A Suggested Quick Self-Check Form for the Final Paper

1) Statements of the problem(s) :

Is my research problem clearly stated? Is my focus clear?

Is it logically laid out?

Is it detailed enough for the reader to know what my research problem(s) is?

Do I have literature support in the section to support my focus on the problem?

Does my writing conform to the conventions of writing? Style?

2) Review of literature

Does my literature capture what has been done on my topic?

Does my literature review reflect my understanding of the themes of research on the topic?

Does it capture the key elements that I would use in my own research? (For example, if I am doing a study on teachers’ professional development, I would review the literature on the topic and would clearly delineate institutional, disciplinary, personal factors and different types studied and reported in the literature on teacher’s professional development. I may organize my literature review along several subthemes such as institutional demands and constraints, cross-disciplinary advantages and limits, effects of teaching experiences, different types of professional development, and the impact of PD on teachers’ teaching and on students’ learning).

Does my literature review point out what has not been accomplished in the literature so far?

Do I build up the literature review such that it leads logically to my research that is needed to fill in the gaps in literature?

Have I stated clearly my research questions?

Are my research questions operationalizable? Feasible? Matching up with my data sources and literature review?

Does my writing conform to the conventions of writing? Style?

3) Methodology

Are my subjects/participants clearly described (but their identities protected/masked)? Have I described the sampling procedure (that is, how were they selected)?

Is the research setting stated clearly? (It is part of the environment in which research would be carried out)

Are my methods clearly described so that the procedures, materials (texts), types of data (data sources, and data collection instruments, and if it is questionnaire, then describe the constructs you want to capture), and the length of the study process are clear?

Are my data analyses clearly described? Be as specific as possible. Have I cited the sources of the analysis methods?

For content analysis studies, please pay attention to the following:

Sampling of the texts (that should be your data sources): is my description of the sampling process clear and conforming to the practice described in the literature?

Data sources: have I clearly described what they are? What’s the unit of analysis?

Data analysis: Have I described my data analysis clearly? How do I ensure reliability? Do I conform to the coding practice described in our textbook?

Note: a key to the above self-checking questions is the replicability. In other words, can another person take this information and do a similar (replicate) study?

Does my writing conform to the conventions of writing? Style?

4) Results

Have I clearly reported the analysis results? (Clarity means to report the analysis results in its entirety. For example, if you did a survey study, then report the results of analysis of clustered items in the questionnaire. Remember the clustered items represent the constructs you have already described in the methodology section.)

Note: 1. Qualitative studies usually have more extensive results section; quantitative studies tend to have straightforward results from statistical analysis.

2. It is also a good idea to use both narrative and tables or figures to represent results.

3. This section can be infused into the next section, making it a whole section of “Results and Interpretations.”

Does my writing conform to the conventions of writing? Style?

5) Interpretation and discussions

Have I clearly discussed and interpreted the results? (this is the place you help the readers understand the results, focusing on what it is. A good way to do this is to connect it to the literature you have reviewed)

Note: You also need to talk about the results that do not seem to contradict what literature has stated and what you have hypothesized? Do not force the contradictory results into conformity if there is no way to reconcile the results.

Does my writing conform to the conventions of writing? Style?

6) Conclusions

Have I included a succinct summary of what the study has accomplished?

Have I talked about the implications of the study?

Have I talked about the directions for future studies?

Does my writing conform to the conventions of writing? Style?

7) References

Have I followed the APA style?

Have I included all the works in the reference list that I have cited in the paper proper?

Have I included in the paper all the references in the reference list?