer, and a better speaker and thinker. To put it as concisely as possible, you cannot generate knowledge without learning first how to critically evaluate the published and not-yet-published work of others.

It is important to understand that critical does not mean negative. Many cultures teach us to be appropriately respectful of the ideas of others, especially when they appear in print. Though respect is always an appropriate professional stance, all research – published and not – has limitations, holes, and sometimes, out-right errors. You will grow and develop as a scholar only as you learn to find these limitations, write about the unanswered questions, and point directly to errors of design and reasoning. All these things can be done respectfully.

As a concrete example of the review process for journal publications, the links below provide a review letter and a cover letter responding to the review.

  • Roseth_Sample MS Review
  • Roseth_Review_Cover Letter
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