Critical Analysis of Research Article






Select a research article of interest to you, preferably related to your Research Proposal, and use the Research Evaluation Worksheet to analyze the article. Make sure you fill in the research evaluation work sheet! You can use this information to help you form the literature review section of your research proposal.




My research proposal is:


Research Hypothesis




There is a positive correlation between having police officers in schools and reduced school violence compared to schools that do not have police officers in them.




Null hypothesis




There is no statistical significant difference between having police officers in schools and reduced school violence compared to schools that do not have police officers in them.




























Research Evaluation Worksheet








Full Article Reference (APA style):












a. Is the need for the study clearly stated in the introduction? Explain by using information presented in the literature review.




b. What is the research hypothesis or question?




c. What are the variables of interest (independent and dependent variables)?




d. How are the variables operationally defined?








a. Sample Size (Total): ________________  Size Per Group/Cell: _______________




b. Were the methods and procedures described so that the study could be replicated without further information?  What information, if any, would you need to replicate or reproduce this study?








a. How were participants selected and recruited?


b. Were subjects randomly selected?


c. Were there any biases in sampling? Explain


d. Were the samples appropriate for the population to which the researcher wished to generalize?


e. What are the characteristics of the sample populations?




Research Design (check which design applies)




_______ Single group, time series study


_______ Multiple baseline (sequential) design: ______________


_______ Single group, no measurement


_______ Single group with measurement: Pre ______ During _____ Post _____


_______ Two groups classic experimental versus control group, randomly assigned


_______ (quasi-experimental) two groups experimental versus control group,


  not randomly assigned


_______ Correlation research, not manipulated, degree of relationship


_______ Descriptive research (qualitative study)        


_______ Natural observation                        


_______ Analytical research


_______ Interview research                                      


_______ Historical study


_______ Survey research                                          


_______ Legal study


_______ Ethnography research                                 


_______ Policy analysis


_______ Fieldwork research                                     


_______ Evaluation study


_______ Phenomenology


_______ Grounded theory


_______ Protocol analysis (collection and analysis of verbatim reports)


_______ Case study, no measurement


_______ Case study, with measurement: Pre _________ During _______ Post _________


_______ Developmental research


_______ Longitudinal (same group of subjects over period of time)


_______ Cross-sectional (subjects from different age groups compared)


_______ Cross-sequential (subjects from different age groups, shorter period of time)


_______ Correlation, more than two groups: control, treatment, and other treatment comparisons


_______ Factorial design, two or more groups: other treatment differences, no untreated controls


_______ Two or more dependent variables (MANOVA)


_______ Other design: __________________________________________________________




Consider the Following Questions:




a. Was a control group used?  Yes ______ No ______  If yes, complete b, c, and d below.




b. Was the “control” method for the study appropriate? 




c. What variable was being controlled for?




d. In the case of an experimental study, were subject randomly assigned to groups?








a. Describe the Dependent Measure(s)/Instruments used:




b. Describe the Measurement/Instrument Validity Information:




c. Describe the Measurement/Instrument Reliability Information:




Consider the Following Questions:




a. For all measures (measures to classify subjects, dependent variables, etc..) was evidence of reliability and validity provided, either through summarizing the data, or by referring the reader to an available source for that information?




b. Do the reliability and validity data justify the use of the measure?  




c. Are the measures appropriate (if not, why not)?




d. Are multiple measures used, particularly those that sample the same domains, or constructs but with different methods (e.g., self-report, rating scales, self-monitoring, or direct observation)?




f. If human observers, judges, or raters were involved, was inter-observer or inter-rater agreement (reliability) assessed?  Was it obtained for a representative sample of the data?  Did the two raters do their ratings independently? Was their reliability satisfactory?




Independent and Dependent Variables




a. What is/are the Independent Variable(s):




b. What is/are the Dependent Variable(s):




Data Analysis




Scales of Measurement (check those that apply):




Nominal _______ Ordinal _______ Interval _______ Ratio _______






a. What type of statistical techniques are used?




b. What type of tables and graphs are used?




Consider the Following Questions:




a. Were tests of significance used and reported appropriately (e.g., with sufficient detail to understand what analysis was being conducted)?


b. Do the researchers report means and standard deviations (if relevant) so that the reader can examine whether statistically significant differences are large enough to me meaningful? 




c. Other comments on the reported statistical analyses?








Evaluate the Summary and Conclusions of the study (Usefulness):




Describe the Strength(s) and Limitation(s) of the Study:




Describe what you learned from the study: 




List any remaining questions you have about the study:






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