This is an article about the illicit use of prescription drugs for attention deficit hyperactive disorder among college students. It is a multi-methodological research work comprising both of qualitative and quantitative research methods. It is a study which was carried out to establish whether the students abuse these drugs and if they do, how they acquire them. The study tries to establish whether it is easy for the students to get the drugs for treating attention deficit hyperactive disorder for abuse. These drugs are stimulants of the central nervous system and they make the person who has used them to feel stimulated, make him concentrate more in what he or she is doing and increase the ability to memorize the facts easier. It is argued that the use of this drugs increase the ability of a person to understand better and retain that memory for a longer time. the article which the critique is focusing on is as the following.
The hypothesis of my research study is that the research has not followed the rules used in the research. This will be evaluated as follows.
First, the research problem was not stated clearly. The author of the article has not provided a clear statement of the problem he is intending to study. A study should clearly indicate the problem of the study at the beginning so that the reader will be able to get the content of the research. However, the study has a title which indicates what the study is investigating. The research has not provided a justification of the research problem. The researcher should always explain to the reader why he chose to carry out that research work among the many researches which he would have done but did not do. Justification of the research work will enable the researcher to convince the reader that the study was the most appropriate at that time and thus the reason as to why the study was carried out. For example, the researcher should have told the audience that he choose this research because the problem of drug use has become serious especially among college students. He should also give the effects of these drugs such as addiction and thus makes the audience see that the researcher was justified to carry out that research, according to Trochim, (2006).
The researcher should also have shown the audience the contributions the study will have to the society. He should show how the study will try to correct the problem of illicit drug use among the college students. This will make the audience understand that the study is important as it is contributing to the solving of the problems facing the society. Stating of the contributions the study will have on the society will ensure that the audience will be attracted to read or listen the research work. For example, the researcher should have said that the research will be useful in the reduction of the use of the illicit prescription drugs for treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder among students or other people in the society. Stating the contributions of the study to the society shows its importance to the society.
The author has not stated the research question. The research question should have read like, “Is there illicit use of prescription drugs among college students and why?” The research question will guide the reader to understand what the author is interested in so that he or she can read the article objectively. The researcher failed to include the purpose of the study in the article. The purpose guides the audience to establish what the intention of the researcher was in the conducting of the study and thus makes the audience interested in that article. The research is lacking a hypothesis. A hypothesis forms the basis on which the findings will be evaluated. By the use of the hypothesis, the researcher establishes if the findings are in line with what the general idea about the subject was. After the researcher has got the results, he will be able to compare them with what the hypothesis stated and thus establish if it was true (Freshwater, Sherwood, & Drury, 2006).
Strengths of the study
The study has provided a good literature review which gives the background of the study. The reader is able to know all the researches which have been done previously and thus get the background knowledge of the study. The writer researches on the available resources on the abuse of the stimulant drugs used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The research conducts a thorough literature review so that he can form the basis for his research. The literature review goes into the depths of the subject, explaining the disease itself and the options for its treatment. It also gives the prevalence of the disease in the American children.
The study is well referenced. A person reading the research paper has an opportunity to confirm the information contained in the research paper from the resources indicated. It is possible that a reader can be confused or not believe the information in any research and thus, the reader will use the references as a way of confirming what the research says. In addition, the use of references in a research work makes the study be acceptable. Quoting some other study or other article or a book makes a researcher’s article be acceptable by other scholars. It becomes authentic and thus can be used a a body of knowledge. The resources quoted in the text are authentic and the researcher has used references which are peer reviewed. Use of peer reviewed references is important since references which are peer reviewed have more authority than references which are not. It is assumed that if a reference is peer reviewed will be more likely to contain information which is true. The wrong information will have been corrected at the time of review. Therefore, the information contained in the paper is authentic because it is referenced and the references are peer reviewed.
The researcher used a multi-methodological approach which increases the probability of the researcher to getting accurate information. The results which have been got by the use of a multi-methodological approach will tend to be more accurate than the use of one methodology. Thus, using multi-methodological approach increases the accuracy of the results. In addition, it allows the researcher to collect a lot of information in his research. For example, when using questionnaires alone, a researcher may not be able to decide the accuracy of the information he is getting from the participant. However, when he combines interviews with questionnaires, he is likely to know if the respondents are saying the truth or they are being dishonesty. This is because the researcher is in face to face contact with the respondents. Combining different methods of research increases the researcher’s ability to get accurate information.
The researcher has discussed the findings of the research very well. In a research work, the author should explain to the reader what his findings were and why they were like that. The author ties the findings with previous knowledge of the subject so that he can show how these findings are relevant. The discussion is very relevant to the findings and there is no deviation of the discussion from the research objectives. The researcher included an abstract at the start of his report. The abstract is very important as it shows the summary of the research work. The researcher uses an abstract to give the readers some brief information about the background of the study, the methodology, the results, the discussion, the recommendations and the conclusions. A reader who is very busy is able to get the core of the research by just reading the abstract which is small, time saving and easy to read. In addition, some readers will use the abstract to decide if they will read that research paper or not. Without the inclusion of the abstract, the researcher may find it hard for him to convince the audience to read his work if they are busy.
