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How to Review a Journal Article

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For many kinds of assignments, like a  literature review , you may be asked to offer a critique or review of a journal article. This is an opportunity for you as a scholar to offer your  qualified opinion  and  evaluation  of how another scholar has composed their article, argument, and research. That means you will be expected to go beyond a simple  summary  of the article and evaluate it on a deeper level. As a college student, this might sound intimidating. However, as you engage with the research process, you are becoming immersed in a particular topic, and your insights about the way that topic is presented are valuable and can contribute to the overall conversation surrounding your topic.


Some disciplines, like Criminal Justice, may only want you to summarize the article without including your opinion or evaluation. If your assignment is to summarize the article only, please see our literature review handout.

Before getting started on the critique, it is important to review the article thoroughly and critically. To do this, we recommend take notes,  annotating , and reading the article several times before critiquing. As you read, be sure to note important items like the thesis, purpose, research questions, hypotheses, methods, evidence, key findings, major conclusions, tone, and publication information. Depending on your writing context, some of these items may not be applicable.

Questions to Consider

To evaluate a source, consider some of the following questions. They are broken down into different categories, but answering these questions will help you consider what areas to examine. With each category, we recommend identifying the strengths and weaknesses in each since that is a critical part of evaluation.

Evaluating Purpose and Argument

  • How well is the purpose made clear in the introduction through background/context and thesis?
  • How well does the abstract represent and summarize the article’s major points and argument?
  • How well does the objective of the experiment or of the observation fill a need for the field?
  • How well is the argument/purpose articulated and discussed throughout the body of the text?
  • How well does the discussion maintain cohesion?

Evaluating the Presentation/Organization of Information

  • How appropriate and clear is the title of the article?
  • Where could the author have benefited from expanding, condensing, or omitting ideas?
  • How clear are the author’s statements? Challenge ambiguous statements.
  • What underlying assumptions does the author have, and how does this affect the credibility or clarity of their article?
  • How objective is the author in his or her discussion of the topic?
  • How well does the organization fit the article’s purpose and articulate key goals?

Evaluating Methods

  • How appropriate are the study design and methods for the purposes of the study?
  • How detailed are the methods being described? Is the author leaving out important steps or considerations?
  • Have the procedures been presented in enough detail to enable the reader to duplicate them?

Evaluating Data

  • Scan and spot-check calculations. Are the statistical methods appropriate?
  • Do you find any content repeated or duplicated?
  • How many errors of fact and interpretation does the author include? (You can check on this by looking up the references the author cites).
  • What pertinent literature has the author cited, and have they used this literature appropriately?

Following, we have an example of a summary and an evaluation of a research article. Note that in most literature review contexts, the summary and evaluation would be much shorter. This extended example shows the different ways a student can critique and write about an article.

Chik, A. (2012). Digital gameplay for autonomous foreign language learning: Gamers’ and language teachers’ perspectives. In H. Reinders (ed.),  Digital games in language learning and teaching  (pp. 95-114). Eastbourne, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Be sure to include the full citation either in a reference page or near your evaluation if writing an  annotated bibliography .

In Chik’s article “Digital Gameplay for Autonomous Foreign Language Learning: Gamers’ and Teachers’ Perspectives”, she explores the ways in which “digital gamers manage gaming and gaming-related activities to assume autonomy in their foreign language learning,” (96) which is presented in contrast to how teachers view the “pedagogical potential” of gaming. The research was described as an “umbrella project” consisting of two parts. The first part examined 34 language teachers’ perspectives who had limited experience with gaming (only five stated they played games regularly) (99). Their data was recorded through a survey, class discussion, and a seven-day gaming trial done by six teachers who recorded their reflections through personal blog posts. The second part explored undergraduate gaming habits of ten Hong Kong students who were regular gamers. Their habits were recorded through language learning histories, videotaped gaming sessions, blog entries of gaming practices, group discussion sessions, stimulated recall sessions on gaming videos, interviews with other gamers, and posts from online discussion forums. The research shows that while students recognize the educational potential of games and have seen benefits of it in their lives, the instructors overall do not see the positive impacts of gaming on foreign language learning.

The summary includes the article’s purpose, methods, results, discussion, and citations when necessary.

This article did a good job representing the undergraduate gamers’ voices through extended quotes and stories. Particularly for the data collection of the undergraduate gamers, there were many opportunities for an in-depth examination of their gaming practices and histories. However, the representation of the teachers in this study was very uneven when compared to the students. Not only were teachers labeled as numbers while the students picked out their own pseudonyms, but also when viewing the data collection, the undergraduate students were more closely examined in comparison to the teachers in the study. While the students have fifteen extended quotes describing their experiences in their research section, the teachers only have two of these instances in their section, which shows just how imbalanced the study is when presenting instructor voices.

Some research methods, like the recorded gaming sessions, were only used with students whereas teachers were only asked to blog about their gaming experiences. This creates a richer narrative for the students while also failing to give instructors the chance to have more nuanced perspectives. This lack of nuance also stems from the emphasis of the non-gamer teachers over the gamer teachers. The non-gamer teachers’ perspectives provide a stark contrast to the undergraduate gamer experiences and fits neatly with the narrative of teachers not valuing gaming as an educational tool. However, the study mentioned five teachers that were regular gamers whose perspectives are left to a short section at the end of the presentation of the teachers’ results. This was an opportunity to give the teacher group a more complex story, and the opportunity was entirely missed.

Additionally, the context of this study was not entirely clear. The instructors were recruited through a master’s level course, but the content of the course and the institution’s background is not discussed. Understanding this context helps us understand the course’s purpose(s) and how those purposes may have influenced the ways in which these teachers interpreted and saw games. It was also unclear how Chik was connected to this masters’ class and to the students. Why these particular teachers and students were recruited was not explicitly defined and also has the potential to skew results in a particular direction.

Overall, I was inclined to agree with the idea that students can benefit from language acquisition through gaming while instructors may not see the instructional value, but I believe the way the research was conducted and portrayed in this article made it very difficult to support Chik’s specific findings.

Some professors like you to begin an evaluation with something positive but isn’t always necessary.

The evaluation is clearly organized and uses transitional phrases when moving to a new topic.

This evaluation includes a summative statement that gives the overall impression of the article at the end, but this can also be placed at the beginning of the evaluation.

This evaluation mainly discusses the representation of data and methods. However, other areas, like organization, are open to critique.

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  • How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.

What makes an effective discussion?

When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.

A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:

  • the results of your research,
  • a discussion of related research, and
  • a comparison between your results and initial hypothesis.

Tip: Not all journals share the same naming conventions.

