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You have learned much during the first few weeks of this course and this Analysis assignment is an opportunity for you to pull all of your learning together.  To be successful on this assignment, apply everything that you have learned from your readings, the discussion forums, and the module information pages.


For additional help, use the module materials and textbook readings.




·         Download this word document to your computer.


·         Include the Assignment Rubric at the end of your document.


·         Create a title page by putting your cursor above the table and clicking down until you have a blank title page to format OR using Insert Tab-> blank page


·         Carefully follow all directions for this assignment.


·         Remember to provide evidence to support your responses as well as citations and references (including the article you are analyzing)! For example, when answering 1b. You would include how your problem statement meets the 5 criteria for problem statements that you learned in Module 1. Include citations and references from the textbook, course content, and your research article throughout your analysis. This is required. Failure to do so will result in point loss or rejection of your paper.


  • Use the same research study that you selected in Select a Study in Module 2 to answer these questions for Analyses #1 & 2.


  • You must use the template provided in the course, and include the entire question prior to your response.  The template will expand to accommodate your responses. Your paper will not be accepted if the instructions are not followed completely.


  • Keep the template in black font (as provided), but use royal blue font for your responses.


  • Well thought out and comprehensive answers to the analysis questions will generate a critical analysis of your research article, a skill that all baccalaureate-prepared, health care and human services professionals need to acquire in order to provide evidence-based care to their patients/clients.


  • Use APA format for all citations and references.  Use the correct file naming procedure for your submissions.


  • For Analysis #1 answer: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  (covers modules 1-3); (Due Module 4)


  • For Analysis #2 answer: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  (covers Modules 4-6); (Due Module 6) 




1.  Problem Statement/Purpose Statement

a. What is the complete Title of the research experiment that you selected in the Select a Study assignment in Module 2?  [It must be one of the options specified for the assignment – do NOT find your own article, as your paper will not be accepted]

b. Provide a properly formatted reference (APA format) for the article:


c. Follow the same five criteria directions you did in the Module 1 “Problems Everywhere” discussion forum and write a problem statement for this research experiment. (Hint: citations and references needed; use the readings to inform/guide/support your responses throughout this paper).


d.   Using the definition for a research “purpose”, what do you think the purpose of this research experiment is?


e. In your opinion, is this experiment important to our health care system in this country?   Why?  Why not?


2.   Research Question/Hypotheses

a. Using your textbook and course content define the term hypothesis and write one for the research study you are analyzing.


b. Using your textbook (hint: citations and references needed) and course content, define the term simple hypothesis and write one for the research study you are analyzing. Then define the following terms and use your simple hypothesis to write a directional and a null hypothesis. 

Simple hypothesis:


Directional hypothesis:


Null hypothesis:


3.   Identification and Operational Definitions of Study Variables

a.  Name the independent and dependent variable/s in your study



b.    Concept of Operationalization:  In an experimental research study, the researchers hope to find that applying the IV will change the DV. In order to determine if the change occurred (or how much of a change occurred), the researchers must clearly define both the IV and DV, and specify exactly how the variables will be measured in the study. For example, suppose researchers want to determine the effect of steroid use (IV) on aggression (DV) in male youth.  They must define what they mean by “steroid use” and specify how it is to be measured (i.e., participant-reported daily use of over-the-counter anabolic steroid products for the purpose of increasing muscle mass) as well as define and specify their DV (i.e., as measured using the Aggression Scale for Adolescents [Orpinas & Frankowski, 2001]).

With that example in mind, how did the researchers operationalize the IV and DV, and how did they collect data on their DV (i.e., exactly how did they determine if the IV had changed/had an impact on the DV, or exactly how did they know that the DV had been impacted or changed)?    Please explain thoroughly:



4.   Literature Review

Before researchers begin their experiment they review the literature to see what previous experiments might have taken place using the same or similar variables; nobody wants to reinvent a wheel.  Literature Reviews are relatively short and are always located between the abstract and the methods sections of a research article.   Locate the Literature Review in your research study.  It will be below the abstract, before methods and either:

  • under a section called Introduction
  • OR Literature Review
  • ALTERNATIVELY, there may be no specific heading.

Note that it is NOT in the Abstract.

a.   Where, SPECIFICALLY, is the Literature Review in your article? (Page number?  Column? Paragraph/s?)


b.   Read carefully through the Literature Review section in your study and name the specific variables that are being addressed in the Literature review section only. 


c. After reviewing the course content on primary and secondary sources, search the Reference page of your article for 1 primary source OR 1 secondary source that you are certain about just from reading the title in the citation.  List the number or Authors of the citation and whether that citation is primary or secondary.   Use the readings/course content to provide a rationale for your selection (i.e., use the buzz words that are posted on the content page to help you – what words clue you in that is it primary or secondary?):



d.   At the beginning or end of the Literature Review, and before the Methods section the researchers summarize what they found in earlier studies on the variables of interest.  Researchers use this summary to point out a GAP in the literature.  A gap is something that is still not understood, or perhaps still not fully explored. Researchers often state this as their aim in conducting their study. Review the section carefully because they may point to more than one gap or area in need of further research.

What GAP(S) did the researchers point out in your study?  Please explain thoroughly.


