Understanding and Evaluating Research: A Critical Guide shows students how to be critical consumers of research and to appreciate the power of methodology as it shapes the research question, the use of theory in the study, the methods used, and how the outcomes are reported. The book starts with what it means to be a critical and uncritical reader of research, followed by a detailed chapter on methodology, and then proceeds to a discussion of each component of a research article as it is informed by the methodology. The book encourages readers to select an article from their discipline, learning along the way how to assess each component of the article and come to a judgment of its rigor or quality as a scholarly report.

Conceptual Frameworks, Theories, and Models

Learning Objectives

  • Elaborate on the role of theory in research, as it pertains to the four stages of inquiry
  • Distinguish among conceptual frameworks, theories, and models
  • Compare and contrast concepts and constructs, and explain the characteristics of a good concept
  • Explain the essence of a conceptual framework, and how it differs from a theory
  • Explain the basic building blocks of a theory (types, purposes, formative elements)
  • Describe the characteristics of good theory
  • Explain the role of models in research
  • Discuss the issues involved in choosing and using conceptual frameworks and theories in a study
  • Understand the conventions for writing the theoretical or the conceptual framework section of a research report

Introduction

Chapter 2 focused on research methodologies, arguing that they are the crux of all scholarship. They especially determine the ...

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