You can apply the advice in this article to the conclusion, results or discussion sections of your manuscript.

Our Early Career Researcher community tells us that the conclusion is often considered the most difficult aspect of a manuscript to write. To help, this guide provides questions to ask yourself, a basic structure to model your discussion off of and examples from published manuscripts. 

journal articles for discussion and evaluation

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Was my hypothesis correct?
  • If my hypothesis is partially correct or entirely different, what can be learned from the results? 
  • How do the conclusions reshape or add onto the existing knowledge in the field? What does previous research say about the topic? 
  • Why are the results important or relevant to your audience? Do they add further evidence to a scientific consensus or disprove prior studies? 
  • How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done? 
  • What is the “take-home” message you want your reader to leave with?

How to structure a discussion

Trying to fit a complete discussion into a single paragraph can add unnecessary stress to the writing process. If possible, you’ll want to give yourself two or three paragraphs to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of your study as a whole. Here’s one way to structure an effective discussion:

journal articles for discussion and evaluation

Writing Tips

While the above sections can help you brainstorm and structure your discussion, there are many common mistakes that writers revert to when having difficulties with their paper. Writing a discussion can be a delicate balance between summarizing your results, providing proper context for your research and avoiding introducing new information. Remember that your paper should be both confident and honest about the results! 

What to do

  • Read the journal’s guidelines on the discussion and conclusion sections. If possible, learn about the guidelines before writing the discussion to ensure you’re writing to meet their expectations. 
  • Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion. 
  • Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and limitations of the research. 
  • State whether the results prove or disprove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis was disproved, what might be the reasons? 
  • Introduce new or expanded ways to think about the research question. Indicate what next steps can be taken to further pursue any unresolved questions. 
  • If dealing with a contemporary or ongoing problem, such as climate change, discuss possible consequences if the problem is avoided. 
  • Be concise. Adding unnecessary detail can distract from the main findings. 

What not to do


  • Rewrite your abstract. Statements with “we investigated” or “we studied” generally do not belong in the discussion. 
  • Include new arguments or evidence not previously discussed. Necessary information and evidence should be introduced in the main body of the paper. 
  • Apologize. Even if your research contains significant limitations, don’t undermine your authority by including statements that doubt your methodology or execution. 
  • Shy away from speaking on limitations or negative results. Including limitations and negative results will give readers a complete understanding of the presented research. Potential limitations include sources of potential bias, threats to internal or external validity, barriers to implementing an intervention and other issues inherent to the study design. 
  • Overstate the importance of your findings. Making grand statements about how a study will fully resolve large questions can lead readers to doubt the success of the research. 

Snippets of Effective Discussions:

Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach

Identifying reliable indicators of fitness in polar bears

  • How to Write a Great Title
  • How to Write an Abstract
  • How to Write Your Methods
  • How to Report Statistics
  • How to Edit Your Work

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There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

journal articles for discussion and evaluation

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A Cross Section of Nursing Research: Journal Articles for Discussion and Evaluation

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journal articles for discussion and evaluation

A Cross Section of Nursing Research: Journal Articles for Discussion and Evaluation 5th Edition

  • Paperback $74.73 - $75.24 20 Used from $25.34 3 New from $73.04

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A Cross Section of Nursing Research: Journal Articles for Discussion and Evaluation

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• The 39 research articles in this collection illustrate a wide variety of models for both quantitative and qualitative nursing research.

•The lines in each article are sequentially numbered, which facilitates classroom discussions by allowing professors and students to pinpoint specific parts of an article.

•The articles have been carefully selected for use with students who are just beginning their study of research methods. The difficulty level will challenge but not overwhelm.

•Factual Questions at the end of each article draw students’ attention to methodologically important points.

•Questions for Discussion request students’ opinions on unique aspects of each article.

•Helps instructors avoid copyright infringement problems. The publisher has paid fees to the copyright holders for permission to include the research articles in this book.

• New to this edition: A copy of our Bonus Articles for A Cross Section of Nursing Research booklet is included free of charge.

•The research articles are classified under these major headings: •nonexperimental quantitative research •true experimental research •quasi-experimental research •pre-experimental research •qualitative research •combined qualitative and quantitative research •test reliability and validity research •meta analysis. The articles have been drawn from a wide variety of journals such as: •Behavior Modification •Cancer Nursing •Computers in Nursing •Computers, Informatics, Nursing •Health Education & Behavior •Issues in Mental Health Nursing •Journal for Nurses in Staff Development •Journal of Community Health Nursing •Journal of Gerontological Nursing •Journal of Nursing Care Quality •Journal of Pediatric Nursing •Journal of Research in Nursing •Journal of the Society of Pediatric Nurses •Nurse Educator •Nursing Research •Psychological Reports •Public Health Nursing •Rehabilitation Nursing •Research in Nursing & Health •The Journal of Nursing Administration •Western Journal of Nursing Research

  • ISBN-10 1884585965
  • ISBN-13 978-1884585968
  • Edition 5th
  • Publisher Routledge
  • Publication date January 1, 2011
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Print length 304 pages
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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Routledge; 5th edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1884585965
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1884585968
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.2 pounds
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  • #196 in Nursing Research & Theory (Books)
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  • How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

How to Write a Discussion Section | Tips & Examples

Published on August 21, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 18, 2023.

Discussion section flow chart

The discussion section is where you delve into the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results .

It should focus on explaining and evaluating what you found, showing how it relates to your literature review and paper or dissertation topic , and making an argument in support of your overall conclusion. It should not be a second results section.

There are different ways to write this section, but you can focus your writing around these key elements:

  • Summary : A brief recap of your key results
  • Interpretations: What do your results mean?
  • Implications: Why do your results matter?
  • Limitations: What can’t your results tell us?
  • Recommendations: Avenues for further studies or analyses

Table of contents

What not to include in your discussion section, step 1: summarize your key findings, step 2: give your interpretations, step 3: discuss the implications, step 4: acknowledge the limitations, step 5: share your recommendations, discussion section example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about discussion sections.

There are a few common mistakes to avoid when writing the discussion section of your paper.

  • Don’t introduce new results: You should only discuss the data that you have already reported in your results section .
  • Don’t make inflated claims: Avoid overinterpretation and speculation that isn’t directly supported by your data.
  • Don’t undermine your research: The discussion of limitations should aim to strengthen your credibility, not emphasize weaknesses or failures.

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journal articles for discussion and evaluation

Start this section by reiterating your research problem and concisely summarizing your major findings. To speed up the process you can use a summarizer to quickly get an overview of all important findings. Don’t just repeat all the data you have already reported—aim for a clear statement of the overall result that directly answers your main research question . This should be no more than one paragraph.

