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Methods of data analysis

The ability to read, understand, critique, and integrate research studies and to design a study to address a gap in the research literature is a vital tool for a doctoral student. As you write your paper, you may be reading hundreds of studies, many of which you will evaluate as part of a coherent literature review. Select five empirical articles from peer-reviewed journals that: • you consider critical to your understanding of your area of dissertation research • all address a particular phenomenon and attempt to contribute to theory about it Part 1 1. Describe each study, including: • the research problem, questions, or hypotheses • the research purpose • type of design and elements of the design (e.g., sample, data analysis, operationalization of constructs) • threats to validity and if and how they were addressed • the findings and their implications 2. Critically evaluate each study: Does the author make a compelling case for the meaning and significance of the findings? Be sure to address all pieces of Part 1 here. If need be, revisit your research design and research methods textbooks and possibly utilize a tutor to help you with any areas that you may have questions about. It is required that you are familiar with the academic research meaning for the term “construct” and types of validity and threats to validity. These sites provide an overview but a textbook will help – http://web.pdx.edu/~stipakb/download/PA555/ResearchDesign.html and http://www.creative-wisdom.com/teaching/WBI/threat.shtml Please contact me with any questions. Part 2 Write a literature review that explains what is known and not known about the phenomenon based on a critical evaluation of the five studies. This is straight-forward. Please contact me with any questions. Part 3 Develop a research question that addresses one of the unknowns you identified in Part 2 and sketch a quantitative or qualitative study that can answer the question about what is unknown and contribute to theory (in some sense of theory you discuss in Question 1). Address: • the research purpose • type of design and elements of the design (e.g., sample, the type of data you need to collect and how you will collect it, data analysis) • the strengths and weaknesses of your envisioned design and methods • quantitative: threats to validity and how your design will address them • quantitative: the constructs you will measure and what you will do in order to determine how to operationalize them (you need not identify specific measures) • qualitative: your means of ensuring the quality of your findings • justification for why your chosen design and methods are more appropriate for your research question than alternatives you have considered • your methods of data analysis • how the data you collect will enable you to answer your research question and contribute to theory Draw on the additional resources for this course for guidance in understanding the concepts (e.g., internal validity, threats to validity, and operationalization) needed to address this question. Learning Outcomes: 1. Apply relevant theory and research from the student’s specialization coursework to real life situations where he or she solves specific problems and discusses implications. The advice given in Part 1 of question 3, also applies here.

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