The Four Steps of Quantitative Study
The first four steps of the critique process in a quantitative study are comprehension, comparison, analysis, and evaluation.
Comprehension is a conceptual phase. Any quantitative study starts with a formulation of a question, i.e. defining a problem that requires a solution. This step is very intellectual and includes a lot of theory-building activities such as reading a lot of thematic literature, conceptualizing, theorizing, and reviewing ideas with colleagues or advisers, and basically constructing a carcass of a future case study (“Quantitative Research – Phases, Steps,” 2014, para. 4). This step also demands a certain degree of “creativity, deductive reasoning, and a firm grounding in previous research on the topic of interest” from the researchers (“Quantitative Research – Phases, Steps,” 2014, para. 4). In a few words, this stage acts as an introduction to a study, which is mostly characterized by establishing the goal of the study and data collecting.
Once the data is gathered, it should be critically reviewed. Since quantitative studies are based on the analysis of the newly acquired information in the context of the pre-existing data, the next step is to evaluate the data collected and to set it against the already established statistics and facts. Comparison is all about introducing new evidence to the research: the formulated research question is “framed within the existing literature” in order to point out “the deficiencies in the literature” and target the study for an audience (Creswell, 2014, p. 23). This stage features a lot of thorough literature reviews and lays a foundation for the new evidence to analyze and engrave into the research (“Quantitative Research – Phases, Steps,” 2014, para. 7). A literature review can be used to remind the scholars what is already known about the problem and, therefore, “provide a rationale for the study,” and also to exemplify the size of the study, the practices of data collection that can be utilized, the instruments of data evaluation, and so on (Mertens, 2015, p. 90). This stage builds up the subject for analysis.
Analysis in a quantitative study means scrutinizing and exploring the gathered information and interpreting the acquired results. Usually, researchers analyze the data using the statistical analysis method, which aims at examining “generalizations about a sample” (Stage & Wells, 2015, p. 96). This method concentrates on generalized data; a research based on the most common results – the results demonstrated by the majority. The analysis stage wraps up the discoveries that the study has produced and welcomes the scholars and researchers to explain them in accordance with their own clinical experience and the previously devised evidence theories (“Quantitative Research – Phases, Steps,” 2014, para. 45). Via comparing the results of the study with the results of the previous/similar studies, a new result emerges. The researchers then document this result and leave it for the subsequent evaluation.
Evaluation is conducted once the result of the previous stage is achieved and recorded.
It is the process of summarizing the findings and defining their quality …