Critical Thinking Exercises

Select an article from a social science journal and discuss how different types of visualizations are used, or could have been used, to visualize findings presented in the article.

The discussion might focus on the types of data or findings presented in the articles and consider whether the visualizations in the article are adequate, as well as what types of visualizations would have been adequate for the various types of findings instead of, or in addition to, the visualizations that are used.

See Chapter 25 in the book. 


Discuss and compare the styles and structures of the masters theses by Weir (2014) and Johnson (2001), which were referred to as research examples in Chapter 26 in the book.

The discussion may focus on similarities and differences between the two theses, as well as how each of the theses complies with the typical style of academic writing, and the typical structure of research reports. You might also discuss whether differences between the two theses reflect typical differences between qualitative and quantitative research reports.

See Chapter 26 in the book, in particular sections ‘Style and structure of academic texts’, and ‘Writing a thesis’.


Find a newspaper or magazine article that presents results from social research. Examine how this article deviates from research journal articles in terms of format, style and structure, and discuss strengths and weaknesses of such popularized presentations of research.

The discussion might compare the format, style and structure of the selected article with the typical format, style and structure of a journal article. Strengths and weaknesses may be discussed with reference to differences in the articles’ audiences, as well as the amount and precision of the information that can be absorbed by different readers.

See Chapter 26 in the book.