Southern New Hampshire Research Methods for Social Workers Discussion


Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting two ways of avoiding the consequences he or she described. Please use the Learning Resources to support your post.

Colleague: Alyssa

Explanation about what should come first—the development of a research question or a thorough literature review. Justify your answer by adding your thoughts about which process you believe to be more realistic and/or appropriate, and why.

It is more beneficial to develop a working research question to help narrow the literature review. A research question prevents the researcher from exploring irrelevant information that could distract the social worker from the true intent and purpose of desired research. Research questions drive and serve as the foundation of the research, so it is more realistic to begin with the question rather than a review of literature (Yegidis,2018). Though the question should come first, it is important to make appropriate adjustments after completing a thorough literature review.

Finally, describe potential consequences of deciding on a research question without conducting a review of the literature.

The research question and the literature review have a codependent relationship in the research process. Without literature to inform the question the research risks duplication, inappropriate variables, and added work for the researcher. Receiving previous studies can help provide a guide for the planning process including identifying independent and dependent variables to produce valuable results (Yegidis,2018). Research questions point the researcher in the direction of the appropriate literature, and the literature will help the researcher refine the question. To bypass the literature would deprive the researcher of the basic knowledge required to conduct a well informed and organized study. Literature informs the researcher of previous results in similar studies and gaps in knowledge that can be answered through proposed study (Yegidis,2018).


Yegidis, B.L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L. (2018). Research methods for social

workers (8th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson

Prof. Angela


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