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.

Overview of Research Design and Methods

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between methodology, method, and research design
  • Compare and contrast research design as logical and as logistical
  • Appreciate the difference between reconstructed logic (quantitative) and logic-in-use (qualitative), especially an emergent research design
  • Explain the five logics of mixed methods research designs
  • Appreciate the link between research inquiry and research design
  • Describe the purpose and importance of the Methods section of a research report
  • Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative intellectual inquiries
  • Identify the major reporting components (subheadings) of qualitative and quantitative research reports
  • Compare and contrast the most agreed-to approaches and terms about research integrity, rigor, and quality that are used in each of the three methodologies, and learn the attendant strategies to meet the standard for the specific research methodology

Introduction

This chapter focuses on the ...

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