Research Article Critique Assignment
(link 2) how to read quantitative research
 
How to Read Quantitative Research:
A Nonexperimental Example
 
Quoted from McMillian, J. and Schumacher, S. (1997). Research in education: A conceptual introduction (4th edition), pp 48-59. NY: HarpersCollins College Publishers.
 
Although there is no universally accepted format for reporting quantitative research, most studies adhere to the sequence of scientific inquiry. There is variation in the terms used, but the components indicated below are included in most studies:
 
1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Statement of research problem
4. Review of literature
5. Statement of research hypotheses or questions
6. Methodology
a. subjects
b. instruments
c. procedures
7. Results
8. Discussion, implications, conclusions
9. References
 
In writing a research report, the writer begins with the introduction and continues sequentially to the conclusion. In planning to conduct research, the researchers begin by formulating a research problem.
 
Abstract: The abstract is a paragraph that summarizes the journal article. It follows the authors' names and is usually italicized or printed in type that is smaller than the type of the article itself. Most abstracts contain a statement of the purpose of the study, a brief description of the subjects and what they did during the study, and a summary of important results. The abstract is useful because it provides a quick overview of the research, and after studying it, the reader usually will know whether to read the entire article.
 
Introduction [context of & background leading to problem studied]: The introduction is usually limited to the first [one or two] paragraph[s] of the article. The purpose of the introduction is to put the study in context. This is often accomplished by quoting previous research in the general topic, citing leading researchers in the area, or developing the historical context of the study. The introduction acts as a lead-in to a statement of the more specific purpose of the study.
 
Research Problem: The first step in planning a quantitative study is to formulate a research problem. The research problem is a clear and succinct statement that indicates the purpose of the study. Researchers begin with a general idea of what they intend to study, such as the relationship of self-concept to achievement, and then they refine this general goal to a concise sentence that indicates more specifically what is being investigated--for example, what is the relationship between fourth graders' self concept of ability in mathematics and their achievement in math as indicated by standardized test scores?
 
The statement of the research problem can be found in one of several locations in articles. It can be the last sentence of the introduction, or it may follow the review of literature and come just before the methods section.
 
Review of Literature: After researchers formulate a research problem they conduct a search for studies that are related to the problem. The review summarizes and analyzes previous research and shows how the present study is related to this research. The length of the review can vary, but it should be selective and should concentrate on the way the present study will contribute to existing knowledge. It should be long enough to demonstrate to the reader that the researcher has a sound understanding of the relationship between what has been done and what will be done. There is usually no separate heading to identify the review of literature, but it is always located before the methods section.
 
Research Hypothesis or Question: Following the literature review researchers state the hypothesis, hypotheses, or question(s). Based on information from the review, researchers write a hypothesis that indicates what they predict will happen in the study. A hypothesis can be tested empirically, and it provides focus for the research. For some research it is inappropriate to make a prediction of results, and some studies a research question rather than a hypothesis is indicated. Whether it is a question or a hypothesis, the sentence should contain objectively defined terms and state relationships in a clear, concise manner.
 
Methodology: In the methods or methodology section, the researcher indicates the subject, instruments, and procedures used in the study. Ideally, this section contains enough information so that other researchers could replicate the study. There is usually a subheading for each part of the methods section.
 
See specific standards or criteria to evaluate quantitative research by clicking on the links below.
(link 3) standards of adequacy for:
true experimental designs,
quasi-experimental designs, and
single-subject designs
 
(link 4) standards of adequacy for:
descriptive research,
correlational research,
survey research, and
ex post facto research