Many students struggle with the differences between a discussion section and a results section . The crux of the matter is that your results sections should present your results, and your discussion section should subjectively evaluate them. Try not to blend elements of these two sections, in order to keep your paper sharp.

  • The results indicate that…
  • The study demonstrates a correlation between…
  • This analysis supports the theory that…
  • The data suggest that…

The meaning of your results may seem obvious to you, but it’s important to spell out their significance for your reader, showing exactly how they answer your research question.

The form of your interpretations will depend on the type of research, but some typical approaches to interpreting the data include:

  • Identifying correlations , patterns, and relationships among the data
  • Discussing whether the results met your expectations or supported your hypotheses
  • Contextualizing your findings within previous research and theory
  • Explaining unexpected results and evaluating their significance
  • Considering possible alternative explanations and making an argument for your position

You can organize your discussion around key themes, hypotheses, or research questions, following the same structure as your results section. Alternatively, you can also begin by highlighting the most significant or unexpected results.

  • In line with the hypothesis…
  • Contrary to the hypothesized association…
  • The results contradict the claims of Smith (2022) that…
  • The results might suggest that x . However, based on the findings of similar studies, a more plausible explanation is y .

As well as giving your own interpretations, make sure to relate your results back to the scholarly work that you surveyed in the literature review . The discussion should show how your findings fit with existing knowledge, what new insights they contribute, and what consequences they have for theory or practice.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your results support or challenge existing theories? If they support existing theories, what new information do they contribute? If they challenge existing theories, why do you think that is?
  • Are there any practical implications?

Your overall aim is to show the reader exactly what your research has contributed, and why they should care.

  • These results build on existing evidence of…
  • The results do not fit with the theory that…
  • The experiment provides a new insight into the relationship between…
  • These results should be taken into account when considering how to…
  • The data contribute a clearer understanding of…
  • While previous research has focused on  x , these results demonstrate that y .

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journal articles for discussion and evaluation

Even the best research has its limitations. Acknowledging these is important to demonstrate your credibility. Limitations aren’t about listing your errors, but about providing an accurate picture of what can and cannot be concluded from your study.

Limitations might be due to your overall research design, specific methodological choices , or unanticipated obstacles that emerged during your research process.

Here are a few common possibilities:

  • If your sample size was small or limited to a specific group of people, explain how generalizability is limited.
  • If you encountered problems when gathering or analyzing data, explain how these influenced the results.
  • If there are potential confounding variables that you were unable to control, acknowledge the effect these may have had.

After noting the limitations, you can reiterate why the results are nonetheless valid for the purpose of answering your research question.

  • The generalizability of the results is limited by…
  • The reliability of these data is impacted by…
  • Due to the lack of data on x , the results cannot confirm…
  • The methodological choices were constrained by…
  • It is beyond the scope of this study to…

Based on the discussion of your results, you can make recommendations for practical implementation or further research. Sometimes, the recommendations are saved for the conclusion .

Suggestions for further research can lead directly from the limitations. Don’t just state that more studies should be done—give concrete ideas for how future work can build on areas that your own research was unable to address.

  • Further research is needed to establish…
  • Future studies should take into account…
  • Avenues for future research include…

Discussion section example

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:

  • Your  interpretations : what do the results tell us?
  • The  implications : why do the results matter?
  • The  limitation s : what can’t the results tell us?

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

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How to write a discussion section?

Writing manuscripts to describe study outcomes, although not easy, is the main task of an academician. The aim of the present review is to outline the main aspects of writing the discussion section of a manuscript. Additionally, we address various issues regarding manuscripts in general. It is advisable to work on a manuscript regularly to avoid losing familiarity with the article. On principle, simple, clear and effective language should be used throughout the text. In addition, a pre-peer review process is recommended to obtain feedback on the manuscript. The discussion section can be written in 3 parts: an introductory paragraph, intermediate paragraphs and a conclusion paragraph. For intermediate paragraphs, a “divide and conquer” approach, meaning a full paragraph describing each of the study endpoints, can be used. In conclusion, academic writing is similar to other skills, and practice makes perfect.


Sharing knowledge produced during academic life is achieved through writing manuscripts. However writing manuscripts is a challenging endeavour in that we physicians have a heavy workload, and English which is common language used for the dissemination of scientific knowledge is not our mother tongue.

The objective of this review is to summarize the method of writing ‘Discussion’ section which is the most important, but probably at the same time the most unlikable part of a manuscript, and demonstrate the easy ways we applied in our practice, and finally share the frequently made relevant mistakes. During this procedure, inevitably some issues which concerns general concept of manuscript writing process are dealt with. Therefore in this review we will deal with topics related to the general aspects of manuscript writing process, and specifically issues concerning only the ‘Discussion’ section.

A) Approaches to general aspects of manuscript writing process:

1. what should be the strategy of sparing time for manuscript writing be.

Two different approaches can be formulated on this issue? One of them is to allocate at least 30 minutes a day for writing a manuscript which amounts to 3.5 hours a week. This period of time is adequate for completion of a manuscript within a few weeks which can be generally considered as a long time interval. Fundamental advantage of this approach is to gain a habit of making academic researches if one complies with the designated time schedule, and to keep the manuscript writing motivation at persistently high levels. Another approach concerning this issue is to accomplish manuscript writing process within a week. With the latter approach, the target is rapidly attained. However longer time periods spent in order to concentrate on the subject matter can be boring, and lead to loss of motivation. Daily working requirements unrelated to the manuscript writing might intervene, and prolong manuscript writing process. Alienation periods can cause loss of time because of need for recurrent literature reviews. The most optimal approach to manuscript writing process is daily writing strategy where higher levels of motivation are persistently maintained.

Especially before writing the manuscript, the most important step at the start is to construct a draft, and completion of the manuscript on a theoretical basis. Therefore, during construction of a draft, attention distracting environment should be avoided, and this step should be completed within 1–2 hours. On the other hand, manuscript writing process should begin before the completion of the study (even the during project stage). The justification of this approach is to see the missing aspects of the study and the manuscript writing methodology, and try to solve the relevant problems before completion of the study. Generally, after completion of the study, it is very difficult to solve the problems which might be discerned during the writing process. Herein, at least drafts of the ‘Introduction’, and ‘Material and Methods’ can be written, and even tables containing numerical data can be constructed. These tables can be written down in the ‘Results’ section. [ 1 ]

2. How should the manuscript be written?

The most important principle to be remembered on this issue is to obey the criteria of simplicity, clarity, and effectiveness. [ 2 ] Herein, do not forget that, the objective should be to share our findings with the readers in an easily comprehensible format. Our approach on this subject is to write all structured parts of the manuscript at the same time, and start writing the manuscript while reading the first literature. Thus newly arisen connotations, and self-brain gyms will be promptly written down. However during this process your outcomes should be revealed fully, and roughly the message of the manuscript which be delivered. Thus with this so-called ‘hunter’s approach’ the target can be achieved directly, and rapidly. Another approach is ‘collectioner’s approach. [ 3 ] In this approach, firstly, potential data, and literature studies are gathered, read, and then selected ones are used. Since this approach suits with surgical point of view, probably ‘hunter’s approach’ serves our purposes more appropriately. However, in parallel with academic development, our novice colleague ‘manuscripters’ can prefer ‘collectioner’s approach.’

