HSH725 Research Literacy - Assessment Task - 2

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Why complete this assessment task?

It is imperative that those working in the health and caring professions are able to critically appraise research for rigour: that appraisal will inform whether you should/could implement the evidence in the real-world setting.

To complete this in the form of an academic assessment task you are required to:

  • use effective library search strategies
  • demonstrate your capacity to critically appraise information
  • present your findings in the form of a clearly structured academic report
  • use the APA 7 referencing style and follow the referencing and academic integrity guidelines on the Deakin referencing site: www.deakin.edu.au/referencing

What do I need to do?

You are asked undertake a critical appraisal of two (2) pieces of academic literature, written in the form of an academic report. Your report must include ONE qualitative and ONE quantitative peer- reviewed article selected from the options provided below.

You should now progress through the next five steps:

  1. Read the detailed assessment instructions
  2. Understand how to structure your assignment (your critical appraisal)
  3. Check your assignment meets formatting and referencing requirements
  4. Check your work through the Turnitin originality check
  5. Submit your assignment

1. Detailed assessment instructions

  1. Select your two articles from the options Select only ONE qualitative and ONE quantitative article for your assessment:

Qualitative articles:

  • Smith, , Schutte, N., Rice, K., & Usher, K. (2023). Healing through meaning as an aspect of spirituality for Indigenous Australians: a qualitative study. AlterNative, 19(3), 626–634.
  • Jin, , Brener, L., & Treloar, C. (2022). Trust in healthcare providers among Chinese immigrants living with hepatitis B virus in Australia: A qualitative study. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 29(11), 968– 975.

Quantitative articles:

  1. Grigg, , Manning, V., Stragalinos, P., Bernard, C., Volpe, I., Lubman, D. I., Lockie, D., Giles, M., Bell, R. J., Greenwood, C. J., Smith, L., & Bragge, P. (2023). A brief intervention for improving alcohol literacy and reducing harmful alcohol use by women attending a breast screening service: a randomised controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia, 218(11), 511–519.
  2. Scanlon, B., Wyld, D., Firman, P., Nakagaki, M., Durham, J., Kennedy, G., Moran, P., Smith, M., & Gavin, N. (2023). COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, acceptance and informational needs in an Australian cancer population: a cross-sectional Australian Health Review, 47(1), 110–118.


  1. Retrieve the two articles you have chosen to appraise from the Deakin Library database. Ensure that you have selected ONE qualitative and ONE quantitative article.
  2. Locate an appropriate critical appraisal tool to use for each article. Ensure you cite the source/s of the appraisal tool and provide a brief explanation of why you selected the
  3. Use the appropriate critical appraisal tool to examine each article:
  • First note answers to the questions/items listed in the tool. Include page numbers from the research article in your answers in the appraisal tool (i.e. cross reference where in the research article you are finding the answers to the critical appraisal tool questions/items)
  • Synthesise your analysis – consider key strengths and key weaknesses and what they mean for overall qualityUse additional sources to help evaluate issues of validity, representativeness etc.
  • Ensure that when you describe the various strengths and weaknesses of the article you explain their implications. For instance, if the quantitative article had non-random sampling you will state this, and then explain the implications of this type of sampling. This may mean you also need to consult and cite relevant articles and books on research methods e.g. your unit material. By doing this, you will be able to demonstrate in your assessment task that you understand why the aspect you have noted is a strength or a limitation of the study you are critically appraising.

This forms the main section of your written appraisal.

  1. Use the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research (right click on link) and what you have learnt about inclusive research, and cultural safety  , to describe the main ethical issues pertaining to each of the two studies and briefly discuss how they have (or have not) been
  2. Ensure you provide a conclusion to your report – no new material should be added here. Instead, you should be including an overarching statement regarding the rigour of each article you appraised in your

2. Report structure

Your report should consist of the following sections.

  1. Introduction (~100 words)

A brief introductory paragraph where you outline the purpose and main sections of your appraisal.

  1. Tool selection (~100 words)

Explanation of tool selection. Attach a copy of the appraisal tools in their original format to your assignment as an appendix (does not contribute to the word count).

