Prepared by Louise Kaplan, PhD, ARNP, FNP-BC, FAANP
Senior Policy Fellow, Department of Nursing Practice and Policy
Framework for How to Read and Critique a Research Study
1. Critiquing the research article
a. Title – Does it accurately describe the article?
b. Abstract – Is it representative of the article?
c. Introduction – Does it make the purpose of the article clear?
d. Statement of the problem – Is the problem properly introduced?
e. Purpose of the study – Has the reason for conducting the research been
f. Research question(s) – Is/are the research question(s) clearly defined and if
not, should they be?
g. Theoretical framework – Is the theoretical framework described? If there is
not a theoretical framework, should there be?
h. Literature review – Is the literature review relevant to the study,
comprehensive, and include recent research? Does the literature review
support the need for the study?
i. Methods – Is the design appropriate for the study? Does the sample fit with
the research design and is the size sufficient? Was a data collection
instrument needed? How were data collected? Were reliability and validity
j. Analysis – Is the analytical approach consistent with the study questions and
k. Results – Are the results presented clearly in the text, tables and figures? Are
the statistics clearly explained?
l. Discussion – Are the results explained in relationship to the theoretical
framework, research questions, and the significance to nursing?
m. Limitations – Are the limitations presented and their implications discussed?
n. Conclusion – Are there recommendations for nursing practice, future
research, and policymakers?
2. Determine the level and quality of the evidence using a scale (several can be found
in ANA’s Research Toolkit www.nursingworld.org/Research-Toolkit/Appraising-theEvidence )
3. Decide if the study is applicable to your practice
a. Can you use the results and recommendations in your practice?