Evaluation of a Quantitative Study

For this assignment you will locate an article from the peer-reviewed, scholarly journals in your field using one of the databases available in the Capella University Library. This assignment should be between 4 and 6 pages in length, double spaced using 12-point Times New Roman font, not counting the title page and reference page.

You will notice the running head contains the words “evaluation of a quantitative study” and it is presented in all capitals. Also, notice that the words “running head” appear only on the first page and just the running head itself appears on subsequent pages.

Next, notice that the title on the second page above is centered and capitalized but it is not in bold. This follows the example on page 42 of the APA Manual and also a second example found on page 54. Below you will notice that headings have been provided for this assignment. They follow the protocols for formatting level one and two headings found on page 62 and the example presented on page 58 of the APA Manual. It is sound practice to consult the APA Manual for formatting guidance.

In the section immediately under the title, you are to provide a brief introduction to your assignment; however, you should not create a heading that states “Introduction.” You should present your introduction without a heading in order to comply with the guidance offered on page 63 of the APA Manual. Your introduction should tell the reader what the paper is about, such as what study is being evaluated and how your evaluation will proceed. A single brief paragraph is all that is required. You can find more information about how to develop an introduction at the Capella Writing Center.

Evaluation of the Research Problem

In most cases the research problem appears early on in a research report. However, it is not always set off in its own section with a clear heading identifying it. You may have to do a bit of detective work to locate the description of the research problem. In your own words, without using direct quotes, summarize the research problem.

Evaluating the Significance of the Problem

Address the following questions.

Does the problem statement indicate a counseling issue to study? You will have to make a judgment call as to whether or not the research article addresses a counseling issue and explain why or why not you have taken this position.

Has the author provided evidence that this issue is important? Briefly describe the evidence presented in the discussion of the research problem that demonstrates this is an important issue deserving of being researched. Summarize in your own words, not direct quotes, the evidence presented and explain your own view of whether or not this is an important issue.

Evaluation of the Literature Review

Sometimes the literature review is nicely organized and set off in its own section with thoughtful headings. In other instances, comments on the literature associated with the research topic are scattered throughout the research report. Develop your evaluation of the literature review portion of the article. Points to think about in your evaluation are how well the author(s) tell the story of the topic by synthesizing the literature they have reviewed, and what themes are present in the literature review. Another point to consider is whether it appears that the author(s) conducted an unbiased review of the literature, presenting more than one possible point of view.

Evaluation of Research Design, Purpose Statement, Questions and Hypotheses

Quantitative is a broad approach to research, consisting of many specific research designs. Examples are: correlation, experimental, quasi-experimental, survey, and many more. Each research design has been developed to address certain kinds of research questions. Researchers should explicitly state the name of their chosen research design, but sometimes they do not.

Likewise, sometimes authors state their purpose statement, research questions and hypotheses very clearly and sometimes they do not. Use your growing knowledge to find these elements in the article you are evaluating.

Research Design

Name the research design used and briefly, in your own words, describe how this design is going to address what the researchers want to know. For example, a correlational design will show the degree and type of relationship between two or more variables.

Research Purpose Statement

The research purpose statement declares the intent of the study. An example is: The purpose of the study is to determine the effectiveness of computer-mediated counseling on depression. Identify the research purpose statement, and offer your thoughtful opinion on how the author(s) presented their purpose. If you found the purpose statement lacking, be specific as to why.

Research Questions

Research questions may be stated as questions or declarative statements. They have a specific focus. An example is: Does computer-mediated cognitive behavioral counseling reduce depression symptoms in clients? Sometimes the research questions are clearly identified in a research report, other times you have to look for them, and sometimes they are not presented at all. Examine your article and list the research questions if they are presented. Offer your opinion on how well the research question was developed. There may be more than one research question.


Hypotheses indicate the researcher’s educated guess as to the answer to the research question. Hypotheses are declarative and stated in specific terms that are measurable. An example is: Clients who experience computer-mediated cognitive behavioral counseling will score lower on the Beck Depression Inventory II. If hypotheses are stated in your article, include them in your paper. These can be direct quotes, properly cited.

Evaluation of Data Collection Plan

Selection of Participants

In your own words, without using direct quotes, describe how participants were selected for this study. Identify the type of sampling strategy that was used in this research study. It will probably be explicitly stated in the article, using terms such as probability, simple random, systematic, stratified, multistage cluster. Explain why you have taken this position (other than, it says so in the article). Offer your opinion of how the selection of participants could be improved in order to produce a stronger study. Go beyond simply saying the sample could be larger, which would not demonstrate your growing knowledge of the purpose of specific sampling strategies.

Gaining Permission

Briefly summarize how the researchers gained permission to enter the research site or access participants, and also how they obtained informed consent from the research participants to gather data. If this is not described in the research report, offer a brief explanation of how you would have gained permission and informed consent if you were conducting the research project. Offer an evaluation of whether or not the researchers gained permission according to ethical standards.

Determining the Data to Collect

In your own words, without using direct quotes, briefly describe the data that was collected in order to fulfill the study’s purpose and answer the research question(s). Your description should focus on the variables of the study. If the authors offer an explanation of how the variables were operationalized include that in your description. Offer an evaluation of the appropriateness of the data that were collected in order to meet the study’s goals.

Data Collection Instruments

Did the researchers develop a new instrument, modify an existing instrument, or use an existing instrument in its entirety? What evidence is presented in the research report to indicate the instrument is reliable and valid? Offer an evaluation of the quality and appropriateness of the data collection instruments.

Administering Data Collection

In your own words, briefly describe how the data were collected with special emphasis on standardization and ethical issues. In your opinion, were the issues of standardization and ethics appropriately addressed in the research project?

Evaluation of Data Analysis and Interpretation Plan

In quantitative research designs, statistics are used for data analysis. Counselors should be familiar with the statistical tests that are most often used to analyze data in the social and behavioral sciences. Even if they never conduct a statistical calculation, counselors are expected to know which statistical tests are used to answer which kinds of research questions that are relevant to the counseling field. For example: correlations (there are many specific kinds) are calculated to analyze the degree of relationship between two or more variables.

Preparing Data for Analysis

In your own words, briefly describe how the researchers prepared their data for analysis. For example if a survey was used for data collection, did they report on the response rate? Offer an evaluation of the effectiveness of this preparation process.

Analysis of the Data

In your own words briefly describe how the researchers analyzed the data and offer an evaluation of the effectiveness of the process. What statistical tests were used to answer the research question, and more specifically, address any hypotheses?

Reporting the Results

In your own words, briefly describe how the researchers reported the results. Your description should identify if they used tables, figures, or discussion. Offer an evaluation of the effectiveness of the reporting strategy used.

Interpreting the Results

In your own words, briefly summarize the interpretation of the results provided by the researchers. Your summary should also include any limitations of the study presented in the research report. If no limitations are offered by the authors, present what you consider to be its limitations.

Evaluation of Ethical and Culturally Relevant Strategies

Although you may have touched on these topics elsewhere in the paper, in this section offer your observations of how the researchers applied ethical and culturally relevant strategies to their study. Evaluate their appropriateness and offer suggestions for improvement if applicable. Be specific in order to demonstrate your growing knowledge of ethical and cultural issues in research.


Offer your overall assessment of the quality of the research report. Explain how you could use the information in the research report to inform your own work in the counseling profession. Complete the reference section below using correct APA formatting.


Use this area to list the resources you cited in your paper. The reference below provides an example citation for an article. For more information about References, see chapter 7 in the APA 6th Edition Manual. Delete this text before submitting your assignment.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume#(issue#), xx–xx.

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