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How to Critically Analyze Any Kind of Research

  • April 10, 2016
Content how to critically analyze any kind of research

When students are considering a research idea, they must rely on earlier results on the topic.  The work that was previously done is the basis of their research and will determine the value and course.  It’s vital to analyze critically the scientific evidence that exists and know what information is considered as plausible.  They need to determine if they can trust the result by finding out how it was conducted.  These are some things to consider when doing the research article. 

These are some of the features of critical writing:

  • Plain and confident rejection to agree with the conclusions of others without analyzing the evidence and arguments provided
  • Balanced demonstration of reasons why the deductions of other writers may be treated with care or accepted
  • Presentation of the students’ argument and evidence leading to the conclusion
  • Recognizing the limitations of the students’ own proof, reason, and assumption

Some of the feedback received from professors is that the student’s paper didn't have an adequate critical analysis or was too descriptive.  These are some ideas to demonstrate a higher level of the analysis in the students’ writing.

Academic voice

Students are developing their own academic voice when they’re engaging in critical writing.  These are a few suggestions to distinguish between an academic and a non-academic voice.

  • Skepticism – not cynicism
  • Confidence – not arrogance
  • Judgment – not dismissive
  • Opinions – not prejudiced

Students need to get into the habit of reading critically so they can write critically.

The research question

Students need to analyze the research paper to make it clear what they are aiming for.  It should be plainly defined especially if they’re new.  They need to pay attention to see if there are any errors in the logic.

The sample

In order to come up with a dependable conclusion, the sample will need to be adequate and representative.  This will depend on the assignment and the technique of selection.  The power of analysis can determine the size of an adequate sample.

Control of the perplexing variables

Irrelevant variation can possibly influence the findings of the research.  Therefore, the students need to use methods to control them.

Research design

The design of the research should be appropriate to answer the question of the research.  Readers need to distinguish the real untried designs with an arbitrary assignment from previous research models that were pre-experimental.

Criteria measures

These measures must show validity and reliability for the dependent and independent variable.

Analysis of data

Suitable numerical tests should be used for the kind of data that was obtained and suppositions met for their use.  Students should clearly label the figures and tables using different sizing throughout for more emphasis.

With critical writing, students are taking part in an academic debate which can be risky and challenging.  They need to consider the analysis and arguments of other writers and then interject their own.  Students will need to do the following:

  • Read and reflect on the quality of the facts and argument
  • Recognize essential positive and negative positions to comment on
  • Measure their usefulness and relevance to be debated
  • Identify how to weave them into the developing argument

Included quotes

Students can be tempted to insert a lot of quotes in their argument thinking that it will make it stronger.  However, every quote has to be interpreted, relevance explained, validity shown, and demonstrated how each one relates to the other evidence.

Discussions and conclusion

It should be indicated if generalization was allowed in the study along with any limitations.  These should be uniform with the results of the study.  An ordinary mistake is to emphasize results that are in agreement with the expectations of the researcher.

Is it worth including?

It’s necessary to have a small amount of descriptive writing at the beginning of the essay.  After that, too much of it will take from the word limit.  The critical writing is the part that brings the higher grades.  So a good habit for students to have is making sure that if some relevant evidence is described in the argument, they need to say why it’s relevant.  This logic will contribute to the critical part of the paper.

Checklist

Now the students need to take a look at the paper before submitting it.  These are some questions to take into consideration.

  • Is the reader convinced?

Remember that the readers of your work have to be persuaded by the words.  It’s important to read through the paper to see if it reveals any gaps in the logic, which the student can resolve before submitting it to be critiqued by others.

  • Is the conclusion supported? 

Go over the conclusions that have been drawn, and then locate the evidence that supported it.  This will alert the students if they’ve left out any crucial evidence.  It will also ensure that it makes sense.

  • Are there any unproven statements?

Sometimes a simplified, far-reaching statement may slip through.  It may be accepted in a conversation, but not in a research paper.  These three things will help deal with these statements.

  • Present evidence supporting the statement
  • Change the statement to sound more restrained
  • Or, simply remove the statement