Appendix A: Questions for Critiquing Quantitative Research Articles



What is the social problem being addressed?  What is the research question(s) being asked?
What has been studied or determined already? Did you identify any gaps in the current literature?


What is the objective of the study?  Does it fall into one or more of the three categories: explanatory, evaluative, or descriptive?
What type of research design was employed? Does the design fit the research question and social issue being addressed?
Where and when does the study occur?
What type of sampling was used? Was the sampling method appropriate for answering the research question(s)?  Were there any potential problems with the sampling strategy that could affect the validity or generalizability of the results?


What was most striking about the data collection and did it fit the study being conducted?
How was data collected by the authors/researchers? Were validated instruments used to measure key variables?

Results and Discussion

What were the major findings of this study? Did these findings match any stated hypotheses?  Were there any findings that were inconclusive or that failed to answer the research questions(s)?
Why is this research important to the field of social work?
What did the researchers/authors learn overall?
What, if any, additional research is required to fully understand the issue or meet any ethical standards or guidelines?
What are the major limitations of this study?

Next steps

What stands out or is proposed for future study?
What is the overall significance of the study?


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Guidebook for Social Work Literature Reviews and Research Questions Copyright © 2020 by Rebecca Mauldin and Matthew DeCarlo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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