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Research Study Critique

The Final Paper for this course is a Research Study Critique.  For this assignment, utilize the topic and the research methodology approved by the instructor in Week One of the course and the selected peer-reviewed published research study on your topic from Week Three.  You will then go through each section of the research study and critique not only the research but also how the research was presented. In many cases, the research is done well but written or presented in a way that is misleading or confusing. Consequently, it is important to evaluate both the research and presentation. This will allow you to apply the concepts learned in the class to the interpretation of actual scientific research.

The research study that you chose to critique must:

1.   Be an actual research study, not a review.
2.   Contain a literature review of research related to the topic.
3.   Have a clearly stated research question (or questions) and a hypothesis.
4.   Collect data for analysis.
5.   Conduct some type of analysis on the data collected.
6.   Interpret the results of the analysis.
7.   Discuss the implications of the results of the study.

Your Final Paper should be eight to ten pages in length, excluding title and reference pages, and formatted according to APA style 6th edition with citations from a minimum of six to eight scholarly peer-reviewed sources. Please refer to the Ashford University Library and Writing Center for more information on APA and scholarly sources.

Follow the instructions described below to organize and write your paper. The Final Paper must contain all of the components found in an actual published research study. In each section the content of the paper will be summarized and then critiqued using the knowledge that you have obtained in this course.

Writing the Final Paper

The Research Study Critique must contain:

I.   Introduction
II.   Literature review
III.   Methods
IV.   Results
V.   Discussion

I.   Introduction

The introduction section will provide a general introduction to the topic and why this topic and discipline were chosen. The research study being critiqued will also be introduced in this section.

II.   Literature Review

In this section the literature that the author of the study introduced will be discussed. The critique of this section will be focused on the relevance of the studies reviewed and any bias in the review. Most research contains numerous side of a debate. The critique should indicate if some research was excluded from the review and if this impacts the interpretation of the review.

III.   Methods

In this section the research method and statistical approaches for the study will be presented. This section should include a discussion of all relevant information to the experimental design such as the approach (qualitative or quantitative), the design experimental, quasi-experimental etc., sampling method, sample size, variables (independent and dependent), measures of the variables, statistical tests and any assumptions noted on the part of the researcher. In this section, the student should provide a critique of all of these factors and suggest alternatives when appropriate.

IV.   Results

In this section, the results of the analysis performed in this study should be presented and critiqued. It is also appropriate to discuss limitations or critique the interpretation of the results provided in each study.

V.   Discussion  

In this section overall efficacy of this study will be evaluated. The strengths and weaknesses of this study should be evaluated in this section. Other directions that the researcher could have gone in should be discussed in this section. Finally, the interpretation and future directions proposed by the author of the study should be summarized and critiques as well.  

The Final Paper:

1.   Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
2.   Must include a title page with the following:
a.   Title of paper
b.   Student’s name
c.   Course name and number
d.   Instructor’s name
e.   Date submitted
3.   Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
4.   Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
5.   Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
6.   Must use at least six to eight scholarly sources.
7.   Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
8.   Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.


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