Ritical appraisal of a research article
Points to consider in my assignment
This critical appraisal requires you to carefully consider the following points in relation to your chosen article:
a? Is the title of the research paper informative and congruent with the text?
a? (If there is an abstract or a summary) Does the abstract/summary contain sufficient information, including the stages of the research process (e.g. aims/objectives, research design/approach, participants, data collection, data analysis, findings)?
a? Is there an introduction? If yes, does it provide an overview of the entire paper? Is the background and significance of the study convincing? Is the presentation clear and concise? If not, why not?
a? Is there a literature review? If yes, are most pieces of literature current and relevant to this research study? Is it appropriate or necessary to include the older literature? If no literature review, is it appropriate?
a? Is there a stated purpose and is the study aims/hypotheses clearly stated?
a? What is the research method (i.e. phenomenology, grounded theory, experiment, survey, case-control, action research, etc)? Is this an appropriate choice?
a? Is the methods section clear and logically structured?
a? Are the key concepts/variables clearly defined and/or operationalized?
a? Are the settings, sampling and recruitment strategies, data collection and analysis methods appropriate and clearly explained?
a? Was ethical approval granted to undertake the study?
a? Are there any ethical issues in relation to this study?
a? Do the stated findings clearly flow from the data?
a? If theory or hypothesis is stated, does the author indicate how the findings are related to it?
a? How do the findings relate to the purpose and aims of the study?
a? (If there are conclusions) Are the conclusions well supported by the findings?
a? (If there is discussion) Is the discussion well supported by the findings and the literature?
a? Does the author state the implications of the findings? If yes, is it convincing?
a? Does the author state the limitations of this study? Any other limitations you can identify?
a? Are there any issues related to validity and reliability of the research process and research instruments?
a? Any other comments you want to make about the content, the presentation style etc?
a? Any inconsistencies among different sections found?
It is quite common to find inconsistencies. Some examples are:
It is stated as a phenomenological study in the abstract but as a ground theory study in the main body.
The number of respondent is reported as XX in the abstract but YY in the result section.
Numbers do not add up.
A number listed in a table is different from that stated in the text while they should be the same.
a? Your overall comments/conclusions about the research article.
After you have critically appraised the article, you need to answer these additional questions. Answer them in a separate section named: Answers to the Additional Questions. You need to support your answers with references:
a? Which paradigm is used in this research study?
a? Does this study use a theoretical or conceptual framework? If yes, is it clearly stated? Does the framework fit the research question? Does the framework serve the intended purposes?
a? Is this study qualitative or quantitative? Is this an appropriate choice?
a? What are the purposes of this study exploration, descriptions or explanation, or the combination of these?
a? Write this assignment in an essay format.
a? You may use headings and sub-headings to make the presentation clearer, but please do not use the questions above as headings in your assignment, nor use the order of the questions to organise your paper. Arrange the sections in a way that makes the presentation logical and clear.
a? After you have made your draft, you should use these questions as a checklist to assess the completeness of your assignment.
a? You are required to refer to your textbook and about 10-20 relevant book chapters and journal articles, as well as any other resources of your choice to support your critical appraisal.
a? Referencing in text and a reference list at the end of the paper is required. You MUST use the APA referencing style.
Some materials with references
1. Principles of research
The content sections of this module are as follows:
1.1. What is research?
Primer for critiquing social research : a student guide / Michael J. Holosko ; [edited
by] Marquita Flemming. Belmont, CA : Thomson Wadsworth, 2005. Chapter 2, pp. 5-9
1.2. The purposes of research for different research paradigms
According to Punch, the sequence of flow of research idea is: paradigms –>questions –>methods (Punch 2009, p.19)
Social research methods 2010, pp. 19-22 Theoretical paradigms.
1.3. The ethics of research
The Landscape of Qualitative Research : Theories and Issues / Norman K.
Denzin, Yvonna S. Lincoln, Editors. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications,1998, Chapter 5, pp. 156-184
1.4. Principles of good practice in research
2. Research Design Process
The content sections of this module are as follows:
2.1. Research Methodology and Research Methods
Ethnography / John D. Brewer. Buckingham ; Philadelphia, PA : Open University
Press, 2000. pp. 1-9
Social research methods / edited by Maggie Walter. 2nd ed. South Melbourne, Vic. :
Oxford University Press, 2010. Extract, pp. 12-27
2.2. Choosing a Research Design
2.3. Research Process
2.4. Reviewing the literature
3.1 Qualitative Research Designs
Optional Section: Phenomenology
Optional section: Ethnography
Optional section: Grounded Theory
Optional section: Qualitative Case Studies
OToole & Beckett 2010, Chapter 2 & 3
/ Liamputtong 2010, Chapter 1
/ Schneider et al. 2007, Chapter 2
/ Babbie 2011, Chapter 2
Polgar & Thomas 2008
Crewell 2009 p.5
Machenzie & Knipe 2006
William Wiersma 2000
Research methods in Education by Willian Wiersma (2000)
Research methods in Education 3Edition by Louis Cohen & Lawrence (1989)
Research methods in Education, Eighth Edition (2005)