Title and Abstract: The title and abstract of the article often provide clues about the research design. Look for keywords such as “quantitative,” “qualitative,” “mixed methods,” or specific research methods like “survey,” “interview,” or “content analysis.”
Methods Section: The methods section of the article is where you’ll find detailed information about the research design. Look for information on data collection methods, sample size, data analysis techniques, and whether the study used qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods.
Research Objectives: Consider the research objectives or questions stated in the introduction or methods section. If the study aims to understand experiences, perspectives, or meanings (e.g., “how” and “why” questions), it’s likely qualitative. If it aims to measure relationships, patterns, or variables (e.g., “what” and “how much” questions), it’s likely quantitative.
Data Analysis: Pay attention to the data analysis methods. Qualitative research often involves thematic analysis, content analysis, or coding, while quantitative research uses statistical tests and measures.
Results and Findings: The presentation of results can also indicate the research design. Qualitative research typically presents findings in the form of themes, narratives, or quotations, while quantitative research presents numerical data, tables, and statistical tests.
Discussion: The discussion section may include information on the limitations of the study, which can provide insights into the research design. For example, qualitative studies often discuss issues related to subjectivity and generalizability, while quantitative studies may address issues of measurement and statistical significance.
Here’s a sample APA-formatted reference for a full-text primary research article:
Author(s). (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. URL or DOI (if available).
Remember to replace “Author(s),” “Year,” “Title of the article,” “Title of the Journal,” “volume number(issue number),” and “page range” with the specific information from the article you choose.
Once you’ve identified the type of research design in the article, you can provide that information in your assignment along with the APA-formatted reference.