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Ekstrom Library

POLS 367: The Government and Politics of Southeast Asia (Abbott): Evaluation Exercise

Exercise: Evaluating Information Sources


The following exercise is designed to help you with your journal article reviews, where you review the author's overall argument, the main ideas, the evidence they provide for their argument, and the strengths and limitations of the research. 

Source 1: Ravenhill, J. (2006). Is China an Economic Threat to Southeast Asia? Asian Survey, 46(5), 653-674. doi:10.1525/as.2006.46.5.653

Source 2: Hughes, C. R. (2005). Nationalism and Multilateralism in Chinese Foreign Policy: Implications for Southeast Asia. The Pacific Review, 18(1), 119-135. doi:

  • Source 2: To get to a pdf of your article, select the title and then click on the button that says "FindIt@UofL." Then select "View Full Text," and then click the green "pdf" button.

Questions to Answer and Discuss with your Group

Read through the following questions, and then read the abstract of your article and skim throughout it to respond to the following questions:

  1. In 1-2 sentences, summarize the research problem, research question, or hypothesis. Was this information clearly stated? Where was it located in the article? 

  2. Look up information about the author(s) and publisher. What did you find out about them? How does this influence your evaluation of the piece? 

  3. Is your article more quantitative or theoretical? What makes your article either quantitative or theoretical?

    1. Does the author discuss their methodology and why they selected that methodology?  Is there a discussion of the data collection or why a particular dataset was used? Is there a discussion of a theoretical framework? Where are these types of information located in the article, if your article contains these things? 
  4. Where do you find a bulk of the citations and quotations to be located in the article? What is the purpose of these sections of the paper? 

  5. Look at the bibliography of the article. What kinds of sources are cited? Consider their use of journal articles, whether they are from a variety of journals, and whether they use other sources like books, news, and/or government reports. Why might this be important to take note of? 

  6. For what kinds of research topics could you use this article?