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.

Results and Findings

Learning Objectives

  • Appreciate the methodological and etymological distinction between the words findings and results
  • Respect the lack of agreement about, but necessity for dealing with, presenting findings and results with or without interpretation, and accept that qualitative and quantitative methodologies have different conventions for this aspect of reporting research
  • Gain a deep understanding of the reporting conventions for qualitative research, including the distinction between describing and interpreting qualitative data, the protocols for reporting and supporting themes, and the role of the literature review
  • Gain a deep understanding of the reporting conventions for quantitative research, including the slippery slope of reporting results with and without interpretation; dealing with comprehensive results (relative to the research question), missing data, and negative results; and the protocols for reporting numerical ...
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