On the other hand, we think that research team consisting of different age groups has some advantages. Indeed young colleagues have the enthusiasm, and energy required for the conduction of the study, while middle-aged researchers have the knowledge to manage the research, and manuscript writing. Experienced researchers make guiding contributions to the manuscript. However working together in harmony requires assignment of a chief researcher, and periodically organizing advancement meetings. Besides, talents, skills, and experiences of the researchers in different fields (ie. research methods, contact with patients, preparation of a project, fund-raising, statistical analysis etc.) will determine task sharing, and make a favourable contribution to the perfection of the manuscript. Achievement of the shared duties within a predetermined time frame will sustain the motivation of the researchers, and prevent wearing out of updated data.

According to our point of view, ‘Abstract’ section of the manuscript should be written after completion of the manuscript. The reason for this is that during writing process of the main text, the significant study outcomes might become insignificant or vice versa. However, generally, before onset of the writing process of the manuscript, its abstract might be already presented in various congresses. During writing process, this abstract might be a useful guide which prevents deviation from the main objective of the manuscript.

On the other hand references should be promptly put in place while writing the manuscript, Sorting, and placement of the references should not be left to the last moment. Indeed, it might be very difficult to remember relevant references to be placed in the ‘Discussion’ section. For the placement of references use of software programs detailed in other sections is a rational approach.

3. Which target journal should be selected?

In essence, the methodology to be followed in writing the ‘Discussion’ section is directly related to the selection of the target journal. Indeed, in compliance with the writing rules of the target journal, limitations made on the number of words after onset of the writing process, effects mostly the ‘Discussion’ section. Proper matching of the manuscript with the appropriate journal requires clear, and complete comprehension of the available data from scientific point of view. Previously, similar articles might have been published, however innovative messages, and new perspectives on the relevant subject will facilitate acceptance of the article for publication. Nowadays, articles questioning available information, rather than confirmatory ones attract attention. However during this process, classical information should not be questioned except for special circumstances. For example manuscripts which lead to the conclusions as “laparoscopic surgery is more painful than open surgery” or “laparoscopic surgery can be performed without prior training” will not be accepted or they will be returned by the editor of the target journal to the authors with the request of critical review. Besides the target journal to be selected should be ready to accept articles with similar concept. In fact editors of the journal will not reserve the limited space in their journal for articles yielding similar conclusions.

The title of the manuscript is as important as the structured sections * of the manuscript. The title can be the most striking or the newest outcome among results obtained.

Before writing down the manuscript, determination of 2–3 titles increases the motivation of the authors towards the manuscript. During writing process of the manuscript one of these can be selected based on the intensity of the discussion. However the suitability of the title to the agenda of the target journal should be investigated beforehand. For example an article bearing the title “Use of barbed sutures in laparoscopic partial nephrectomy shortens warm ischemia time” should not be sent to “Original Investigations and Seminars in Urologic Oncology” Indeed the topic of the manuscript is out of the agenda of this journal.

4. Do we have to get a pre-peer review about the written manuscript?

Before submission of the manuscript to the target journal the opinions of internal, and external referees should be taken. [ 1 ] Internal referees can be considered in 2 categories as “General internal referees” and “expert internal referees” General internal referees (ie. our colleagues from other medical disciplines) are not directly concerned with your subject matter but as mentioned above they critically review the manuscript as for simplicity, clarity, and effectiveness of its writing style. Expert internal reviewers have a profound knowledge about the subject, and they can provide guidance about the writing process of the manuscript (ie. our senior colleagues more experienced than us). External referees are our colleagues who did not contribute to data collection of our study in any way, but we can request their opinions about the subject matter of the manuscript. Since they are unrelated both to the author(s), and subject matter of the manuscript, these referees can review our manuscript more objectively. Before sending the manuscript to internal, and external referees, we should contact with them, and ask them if they have time to review our manuscript. We should also give information about our subject matter. Otherwise pre-peer review process can delay publication of the manuscript, and decrease motivation of the authors. In conclusion, whoever the preferred referee will be, these internal, and external referees should respond the following questions objectively. 1) Does the manuscript contribute to the literature?; 2) Does it persuasive? 3) Is it suitable for the publication in the selected journal? 4) Has a simple, clear, and effective language been used throughout the manuscript? In line with the opinions of the referees, the manuscript can be critically reviewed, and perfected. [ 1 ]**

Following receival of the opinions of internal, and external referees, one should concentrate priorly on indicated problems, and their solutions. Comments coming from the reviewers should be criticized, but a defensive attitude should not be assumed during this evaluation process. During this “incubation” period where the comments of the internal, and external referees are awaited, literature should be reviewed once more. Indeed during this time interval a new article which you should consider in the ‘Discussion’ section can be cited in the literature.

5. What are the common mistakes made related to the writing process of a manuscript?

Probably the most important mistakes made related to the writing process of a manuscript include lack of a clear message of the manuscript , inclusion of more than one main idea in the same text or provision of numerous unrelated results at the same time so as to reinforce the assertions of the manuscript. This approach can be termed roughly as “loss of the focus of the study” In conclusion, the author(s) should ask themselves the following question at every stage of the writing process:. “What is the objective of the study? If you always get clear-cut answers whenever you ask this question, then the study is proceeding towards the right direction. Besides application of a template which contains the intended clear-cut messages to be followed will contribute to the communication of net messages.

One of the important mistakes is refraining from critical review of the manuscript as a whole after completion of the writing process. Therefore, the authors should go over the manuscript for at least three times after finalization of the manuscript based on joint decision. The first control should concentrate on the evaluation of the appropriateness of the logic of the manuscript, and its organization, and whether desired messages have been delivered or not. Secondly, syutax, and grammar of the manuscript should be controlled. It is appropriate to review the manuscript for the third time 1 or 2 weeks after completion of its writing process. Thus, evaluation of the “cooled” manuscript will be made from a more objective perspective, and assessment process of its integrity will be facilitated.

