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NURS 8250 Week 6: Framework/Theory Analysis and Evaluation

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NURS 8250/NURS 8250N Week 6: Framework/Theory Analysis and Evaluation essay assignment

NURS 8250/NURS 8250N: Advanced Theoretical and Scientific Perspectives in Nursing | Week 6 essay assignment

Theory is usually constructed to express a unique, unifying idea about a phenomenon that answers previously unanswered questions and provides new insights into the nature of the phenomenon. A theory attempts to establish a parsimonious, precise example, or model, of the real world or the world as it is experienced. Thus, theory is defined as a set of interrelated relational statements about a phenomenon that is useful for description, explanation, prediction and prescription or control.

—Walker and Avant, 2011, p. 193

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In Week 5, you examined relationships between and among concepts related to your phenomenon of interest. Both frameworks and theories relate concepts together in a meaningful way, although as you explored at the beginning of this course, theories exist further along a continuum of describing, explaining, predicting, and controlling a phenomenon.

In this week’s Discussion, you examine more closely the distinctions between frameworks and theories. You search the literature related to your phenomenon of interest, analyze existing frameworks or theories, and evaluate each framework/theory for the purposes of your theoretical foundation. In the Assignment, you begin to write a partial draft of a paper describing your theoretical foundation for research, which is due by Day 7 of Week 7.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Distinguish frameworks from theories
  • Analyze strengths of frameworks/theories
  • Analyze weaknesses of frameworks/theories
  • Evaluate the applicability of frameworks/theories to phenomena of interest
  • Apply analytic methods to the development of theoretical foundations for research

Theory analysis is particularly helpful in research because it provides a clear idea of the form and structure of the theory in addition to the relevance of content, and inconsistencies and gaps present. The ‘missing links’ or inconsistencies are fruitful sources of new research ideas. They also point to the next hypotheses that need to be tested.

—Walker and Avant, 2011, p. 206

Nurse scientists often find that examining the literature is a productive way to see how existing frameworks and theories have been applied in other research studies. By engaging in this process, they may gain insights about a particular framework or theory, be able to identify gaps in research, or uncover new questions they are eager to explore.

In this Discussion, you analyze existing frameworks/theories using the procedure proposed by Walker and Avant. Your analysis should provide an objective understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each framework or theory. This, in turn, should enable you to evaluate whether the framework/theory is useful for the purposes of your theoretical foundation for a program of research.

To prepare
  • Review the information that Dr. Hathaway presents in the Week 1 media program, “Theoretical Foundation for Research,” regarding the phases of theory development and the similarities and differences between frameworks and theories.
  • Search the literature and identify two frameworks/theories that may be useful for investigating your phenomenon of interest.
  • Review the procedure for theory analysis presented in Chapter 12 of Walker and Avant (2011). Apply these steps to each framework/theory you have selected and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each framework/theory. Determine whether additional development or refinement is needed (i.e., for each framework, identify which aspects would require further research in order for it to meet the requirements of a theory).
  • Evaluate the value of each framework/theory for addressing your phenomenon. Determine which framework/theory has the most potential for use as part of your theoretical foundation of your research.
  • Think about any questions you have related to theory analysis and evaluation.

NURS 8250 Week 6: Framework/Theory Analysis and Evaluation

By Day 3

Post a description of the two frameworks/theories you analyzed and evaluated, and explain why each is considered either a framework or a theory. For framework(s) you have selected, explain which aspects would require further research to meet the requirements of a theory. Explain why one has the most potential for use in your theoretical foundation for research, noting its strengths and weaknesses. Also pose any questions that have arisen through your examination of frameworks/theories.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.

Assignment: Theoretical Foundation Paper: Partial Draft essay assignment

Throughout this course, you have been investigating a phenomenon of interest and developing elements of a theoretical foundation for a program of research. In Weeks 3 and 4, you analyzed one or more concepts related to your phenomenon of interest; in Week 5, you examined the relationships between and among concepts; and this week (Week 6), you analyzed and evaluated existing frameworks and/or theories that may be useful for your research purposes.

For this Assignment, you begin to draft a paper presenting your theoretical foundation. As you commence this process, you will likely discover that you need to delve deeper into the literature, discuss your work with colleagues, and refine your initial ideas. You are encouraged to take the time you need to fully engage in the iterative process of developing your theoretical foundation.

In subsequent weeks of the course, you will continue to build your theoretical foundation and refine the partial draft of your paper. You will have received feedback from your Instructor on this partial draft and have additional time to produce the final version of your paper later in the course.

To prepare
  • Review the Learning Resources and the work you have completed in each week of this course thus far.
  • Begin writing a draft of your paper to address the following:
    • Identify your phenomenon of interest.
    • Define concepts and identify attributes, antecedents, and consequences.
    • Describe conceptual relationships.
    • Identify assumptions that may be embedded in your research.
    • Describe how an existing framework or theory could inform your work. Explain how the framework/theory originated and what modifications you may need to make for it to be useful for your research.

Note: In Week 7, you will begin to develop research questions or hypotheses, which will be incorporated into this Assignment.

Your Theoretical Foundation Paper: Partial Draft is due by Day 7 of Week 7 (next week).

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