Research Theory, Design, and Methods
Use the following criteria to evaluate an author’s research questions and/or hypotheses.
Look for indications of the following:
• Is the research question(s) a logical extension of the purpose of the study?
• Does the research question(s) reflect the best question to address the problem?
• Does the research question(s) align with the design of the study?
• Does the research question(s) align with the method identified for collecting data?
• If the study is qualitative, does the research question(s) do as follows?
• Relate the central question to the qualitative approach
• Begin with What or How (not Why)
• Focus on a single phenomenon
• Use exploratory verbs
• Use nondirectional language
• Use an open-ended format
• Specify the participants and research site If the study is quantitative:
• Do the descriptive questions seek to describe responses to major variables?
• Do the inferential questions seek to compare groups or relate variables?
• Do the inferential questions follow from a theory?
• Are the variables positioned consistently from independent/predictor to dependent/outcome in the inferential questions?
• Is a null and/or alternative hypothesis provided as a predictive statement?
• Is the hypothesis consistent with its respective research question?
• Does the question(s) and/or hypothesis specify the participants and research site?
If the study is mixed methods, do the research questions and/or hypotheses do the following?
• Include the characteristics of a good qualitative research question (as listed above)
• Include the characteristics of a good quantitative research and/or hypothesis (as listed above)
• Indicate how the researcher will mix or integrate the two approaches of the study
• Specify the participants and research site
• Convey the overall intent of the study that calls for a mixed methods approach