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A2: Essay - In depth comparison of two journal articles. (1000 words)
• This is an academic essay that requires back up references to support your points.
• The aim is to examine two primary research, peer reviewed, published articles and compare and contrast the way they carried out the research and identify the impact of these points of similarity or difference.
1- Choose a topic – neurobiology.
It may be useful to think of it as the effect of A on B.
2- Do a journal search for primary research papers published.
3- Make a list and read them carefully.
4- Choose two.
5- Read them very carefully – understand every aspect of the articles.
Do your background research
Look up the journals – are they good quality?
Look up the authors – are they well respected in the field? Do they bring special skills to the study?
Look up the methodology, is the method employed widely used and accepted? Is it a pilot study? Is it a randomised controlled trial? Is it a observational study? How did they recruit the subjects?
Read your two articles again.
Analyse your two articles.
How does the methodology impact the results?
Are there any exceptional circumstances which the researchers needed to adjust for?
Do the authors make note of any issues in the study and how they would improve on it?
Your comparative essay should:
Begin with a paragraph introducing the two articles.
State the quality of the publication – eg Journal quality and metrics, author reputation, size of cohort.
Compare and contrast the methods employed and discuss the quality of the methods and any impact on the study.
Important note:Discuss all of this in the wider context ie using external sources (make sure you cite them).

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