. Study the variables
a. What are the independent and dependent study variables?
Independent variables represent ‘inputs’ and can have any value. Dependent variables
represent ‘outputs’ or ‘effects’.
Example: The study collected data that observed changes in the number of people becoming
infected by the Ebola virus by varying amounts of education/awareness being facilitated by
the American Red Cross. The amount of attention given by the American Red Cross is an
independent variable while the number of people who were or were not infected after public
awareness efforts is a dependent variable.
a. Was the research qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods? Why and why not?
b. How was the data collected?
c. What populations or samples were studied?
d. How were the populations or samples selected?
e. How long did the study take?
f. What type of statistical analysis was used?
Example: The research used by the author was qualitative data taken from data collected by
the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The data was collected over a five year
period with help from six West African governments. The data tracked 100 residents from
each country and monitored the spread of the disease among the citizens. His analysis of the
data was not applied directly rather it is used to infer that his original hypothesis is correct.