Scholarly Literature Evaluation. Paper Example

Published: 2023-02-27
Scholarly Literature Evaluation. Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Analysis Comparative literature
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1771 words
15 min read

This paper evaluates literature from three different research articles to find how appropriate they are. It evaluates each article individually by first summarizing it; then, it discusses its strengths and weaknesses before drawing conclusions and recommendations for its improvement.

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First Article

This evaluation first considers the article by Andreano and Cahill (2009) named 'Sex Influences on the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.'

Summary of Research

This research article reviews literature from other articles that report on memory differences between the two genders. The authors divide their analysis into four distinct sections that allow them to study the memory performance of people. The sections they consider are spatial memory operations, verbal, autobiographical, and finally, emotional memory. In each of these parts, the compare the performance of people depending on their sex by reviewing literature from several sources that allow them to draw appropriate conclusions. Consequently, their analysis enables them to determine the best-performing sex per each section. Andreano and Cahill (2009) start their investigation by stating that studies report differences in the sizes of whole brain volumes between men and women. Notably, they state that men have larger volumes and a higher ratio of white to gray matter. These differences account for the variations in memory and learning for the two sexes. For instance, they quote studies reporting a larger volume of the hippocampus, anterior cingulate gyrus, caudate gyrus, planum temporale, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in women. Contrastingly, they say that men have larger amygdala and paracingulate gyrus, and therefore, these differences must account for some variations in brain operations between the sexes.

This article also reports a difference in the metabolism of many neurotransmitters that affect people's cognition. For instance, Andreano and Cahill (2009) state that dopamine transporters are more available in women than in men, and it is significant in the regulation of synaptic dopamine levels. This article discusses other differences in physiology, neuroanatomy, and neurochemistry between the two sexes, and these impact the learning and memory of people. When studying the performance of spatial operations for both men and women, they show that men have an advantage in navigation and spatial rotation, but women are better at remembering object location. Secondly, they find that women have an advantage in verbal operations, including fluency and word recall. Moreover, the article shows that women perform better at episodic and autobiographical memory operations and that they are selective for emotional material. Finally, it shows the existence of a difference in how men and women perform in the stress effects of memory. They found that acute stress significantly affects men more positively than women. However, they show that chronic stress has an impairing effect on men. Moreover, they say that the influence of stress on memory in women depends on ovarian hormone levels.

Strengths of Research

The main strength of this research is that it considers over 200 articles and uses them in its literature review. Therefore, many authors support its conclusions, and this shows that the authors did a thorough work.

Weaknesses of Research

Since this article reviewed many sources, it does not go into many details, and it also does not perform its empirical study. Therefore, it is only limited to the perspectives of other authors, and this could impact the conclusions of its author. The following methodological potholes may apply to this article:

  • Universalist phobia by assuming that in some cases, the results shown by people from one culture could represent all people.
  • It showed the problem of induction by providing many research articles as evidence to prove their conclusion.
  • It also displayed sensitivity syndrome by explaining all the results of the studies they review without considering the effect of 'noise' in their collection.

Conclusion and Recommendations for Improvement

This article uses an appropriate title, and it covers all the areas that the title introduces. It is also clear and defined correctly, and it reviews relevant literature sources. Moreover, it is well organized, such as to allow a reader to access information quickly. The only way that its authors could improve it is by including some practical investigations of their own where they collect data and analyze it to draw their conclusions. They should also study people from different cultures to avoid the universalist phobia. Moreover, they should present data as it is regardless of its effect on their conclusion, and they should also avoid explaining all results while disregarding the noise they could possess.

Second Article

The second article that this paper considers is by Laws, Irvine, and Gale (2016), and it focuses on the 'sex differences in cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease.'

