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.

Introduction and Research Questions

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the purpose of the Introduction section of a research paper, appreciate the difference and connection between opening points and the Introduction section, and classify opening points into six types
  • Compare and contrast research topic, problem, question, statement, and objective and explain the progressive movement through them
  • Explain how these all differ depending on research methodology (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods)
  • Describe six different types of research problems and list the characteristics of a good research problem
  • Describe the difference between qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research questions and elaborate on the respective characteristics of a good research question
  • Differentiate between a research statement and a research objective, and demonstrate the difference between qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research statements
  • Recognize each of six approaches ...
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