Research Methods for Professional Practice
Outline details of the assessment
The introduction should be brief, but it will need to include:-
• Several introductory sentences (2-3) about the need for research to inform practice and that
having an understanding of research methods is important for nurses and midwives.
• You should state which element of the methods you are looking at (sampling or data
collection tools or data analysis)
• You should say why you have selected that element.
Overall, in the main body you should compare, contrast and analyse the same element of the
methods section you have chosen from the two articles. This element should be one of the
sampling or data collection tools or data analysis
You should be presenting arguments to show why the strategies used in that element of the method
were used, the advantages and potential disadvantages of those strategies and how those may have
influenced the validity and reliability of the study. 6
You could also pose potential alternatives e.g. if they could have collected their data via
questionnaires rather than interviews, but if you do this you will need to explain why you think that
(but this should only be a small part of the word count).
Your arguments must be supported with contemporary research methods literature.
(Please note the main body must NOT be written in two halves one describing the method in
the first study and the second half describing the method in the second study, because you
will not have compared, contrasted and analysed the methods if you do this)
The conclusion should be fairly brief and it should bring together the main points discussed in the
main body of the essay. You should not have any new information in the conclusion.
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