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ASSESSMENT 1: Annotated bibliography and critical review
Length: 850 words. Reference list and title page not included in the word count
The annotated bibliography and critical review introduces you to the formalities of academic research, writing, and argument, with a focus on the of synthesis of ideas. The purpose of the annotation is to provide the reader with an understanding of the relevance and quality of the research. It also assists with learning how to access, understand and reference academic material.
Begin your research on BP by finding, selecting and analysing four peer-reviewed journal articles (see Moodle for details) that discuss the management of BP, and then critically analyse the knowledge presented in these articles. Critically analysing academic research involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of research – it is a process of questioning: why the research was done; how it was done, including whether the authors provided sufficient details on their methods so they could be repeated by other researchers; how the data was analysed and whether the claims and arguments made by the authors were supported by their data.
You are advised to choose articles that have differing views on the success/efficacy of BP (ideally within one topic, e.g. communications, organisational structure) to allow for critical analysis. Once you have selected your articles, you must:
Analyse the research undertaken as presented in the article by considering what the researcher did, why and how they did it, and what they found. You need to both describe and evaluate the work, remembering to consider strengths and weaknesses*
o Note that students MUST evaluate, not just describe – the assessment seeks evaluation, not description
Explain, in 150 words (150 for each article, 600 total) what argument the author/s is/are making and whether or not it is good quality research (see below)
Combine and synthesise, in 250 words, what knowledge these articles have provided into a critical review
Your assignment should contain six individual sections:
Article 1: Sub-heading as full reference details (in APA style) followed by the 150 word summary
Article 2: Sub-heading as full reference details (in APA style) followed by the 150 word summary
Article 3: Sub-heading as full reference details (in APA style) followed by the 150 word summary
Article 4: Sub-heading as full reference details (in APA style) followed by the 150 word summary
Critical review: 250 word synthesis of the articles
Bibliography: full list of all cited articles (including annotated articles)
You should use conventional Australian English and in narrative form, using the APA referencing system.
Essays must be typed, using 12 point Times New Roman font, with and 1.5 line spacing, 6 point paragraph spacing.
See Marking Rubric that explains what is required for each grade (under Assessment 1).
Choose well-written and argued peer-reviewed academic journal articles for your assessment. One way to gauge the quality of a piece of work is to check how many citations it has. The more citations, usually the better the quality of the work (see library for details on understanding citations). You do need to account for the number of years since publication, where older articles have had more time to accrue citations.
For each article, use 150 words to explain and engage with the argument; do not just describe the article. There is a very important distinction between description and evaluation/argument in academic writing/analysis (see page 225 of the textbook). The 150-word explanation for each article should combine both the description of the argument and the evaluation.
Once you have chosen your articles, read over them carefully and look for answers to questions that assist in developing the description, such as:
• What is the aim of research?
• Did the authors identify specific gaps in our knowledge that they were trying to fill?
• What methods did the authors use?
• What were the main findings of the research?
• Did the authors expect that the findings could be transferred to other contexts?
• Did the authors explain how their research has filled the gaps in our knowledge, or discovered new gaps or limitations?
In terms of the evaluation, you might want to consider:
• Did the authors provide a rationale for their approach to study? If so, was it convincing/appropriate?
• Did the authors explain why the theory was suitable to use? Do you consider that that their rationale was acceptable?
• Did the authors discuss any limitations of their work, if so, do you think those limitations compromise the research in any major way?
• Did the authors sufficiently integrate the theory/literature into their discussion, or did they just speculate on their own findings?
• Did the authors make claims that were not supported by their findings?
• Did the authors use references that were up-to-date (relative to the year of publication) or were they relying on much older references?
The critical review (250 words) is designed for you to analyse the arguments made by the authors in each of the four articles and how legitimate they were in terms of being supported by clear/strong evidence.
This section is really about synthesising the research and explaining how it helps to understand an organisation (i.e. BP). What can we learn about the function, operation or processes of an organisation through academic research.
Questions to ask when preparing a critical review include:
• What is significant/of interest about the argument of each article?
• What similarities or differences did you find between the articles?
• What underlying assumptions did the authors make that led to their various conclusions?
• Which arguments were more convincing than others and why?
This section is where you put the puzzle pieces together, that is, draw on the four views of BP (offered by each of the articles) to explain to the reader what is significant about the management of the company and why and how it matters. Avoid just describing the articles, instead combine the views and explain them, particularly in terms of what was similar or different.
* While you might not feel comfortable being critical of academic work at this point, it is important that you start to develop the skills that will allow you to differentiate between good and poor quality research. The prompting questions provided here are intended to help to shift your thinking.
Here you need to provide a full list of all of the articles cited in the assessment, including all articles for which you have provided an annotation.
The bibliography must comply with the APA style guide.
Examples of annotated bibliographies
The textbook has some examples of an annotated bibliography – see page 225.
Below is a worked example that would be considered a HD-level critical analysis of a paper. You are not expected to produce something of this quality, necessarily, but it should give you a sense of what is expected at the higher level of critical analysis.
Valvi and Fragkos (2013) argued that BP’s communication of the Deepwater Horizon incident negatively affected their reputation. The authors used secondary data (e.g. newspaper articles, social network sites), but provided no details of their methods of data selection or analysis. This lack of detail makes it difficult to assess the legitimacy of their claims. For example, the authors offered “five major gaffes” in BP CEO’s communication with the media, but it was impossible to determine how widespread these “gaffes” were and why only five were identified. Further, the authors identified BP’s “mechanistic corporate culture” as one of two causes of crisis communication failure, but failed to explain what this culture is, and how it affected the company’s reputation. It was difficult to agree with the authors’ pre-, during- and after-crisis solutions and strategic recommendations, or assess their likelihood of success (e.g. change organizational culture) given the authors’ underdeveloped research design. (150 words)
If we break the text down, you can see how each sentence makes a particular point in direct reference to the article.
• Valvi and Fragkos (2013) argued that BP’s communication of the Deepwater Horizon incident negatively affected their reputation (research aim/argument/thesis statement).
• The authors used secondary data (e.g. newspaper articles, social network sites), but provided no details of their methods of data selection or analysis (methods with assessment).
• This lack of detail makes it difficult to assess the legitimacy of their claims (broad limitation of the work).
• For example, the authors offered “five major gaffes” in BP CEO’s communication with the media, but it was impossible to determine how widespread these “gaffes” were and why only five were identified (findings with assessment).
• Further, the authors identified BP’s “mechanistic corporate culture” as one of two causes of crisis communication failure, but failed to explain what this culture is, and how it affected the company’s reputation (findings with assessment).
• It was difficult to agree with the authors’ pre-, during- and after-crisis ‘solutions and strategic recommendations (authors’ conclusions/recommendations), or assess their likelihood of success (e.g. change organizational culture) given the authors’ underdeveloped research design (overall judgement of the paper).
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