Effective Research Assignment

Effective Research Assignment

Effective Research Assignment

Question Description
Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?

The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.

Alice: I don’t much care where.

The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.

—Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The careful formulation of a research question is the first step in conducting effective research. Because this question will guide the

Effective Research Assignment
Effective Research Assignment

entire research process, it is critical that it is specific, answerable, meaningful, and manageable. The question, “What is the cure for cancer?” is important, but it is not specific or manageable enough to encourage effective research. The question, “Are people who play the violin on Fridays in March more likely to get hepatitis?” on the other hand, is very specific but lacks clinical significance. To generate meaningful, precise findings from research, researchers must first carefully craft a question. Furthermore, researchers must investigate ethical concerns related to the question they choose. Taking the time to craft a relevant, well-constructed question will allow the researcher to proceed with clarity.

This week, you examine various models for developing a researchable question and reflect on research ethics. You also use the PICOT model to develop a research question.

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L. Carroll (1865).

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Macmillan, London, UK.

Objectives of Learning

The students will:

Examine the ethical implications of research studies.
Determine the importance of a health-care issue to nursing practice.
Create a PICOT question that can be answered for an EBP study.
[JGI/Jamie Grill]/[Blend Images]/Getty Images

Resources for Learning

Please click on the link to the Course Readings List in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus to access this week’s required library resources.

Readings Required

Polit, D. F., and C. T. Beck (2017).

Nursing research is concerned with the generation and evaluation of evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, PA.

“Key Concepts and Steps in Qualitative and Quantitative Research,” Chapter 3 (for review)
“Research Problems, Research Questions, and Hypotheses,” Chapter 4
This chapter focuses on the steps involved in planning an evidence-generating study. These include generating hypotheses, developing a research question, identifying variables, articulating a problem statement, and developing a research question.

“Ethics in Nursing Research,” Chapter 7
The focus of this chapter is on the ethical quandaries that arise when planning and conducting research, as well as the ethical principles that have been enacted to protect study participants.

G. Fouka and M. Mantzorou (2011). What are the major ethical concerns in research? Is there a conflict between research ethics and nursing’s nature? 3-14 in Health Science Journal, 5(1).

The information was obtained from the Walden Library’s databases.

This article describes a literature review that was conducted to identify the most significant ethical issues that nurses face when conducting or participating in research. The authors describe the review’s findings and make recommendations for addressing some of the issues raised.

P. Newcomb (2010). Fairness in human subjects research is evolving. 123-124 in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.

The information was obtained from the Walden Library’s databases.

In this article, the author discusses some of the ethical issues that may arise when conducting research on human subjects, particularly with regard to gene ownership. The author also emphasizes the importance of informing research subjects and their families about the ultimate goal of the study.

G. Yakov, Y. Shilo, and T. Shor (2010). Nurses’ perspectives on ethical issues concerning patient rights law. 501-510 in Nursing Ethics, 17(4).

The information was obtained from the Walden Library’s databases.

The authors of this article describe a study that was conducted to determine how nursing staff deal with ethical and legal issues. The article emphasizes how difficult it was for staff to distinguish between legal and ethical issues. The authors make several suggestions for dealing with legal and ethical issues.

F. Delwiche (2008).

Anatomy of a health sciences scholarly research presentation. retrieved

The primary components of scholarly research articles are highlighted in this presentation. The presentation discusses what makes scholarly journals unique, the peer-review process, and the definition of “primary literature.”

Association of American Nurses (2001).

Nursing ethics code with interpretive statements URL:

This website contains a code of ethics for nurses to follow when carrying out their duties. Each provision is also explained in great detail.

Template for a Literature Review Summary Table (Word document)

Note: You will use this document to complete the Project throughout this course.


Laureate Education (Producer). (2012a). Anatomy of a research study. Baltimore, MD: Author.

This multimedia piece explains the “anatomy” of both quantitative and qualitative research studies. In addition, there is a brief quiz at the end of the tutorial to measure knowledge about research articles.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012d). Evidence-based practice and research. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.

In this video, Dr. Marianne Chulay talks about the significance of evidence-based practice and research in nursing. She explains how nurses should apply research findings to health care decisions to improve outcomes.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012h). Overview of evidence-based practice. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.