Summary of Research

This research article starts by acknowledging the sex differences in memory performance. The author then says that typically, a person's memory declines as he or she grows old. Moreover, the article considers the general deterioration of memory for people with many diseases. Specifically, some diseases usually cause a person's memory to decline. The only problem is that a handful of researchers have studied the impact of Alzheimer's disease (AD) on memory. Therefore, these current researchers sought to find the impact of men and compare them to that of women. To study these factors appropriately, this article reviews literature from over 130 articles before drawing its conclusions. Furthermore, the researchers considered differences that are independent of other factors such as age, dementia severity, and education level. If this is the case, then Laws et al. (2016) say that the results should be the same as that received from people without AD. By isolating their research from these other factors, it is possible to assess the differences and attribute them to the occurrence of AD. Furthermore, if they report any difference, then they can easily attribute it to the disease.

This article also studied the performance of people depending on their sex. In the case of verbal memory, it reviews literature that provides conflicting information. Specifically, Laws et al. (2016) say that some of their sources found that females still had an advantage. One found that males have an advantage, while others did not find a difference. In the case of visuospatial memory, they say that men performed better than women in this area. Furthermore, they found that the differences in memory between the sexes depend on a specific task under investigation. Based on the review of several articles reporting the differences between men and women having AD, Laws et al. (2016) did not find a significant difference between the two sexes. They say that some research articles say that women suffer most from the effects of this disease compared to men. However, this conclusion lacks adequate evidence, and they say that it could be since more women suffer from AD compared to men. Therefore, any investigation will typically have more women showing adverse effects. Finally, the authors state that other factors that could cause a difference between men and women with women having worse results could be due to men having a higher cognitive reserve, and the impact of the decline in estrogen levels after menopause in women. These factors could reduce the memory performance of women, which would explain these differences.

Strengths of Research

This article provides an appropriate title that describes what the article discusses. It also states the problem clearly and reviews appropriate literature to solve this identified problem. Moreover, it reviews over 130 articles, which helps it gather data from many sources and compare them. Consequently, the article is well-researched.

Weaknesses of Research

The main weakness of this research is that it lacks a clear organization. It discusses conflicting evidence and results from different articles without arranging them well to avoid confusing a reader. It also has the following methodological potholes:

  • In confirmation bias, the authors give more importance to evidence that agrees with their assessment.
  • It had the problem of induction, whereby it uses many research articles to show its effectiveness.
  • Third variance problem, by focusing mainly on AD and paying less attention to other factors that can cause memory issues.

Conclusion and Recommendations for Improvement

This article reviews appropriate information, and it focuses on an area that has not received focus from many researchers. The authors review many research articles, which they used when drawing their conclusions. Considering ways of improving the article, the authors should start paying attention to articles that agree and disagree with their assessment and explain the difference in agreement. To avoid the problem of induction, the authors should focus on critical sources of information and not on having many research studies to prove their point. Finally, they should consider all factors that can cause the problems under investigation and include them in their discussion.

Third Article

The last research article that this paper considers belongs to McCarrey, An, Kitner-Triolo, Ferrucci, and Resnick (2016) and it studies the 'sex differences in cognitive trajectories in clinically normal older adults.'

Summary of Research

This article seeks to find the impact of age of sex differences in adults who are clinically healthy. It uses 1065-2127 adults from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging and tested them for three to nine years to find their memory progress. Initially, McCarrey et al. (2016) introduce the subject by discussing the memory state of older people. Then they review literature showing how people's memory varies with age and the factors that cause this variation. The article states that from previous literature, some researchers report a faster decline in memory in women while others report it in men. Therefore, based on this confusion, it is crucial to conduct an empirical study that would seek to find the group that experiences these differences.

The participants in this research were exposed to several tests. Firstly, the researchers assessed the mental status of the participants by studying their orientation to place and time, attention and calculation, language, and immediate and delayed recall. They also checked the learning and memory of the participants and object recognition. Moreover, letter and fluency were measured together with short-term figural memory and their visuospatial abilities. The results of these tests mainly favored women, with men only performing better in visuospatial abilities. The results also showed that men had a faster rate of decline for men compared to women.

Strengths of Research

This research has two main strengths. Firstly, it reviews literature from other relevant sources that discuss the area of interest. This analysis helps point the reader to the direction that research is going. Secondly, it performs an empirical study that uses participants, and then it studies them. These two factors are the strength of this article.

Weaknesses of Research

This research failed to use a control group, which makes it hard to compare its results with another group.

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