  1. Critical appraisal (~1500 words)

Analysis based on the critical appraisal tool selected to discuss strengths and weaknesses of each article. Provide an overall appraisal of each article.

  1. Ethical issues (~300 words)

Description of main ethical issues and discussion of how these have or have not been addressed.

  1. Summary of the appraised papers (~250 words)

Short summary of the overall rigour of the papers.

  1. References

A list of references cited in your report using APA7 referencing style.

  1. Appendix

Submit the appraisal tools with your assignment either combined into your submitted report or as a separate PDF.

In terms of the structure, each section should address each article, but they should be addressed separated. For example, the tool selection section will be: ‘For the qualitative article the X tool was selected…It was chosen because….For the quantitative paper…. ‘

3.  Formatting and referencing requirements

File format – Word (.docx) or PDF

Font size – 10 -12

Font type – Professional e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri

Spacing – 1.5 – 2 point Margins – Normal Borders – None

Page numbers – Required

Please ensure that your assignment is clear, following an appropriate structure with the use of subheadings and free from typographical or grammatical errors. Also ensure you read through the assignment drafting guide   .

Academic referencing involves two interconnected parts: in-text citations and a list of references. Every source you refer to must have an accurate in-text citation using APA7 referencing style.

DO NOT use footnotes.

All direct quotes must have page numbers in addition to author, year.

Full details of all sources you refer to in-text must be listed in your list of references (at the end of your assignment), and correctly formatted using APA7 referencing style.

Word limit

The word limit for the assignment is 2250 words (excluding the reference list, but including in-text citations and headings). You are permitted to be 10% over or under the word limit, but words over 2475 will not be assessed. This is done to ensure equity among students – it is unfair if students who exceed the word limit get higher grades (due to including extra material over the word count) than students who comply with the limit. Also, concise writing that states the key points is an important report-writing skill you can demonstrate in your assignment!

4.  Check your work through the Turnitin Originality Check

Before submitting your assignment you can check the originality of your work (excluding the abstracts as these will impact on your Turnitin score) using Turnitin. This is available on CloudDeakin under the TOOLS tab – Turnitin Originality Check. If your Turnitin score is more than 15% (excluding in-text citations, reference list and excluding the abstract) you should consider revising your assignment to ensure that your answers to the assignment questions are written in your own words. It is NOT acceptable in this assignment to answer the questions using ‘blocks’ of text taken from the references provided (though the occasional word or technical term is acceptable). If necessary, revise your assignment before submitting it to the dropbox as outlined in the following section.

REMEMBER that submitting your assignment to Turnitin does NOT constitute submitting your assignment to the dropbox for assessment – they are two separate processes.

Also make sure that when you finally submit your assignment to the dropbox, it is the revised/final version (if you made revisions) and not an earlier version that you submitted to Turnitin.

5.  Assignment submission

The assignment is to be submitted in the Assignment Dropbox provided on CloudDeakin, in Word or PDF format. Here are instructions    for submitting your assignment online

Please use you the Assignment (Assessment) Discussion area to discuss the assignment on CloudDeakin with your fellow students. This is encouraged – but you must submit your own original work and ideas. Should there be evidence of plagiarism and/or collusion, students will not only receive a zero score for the assignment, but may also risk failing the Unit, and facing a Faculty of Health Academic Progress and Discipline Committee Hearing. This link contains important information about strategies for preserving academic integrity.

And finally,

Best wishes for completing the assignment. Remember to post any questions about the assignment in the Assignment (Assessment) Discussion area of CloudDeakin. You can expect to receive feedback and a grade for your assignment approximately three weeks after the due date.

Additional things to note about this task:

Only answering the questions on the appraisal tools does not constitute a critical appraisal – please ensure you closely read the assessment instructions for what is


You will need to demonstrate a high academic standard of writing, presentation and referencing.

Ensure you are familiar with how to use appropriate inclusive language    in your report – you will be marked on this.

Please refer to the AT2 rubric for a detailed outline of how your assessment will be marked.

To address ethical issues, please refer to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research (link above). We will also make the Week 10 material available for you to refer to. We are looking for a discussion of the key ethical considerations only.

You only need to attach the empty tool. The filled out tools are for your own notes to help you prepare the synthesis.

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