Other erroneous issues consist of superfluousness of the manuscript with unnecessary repetitions, undue, and recurrent references to the problems adressed in the manuscript or their solution methods, overcriticizing or overpraising other studies, and use of a pompous literary language overlooking the main objective of sharing information. [ 4 ]

B) Approaches to the writing process of the ‘Discussion’ section:

1. how should the main points of ‘discussion’ section be constructed.

Generally the length of the ‘Discussion ‘ section should not exceed the sum of other sections (ıntroduction, material and methods, and results), and it should be completed within 6–7 paragraphs.. Each paragraph should not contain more than 200 words, and hence words should be counted repeteadly. The ‘Discussion’ section can be generally divided into 3 separate paragraphs as. 1) Introductory paragraph, 2) Intermediate paragraphs, 3) Concluding paragraph.

The introductory paragraph contains the main idea of performing the study in question. Without repeating ‘Introduction’ section of the manuscript, the problem to be addressed, and its updateness are analysed. The introductory paragraph starts with an undebatable sentence, and proceeds with a part addressing the following questions as 1) On what issue we have to concentrate, discuss or elaborate? 2) What solutions can be recommended to solve this problem? 3) What will be the new, different, and innovative issue? 4) How will our study contribute to the solution of this problem An introductory paragraph in this format is helpful to accomodate reader to the rest of the Discussion section. However summarizing the basic findings of the experimental studies in the first paragraph is generally recommended by the editors of the journal. [ 5 ]

In the last paragraph of the Discussion section “strong points” of the study should be mentioned using “constrained”, and “not too strongly assertive” statements. Indicating limitations of the study will reflect objectivity of the authors, and provide answers to the questions which will be directed by the reviewers of the journal. On the other hand in the last paragraph, future directions or potential clinical applications may be emphasized.

2. How should the intermediate paragraphs of the Discussion section be formulated?

The reader passes through a test of boredom while reading paragraphs of the Discussion section apart from the introductory, and the last paragraphs. Herein your findings rather than those of the other researchers are discussed. The previous studies can be an explanation or reinforcement of your findings. Each paragraph should contain opinions in favour or against the topic discussed, critical evaluations, and learning points.

Our management approach for intermediate paragraphs is “divide and conquer” tactics. Accordingly, the findings of the study are determined in order of their importance, and a paragraph is constructed for each finding ( Figure 1 ). Each paragraph begins with an “indisputable” introductory sentence about the topic to be discussed. This sentence basically can be the answer to the question “What have we found?” Then a sentence associated with the subject matter to be discussed is written. Subsequently, in the light of the current literature this finding is discussed, new ideas on this subject are revealed, and the paragraph ends with a concluding remark.

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Object name is TJU-39-Supp-20-g01.jpg

Divide and Conquer tactics

In this paragraph, main topic should be emphasized without going into much detail. Its place, and importance among other studies should be indicated. However during this procedure studies should be presented in a logical sequence (ie. from past to present, from a few to many cases), and aspects of the study contradictory to other studies should be underlined. Results without any supportive evidence or equivocal results should not be written. Besides numerical values presented in the Results section should not be repeated unless required.

Besides, asking the following questions, and searching their answers in the same paragraph will facilitate writing process of the paragraph. [ 1 ] 1) Can the discussed result be false or inadequate? 2) Why is it false? (inadequate blinding, protocol contamination, lost to follow-up, lower statistical power of the study etc.), 3) What meaning does this outcome convey?

3. What are the common mistakes made in writing the Discussion section?:

Probably the most important mistake made while writing the Discussion section is the need for mentioning all literature references. One point to remember is that we are not writing a review article, and only the results related to this paragraph should be discussed. Meanwhile, each word of the paragraphs should be counted, and placed carefully. Each word whose removal will not change the meaning should be taken out from the text.” Writing a saga with “word salads” *** is one of the reasons for prompt rejection. Indeed, if the reviewer thinks that it is difficult to correct the Discussion section, he/she use her/ his vote in the direction of rejection to save time (Uniform requirements for manuscripts: International Comittee of Medical Journal Editors [ http://www.icmje.org/urm_full.pdf ])

The other important mistake is to give too much references, and irrelevancy between the references, and the section with these cited references. [ 3 ] While referring these studies, (excl. introductory sentences linking indisputable sentences or paragraphs) original articles should be cited. Abstracts should not be referred, and review articles should not be cited unless required very much.

4. What points should be paid attention about writing rules, and grammar?

As is the case with the whole article, text of the Discussion section should be written with a simple language, as if we are talking with our colleague. [ 2 ] Each sentence should indicate a single point, and it should not exceed 25–30 words. The priorly mentioned information which linked the previous sentence should be placed at the beginning of the sentence, while the new information should be located at the end of the sentence. During construction of the sentences, avoid unnecessary words, and active voice rather than passive voice should be used.**** Since conventionally passive voice is used in the scientific manuscripts written in the Turkish language, the above statement contradicts our writing habits. However, one should not refrain from beginning the sentences with the word “we”. Indeed, editors of the journal recommend use of active voice so as to increase the intelligibility of the manuscript.

In conclusion, the major point to remember is that the manuscript should be written complying with principles of simplicity, clarity, and effectiveness. In the light of these principles, as is the case in our daily practice, all components of the manuscript (IMRAD) can be written concurrently. In the ‘Discussion’ section ‘divide and conquer’ tactics remarkably facilitates writing process of the discussion. On the other hand, relevant or irrelevant feedbacks received from our colleagues can contribute to the perfection of the manuscript. Do not forget that none of the manuscripts is perfect, and one should not refrain from writing because of language problems, and related lack of experience.

Instead of structured sections of a manuscript (IMRAD): Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, and Discussion

Instead of in the Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine posters to be submitted in congresses are time to time discussed in Wednesday meetings, and opinions of the internal referees are obtained about the weak, and strong points of the study

Instead of a writing style which uses words or sentences with a weak logical meaning that do not lead the reader to any conclusion

Instead of “white color”; “proven”; nstead of “history”; “to”. should be used instead of “white in color”, “definitely proven”, “past history”, and “in order to”, respectively ( ref. 2 )

Instead of “No instances of either postoperative death or major complications occurred during the early post-operative period” use “There were no deaths or major complications occurred during the early post-operative period.

Instead of “Measurements were performed to evaluate the levels of CEA in the serum” use “We measured serum CEA levels”

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Education Research for Graduate Students: Evaluating Journal Articles


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Criteria for Evaluating Articles

Articles can be evaluated by many different criteria. 

