02 Mar 2010

Sample Essay: Article Critique

Introduction

According to Melissa and Jessica, this is a study carried to provide a picture on gender differences in mate poaching. The study had various questions all aimed at getting the feelings of different people (of different age and liking) on interests that may affect their pursuant to relationships. The study was conducted on participants from Oklahoma State University. In writing the report findings, the researchers review different authors on the subject to ensure that it has the required scientific rigor. Further, adequate literature review enables readers to have confidence in the findings and also it allows others to reference the materials without doubt.

Independent Variable(s) used in the Study

The independent variable is like the explanatory variable(s) in any research study and its outcomes does not depend on any other variable(s). In this research study, the independent variable is gender (Females and Males). In this case, the relationship status will be compared for both women and men. The comparison is done using graphs, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and measures of dispersion (e.g. standard deviation).

Dependent variable(s) used in the study ‘relationship status-single or attached) and qualities of the ideal romantic partner. The relationship status and the qualities of the romantic partner depend depends on the gender of the respondent. This can further be ascertained by the literature review. The dependent variables show the comparisons of men and women. Further, one variable, like relationship status, is controlled for the other variable, qualities of ideal romantic partner, and vice versa. The differences in both men and women are then determined using one explanatory variable holding the other constant.

Sampling used to gather Subject

Sampling is one of the areas the research work has faltered. In this research study, there is no indication of any sampling done prior to the research work. In this case, a sample of 184 participants was used and was made up of 97 women and 87 men. For an ideal research study in which the results are meet the expectations of a research study, the sample needs to be representative of the entire population. A quality scientific research work has no room for biasness. In such a case, the population needs to be stratified (subdivided into non-overlapping subgroups-strata), for example, by departments (or faculties) since the population is not homogenous where a simple random sample will be carried out as is the case. Stratification involves putting together elements with same (almost) traits together and then picking a simple random sample from each stratum.

Further, there is no indication of the total population in Oklahoma State University as this would have guided in the calculation of the sample size using the formula; n = N / (1+N (e2)). Where ‘n’ is the sample size, ‘N’ is the population size and ‘e’ is the expected error (error on the bound of estimation) which in is 5% in most cases. Once the sample size is determined, then a sample for each stratum is calculated using the formula shown; nk = (Nk / N ) * n; where ‘nk’ is the  sample size for stratum ‘K’, ‘Nk’ is the population size for stratum ‘K’, ‘N’ is total population size, and n is total sample size using the first formula. These formulas would have resulted into the sample size which will mostly represent the entire population without bias.

In any research study, there is need to carryout what is called an understanding of the sample size by administering free consent forms to the participants. This ensures that all participants are aware of the benefits involved and also the understanding that participation is by free consent. This is done mainly to ensure that there is no subject loss which is expensive to the researcher in addition to affecting the precision. In this research study, this is not available.

Reliability of Study

There are quite a number of aspects which makes a research study un-reliable and they include. Withholding some results from the research report findings, reporting findings as though they represent the true feelings on the ground, paying participants to receive positive research results and getting funding from an organization to carry out a research on their behalf with some biasness.

Withholding research findings is all about only reporting the positive ones is shelving the negative ones. Further, generalizing research findings as though to represent the entire population using a smaller sample is not ethical as the findings may be far much different if a larger sample is used. In addition, to pay participants to respond in such a way is against research ethics teachings of free consent and protection of vulnerable groups. Further, for any research to have the required reliability, there is need for a deeper understanding of who did it, why it was done and may be who paid for it to be conducted, may be he/she did it for money.

In this case, the research findings may not be reliable since it was conducted without a mention of the total population in the University which would affect the final sample size. A sample size of 184, although large, may not be large if the total population is taken into consideration. All the other aspects have been taken care of.

Validity of Study

For a research work to be valid, the participants need to be selected at random. Randomness reduces incidences of serial correlation which affects precision and the final research results. Further, randomness minimizes biasness which leads to skewed results. In this case, there is no indication of randomness. Further, there is need to understand whether the research work is double blind in that, the researcher and the participants do not understand what is under study. In this research study, it is evident that the researcher is aware of what is required. Again, a research is valid if it compares its findings and literature with other research works in the same field (topic). There also the need to study interaction effect between the explanatory variables and it significance to the overall research findings.

Reference

Melissa, B and Jessica, P (2009). Who’s Chasing Whom? The Impact of Gender and Relationship Status on Mate Poaching. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, No. (45) pp. 1016-1019

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31 Jan 2010

Sample Essay: They Say Hot? I think Not!

Honestly speaking, there are a lot of words in the English dictionary which are really confusing and unfathomable to me. The sad thing is that there are a lot of people whose vocabularies are not like that of a modern-day Shakespeare or Milton. It never fails to amuse me how people can just come up with a word which seems very appropriate for a particular thing. The even more amazing thing is that we never expect that the word casually coined by people would be incorporated in our everyday language. Most amazing is that sometimes, those words and their respective definitions make it even to the accepted dictionary. To end all that, the deliberation should begin.

