Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern, to provide an appropriate context for analysing the media report and to tell your reader what they can expect to see in the work that follows

ASSESSMENT TASK 2: Report Critique (2000 words)

Aligned subject learning outcomes Learning outcomes 1-5
Group or individual Individual *Results are returned electronically
Weighting 30% Due date Thursday 30 August (End Week 8)


Report Critique: Developmental science in the media (Fake news?). We are continuously bombarded with media information concerning topics related to human development. In some cases this information is accurate and in others the information is ‘sketchy’ at best. The aim of this assessment is to assist you to develop effective evaluation skills and to be able to distinguish between scientific truths and media sensationalism in the field of human development.

In no more than 2,000 words (not including references) your task is to critique the media report that is provided in this Assessment Guide. You will need to thoroughly examine the topic background a) to determine how correct or false the report may be; b) to identify where fact and fiction diverge; and c) to discuss the possible impacts on readers of the media report.

The following questions will assist you to critically examine the media report:

I. Based on the headline and introductory paragraph, what do you believe the study discovered or “proved”?

II. What are the goals of the study?

III. What do you read about the sample and data gathering strategy of the study?

IV. What were the main concepts the study focused on? How were the concepts defined and measured?

V. Summarise the main findings in your own words.

VI. Did the media article critique the methods used in this research?

VII. What was NOT mentioned in the media report (think about strengths and limitations) that you think would be important to know about the research so that the reader could draw appropriate conclusions about the study’s findings and implications?

VIII. Did you detect any potential bias in how the author of the report presented the study (value-laden statements, and so on)?

Your critique must follow the referencing conventions of APA style. Note also the information provided on submission and return of assessments in this Assessment Guide.

Semester 2, 2018


The details of the assessment and its requirements are available in this Assessment Guide and will be discussed in the first tutorial of the semester.

References: References must be included for all work cited and APA format MUST be followed.


1. The Report Critique should be 2000 words in length (+/- 10%)

2. Essays are due by 5:00pm on the Thursday of week 8 – late penalties will be applied after this time/date.

3. Your submission MUST follow APA format and MUST include references and citations .

4. We expect that you will include at least five scholarly publications other than your textbook.

5. All work must be submitted to drop box on or prior to the date of submission – this must be your final draft. You DO NOT need to submit a hard copy

a. We will mark these assignments electronically and may use the Track Changes option so only Word Documents will be accepted for marking

b. The title page of your submission must contain your final word count.

Generally, we expect to see an introduction, body, conclusion and references. So, let’s take a look at the sections which are commonly found in this sort of submission:

Remember the hourglass when you construct your work.

1) Introduction: Define or identify the general topic, issue, or area of concern, to provide an appropriate context for analysing the media report and to tell your reader what they can expect to see in the work that follows. You may briefly point out overall trends in what has been published about the topic; or conflicts in theory, methodology, evidence, and conclusions; or gaps in research and scholarship. Establish your reason (point of view) for analysing the media report. Aim: What is the objective of your work; a short explanation of the critique being undertaken. This should be clear, concise and

instructive to your reader – What can they expect to find in the work that follows?

1) Body: Contains a critical review of the context of the report topic; an evaluation and analysis of existing knowledge; the outline of a theoretical framework, if relevant; any areas of controversy that have appeared in the literature. This section is pivotal to the success of your work – it is here that your argument really unfolds so use this space wisely and write as concisely as you can.

Where relevant, try to group research studies and other types of literature (media reports, reviews, theoretical articles, case studies, etc.) according to their importance and connection with your topic. Remember you must be mindful of your word count and the value of being concise with your writing. Provide your reader with strong umbrella sentences at beginnings of paragraphs, “signposts” throughout the document to orient your reader, and brief “so what” summary sentences throughout the report. We expect that all of the work that you cite in your assignment will be in your own words – direct quotations should be kept to an “absolute bare minimum” and used in cases where you simply could not say it better yourself. We expect that at least 99% of the work will be using your own words, paraphrasing what you have understood from the work of others who you have read. Above all

– be sure that you make strong links between psychological theory and the research in terms of your evaluation of the prescribed media report.

2) Conclusion: A short paragraph to conclude, some key points and arguments.

3) References: References must be included for all work cited and APA format MUST be followed.

THE MEDIA REPORT Working mothers risk damaging their child’s prospects by STEVE DOUGHTY, Daily Mail

Mothers who return to work after their baby is born risk causing serious damage to the child’s prospects in later life, researchers revealed yesterday.

Such children are more likely to do worse at school, become unemployed and to suffer mental stress than youngsters whose mothers stay at home to bring them up.

The findings from the Institute for Social and Economic Research are a severe blow to the Government, which has used the tax and benefit system to encourage mothers to work while stripping away tax breaks such as the Married Couple’s Allowance.

They are an endorsement of the instincts of thousands of women who either give up work or drastically cut down their job commitments to devote most of their time to raising a young child.

According to the study, the impact of having a full-time working mother on a child’s education is similar to growing up in a single-parent family. If a mother returns to work, say the researchers, the child is 20 per-cent less likely to get an A-level

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