Regular Research & Evaluation Criteria: Peer Review & Research Articles

Professors will often ask students to look for peer reviewed research articles. You can limit your search results in many databases, including ERIC, to peer reviewed articles and research articles. ( What is Peer Review? )

Qualitative versus Quantitative Evaluation Criteria

There is no easy way to limit the search results to qualitative or quantitative research. Sometimes the abstract will give enough information to determine the type of research. Other times you will need to open the PDF of the article. The methodology should provide a description of the research methods, from this you can determine if the article is qualitative or quantitative. (Learn more below.)

Primary versus Secondary Evaluation Criteria

Often, when your professor asks for research articles, they want you to find primary research articles. Primary research article report on original research. In other words, the authors are reporting on the research they conducted. Secondary articles evaluate, critique, report on, or summarize other researchers' research. A literature review is a secondary article. Literature reviews are very informative and may cite primary articles, but they are secondary. (Learn more below.)

Qualitative versus Quantitative

Qualitative research.

Qualitative research methods are focus groups, interviews, content analysis, etc. In short, the data collected will mostly be words. 

Quantitative Research 

Quantitative research methods focus on collection numerical data. In short, the data collected will be numbers, such as sampling and statistics. 

Mixed Methods

Mixed methods articles include a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.

On this page are examples of abstracts of different types of research articles. We have highlighted the information you are looking for when you are evaluating and article.

Use the Results Page

Use the information on the results page to pre-evaluate the article:

Questions to Ask Yourself 

What is the citation information, is it peer reviewed, is it a research article is it primary or secondary, is the research qualitative or quantitative, what is the article about.

Once you decide the article could be pertinent, open the full-text and read it. Remember, if the library does not have the full-text you can request the article through ILL-Odum Express.  

Primary Research Article

What is a primary research article.

A primary research article reports on the original research and findings of the authors. Primary research articles have the following sections:

A brief description of the scholarly article in the form of a title. It should at least give you a general idea about what the article is about. 

A preview of the scholarly article. It should address the purpose, method and results that will be found in the article.

Describes the purpose of the scholarly article. May provide an overview of the field and previous research in the form of a Literature Review. 

Describes how the research and what type of research was conducted. 

Presents the outcome of the research. 

Analyzes the results to determine what potential impact it could have on the scholarly field or community. 

Reiterates points made throughout the article, including potential for further research. 

Works cited throughout the scholarly article by the author. The list should contain all the relevant information needed for you to find the resource for yourself. 

Examples of Review, Quantitative and Qualitative Articles

This is an example of a review article. The author selected existing research articles on the topic and examined them, critiquing the existing literature.

Permalink to article record

Click the arrow to move to the next slide. 

Example of review article. Certain sections have been highlighted. This article has been peer-reviewed. It uses phrases that indicates that several articles were reviewed and examined, critiquing the existing literature. At the bottom, it says Reports - Evaluative which is another indication that this could be a review article.

This is an example of a quantitative article abstract .

Besides containing the word, quantitative , this abstract references the article's methodology and refers to a statistical analysis and cluster analysis , which are quantitative features.    

Permanent link to article record

Click the arrow to continue to the qualitative article. 

Example of an quantitative review abstract. Keywords have been selected that represent a quantitative methodology like multivariate analysis and statistical analysis. In the abstract itself it uses the word quantitative. The type of report at the bottom indicates it is a research report, which leads to the conclusion that this is an example of a quantitative research article.

This is an example of a qualitative article abstract. 

Besides containing the Descriptor, Qualitative Research , it also contains a descriptor for Semi-Structured Interviews, which fits with qualitative data collection .   Further evidence that supports its qualitative nature are the phrases content analysis and descriptive analysis .

Example of a qualitative review abstract.Descriptors include words like: Qualitative Research, Semi-Structured Interviews,  Observation, Classroom Observation Techniques. The word qualitative is also used in the abstract.

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Journal Article: Discussion

Criteria for success.

A strong Discussion section:

  • tells the main conclusion of the paper in one or two sentences.
  • tells how the paper’s results contribute to answering the big questions posed in the Introduction.
  • explains how (and why) this work agrees or disagrees with other, similar work.
  • explains how the limitations of this study leave the big questions unanswered.
  • tells how extensions of this paper’s results will be useful for answering the big questions.

Structure Diagram

Identify your purpose.

The Discussion is the part of your paper where you can share what you think your results mean with respect to the big questions you posed in your Introduction. The Introduction and Discussion are natural partners: the Introduction tells the reader what question you are working on and why you did this experiment to investigate it; the Discussion tells the reader what the results of that experiment have to say about the bigger question.

Imagine you explained the results in the paper to a labmate who looks confused and asks you, “Sure, but so what? Why was this cool or interesting?” Your response to your labmate should be similar to the content in the Discussion.

Analyze Your Audience

Different kinds of readers will expect different things from your Discussion. Readers who are not expert in your field might read your Discussion before your Results in the hopes that they can learn what your Results mean and why your paper is important without having to learn how to interpret your experimental results. They might also be interested to know what you think the future of your field is. Readers who are more familiar with your field will generally understand what the results of your experiments say, but they will be curious about how you interpreted confusing, conflicting, or complicated results.

As you write your Discussion, decide who will find each paragraph interesting and what you want them to take away from it. Successful Discussions can simultaneously provide the specific, nuanced information that experts want to read and the broader, more general statements that non-experts can appreciate.

The balance between expert and non-expert readers will depend on the journal you submit to. High-profile, general readership journals will have more non-expert readers, while more technical, field-specific journals can have almost exclusively expert readers.

Tell how your paper is special

Weak Discussions begin with a summary of the results or a repetition of the main points of the Introduction. Strong Discussions immediately carve out a place for themselves in the large universe of papers by saying what makes this one interesting or special. One way to do this is to start the Discussion with one or two sentences that state the main finding from the results and what that finding means for the field.

Relate your results to existing results

In the Introduction, you probably helped motivate your study by citing previous results in your field. Now that you’ve laid out your results, you should tell whether your results agree or disagree with prior work and why. You might have extended previous work, showed how apparently conflicting results are actually harmonious, or exposed a contradiction that currently has no explanation.

Tell how your study’s limitations leave open the big questions

Every study is finite: you did some things and not others, and you used methods that can explain some phenomena but not others. How do the limitations of your study leave open the bigger questions? Do you just need to do more of the same kind of work? Have you shown that current methods are inadequate to answering the big question?