5.  Study Design

a. Using your understanding of the multiple research study designs from your textbook and the content pages, identify the research design used for this study and provide a rationale for your decision (i.e., provide a definition of the type of design that you identify in your research article):


b. In your opinion, was this design appropriate for this study?  Why or why not? Base this on evidence from your readings and course content.


c. Remember that extraneous variables (variables other than the IV and the DV) can impact/affect the DV (may contribute to the change in the DV, outcome or results).  In other words, they may be threats to internal validity of the study.

Were threats to internal validity (extraneous variables) controlled in this study?  How? Give specific examples.


d. Think of another extraneous variable that should/could be controlled in this study.  Why? (i.e., how do you think this variable might affect the DV or the outcome of the study?):


e.   How would YOU have controlled for this extraneous variable?





6.  Protection of Human Subjects in Research

a. Do the researchers indicate that they took steps to protect the human subjects that were a part of their study?  Identify what steps they took and how they describe their application to their research study.  Explain why this is necessary/required (I need to “hear” that you understand the meaning, importance and ethical necessity of these measures in your response).


7.  Population, Sample, and Setting

Important Note:  No matter what the researchers themselves tell you, do not be fooled into thinking that the sample is the population!  This is a common misconception in research studies!  Remember, the population is the complete set of persons or things possessing the characteristics that the researchers want to study/want to infer their results to.  At the end of the study (in the Discussion, Implications, Limitations sections) researchers discuss who their results are being inferred to or generalized to:  For example, all smokers?  All overweight teenagers. These are often much different from the limited group they sampled:  i.e., a military base, hospitals in another country, etc.  It is a very good idea to read these sections before determining WHO or WHAT the population is for this studyYou might be very surprised!  Still confused? Check this short video out:


7a.. Identify the POPULATION for this study:


b. Specifically, how was the SAMPLE selected from this population?  Exactly how did they select the actual participants – what was the process? (i.e., were there inclusion and exclusion criteria; how did they recruit the sample and determine who would become part of the study, or who would be excluded?)


c. How large was the sample?  Tell me the exact number that actually participated in the study (just give me ONE number here):


d. In your opinion, does the sample “represent” the population for this study? (i.e., is the sample similar to the overall population that the researchers might want to infer the results to?)  Why or Why Not? Explain your answer:


e. Where did this study take place (there may be multiple locations, i.e., Laboratory, clinic, school, other):


8.    Data collection INSTRUMENT

Data are collected so that researchers can measure the impact that the IV has had on the DV.  Instruments are used to collect these data.  Instruments may include surveys, scales, telephones, questionnaires, interviews, lab tests, etc.?  Review carefully – remember instruments used may be more than things like thermometers, scales, etc.

a.   What specific instrument/s was/were used to COLLECT DATA in this study? (I am looking for the instrument/s, not the data.). For example, what did the researchers use to measure/collect data for the study outcome (DV)?



b.   How did the researchers describe their data collection INSTRUMENT/s and how they used it/them?  Be specific.


c. Using definitions and descriptions of RELIABILITY (inter/intraobserver reliability) presented in the text and on the content pages, describe what steps were taken to assure that the data collected in this study are reliable?  (i.e., Were the observers calibrated?  Did they standardize their procedures?  Was their data collection instrument calibrated?  Specifically, describe everything you see that suggests that the researchers tried to collect reliable data by taking steps to improve inter/intraobserver reliability). Explain your answer thoroughly:


9.  Data analysis.    Remember, data analysis procedures are different from data collection instruments/tools!   Review the textbook and content pages on data and statistics before responding. Additionally, for a quick reminder of difference between descriptive and inferential statistics, check out these videos:  OR

a.   Define descriptive statistics and identify/name the DESCRIPTIVE statistics used to organize, describe and summarize data in this study


b.   Define inferential statistics and identify/name the INFERENTIAL statistics used to infer results to the population.


c.   Google the name of ONE of the Inferential statistical tests mentioned in your research study.   What does your source say about this inferential test?   Why do you think your authors chose this inferential test for their study (think about the Levels of Measurement for example)?     Please explain. Please provide a link to your findings and do not forget to cite the information and write a reference page citation on this source, as well. (Note: the researchers may note that they used particular software to analyze the data, such as SAS, SPSS, Stata, etc. These are NOT descriptive or inferential statistics; they are software packages that can perform analysis of the data – for example, they can be programed to run Chi Square, T-Tests, ANOVAs, and more advanced analyses).


10.  Conclusions/implications/limitations

aIn light of this research experiment’s methods, what do you think is the major strength of this study?  Please support your response thoroughly. This question refers to the study methods, not the purpose or outcome of the study.


b.   In YOUR opinion what is/are the study’s major limitation/s?  Please support your response thoroughly. Again, this question is related to the study design and methodsnot the outcomes for the study.


c. Review the Acknowledgment section, or any area of your study that acknowledges funding sources, or other contributions.  As you review, think about the possibility of “funding bias” or “sponsorship bias” (i.e., might the study outcomes support the interests of, or favor the funders or sponsors of the research in some way?).

Define bias and indicate whether the funding source/s listed in this research study suggest that the study’s findings may be biased based upon the funding source or sponsor of the study?  Please defend your answer thoroughly and let me hear that you understand the research concept of bias in your response!






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