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How To Judge The Quality Of A Research Paper: Useful Instructions

Each time we have any research paper to write, it is not a strange act that we usually rely on previous materials prepared on the same topic. Gathering information from already done work in the same field builds the foundation for our own work. It also goes a long way to determine the value of the paper we are working on. This is the major reason why it is important that you are wary of inaccurate findings because it means your own project will be built around fallacies. You need to extract findings and helpful information from quality projects. Yes, make sure of evidence before you use it.

Now that you know this, the question on your mind should be, how then can I confirm the quality of a paper or the authenticity of the information contained therein? Well, as you go through academic databases or search for papers online, listed below are some of the things that would help you determine the quality of the work you want to base your researches on. They are:

  • Evaluate the research question: On this note, the question should not only be clear but also informative as far as the aim of the project is concerned. If there are new terms included, they should be defined. Are there any errors in logic? If yes, then dump that particular research paper.
  • Evaluate the sample: Any sample contained in an academic project should be adequate and representative. The representativeness of such sample however, is mainly determined by the method of selection chosen and the assignment.
  • Evaluate the author’s control of confounding variables: Extraneous variation is known to have impact on researches and as such, there should be proper application of methods to effectively control relevant confounding variables.
  • Evaluate the research design: For a quality paper, the design should be such that answers the research question. If you are not able to distinguish between true experimental designs from pre-experimental designs, then the quality of such paper is not on par.
  • Data analysis: There should be appropriate application of statistical tests for data obtained. If multiple comparisons are performed in the project, then post hoc tests need to be applied. Clear labeling of tables and figures is also a must. There should also be inclusion of effect sizes as it indicates the impact of the variables.
  • Evaluate the discussion and conclusion: Limitations of such study should be mentioned and more so, the discussion and conclusion should be such that is consistent with the research paper’s results.

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