In this assessment task you are required to delve deeper into understanding a problem, finding out what might work best as a solution, and making recommendations based on this evidence.
One important part of using research is the ability to understand and appraise research. Appraising research incorporates understanding how research is conducted and then critiquing and evaluating the implications of a research publication.
In this assignment you are required to critically appraise two (2) peer-reviewed research articles, one involving quantitative and one involving qualitative research. Your papers are as follows:
Read the articles and make sure you understand the content, argument, vocabulary etc. Use the resources from this unit to help you discuss relevant research principles and terms relating to these two articles. Use the resources available through the Library website to develop your understanding and to find additional sources to support your analysis.
Identify the kind of study being reported in these two articles, and locate a critical appraisal tool that is appropriate to the study type (examples of tools will be discussed in the unit). Cite the source of the original tool and provide a brief explanation of whymyou selected the tool.
Use the critical appraisal tool to examine the two articles, first noting answers to the questions/items listed in the tool and then synthesising your analysis. This forms the main section of your written appraisal. Include page numbers from the research article in your answers to the appraisal tool (i.e. cross reference where in the research article you are finding the answers to the critical appraisal tool questions/items). Use additional sources to help evaluate issues of validity, representativeness etc.
Ensure that when you describe the various strengths and weaknesses of the article that you explain your analysis. For instance if the quantitative article had non-random sampling you will state that, but then you also explain what the implication is of this type of sampling. This will mean you will also need to consult relevant articles an books on research methods. By doing this you will be able to show the marker that you understand why the aspect you have noted is a strength or a limitation of the study you are analysing.
Use the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research to describe the main ethical issues pertaining to each of the two studies and briefly discuss how they have been addressed.
Write a short summary of the implications of each study’s findings for practice, recognising the strength or quality of the findings from the articles.
Your critical appraisal should consist of the following sections:
A brief introductory paragraph where you outline the purpose and main sections of your appraisal. This will include which field you are making the recommendations for (e.g. public health, health promotion, social work, health & human services management).
Explanation of tool selection. Attach a copy of the tool in its original format to your assignment as an appendix (does not contribute to the word count).
Analysis based on the critical appraisal tool selected and discussion of strengths and weaknesses of the articles.
Description of main ethical issues and discussion of how these have or have not been addressed.
You will need to demonstrate high standards of writing, presentation and referencing. Your report must include a title page with your name, the title of the assignment and word count (excluding reference list). You will need to number each page, write with 1.5 line spacing and 2.5cm margins. You may use clearly worded headings. The sample report writing template provided in the Assessment folder may help. There is a 10% leeway on the 2500 word count.