This assignment is designed to help you become familiar with journals and current research in the field of special education with a focus on a critical analysis of an educational strategy or technique. It is also designed to help you further develop your skills of analyzing and synthesizing research, concise writing, and APA formatting. Assignment Steps 1. Select a research-based instructional strategy or procedure designed to serve students with exceptionalities and conduct a review of the professional literature using the UWF library databases. You must select a specific technique/strategy and not a comprehensive program or broad group of strategies. a. Your text is a great resource for selecting a strategy. If you are unsure of your selection, please check with the instructor before finalizing your decision. Non-Example/Example • Inappropriate topic (too broad) – “Effective communication techniques” • More appropriate topic (more specific, but still needs to be refined) – “Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). 2. Develop a thesis and 2-3 main ideas based on the research articles related to your strategy a. A thesis is more than just a presentation of the professional literature about the topic. It is a one-sentence statement that is an argument or claim about the research findings on the strategy/technique based on a thorough level of analysis of the professional literature. Before finalizing your thesis, be sure that there is enough research in the professional literature to support it. b. Your main ideas are two to three ideas or conclusions represented across the studies you have reviewed. It is also appropriate to focus one of your main ideas on critical gaps or points of disagreement in the research. The main ideas must be supported by at least three of the studies you have selected. 3. Complete the synthesis matrix using the format at the bottom of these instructions. Please be sure to review the grading rubric (separate document found at the eLearning assignment link) prior to completing the assignment. This synthesis matrix includes: a. Notes describing the findings in each research article that support your main ideas (thus supporting your thesis). It is best to write these notes in your own words so that you can avoid plagiarizing the authors’ works. b. Summary paragraphs written in your own words describing the support for each main idea. In your summary paragraphs, you should avoid summarizing each article separately. Your goal is to identify common themes/conclusions across articles related to your main ideas and, if appropriate, to identify any points of disagreement across articles.