Field: Educational Psychology Master’s paper on Evaluating Scientific Merit

Write a 6–8-page evaluation in which you describe a research topic that is an important aspect of your professional life or an issue related to your specialization that could benefit from research. Use five research articles you found on the topic as support, discuss why this research is needed from professional, practical, and scientific standpoints.

Note: Demonstrating your understanding of the research process requires specific steps that need to be executed in a sequence. The assessments in this course are presented in sequence and must be completed in order.


By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 2: Evaluate the characteristics, purposes, benefits, strengths, and weaknesses of research methods.

Analyze how the research advances the scientific knowledge base in a selected research study.

Summarize how the selected research study contributes to research theory and the field of study.

Explain the hallmarks of good research in a research study.

Competency 5: Examine the appropriate application of scientific research methodology.

Develop a logical conclusion of the overall scientific merit of the research study.

Competency 6: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the identified field of study.

Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of the identified field of study.

Scientific merit refers to the overall quality and the value of a research study. Even though there are many ways in which researchers can solve research problems with different approaches and designs, there is one thing that all good scientific research has in common: scientific merit.

Read the Assessment 1 Context [PDF] document for important information on scientific merit.

  Finding Research Articles

As you begin to search for articles related to your topic, pay attention to the theoretical orientation of the research articles you select. The assessment requires that you summarize how the research study contributes to theory and the field of study.

  Identifying Theory

The assessment requires you to identify how the research you evaluate contributes to or relates to a particular theory in your area of specialization. It is possible to find articles where the relevant theory is identified explicitly. For other studies, the following resources suggest how to identify theory in articles where the theory is not explicitly stated.

  Research Designs

Research designs can have qualitative or quantitative orientations, or complex combinations of these. Ideally, a study will exhibit the hallmarks of good research in its choice of research design. Use these resources to prepare and discuss the research procedures that would be best in investigating the research topic you chose.

  Scientific Merit

The assessment requires you to develop a logical conclusion of the scientific merit of the research you examine. The following resources provide information on the definition and the components of scientific merit.


Identify a research topic related to your specialization, professional life, or area of interest, and locate at least five recent (within the past five years) research articles on your selected topic. Instructions

In 6–8 pages, write an evaluation in which you complete the following: Begin your paper with an introduction that explains the purpose of the paper and its contents. Identify and describe your research topic. Synthesize your professional experience and the articles you found on your topic to justify the importance of doing research on this topic. Discuss some of the limitations in the findings of the research articles you identified and how future research could add meaningful information to the knowledge base. Identify one or more theories used by researchers of your research topic. Discuss how future research could help advance theories in your field of study. Based on the designs used by researchers in the articles you found, discuss the research procedures that you think would be best in investigating the research topic. Explain why each component of scientific merit is important in determining the quality of research. End your paper with a summary and a conclusion. Additional Requirements As much as possible, the assessment should be written in your own words; it may include paraphrased information that is properly cited in the current APA style. If you need to quote, do so sparingly, and make sure you have cited quoted material according to the current APA style. Your assessment needs to demonstrate your understanding of the material, not how well you can quote someone else’s work. Write in a professional tone, without writing errors. Include a title page and references page, using the current APA style and format. Write 6–8 pages with 1-inch margins, plus a title page and references page. An abstract is not required. Include at least 5 current scholarly or professional resources. Use APA-style headings to organize your paper. Use Times New Roman font, 12 point. Double space.

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