A Critical Critique of Two Research Studies

I reviewed and critiqued Yost’s (2006) and Sewell’s (2015) qualitative research studies, primarily to evaluate how well I was doing in developing my dissertation research plan (DRP) which was a qualitative study and was in the infancy stage at the time. This was one of the best decisions I made to thoroughly reviewed and critiqued qualitative studies since I was interested in enhancing my knowledge base on qualitative research designs. One advantage of reviewing and critiquing these qualitative studies gave me a bird’s eye view into assessing the major components of my DRP and dissertation research. In specific, to illuminate how do the components such as the research problem, topic, purpose, and methodology etc fit into the big picture of the DRP and dissertation research. Another advantage of reviewing and critiquing these studies was being able to compare and contrast my research study to published work. In comparing and contrasting my DRP and dissertation study against published research studies, I develop a “sense” to look, listen, learned, and feel the story the researcher tries to relate in the article and then use this guidance to assist me to tell my own story.

I believe good scientists do not simply make decisions; instead, they use tools to determine the best course of action to make informed decisions. Using a check sheet, such as the one provided by Merriam and Associates (2002) in table 2.1 assessing the quality of qualitative research (p. 23) and table 2.2 strategies for promoting validity and reliability (p. 31), are excellent tools to assist in the process of checking the soundness of a study. I also provided a numerical rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a very low-quality study and 10 being a very high-quality study and justified my overall rating of the quality of these studies. I concluded with a discussion of three indicators of quality drawn from Merten’s (2010) questions for critically analyzing qualitative research which were:

  • Did the researcher seek out those who are silent and marginalized?
  • Was the researcher critically reflexive?
  • How did the research process and outcomes enhance social justice and human rights?


Here is the link to the first article.

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