Research Article Critique Assignment
(link 4) standards of adequacy for descriptive research, correlational research, survey research, and ex post facto research
 
Standards of Adequacy for Descriptive Research, Correlational Research, Survey Research, and Ex Post Facto Research
 
Quoted from McMillian, J. and Schumacher, S. (1997). Research in education: A conceptual introduction (4th edition), pp 306-308. NY: HarpersCollins College Publishers.
 
In judging the adequacy of the designs focus on a few key criteria. These criteria are listed below in the form of questions that should be asked for each type of design.
 

Descriptive Research
 
1. Is the research problem clearly descriptive in nature, or is a relationship implied?
 
2. Is there a clear description of the sample, population, and procedures for sampling?
 
3. Will the sample provide biased or distorted results?
 
4. Is the instrumentalism reliable and valid?
 
5. Do graphic presentations of the result distort the findings?
 
6. Are inappropriate relationship or causal conclusions made on the basis of descriptive results?
 
7. If cross sectional, do subject differences affect the results?
 
8. If longitudinal, is loss of subjects a limitation?
 
9. Are differences between groups used to identify possible relationships?
 
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Correlational Research
 
1. Does the research problem clearly indicate that relationships will be investigated?
 
2. Is there a clear description of the sampling? Will the sample provide sufficent variablity of responses to obtain a correlation?
 
3. Is the instrumention valid and reliable?
 
4. Is there a restricted range on the scores?
 
5. Are there any factors that might contribute to spurious correlations?
 
6. Is a shotgun approach used in the study?
 
7. Are inappropriate causal inferences made from the results?
 
8. How large is the sample? Could sample size affect the "significance" of the results?
 
9. Is the correlation coefficient confused with the coefficient of determination?
 
10. If predictions are made, are they based on a different sample?
 
11. Is the size of the correlation large enough for the conclusions?
 
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Survey Research
 
1. Are the objectives and purposes of the survey clear?
 
2. Is it likely that the target population and sampling procedure wil provides a credible answer to the research question(s)?
 
3. Is the instrument clearly designed and worded? Has it been pilot tested? Is it appropriate for the characteristics of the sample?
 
4. Is there assurance of confidentiality of responses? If not, is this likely to affect the results?
 
5. Does the letter of transmittal establish the credibility of the research? Is there any chance that what is said in the letter will bias the responses?
 
6. What is the return rate? If boderline, has there been any follow-up with nonrespondents?
 
7. Do the conclusions reflect return rate and possible limitations?
 
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Ex Post Facto Research
 
1. Was the primary purpose of the study to investigate cause-and-effect relationships?
 
2. Have the presumed cause-and-effect conditions already occurred?
 
3. Was there manipulation of the independent variable?
 
4. Were groups being compared already different with respect to the independent variable?
 
5. Were potential extraneous variables recognized and considered as plausible rival hypotheses?
 
6. Were causal statements regarding the results made tenuously?
 
7. Were threats to external validity addressed in the conclusions?
 
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