A Synthesis on Six Selected Research Articles

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Published on International Journal of Art, Language & Linguistics
Publication Date: July 25, 2019

John K. Asiegbor & John Adukpo
A Tutor of English Language at Peki College of Education, Department of Language
A Tutor of English Language at Dambai College of Education, Department of Language
Ghana

Journal Full Text PDF: A Synthesis on Six Selected Research Articles.

Abstract
The focus of this paper is to write a synthesis on six selected research articles. These articles are synthesised taking into consideration the purpose of the studies, the literature reviews, the in-text citation styles, the theoretical frameworks that are employed, the methodologies, the findings of the articles and the recommendations. It is discovered that the selected articles employ variety of in-text citation styles. It could also be concluded that the authors use the alphabetic approach in acknowledging the sources of their information. It came out clearly that all the six research articles adopt different theoretical approaches that are relevant to their topics. Some adopt methodological triangulation to come out with the findings. The articles however have some differences regarding the purpose and style.

Keywords: Synthesis, research articles, methodologies & findings of the articles.

1. Introduction
The purpose of this academic discourse is to write a synthesis on six selected research articles titled as follows: “Investigation of students’ attitude to academic honesty – empirical Study”, “What is the Purpose of Feedback when Revision is not Expected?’A Case Study of Feedback Quality and Study Design in a First Year Master’s Programme”, “An Analysis of written feedback on a PhD thesis”, “An Analysis of Written Feedback on ESL Students’ Writing”, “Graduate Students’ Needs and Preferences for Written Feedback on Academic Writing”.and“Audio Feedback versus Written Feedback: Instructors’ and Students’ Perspectives”. For the purpose of this task, the six articles selected will be referred to by using upper case letters A, B, C, D, E. and F respectively. The synthesis will be done taking into account the purpose of the studies, the literature reviews, the in-text citation styles, the theoretical frameworks that are employed, the methodology, the findings of the articles and the recommendations.

2. Discussion
To start with, research article A seeks to identify students’ attitudes to academic honesty and tries to investigate students’ opinions on plagiarism regarding all their academic discourses that they undertake in the university while research article B focuses on how to accumulate knowledge purposely to improve the teaching and learning environment. Research article C is concern with the task of an interim analysis of written feedback on a first draft of a PhD thesis. It considers two sources of data such as in-text feedback and overall feedback. Research article D looks at two sources of data such as in-text feedback and overall feedback written by the lecturer on the students’ written assignments. Research article E is to examine graduate students’ needs and preferences for written feedback on academic writing from their lecturers and thesis supervisors whereas research article F focuses on examining students’ and instructors’ perceptions of audio feedback and written feedback for students papers in online composition classes.
The relevant literature on all the research articles reveals that there is a lot of literature on the topics. All the articles will fill existing gaps and add to the existing knowledge in their respective fields. It is only research article A that reveals that there is not enough literature regarding its study. All the selected articles employ variety of in- text citation styles. All the authors use the alphabetic approach in acknowledging the sources of their information.
All the six research articles adopt different theoretical approaches that are relevant to their topics. Some adopt methodological triangulation to come out with the findings. Research article A for instance, employs a qualitative approach using a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire is structured based on the sub themes of the study. The target population is 60 students of a university of Educational Science field. The results are processed and interpreted through the statistical description and inferential analysis. Research Article B on the other hand uses a multi- dimensional approach by employing test analysis and students interview. The primary source of data is the essays of students and the feedback text of teachers comprising about 70 pages.
Research article C is a qualitative study which targets the thesis of PhD students. The data sources for this project are in two-fold such as: in-text written feedback on the first completed drafts of PhD theses in Applied Linguistics and the overall feedback on the first completed drafts of PhD theses. Research article D targets 15 Malaysian students and uses a combination of two approaches of speech acts such as Speech Act Theory by Searle (1969) and language functions by Homes (2001). In terms of language, for some of the participants, English is their first language while for the others, English is their second language. The students are in their first year of their studies (first semester). The data for this study is obtained from two research sources such as written drafts and interviews with the students. These two sources are important in this study as they provid detailed information on the usefulness of each type of feedback. The study is directed by the constant comparative method set out by Glaser and Strauss (1967) by considering open, axial, and selective coding strategies (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The analysis takes place concurrently as data collection.
Research article E uses a qualitative approach by employing a purposive sampling which is used for administrating survey questionnaires from 21 Master and Doctorate students in Malaysia. Research article F targets 5 faculty members of a university in the United States. The framework is based on content analysis conducted on the interview data.
Considering the findings and the recommendations of research article A, the study reveals that students are aware of the importance of academic honesty for obtaining the competences of their attended study programme: however, they plagiarise. Students at the undergraduate level plagiarise using I. T. more than any other means. Research article B demonstrates a discrepancy between the appreciable amount of comments given by the teachers and the students’ lack of use of the feedback they received. The text analysis is based primarily on Hattie and Timperley’s (2007) model of feedback. Research article C comes out clearly that expressive feedback benefits the supervisee a lot. The interaction between the supervisor and the supervisee plays a crucial role for the induction of the supervisee into the academic community, and suggests a peer-to-peer model in PhD education. The findings from this study clearly indicate that the written feedback that is provided to the students is helpful and useful in the revision of their essays. The reason is that, the feedback is clear, direct, and information loaded as it offers a sense of direction to the students (Hyland & Hyland, 2006). However, the findings of this study differ from what previous response theorists suggest as the best practice. The findings of research article E also indicates that graduate students appreciate feedback which is straightforward, gives clear instructions, directs them to other related resources. This research fills the gap in literature by providing awareness among thesis supervisors and lecturers on the students’ needs and preference for written feedback on their academic writing. Apart from that, great understanding of students’ perceived needs for feedback and preferences of feedback is also vital for lectures and thesis supervisors to increase the effectiveness of providing constructive written feedback. The finding of research article F indicates that instructors have mixed feelings about the use of audio, while students tend to develop positive attitude toward it. It also reveals that teachers tend to give more general commentary when they are using audio comments and more local commentary when they are using written comments. It also indicates that students’ methods of revising their papers based on the feedback they receive may influence their preference for one modality over the other. Students’ expectations in receiving comments on their paper should be considered as further analysis is conducted in this area. Sipple (2007) posit that some students who prefer handwritten feedback prefer this method more than audio feedback because written feedback helps them locate mistakes in their papers and correct them. In this work, Jane conveys these sentiments as well.

3. Conclusion
Briefly, this academic discourse is a synthesis on six selected research articles. These articles are synthesised taking into consideration the purpose of the studies, the literature reviews, the in-text citation styles, the theoretical frameworks that are employed, the methodology, the findings of the articles and the recommendations.

4. References
Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.
Hattie, J. and Timperley, H. (2007). ‘The Power of Feedback’. Review of educational research 77 Hyland, K., & Hyland, F. (2006). Feedback on second language students’ writing (Vol. 39). New York: Cambridge University Press. (1), 81–112
Sipple, S. (2007). Ideas in practice: Developmental writers’ attitudes toward audio and written feedback. Journal of Developmental Education, 30(3), 22-31.