Every paper is a contribution to a larger scientific conversation. Hopefully, you think your contribution is somehow useful to that conversation: it provides new information or tools that will help you or other researchers move toward answers to the big questions. To explain this contribution, many Discussions end with a forward-looking statement that tries to place the paper in an expected future of research in that field.

Resources and Annotated Examples

Annotated example 1.

This is the discussion for an article published in Science Translational Medicine . (The introduction for this article is annotated in Journal Article: Introduction ) 6 MB

Annotated Example 2

This is the discussion for an article published in Cell . (The introduction for this article is annotated in Journal Article: Introduction ) 325 KB

Items related to A Cross Section of Nursing Research: Journal Articles...

A cross section of nursing research: journal articles for discussion and evaluation - softcover, peteva, roberta.

9781936523337: A Cross Section of Nursing Research: Journal Articles for Discussion and Evaluation

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  • About this edition

� The 39 research articles in this collection illustrate a wide variety of models for both quantitative and qualitative nursing research.

�The lines in each article are sequentially numbered, which facilitates classroom discussions by allowing professors and students to pinpoint specific parts of an article.

�The articles have been carefully selected for use with students who are just beginning their study of research methods. The difficulty level will challenge but not overwhelm.

�Factual Questions at the end of each article draw students’ attention to methodologically important points.

�Questions for Discussion request students’ opinions on unique aspects of each article.

�Helps instructors avoid copyright infringement problems. The publisher has paid fees to the copyright holders for permission to include the research articles in this book.

� New to this edition: A copy of our Bonus Articles for A Cross Section of Nursing Research booklet is included free of charge.

�The research articles are classified under these major headings: �nonexperimental quantitative research �true experimental research �quasi-experimental research �pre-experimental research �qualitative research �combined qualitative and quantitative research �test reliability and validity research �meta analysis. The articles have been drawn from a wide variety of journals such as: �Behavior Modification �Cancer Nursing �Computers in Nursing �Computers, Informatics, Nursing �Health Education & Behavior �Issues in Mental Health Nursing �Journal for Nurses in Staff Development �Journal of Community Health Nursing �Journal of Gerontological Nursing �Journal of Nursing Care Quality �Journal of Pediatric Nursing �Journal of Research in Nursing �Journal of the Society of Pediatric Nurses �Nurse Educator �Nursing Research �Psychological Reports �Public Health Nursing �Rehabilitation Nursing �Research in Nursing & Health �The Journal of Nursing Administration �Western Journal of Nursing Research

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  • Publisher Routledge
  • Publication date 2014
  • ISBN 10  1936523337
  • ISBN 13  9781936523337
  • Binding Paperback
  • Edition number 6
  • Number of pages 312
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Discussion and Evaluation, Essay Example

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The researcher followed the beliefs that the best procedure was doing a qualitative study for those construction industries within a 50 miles radius of the researcher’s residence. This was a manageable study involving some travel but also allowing the researcher to return to his or her home base each evening for evaluative purposes.  For purposes of remaining anonymous the three construction firms have simply been identified as Firm 1 (F1), Firm 2 (F2) and Firm 3 (F3). All of these firms have approximately the same number of employees: F1=60 employees, F2=68 employees,  and F3=72 employees. The employees are identified only as being in the construction trades and not identified by the jobs they do. For example, electricians were not identified as being separate entities from the rest of the firm.

Qualitative studies can be difficult at best.   While a novice merely prepares and distributes a questionnaire and awaits answers, Janesick (2010) suggests going deeper with the participants based on the questionnaire. Janesick believes that the questionnaire is only the starting point. Therefore, without disturbing the work environment too much, the qualitative researcher needs to be able to look for relationships and/or problems that may exist, and that can’t or won’t be part of the questionnaire. Miles and Huberman (1994) observed that qualitative observation is better when the researcher has some personal knowledge about the industry he is surveying. Additional answers, while removing as much bias as possible is done, not through questionnaires, but through person-to-person interviews with different employees who are taking part in the qualitative process. The answers to these interviews, like the primary data gathered from questionnaires, needs to be sorted and coded into workable answers which allows the researcher to create a case study from the findings. Kosner (2006) observed that a case study can be prepared because, unless the owner of the firm is paying for solutions to problems that are part of his business, the researcher is only “borrowing personnel” for completion of a personal study.

Hseich and Shannon (2005) believe in a strict coding pattern. Their research differs from Janesick because Janesick lets the researcher’s mind guide the project. Janesick recognizes that truths and biases come with every study. There are some concepts that researchers will recognize to be a truth and other preconceived ideas which will appear in any qualitative work. Janesick encourages researchers to develop their studies around what they believe to be true. Hseich and Shannon believe strongly in following some kind of blueprint. Just as and architect builds a home based on a predesigned blueprint, Hseich and Shannon believe that reliable research comes from starting with a predesigned blueprint.  Although there is practicality in both designs the researcher chose Janesick, knowing that a better study will come from “allowing the chip to fall where they may.”

Padgett (2004) and Creswell (2008) believe in mixed methods.  Their research designs call for the typical qualitative questionnaire and quantitative methods such as frequency distributions and the use of an Anova (analysis of variances)—measuring means to determine if the researcher has really proven his or her research, or if the null hypothesis is present, suggesting there is no difference.  The null hypothesis is not a symbol of unsuccessful research. It merely proves there in no difference between different research procedures.  This being the case it says to researchers that they would be better off examining other issues.

Assorted researchers (Janesick, 2010), Padgett (2004), and Miles and Huberman (1994) went into heavy detail about how a good high quality research project is conducted. They agreed that spending time having participants answering questionnaires and doing interviews while visiting job sites can be expensive and time consuming. Adult students engaged in this kind of research don’t often have financial resources available for these projects to take inordinate amounts of time. This research is usually singly-owned and not conducted by a team. Qualitative research is a time consuming project but it is comfortable (as opposed to quantitative studies) for individuals who don’t have a broad knowledge of statistics.

In a practical world in job sites where the researcher can easily travel to the job site, qualitative research is ideal. For numerous other businesses which have similarity to each other but are out of reach with the researcher’s budget, quantitative studies will fulfill the researcher’s needs. At the beginning of this document the researcher identified three construction companies that are in close proximity to each other and close to where the researcher resides. Comparing these through qualitative research may be time consuming but manageable in terms of personal finances. Given time to expand this project the researcher has identified five more construction firms in different parts of the United States: F4-F9. Qualitative research is impractical in these companies, primarily because of their distance from the researcher’s locale and the researcher’s lack of fiscal resources. Miles and Huberman (1994) observed that a complete research project at a single company could take more than a year using mixed methods. Since most student research considers multiple companies it is unlikely due, in part, to a lack of fiscal resources that such projects reach their maximum capacity. However, like most major companies they have published information about their buildings, their products, items they have added to their product line, and items they have deleted from their manufacturing processes. Using this already printed material combined with accurate Internet research, the burden of doing quantitative studies can be alleviated without actually going to the job site. The strongest research does not come from using one method or another, but from using multiple research-based activities on a single site (Miles and Huberman).

