Research Report – Qualitative Research // Basic Critique Form

Format (10%)

Title page, APA format with CUC date and instructor addition


Neatly typewritten

Correct spelling and grammar

Correct sentence structure

Evidence of logical topic development

APA citations, headings, margins, spacing, font

Length – 3 pages, not including references

Content (90%)

Summary of article. [ 10%]

Examine the organization and presentation of the report

Remember, this is a critique of the research article, and the summary is a critique summary, not a summation of the author’s work.


  1. Complete, concise, clearly presented, and logically organized
  2. Does not include excessive jargon that is difficult for students and practicing nurses to read
  3. References are complete, current and consistent in format
  4. Authors have the educational and clinical credentials to conduct the study


Identification of report elements. [ 25% ]

Evaluate objectively, then explain how these elements from the chosen study meet (or do not meet) the expected definition and purpose of each element

  1. Descriptive Vividness
  2. Documentation of Participants
  3. Methodological Congruence
  4. Ethical Standards
  5. Auditability
  6. Analytical and Interpretive Preciseness
  7. Philosophical / Theoretical Connectedness
  8. Heuristic Relevance
    1. Intuitive Recognition
    2. Relationship to existing Body of Knowledge

Strengths and weaknesses of article. [ 35% ]

 In this comparison and analysis phase of the critique:

Consider how the research elements relate to one another, particularly in reference to the stated research design. Here is a suggestion list of elements to consider. Reference your Research text also, as this is not an exhaustive list.

  • is the research objective format at a comparable level to the stated design
  • do the operational tools measure the concept
  • is the sampling method and plan style appropriate for the chosen research design
  • has the author related the theoretical framework to concept variables, and outcomes
  • is the problem heuristic to nursing, does the theoretical basis related to nursing concerns
  • are limitations (both types) and biases addressed – can you identify possible concerns to generalizability
  • validity and reliability of instruments / data : of outcomes due to uncontrolled threats
  • does the author support the study rigor expected for the stated design
  • are study variables – demographics, setting – controlled sufficiently for chosen research design
  1. Specify examples
  2. Justify your criticisms of these examples
  3. Suggest research method alternatives

Implications.  [ 20% ]

Explore implications of the study for –

  1. Professional clinical practice
  2. Further research (higher level, replication for changes in elements)


Use the following grid to guide your reading and analysis of the 8 points above:


Descriptive Vividness

  1. Was the significance of the study adequately described?
  2. Was the purpose of the study clearly described?
  3. Were the interpretations presented in a descriptive way that illuminated more than the quotes did?
Documentation of Participants

  1. Were the study participants described in detail?
  2. Was the selection of participants reasonable? Was a rationale provided for participant selection?

3.  Were the context and location of the study described with sufficient detail to determine if the findings are applicable to other settings?

Methodological Congruence

  1. Were the assumptions underlying the study articulated? Were the assumptions and data collection procedures congruent?
  2. Was adequate trust established with the participants? Was there an open dialog and conversational approach to data collection?
  3. Were research questions articulated? Did the researcher ask questions that explore participants’ experiences, beliefs, values, or perceptions?
  4. Was the data collection process adequately described?
  5. Did the researcher spend sufficient time with participants gathering data? Did the researcher conduct multiple interviews?
  6. Was the approach of multiple data collectors similar?
  7. Was the method of selecting and gaining access to the study participants reasonable?
  8. Was the role of the researcher during the interview process described? Were qualitative credentials and expertise of the researcher(s) described?


Ethical Standards

  1. Were the participants informed of their rights?
  2. Was informed consent obtained?
  3. Were participants’ rights protected?



  1. Was the decision trail used in arriving at conclusions described in adequate detail? Can the findings be linked with the data?
  2. Were enough participant quotes included to support the findings?

3.   Were the data sufficiently rich to support the conclusions? Did the participants describe specific examples of the phenomenon being investigated?

Analytical and Interpretative Preciseness

  1. Do the categories, themes, or findings present a whole picture? Did the findings yield a meaningful picture of the phenomenon under study?
  2. Were the findings returned to participants or experts in the area?
  3. Did two or more researchers participate in data analysis? How were disagreements about data analysis handled?


Philosophical/Theoretical Connectedness

  1. Was a clear connection made between the data and nursing practice?
  2. Did the researcher identify the philosophical or theoretical basis for the study? Were citations provided for the philosophical or theoretical approach used?
  3. Was the philosophical or theoretical basis of the study consistent with the study assumptions, data collection process, and analysis and interpretative methods used? Were citations provided for the philosophical or theoretical approach used?


Heuristic Relevance:

     Intuitive Recognition

  1. Can the reader recognize the phenomenon described in the study?

2.   Are the findings consistent with common meanings or experiences?

     Relationship to Existing Body of Knowledge

  1. Did the researcher adequately examine the existing body of knowledge?
  2. Did the researcher compare and contrast the findings with those of other studies?
  3. Did the researcher describe lacunae in current understandings that would account for unique findings?
    Threats to Nursing  a) Practice,  b) Research,  or  c) Education

  1. Are the findings relevant to nursing practice, research, or education?
  2. Did the reader learn more than had been previously reported in the literature?
  3. Do the findings have implications for related cases?
  4. Are suggestions for further study identified?


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