Translation Memo

Translation memorandums should be addressed to either a supervisor or elected official(s). Memos

should 12 Point Times New Roman font, be no more than six pages (double spaced), and no less than

four pages (double spaced) in length (and yes, I acknowledge ?memos? traditionally follow a

single-spaced format). The paper must be formatted and include citations utilizing the APA format

(including APA?s margins). Each page of the paper (except cover) should be numbered and include the

author?s name. The citation page(s) do not count toward this page limit.

The following eleven points should help you in the completion of your analysis. Note that depending

on the type of research your paper presents (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, synthetic

review, etc.) one or more of these 11 points may not be appropriate?so adjust as required by the

parameters of your selected article.

1. Research Question ? (i) What question/s is the article trying to answer? (ii) To what extent is

it stated clearly and explicitly? (iii) If it is not stated explicitly, are you able to draw

inferences from the article to identify the research question/s?

2. Contributions to the Literature ? (i) How does the article contribute to the scientific

literature? To identify the contributions you might ask: Have the authors identified a gap in the

literature that needs to be filled, or a need to test competing theories/hypotheses, or explore a

theory in a new context? (ii) To what extent is the contribution stated clearly and explicitly?

3. Main Argument(s) or Findings ? (i) What basic arguments are the author(s) trying to make or what

are their key findings/conclusions? (ii) To what extent are the arguments or findings stated

clearly and explicitly?

4. Research Design/Data Sources ? (i) What is the research design/data sources (e.g. documents,

surveys, interviews)? (ii) To what extent is the information gathered and analyzed in a manner that

is intersubjectively reliable (replicable)? (iii) How are data limitations addressed and threats to

validity controlled for (e.g., control groups)?

5. Tables and Figures ? (i) How clear and informative are the tables and figures? (ii) Is there a

detailed caption so the table and figure can be understood without searching the text? (iii) Do the

variables names make sense? (iv) Are significant impacts clearly marked? (v) To what extent are the

tables and figures effective in expressing the basic argument?

6. Explanatory/Descriptive Approach ? (i) Is the basic argument descriptive or explanatory? (ii)

What variables are critical for making the basic argument? (iii) If applicable, what are the

independent and dependent variables? (iii) What causal process does the article make with the

variables? (i.e., how are the variables related?) (iv) What is the theory and hypotheses for the

causal process? Are the hypotheses supported or refuted? (v) Is there internal validity?

7. Operationalization ? (i) To what extent are variables operationalized (measured) in a valid

manner? (ii) To what extent does variable operationalization adequately represent the variable

concept (construct validity)? (iii) Are important variables not operationalized? Which ones?

8. Statistical Techniques ? (i) How appropriate are the statistical techniques in the paper? (ii)

Does the author test for assumptions/limitations? (iii) Do the data show what the author says they

show? Does the author discuss dissonant findings?

9. Generalizability ? i) To what extent does the author seek to generalize his/her basic argument?

(ii) How valid are the generalizations?

10. Implications ? (i) What are the policy implications from the article? (ii) In what ways are the

implications drawn from the arguments/data in the article?

11. Clarity of Writing ? (i) Is the article well-written? (ii) Is the writing clear? (iii) Could

the article be written more succinctly?

12) Lastly, students must finish with a set of recommendations on either how to implement or how to

apply the article?s recommendations/findings, and/or the student?s own recommendations based on

their reading of the article.

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