An Analysis of Firms 1, 2, and 3

These three firms are in close proximity to the student. Following the principles laid out by Janesick (2010) and Padgett (2004) the researcher sent letters of inquiry to the heads of each of these firms asking permission to conduct research, first, at their headquarters, and second, to be allowed to visit certain construction sites to complete the research. The researcher has created a blueprint, a questionnaire which will be completed through initial interviews of randomly selected participating employees. The design of the experiment may have to be changed as the questionnaire progresses. To decide issues not answered by the questionnaire, after limited coding has been completed, there may have to be a second, or even a third round of interviews.

Questionnaire for Qualitative Evaluation

  • How many contracts for a complete building have come to the company in the last six months?
  • How many contracts have been filled for partial services (remodeling, new fixtures, etc.)?
  • How many years have you been employed by the construction firm?
  • Do you think it’s fair the way the firm assigns certain individuals to specific projects?
  • In your opinion, which kinds of services are sustaining your firm during this current recession?
  • Are work activities governed by collective agreements setting rates of pay, vacation pay, etc.?
  • Is training and supervision done by the firm or by a senior supervisor assigned to the job site?
  • Are employees paid according to a standard pay or rate scale?
  • Have you experienced any depleted hours since most of the United States is not at full production?
  • What kinds of jobs are you working on?


The researcher is asking these questions at-random. Every participant will be asked the same question which will be transcribed from a tape recorder and then coded into various themes. Therefore, the expectations may change but they have been created merely to predict the outcomes of this study.

  • The first question asked about contracts in the last six months. Every newspaper in the United States has talked about a slowdown in the housing market. Therefore, if contracts are coming in to the company they are coming in for something other than a full construction commitment—possibly for remodeling. Therefore, the question seeks to inquire of employees how much they know about their company’s business, in addition to the specific tasks they were hired to do.
  • The second question is merely an extension of the first question. Assuming that business is not coming in for full construction, how much business is coming in for smaller jobs such as remodeling?
  • This is a personal question regarding longevity. Regardless of product most companies aim at longevity. It is expensive and time consuming to continually train new employees. The best way to maintain market stability is to retain employees. Mature, well-trained employees can be an asset to the company while newer employees are generally unprepared for maintaining a predetermined level of productivity.
  • The discussion should center on the way employees are assigned to specific projects. Generally, employees with the greatest experience and expertise should be assigned to the major projects while those employees with minimal experience should be assigned to smaller projects. However, even the smallest project is entitled to be supervised by a knowledgeable employee who will guarantee the job has been done correctly, thus guaranteeing a satisfied customer and future references.
  • Research suggests that larger construction firms who have been in control of excess funds have helped mortgage holders of large debt reduce their payments, making it easier for consumers to retain their properties. Additional research suggests that remodeling and making homes energy efficient is being sold to stem the revenue lost from reduced home sales. Because happy employees are usually well-formed employees this question is designed to help them understand where the revenues are coming from.
  • Most construction firms hire union employees. At least in the United States, although unions have been charged with driving up wages, most construction firms will not hire anybody who is not a part of a labor union. Question six asks whether certain wage commitments come as a result of the collective bargaining process. A company which gets along with the collective bargaining process is indeed honorable. Likewise, a company which has the forethought to honor and/or increase wage commitments without collective bargaining will certainly be thought of as a staple in the working community. Although few companies may say so, the researcher has always thought “what’s good for human resource development is good in the consumer marketplace.” A company will not be known for its greediness but for its ability to get along with the working class.
  • This question seeks information about supervision. A company cannot survive with bosses who sit in suits and ties in air conditioned office while laborers toil in their daily tasks. In-between those two planes of the company’s hierarchy there need to be supervisors (middle managers) who are capable of carrying out the visions of their bosses while using the working laborer to complete the task at-hand.
  • This question inquires about pay scale. It is similar, although not identical, to the information sought in question six. Individuals who specialize in human resources know that employee loyalty can be correlated directly to one’s paycheck. There may be some employees who are dissatisfied with their paycheck, their union, or working for their organization; these employees may be better off seeking employment elsewhere, especially if their actions cause negativity in the company or if their actions cause customers to seek other builders. However, for those employees who are otherwise satisfied with their paycheck not getting paid in a timely manner can cause widespread dissatisfaction.
  • This question presumes that the employee recognizes that the United States is experiencing a recession. It also brings thought to the employee that the company he or she is working for is struggling to stay afloat. Remaining in business helps the company to hold on to its market share. It also helps the employee to maintain a standard of living which is always better than unemployment. Employees should recognize that their actions and the actions of their company as a whole complement each other.
  • This is a generalized question asking the employee what kinds of jobs he or she has been working on. Jobs which require skilled workers should be given to those people possessing skills. Jobs which can easily be done by novices should be given to that level of tradesman. If at all possible the companies involved should segregate jobs according to workers’ skills. Employees who find themselves bored may stay on the job because they need the paycheck but their work will be below satisfaction.

Normally, the questionnaire and any documentation supporting the questionnaire would be the last section of the research paper; the section would follow the reference section and would be in the appendix. For the purpose of this document they have been included in the research analysis. Miles and Huberman (1994), Padgett (2004), and Janesick (2010) support the notion that although the questionnaire should be free from bias it is also the beginning of the blueprint for further research. The researcher needs to start out with some kind of vision about how things are or in what order they should be. The actual answers to the questionnaire may vary, and freeing one’s study from bias means that different answers may mean different categories and different coding. But again, the blueprint has to start somewhere. Kosner (2006) noted that before he started his study he blueprinted the issues, and then changed them according to the responses he got to his questionnaire.

Creswell, J. (2008). Research design: Qualitative quantitative, and mixed methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.

Hseich, H., & Shannon, S. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative  Health Research 15 (9): 1277-1288.

Janesick, V. (2010). Stretching exercises for the mind. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publishing.

Kosner, J. (2006). Leadership perspective that facilitate school improvement: An ethnographic case study of a public elementary school principal’s leadership role. New York, NY: University Microfiche Incorporated.

Miles, M. & Huberman, A. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing.

Padgett, D. (2004). Qualitative and mixed methods in evaluation. Chapter appearing in Program Evaluation by David Royse, Bruce Thyer, and Deborah Padgett. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

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