Namely Evaluating the Structure of the Research Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

namely, evaluating the structure of the research upon which scientific conclusion are drawn. More specifically, the function of a research report (article) is to inform readers about the problem being investigated, the methods used to solve the problem, the results of the investigation, and the conclusions being inferred from the results. The printed manuscript is to inform the reader, as expeditiously as possible, what was done, the outcome of the doing, and the investigator's conclusion.

In addition to the above, research reports must be succinct, objective, and crystalline. The ultimate test of an excellent research report is in its ability to be replicated by those who read it. If this criterion cannot be met, then the report is inadequate. The remainder of this review will be an analysis of a particular professional article wherein a group of nurses were interviewed and questioned with respect to their knowledge about promoting sun care from a personal perspective. Further, as stated in the assignment guidelines the paper will be pay particular attention to the following: substantive qualities (research significance, variable identification, supportive literature, conceptual framework), research methodology, research ethics, data interpretation, writing and presentation style, and quality of presentation and writing. The specific title of the article is as follows: Morrison, G. (1996). Sun exposure and skin cancer development: Nurses' attitudes, Nursing Standard. 10, 36, 39-42.

Substantive Qualities All empirical research reports, albeit medical, sociological, psychological, or educational, must first be well-defined, remindful of ambiguity, and reader friendly -- even for those who are not pundits in the subject matter being reported upon. The research article written by Morrison (1996) not only began with a weakened abstract but the title of the article did not match the stated research purpose or stated aims. The title referenced nursing attitudes toward sun exposure and cancer but the stated research purpose informed the reader that an assessment and examination would be conducted with respect to nursing attitudes toward and knowledge of sun exposure and skin cancer. The term "knowledge gap" was completely omitted from the title. Further, using the terms examination and assessment in a research investigation alerts the reader to the idea that the research is to be quantitative and, as such, will pose a quantifiable research question and testable null hypothesis. Unfortunately Morrison did not take this into account. The research reported upon ended up to as a rather loose assessment of personal nursing attitudes and content knowledge deficiency about sun exposure and skin cancer. The study should have formulated, from the beginning, a researchable question such as: To what extent does there exist a statistically significant difference in the nursing attitudes and knowledge toward the effects of sun exposure on the rate of skin melanoma. The resulting hypothesis, null form, would, therefore, have been stated as such: There exists no statistically significant difference (?<.05 or 0.01 -- depending on the validity and reliability of the measurement instrument) in nursing attitudes and content knowledge toward sun exposure and skin cancer. Without a research question and testable hypothesis there is no basis for the study and all results are declared unusable and without validity and reliability. In addition, with the absence of an identifiable research question and hypotheses the author was unable to properly identify the quantifiable variables (i.e., independent and dependent) that are necessary later on to interpret the findings listed in the report.

When a research question and stated null hypothesis have been formulated it is the responsibility of the investigator to provide background information, visa via a literature review, as to the necessity of conducting the research. Although a subtle and often committed research error, the literature review should never have pre-empted Morrison's statement of aims. Literature reviews are to support the need for a study, not give rise to a study. The present study failed to produce historical information as to the need for the research. The literature review did not present, nor analyze, existing statistically significant research findings that dealt with similar issues, or the absence of issues, other than reporting a few studies that provided simple percentages with respect to sun exposure and skin cancer rates. In fact the review failed to precisely reference previous studies that would support or not support the present investigation. Most noteworthy is the fact that the present investigation presented itself as being pivotal…

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