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To evaluate a piece of research you should bear in mind the accessibility of its research strategies and methods as these will be the primary target of your evaluation in the context of sociological theory and broader social issues involved. The object of this assessment is for you to demonstrate that you can evaluate the research of others. This will necessarily involve a critical appraisal of:
(1) the clarity and coherence of the research aims, objectives and questions;
(2) the appropriateness of the researcher(s) choices of strategies and methods;
(3) whether the research meets its own objectives;
(4) whether its conclusions follow logically from its findings;
(5) its validity and reliability;
(6) its theoretical framing and social relevance.
Remember that this assessment is designed to test your understanding of social research methods and the contexts and purposes in which they are applied, as well as your understanding of the theoretical contexts in which research problems and issues are framed. The model for this assessment is not the essay; it is the book review with a focus on methods. For examples of book reviews consult any major sociological journal, for example, Sociology. Remember that it is important to provide adequate description so that the reader knows what the research is about, but that the aim of the exercise is to provide a critical commentary on the research.