In this video, Dr. Kristen Mauk explains evidence-based practice and its importance to nursing. She also provides a brief overview of the process of conducting original research.

Optional Resources

National Institutes of Health Office of Extramural Research. (2011). Protecting human research participants. Retrieved from

This website provides a course on ethical research for those involved in research in human subjects. The course supplies basic concepts, principles, and issues relevant to protecting research participants.

University of Oxford. (2005). PICO: Formulating an answerable question. Retrieved from

Assignment 1: Ethical Dimensions of Research Studies

In the best-selling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Skloot, 2010), the author highlights the true story of an African-American woman who died in 1951 from cervical cancer. What makes her story unique is that prior to her death, cells from her tumor were removed and successfully grown in a petri dish. This was the first time scientists were able to successfully replicate cells outside the body, and it is estimated that billions of Lacks’ cells have been used in medical research. However, Henrietta Lacks was never asked for permission to take a sample and her family was never made aware of the widespread use of her cells. Although the culturing of her cells has been pivotal for advancing research, strong ethical concerns later arose about using these cells without patient or family approval.

This week’s readings describe historical examples of unethical research, such as a study of syphilis among African-American men in which treatment was withheld and a study in which live cancer cells were injected into elderly patients. Today, stricter controls that seek to protect study participants are placed on researchers, but breaches still occur. Careful attention must be given toward preventing unethical behavior. In this Discussion, you explore ethical considerations and issues in research.

To prepare:

Select a current health-related case involving research ethics. (If none come to mind, browse the Internet to familiarize yourself with recent cases.)
As you review the case that you have selected, reflect on the ethical principles discussed in “What Are the Major Ethical Issues in Conducting Research?” article found in this week’s Learning Resources. Which principles were breached in the case you have identified?
Write a description of the case that you selected and the ethical issues involved. Analyze the ethical principles that were breached by the researchers or organizations in your selected case as well as the possible cause of the breach(es). Suggest how the research might have been conducted differently to avoid or minimize the ethical problems. Discuss how research can be done on sensitive issues while still protecting the rights of the research subjects.

Assignment 2—Literature Review

This is a continuation of the Course Project presented in Week 2. Before you begin, review the Course Project Overviewdocument located in the Week 2 Resources area.

The literature review is a critical piece in the research process because it helps a researcher determine what is currently known about a topic and identify gaps or further questions. Conducting a thorough literature review can be a time-consuming process, but the effort helps establish the foundation for everything that will follow. For this part of your Course Project, you will conduct a brief literature review to find information on the question you developed in Week 2. This will provide you with experience in searching databases and identifying applicable resources.

To prepare:

Review the information in Chapter 5 of the course text, focusing on the steps for conducting a literature review and for compiling your findings.
Using the question you selected in your Week 2 Project (Part 1 of the Course Project), locate 5 or more full-text research articles that are relevant to your PICOT question. Include at least 1 systematic review and 1 integrative review if possible. Use the search tools and techniques mentioned in your readings this week to enhance the comprehensiveness and objectivity of your review. You may gather these articles from any appropriate source, but make sure at least 3 of these articles are available as full-text versions through Walden Library’s databases.
Read through the articles carefully. Eliminate studies that are not appropriate and add others to your list as needed. Although you may include more, you are expected to include a minimum of five articles. Complete a literature review summary table using the Literature Review Summary Table Template located in this week’s Learning Resources.
Prepare to summarize and synthesize the literature using the information on writing a literature review found in Chapter 5 of the course text.
To complete:

Write a 3- to 4-page literature review that includes the following:

A synthesis of what the studies reveal about the current state of knowledge on the question that you developedPoint out inconsistencies and contradictions in the literature and offer possible explanations for inconsistencies.
Preliminary conclusions on whether the evidence provides strong support for a change in practice or whether further research is needed to adequately address your inquiry
Your literature review summary table with all references formatted in correct APA style
Note: Certain aspects of conducting a standard review of literature have not yet been covered in this course. Therefore, while you are invited to critically examine any aspect of the studies (e.g., a study’s design, appropriateness of the theoretic framework, data sampling methods), your conclusion should be considered preliminary. Bear in mind that five studies are typically not enough to reflect the full range of knowledge on a particular question and you are not expected to be familiar enough with research methodology to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of the studies.

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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