The following guidelines will help you to understand and annotate the article critically. Students should use these guidelines in order to present the key issues of the article and complete the written assignment.
Article 1: The Effect of Website and E-commerce Adoption on the Relationship between SMEs and their Export Intermediaries
Article 2: Organizational innovation as an enabler of technological innovation capabilities and firm performance
The following guidelines will help students to understand and annotate the article critically. Students should use these guidelines in order to present the key issues of the article and complete the written assignment.
Examine the article as a whole. Try to determine something about the purpose, audience, and content of the paper before you start reading. Look for clues in the title and/or subtitle, the acknowledgements (if any), the first foot/end note, and the author's biographical note (sometimes with the article, sometimes compiled separately).
Why do you think the author wrote this paper? Does it seem to be refuting someone else's interpretation of some event or phenomenon? Is it offering new information? You'll usually find clues to the answer to these questions in the first few paragraphs. That's where authors usually try to show why their paper is useful and worth reading.
Who is this paper written for? Experts? The general public? Knowing who the authors are addressing can help you decide how to approach the article.
If the authors are addressing an expert audience, then the style will likely be more academic. There may be fewer explanations or somewhat less background information. If the audience is a broader one, then there may be more detail but less detailed explanations.
What does it seem the article is about? Look at the first couple of paragraphs; they should give you some hints. Again, refer to the title. Some disciplines include an abstract that precedes the text. This will give you an uncritical summary of the paper's subject/content.
Start reading. If the article has a labeled introduction, you should find the author's statement of purpose, or thesis statement, before the end of that section. You should also be able to tell what evidence the author is going to use to support the position she or he has taken. The author may also explain the limits on the article, the length of time, the geographic location, the extent of the information that's going to be used, the theories that are going to be applied. You should also be able to tell what the author's point of view is.
Write out the thesis statement as you find it in the article. It is sometimes only one sentence; sometimes two or three. Sometimes the sentences are separated from each other. An author might be obvious about it: "This paper will argue. . ." or subtle, giving only a statement of his or her interpretation followed by some indication of the evidence that will support that position.
Presentation and Argumentation
Keep reading but watch what the author is doing. This step requires that you read the article to gain an understanding of how the author presents the evidence and makes it fit into the argument. At this stage of the exercise, you should also take the time to look up any unfamiliar words or concepts. Also, watch how the author switches from first explaining how the evidence supports the argument and then to the summary. The last few paragraphs of the article should tidy up the discussion, show how it all fits together neatly, where more research is needed, or how this article has advanced knowledge, that is, the implications of the article.
Use this space to note the words or concepts you had to look up. Did the author coin his/her own terms, or use common terms in unusual
Use of Evidence:
How well did the author rely on his/her evidence? Was everything mentioned at the outset referred to in the article? Was quoted material used to illustrate or substantiate points? You may not have much to say for this section, or you might notice that materials listed in the bibliography or reference were not used in the paper.
This is where you note your personal reaction to the paper. Your comments might be one or two words, or might be longer. Remember, too, that these notes will allow you to quickly review the article later on. You might do well to write your future self fairly detailed notes.
Strength of Case:
Did the author persuade you that the point/argument she/he was making was true, or at least convincing? Did you feel, at any time, that the author was just hoping you'd agree? Use this space to note how convincing you thought the article was.
Use this space to note how good this article was compared to other articles, either in the discipline/area, or in the same journal. It is helpful
to write pages numbers of relevant passages in the article.