Citing an extremely familiar example, the word “hot” surely will stand out. I have read and still read magazines and digests which frequently discuss the accepted standards of beauty. However, it was only a few years ago that the word “hot” came into the picture. Before we knew it, it had become every person’s description of a particular man or woman who exhibits desirable physical attributes. For example, a man who is hot in the eyes of women exudes Adonis-like qualities. A very manly, a rugged face, a muscular torso which boasts of a six-pack abdomen worthy of being cast in the film 300, and a suave voice. Add to those a gorgeous height, an action star aura and a smile that says “Girl, can I take you home now?” On the other hand, a hot woman by general definition possesses movie-star facial features and a voluptuously curvaceous body to kill for. Either those qualities or a supermodel-slim figure, belly button flashing with a piercing, and an oozing Playboy-worthy sex appeal which is windowed by eyes that say whilst staring, “Catch me if you can, boys.”

That drives us to an immediate conclusion. The word hot refers to sexually-attractive men and women capable of making admirers swoon. Not just an innocent swoon, but a swoon that drives innermost sexual desires on the brink of being blurted out of their mouths.

But then again, if that is really the definition of hot then hotness is unarguably synonymous with sex appeal. It pushes us to think even deeper. Even though hotness almost always refers to sexual attractiveness then why is it that some women, from Hollywood and from real-life alike are branded hot when they are not always caught with their sexy bodies flashing and their belly buttons exposed? The answer can only be provided by the individual being asked. On the other hand, the same case in men presents an equally valid argument, or should we say question because an argument regarding hotness sounds a bit absurd. One such example as I have read in a very popular women’s magazine, is the so-called hotness of a guy who possesses nerdy qualities albeit handsome face. Picture an unkempt hair, thick spectacles and not so fashionable clothes (the actor Adrien Brody comes to mind here). Why is it that a nerdy guy can be called hot when he does not have the aforementioned qualities? Quoting from Robert Plant, it really makes me wonder. Another argument follows, why is Audrey Hepburn considered one of the hottest women that ever walked the planet? It really is sheer insanity to say that she is not beautiful. But in striking contrast with the today’s standard of beauty to which Scarlett Johansson perfectly measures up, Miss Hepburn does not exude heaping sex appeal. Even less that eye-catching figure, the body that makes guys whistle. But instead she has a royal beauty that only Hans Christian Andersen could have described better. Still, she is hot if I am to be asked. I know none would disagree to that.

Upon the deliberations, I now reckon that the real meaning of vague is utterly vague. I do not mean to offend the media giants and the magazine magnates and their proponents. But for me, the real definition of hotness cannot be dictated by such beauty authorities, although they can serve as references. Sexual or not so sexual, intellectual or plainly physical, the definition of hotness lies in the perception of the beholder. Hotness associated with bodily appeal should not be condoned, and neither should hotness embedded in subtle beauty. Whether it is action star looks or nerdy appeal, it can be adjudged as hot. Whether it is Vogue-worthy beauty or Virgin Mary-like appeal, beauty can be described as hotness, and vice versa. It is in the eye of the beholder. The true meaning of hotness is always hanging, about to be said, about to be heard from anyone’s mouth and cannot be classified as definite.

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12 Jan 2009

Essays on Little Women

Like many great American novels, Little Women (written by Louis May Alcott) focuses on the dynamics of character growth and development.  Unlike most, however, there are four subjects to this focus, four loving sisters who, as the first part of the novel progresses, find themselves in a whirlwind of holiday activities.  Starting from lamenting their poverty and deciding to make presents for their beloved mother, the four sisters find themselves having a Christmas that even today many people would envy.

 

The second part of the novel begins several years later, focusing on the dynamics of romantic themes so effectively that Little Women is still held to this day as the epitome of romantic novels.  Controversially, theses romantic themes revolve around a single man, a charming young man the girls had met during their holiday adventure years before, and progress with each of the four sisters having an opportunity to capture the young man’s heart, yet in the end, obviously, only one could keep it.

 

  • Little Women has found much criticism in its depiction of youthful romance due to the author having each of the four sisters the subject of the same young man’s potential affections.  Why would Alcott have done this?  How did this fact affect the progress of the story?  Could the underlying messages have been delivered without using a single paramour?
  • A subplot to the novel is the sisters’ development, particularly Jo’s development as a writer and her subsequent romantic relationship with one of her teachers from her college.  Draw out the sequence of these developments and discuss how each of them affected the character’s internal development.

 

Considering Little Women’s standing as one of the most significant novels in American history, the fact that Alcott never really liked it is ironic.  Alcott wrote Little Women at the request of her publisher.  Its amazing popularity caused the author to question the quality of the writing; was she writing serious, quality fiction, or playing to trite demands of marketability, resulting in works only suitable for young girls and children.  It is often said such questions can only be answered by time.  Time has spoken its judgment.

 

Though the book is frequently used in the study of American literature, many students have difficulty today evaluating the finer points of “Little Women.”  The social status of women today, along with their hopes, aspirations, and priorities, are sufficiently different to cause students to overlook many important aspects of the novel.

 

Professional writers, such as those working for our company, have studied this novel alongside dozens or even hundreds of others, giving them unique perspective of the novel’s significance.  With this perspective, and years of experience in writing, our writers stand ready to assist the student with essays on this an many other novels of literary significance.  All they need is your order.

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