Assignment 1: Critical Analysis of Three Papers
|Question # 48085||Writing||2 months ago|
EPDM95 RESEARCH METHODS IN EDUCATION
ASSIGNMENT 1 GUIDANCE
Assignment 1: Critical Analysis of Three Papers (2300-2400 words)
Critically analyse and contrast (referring to methodological literature) the methodologies of three research papers of your own choosing, ideally on a similar subject. Write the comparisons of the papers in sections under the following headings:
1. Research Design and Justification
2. Selection Procedures for participants and ethical issues
3. Data Collection Procedures
4. Data Quality Procedures
5. Data Management and Analysis
You will need to choose a subject/topic in education and find three research papers on it which explain something about the methodology the researchers used for their research. Remember to focus on the methodology of the papers, not the topic itself. However, if you choose papers related to the topic of Assignment 2, it may help you when writing your proposal as you will have already engaged with the topic, but it is not essential.
You will need to give the full references of all three papers at the start of your assignment (or as an appendices) using Harvard Referencing convention (see Cite Them Right on the University library website for guidance). Label each as Paper 1, Paper 2 or Paper 3 as you can then just use these names when referring to them in your discussion, rather than providing the citation (e.g. ‘Paper 1 has chosen a qualitative design….’).
You are looking to compare and contrast the methodologies the authors used, referring to relevant methodological literature throughout. Please note: you cannot pass this without discussion of the methodological literature.
Try to consider thoughtfully what was useful or problematic about the chosen methodologies and methods, how they differed, or how they might have been improved. All methodologies and methods have advantages and disadvantages. Critical analysis means well-informed discussion and analysis of the methodology in these papers, and comparing the decisions to general methodological literature (i.e. refer continually to other reading about methodology) to create an informed argument.
Try not to waste many words describing the subject or findings. A simple explanation of the topic they address is sufficient as you need to focus on the methodological decisions. If their explanation of the methodology is inadequate in places – for example, they don’t justify their methods or mention ethics – then say so, and find general methodological literature that outlines the importance of these justifications. If it is a very good and appropriate methodology for the questions researched, then say so and use literature to show why it is.
Section 1: Research Design and Justification
What was the overall approach and structure of the study (e.g. qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods)? Did they use a specific methodological approach (e.g. ethnography/case study etc), and why was this approach chosen? Do you think it was an appropriate approach? Justify your comments with reference to literature. Try to make analytical comments explaining strengths and weaknesses of the approach, or suggesting alternative approaches that might have been more effective. Avoid simple description without supporting citations.
Section 2: Selection Procedures for participants and ethical issues
What was the sample, sample size and sampling techniques? Was it appropriate to the aims of the study? Was it justified clearly? Justify your comments with reference to literature. Try to make analytical comments about samples; avoid simple description. Did the study raise ethical issues? Did the researchers discuss ethics? Make a critical comment and back by literature on ethics.
Section 3: Data Collection Procedures
Discuss the appropriateness of the chosen methods. Justify your comments/discussion with references to general methodological literature that outlines the pros and cons of data collection methods. What are the limitations of certain methods (e.g. questionnaires, observations, focus groups)? Why, despite these limitations, were these methods still (or not) appropriate for the research study? Did they help to gather data that would address the research aims?
Section 4: Data Quality Procedures
How the quality of the data was ensured (e.g. triangulation, validity, reliability etc)? Was it discussed in sufficient detail to be convincing? Was the credibility of the study justified? Make reference to methodological literature which discusses these important areas to support your argument.
Section 5: Data Management and Analysis
Were the authors clear about how they analysed the data they had collected? Did they outline their findings clearly so that the reader could make their own judgements on the presentation and credibility of the data? Use literature to support your arguments about whether the management and analysis of the data answered the overall research aims. Do not describe how this was achieved, but rather be analytical about whether the decisions made were appropriate. If you think they were not appropriate, why not, and support with reference to other authors who would support your view.
Please ensure you use the Harvard Referencing system. If you are unsure, you can access Cite Them Right online from the library using your University ID and password. Do not copy text from the internet or other sources unless you put it in quotes and provide the source and page number as this will be flagged up by Turnitin and can be construed as plagiarism. Please do not copy chunks from the articles you are analysing; instead, use your own words by paraphrasing the main ideas.
Reference List: It is impossible to gain a pass on this piece of work without reading and referring to a range of books/journal articles on methodology. Please provide a full reference list of the citations used within your assignment, according to Harvard Referencing conventions. Please be consistent in your referencing and try to provide a reference for every assertion that you present.