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Research Methods for Social Work Practice

Students will present the revised/final COPES question (revised from earlier assignments as appropriate) and identify three peer-reviewed journal articles that present data supporting the effectiveness of an intervention in a micro, mezzo, or macro setting that addresses the problem area identified in the COPES question presented. The intervention does not have to be limited to a clinical intervention. The intervention can be a non-clinical intervention at the mezzo or macro level as well. You are encouraged to think broadly or more importantly along the lines of what interests you most.
The articles must be original research articles (published within the past 10 years) in which the authors collected and analyzed data. The articles cannot be literature reviews, critiques of other articles, secondary data analyses, a description of research methodologies, systematic/reviews or meta-analyses. There are no requirements for study designs, but the articles must have at least the following sections (as would be expected in an article describing research studies:

Abstract, Introduction/Purpose, Methods, Results, Discussion/Implications/Conclusion. The research
described in the journal articles must be QUANTITATIVE studies, qualitative studies are not allowed for this paper.
Students will then identify one of the three articles to critique in detail. For this assignment, students are expected to critically evaluate the research presented in the article using the text by Holosko: Primer for critiquing social research: A student guide. Holosko presents a guide to an article critique through the use of a series of “BOXes” within the text. You should use the following from BOXes/figures presented in the book directly as your guide: Box 5, Box 6, Box 7, Box 8, Box 10, Figure 11 (1, 2, and 3 only), Box 11, Box 12, Box 16, Box 17, Box 18, Box 20 (1-4 only, exclude unique factors/features), Box 21, Box 22, and Box 24 (who is this study for? . . . please note it can be and usually is for more than 1 audience and reasons will vary according to audience).
Additionally, provide a summary of strengths and weaknesses of the study overall (at least two of each). Conclude with what you believe is the usefulness of the study in relation to your problem area. Use EXAMPLES directly from the article to support your assertions. Do not simply state for example: “the research questions were listed at the end of the introduction”.
You need to state what the questions were for the study.
1- Restate your COPES question (revised from COPES assignment as appropriate)
2- Provide a one paragraph summary of the problem area.
3- Identify the three journal articles (containing original research). List them and be sure to
have them in proper APA style (as in a reference list).
***NOTE: These should each be INDIVIDUALLY listed (in APA format)
IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING the paragraph summary describing the contents (also see

Summary to Articles

4- Summarize the three articles (one paragraph for each article). Describe in general the research studies presented in each, clearly identifying the methodology used, procedures, sample, findings and the usefulness of each in providing evidence of a best practice for your problem area/COPES question.
5- Clearly identify which article is the focus of your critique.
6- Article critique as described above according to Holosko’s guide (box numbers listed)
7- Summary and Conclusions based on your in-depth critique presented.
Identify what YOU think are two strengths and two weaknesses.
Summarize what YOU think of the usefulness of the study in general AND with respect to your COPES question in your view.
The paper must be single-spaced, but double-spaced between your answers of each box or figure.
For each question you must list or write the box number you are answering and the question(s) (briefly) that is associated with each box or figure in the suggested format below. You do not need to cite the authors in the body of this part of the paper (Holosko part).
Along with your responses, you must submit a copy of the entire article (that you reviewed). The answers must not be simple yes or no answers. Points will be taken off for simple yes/no answers because it will be considered incomplete. If the article you are critiquing does not have all of the components for each section, it is your responsibility to say so and provide evidence that it is not present. Always provide a response.

Format 2:
Box 5 on p. 20: Assessing the Title
Does the title
 Have 10-12 words?
The title of this article contains twenty-one words, more than the APA recommended amount of 10-12.
 Make sense standing alone?
The title does make sense standing alone.
 Name important variables/theoretical issues?
It identifies the treatment being studied as hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
 Make reference to the study sample?
The title does identify the subject as blast-induced post-concussion syndrome and posttraumatic stress disorder.
 Identify variable relationships?
The title does identify the variable of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy as low-pressure.
 Avoid cutesiness, rhetorical questions, and jargon?
It refrains from using jargon, rhetorical questions, or cutesy titles.
Box 6 on p. 20: What Are the Authors’ Affiliations?
Can you find out
 Where the authors work?
This article does include footnotes that list the authors’ affiliations or where they are employed.
 Their degree status?
There is also a section at the end of the article that gives disclosure statements for the authors which identifies those that have doctorate degrees, are registered nurses, etc.
 Their relationship to the study?
While the article does not specifically identify the authors’ relationship to the study, this section does state whether or not the authors have competing financial interests.
 Any additional information about them?
The article does not offer any additional information about the authors.
Box 7 on p. 20: Assessing the Abstract
Is the abstract
 Concise, clear, and accurate?
The abstract is written in a concise, clear, and accurate manner to allow the reader to fully understand the purpose of the study.
 Specific?
It is specific regarding the content of the study that was conducted.
 Written in the active voice?
The article is written in the active voice.

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