What is the research question?

What is the research question?

Overview: When caring for patients it is essential that as a nurse you are using evidence-based practice. In order to identify what is best practice, you must be able to read research critically. Terminology used in research can be difficult to interpret and understand; therefore securing a solid foundation is essential to the success of identifying and implementing current best practice. What is a critique? It is a professional analysis of the weaknesses and strengths of a particular piece of research. A critique may be done for a variety of purposes: acting as an expert reviewer to assess whether this research paper should be published; providing helpful comments on a work before it is submitted for publication; or, as in the case here, as a learning experience for emerging scholars to practice their developing research skills.

Prompt: Choose one of the two provided articles located in the module Reading and Resources folder. Start by filling out the provided worksheet. Then, using the worksheet as your guide, write a critique to dig deeper into each section and identify the specific examples of each element (e.g., what is the research question? Does the author justify the importance of the research? In the case of a literature review, has the author examined the relevant literature?). Elaborate on each section and evaluate it for its strengths and limitations. Be sure to identify your chosen article and address the following critical elements:

• Critique

o Purpose and Research Question: What is the research question? Does the author justify the importance of the research? o Design and Methods: What design and methods were used? Are they rigorous and systematic?

o Validity and Reliability: Is the study valid and reliable? (For qualitative research, this section of your critique should consider the study’s

trustworthiness and rigor.)

o Findings and Conclusions: Are the conclusions reasonable given the findings?

• Evaluation: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the research article? Do you agree with the author’s conclusions? Why or why not? Did the author succeed or fail in the purpose of the study? Recommend areas for improvement or suggest direction for future research.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.


 

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