Limitations of the Study
Although the study has a very good literature review, it also has some limitations which include the following. First, the researcher does not appear to have requested for consent from the potential participants before carrying out his study. It is a requirement that any researcher is supposed to seek the consent of the participants so that he can carry out his or her study. The researcher requests the participants to participate and should show that in the research work. The participants can decide to accept or reject. If they accept, they should sign a consent form which acts as evidence that they were explained what the study is and accepted to participate. If they opt not to participate, they will not be included in the study. Therefore, the researcher should have said whether the participants were explained on what the study is about and allowed to make a decision. If they accepted, the researcher should have shown the consent form as part of the report he has presented. However, the article does not state whether the researcher explained to the potential candidates the research and requested for their consent. He also does not show the consent form which was signed by the participant after they were recruited.
The consent form is important because it shows the reader that ethical considerations were taken care of during the study. The readers are interested in establishing whether the researcher considered ethics in the process of carrying out his research or not. To prove to the audience that the ethics of research were followed, the researcher should attach the consent form. A research without consent form means that the researcher did not explain the participants that they were participating in the study which is not ethical. In future, the researcher should explain to the subjects and let them make a decision on whether to participate or not. The researcher should give accurate information about the study he is about to carry out and without use of force, the potential participants given the chance to make a decision. Consent also makes the participants be honest with the information they are giving. If the participants are forced to participate, they may end up not giving accurate information and thus reduce the validity of the study.
The researcher has not indicated the methodology he used apart from indicating that it was both qualitative and quantitative. He should state the study population which he used to obtain the results of the study. The study population enables the reader to get information on whether the research is authentic or not. He also does not give geographical address of the place where the study was carried out. The provision of the geographical information in thhe research enables any individual who wants to get to het place of study to do so without much difficulty. The researcher should give the place of the study, the state where it was carried out, the district or the municipality and all the relevant details which are needed to identify the location of the study area. The researcher also does not provide the details on how he came up with his sample size. The researcher should give the formula he used in the coming up with the sample size. The method of selection of the participants should be indicated. Was it random sampling or purposive sampling or convenient sampling or snowball sampling? The researcher should have indicated this in the methodology.
The limitations of the study should have been included in the research work. The researcher should tell the audience what was limiting his research work and thus compromising the quality of the results. With this, the audience will be able to understand the challenges the researcher faced while carrying out his study. This will make the audience form a more informed opinion on the quality of the results. The quality of the results may be determined partially by what the limitations to the study were. If there were serious limitations like the lack of enough participants in the study, the researcher is likely to have got results which would not be termed as authentic. The researcher should also tell the audience how he overcame the challenges and therefore managed to carry out the research work. Providing the audience with the limitations of the study will also help the researcher to reduce the criticism he would have faced since the audience already understands that such a limitation was there.
The inclusion and the exclusion criteria for the participants have not been included. According to Bauer, (1992), the qualities of the participants which were considered before being included into the study form the inclusion criteria while the exclusion criteria refers to those qualities which were considered in the exclusion of other people from participating. For example, in this study, one of the exclusion criteria is participants who decide not to participate, that is, those who refuse to give consent to the researcher. The inclusion criteria can be the people who are students in a university thus qualifying for the study because the study is on students in the university. The inclusion and exclusion criteria specify the qualities which were considered as very important in the decision of whether an individual is to participate or not.
The researcher failed to include tables and charts in the research work. The researcher should have used such things as tables, charts, graphs and bar lines in the presentation of the data. In a quantitative study, these are very important since they make it easier for the reader to get the information. Thus, in the results section, there should be some tables and other ways of presenting data which would be easier for the reader to understand. Data presented in continuous prose will appear boring for the reader.
The researcher fails to give recommendations about his study. In a research work, it is always necessary to give various recommendations so that they can be used to solve the problem. Recommendations of a study are very important since they will show the significance of the study to the community thus making the society use them to solve the problem it is facing. The researcher should have given the recommendations such as “Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder drugs should be given strictly to those who are suffering from the disease and in the right amounts with excess.” The recommendation provides the basis for the implementation of the research thus making it possible for the society to use them in the solving of the problem.
The objectives of the study were not included in the study. The objectives provide a basis for the evaluation of the study to establish if the author achieved them. The author is supposed to indicate what his objectives were as he was starting the research work. At the end of the study, he should state if these objectives have been achieved or not in the study. If the objectives were met at the end of the study, the study is good but if they have not been achieved, the researcher should tell the audience what made him not achieve the objectives. Therefore, in the evaluation of a research work, the objectives are very important (Gauch, 2003).
Conclusion was not included in the research work. Towards the end of the research, the researcher should make a conclusion of his findings and the discussion. He should tie the findings and the hypothesis and establish if the hypothesis was right or wrong. It is in the conclusion part where the researcher makes it known to the reader that the hypothesis has been tested right or wrong.
Although the article has a very good literature review, results and discussion parts, the author failed to include the background, the objectives, acknowledgement and purpose of the study among other things. At the end, the report lacks the recommendations of the study to enable the society use the findings to solve the problem in the society. Future researchers should make sure that all the parts of the research work are followed and thus make it an authentic source of information. Without that, the research might not be considered as authentic.