As you complete your literature review, be very careful to make sure the sources you cite are actually saying the things that you say they are.

As you complete your literature review, be very careful to make sure the sources you cite are actually saying the things that you say they are. It can be very tempting to search for articles on your topic, find an article that seems like it might support your claims based on its title or a skim of the abstract, and use it as a citation without taking the time to fully understand what the article is saying. The result of this scenario is that you end up using a source that does not actually support what you are saying. At best this appears ignorant and sloppy; at worst this appears misleading and dishonest.

As an example, this article

states that “girls are more likely to be affected by romantic relationships than are boys” (Loftus et al., 2011, p. 801) and backs this up by citing a chapter by Carol Gilligan (1996). Unfortunately, that was not the message of Gilligan’s chapter at all, and so I believe it was a poor choice of those authors to cite that source the way they did.

 

For this week’s discussion, please share an article that you cited in your literature review, and then share one other article that cites the article that you chose.

  • Explain how the authors of the second article used the first article: what did the authors of the second article claim or imply about the first article?
  • Based on your understanding of the first article (this is the article that you are citing in your literature review), how accurately do you believe the second article’s authors represented the first article?
  • How well did the first article fit into the second article’s aims and scope?

Please answer the questions above and offer some critique here, since every citation is an act of interpretation to an extent, and thus there is always room for us to critique that interpretation. Please remember to use in-text citations and provide references for both articles.

References:

Gilligan, C. (1996). The centrality of relationship in human development: A puzzle, some evidence, and a theory. In G.G. Noam & K.W. Fischer (Eds.), Development and vulnerability in close relationships (pp. 237-261). Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Inc.

Loftus, J., Kelly, B.C., & Mustillo, S.A. (2011). Depressive symptoms among adolescent girls in relationships with older partners: Causes and lasting effects? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 800-813.

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