Research Report Abstracts Worksheet


Complete the following worksheets in this word document and submit it by the deadline

A )) Analyzing Research Report Abstracts Worksheet


Creswell discusses the purpose and format of research report abstracts (pgs. 108 – 110).  It has been noted in this course that abstracts provide the first opportunity when writing a literature review to assess the relevance and value of a study to the review topic.  It is therefore important both as a research report writer and as a consumer of others’ research that we fully understand abstracts.

Each of the scanned abstracts below is written in an acceptable format (otherwise it probably would not have been published!).  However, you will notice they are not alike in every respect; some variability in content and organization is allowed.  For these abstracts, identify the general function(s) of each sentence.  Some of the functions you might find, as discussed in Creswell, include the following:

·   Issue/Problem/Previous Research
·   Purpose of the study
·   Participants/Context
·   Data collection/Instruments
·   Data analysis
·   Themes (qualitative)/Results (quantitative)
·   Implications


Not all functions will be found in each abstract. In some cases there may be more than one function for a single sentence; if so, list them all.

Abstract #1

Abstract reprinted from the following resource:

Wilson, T., Schaeffer, S., & Bruce, M.A. (2015).  Supervision Experiences of Rural School Counselors. Rural Educator, Winter/Spring 2015, 27 – 37.

(1) This qualitative study explored the needs of professional school counselors and school counselor interns located in rural areas with regard to clinical supervision, consultation, and professional growth. (2) Four separate focus groups (n=21) were conducted. (3) To allow for consistency across focus groups, a series of six structured interview questions were used. (4) Results of the data analysis revealed six themes which included unique issues of rural school counselors, dynamics of rural living, supervision from school administrators, supporting development through technology, desire for increased connection through supervision, and the identification of roles and responsibilities. (5) Implications of this study indicate a crucial need to increase supervision training opportunities for current school counselors and interns. (6) Technology and active participation with professional organizations may provide a platform for rural school counselors to receive supervision training and offer increased professional connection to solidify their counseling identity.

Sentence Number Function(s)
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Abstract #2

Abstract reprinted from the following resource:

Rocque, R., Ferren, S., Hite, J. & Randall, V. (2016). The Unique Skills and Traits of Principals in One-Way and Two-Way Dual Immersion Schools. Foreign Language Annals, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp. 801–818.


(1) This study considers the opinions of dual immersion elementary school principals in investigating the following research questions: What do dual immersion principals identify as the skills and traits for the school leader that lead to the principal’s success in a dual immersion context? and what were the differences of opinion, if any, between principals of one-way and two-way dual immersion programs about the traits and skills required for the school leader? (2) Data was collected from 12 interviews and an online survey of 29 principals of dual immersion schools in Utah. (3) Dual immersion is a model for teaching foreign language in the elementary schools where two languages are studied simultaneously, thus differing from total immersion models, where the foreign language is the only language used at school (Roberts, 2015). (4) Understanding the role of the principal at these schools was the central focus of this research. (5) The themes and patterns that emerged from the data analysis point to five key roles for dual immersion principals. (6) Findings also indicate that these needed skills and traits for school leaders vary between one-way and two-way dual immersion programs.

Sentence Number Function(s)
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Abstract #3

Abstract reprinted from the following resource:

Polka, W., Litchka, P., Mete, R., & Ayaga, A. (2016). Catholic School Principals’ Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Practices During Times of Change and Uncertainty: A North American Analysis. Journal of Catholic Education, Vol. 20, No. 1, October 2016, 220-243.


(1) The authors of the article outline a historical review of Catholic education and student enrollment in North America and a recent perspective of Catholic school principals’ decision-making and problem-solving preferences. (2) The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with an understanding of events which impacted the evolution of Catholic school boards and their administrators in America and Canada as well as current leadership practices. (3) The authors utilize a survey instrument derived from Wayne Hoy’s decision-making and problem-solving research. (4) Their quantitative findings come from 121 principals of K-12 schools situated across the United States and the province of Ontario. (5) This study shows there are no differences in the leadership approaches to solve contemporary problems in North American schools regardless of varied historical, cultural and economic contexts. (6) This article presents support for reinforcing the Catholic mission within school boards and support for leadership and administration programs in North America.


Sentence Number Function(s)
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 B))  Analyzing a Research Report Introduction Worskeet

Creswell discusses the purpose and format of research report abstracts (pp. 110 – 120).  The research report introduction is an important piece of the research design because it sets the foundation and provides the justification for the study overall.  It is therefore important both as a research report writer and as a consumer of others’ research that we fully understand introductions.

As with abstracts, as you read the literature you will notice that research report introductions are not alike in every respect; some variability in content and organization is permissible.  Creswell discusses and provides examples of the various elements often found in research report introductions. Pay particular attention to the bullet point specifics about each element as discussed by Creswell.

For the example introduction below, identify where the following elements can be found in the introduction.  You do not need to locate each of the 15 sentences in the chart. Provide at least one example of each element.


Elements Sentence Number(s) which exemplify the element
·   Research problem <Insert your response here.>
·   Examples of literature on the problem area <Insert your response here.>
·   Deficiencies (or gaps) in the literature <Insert your response here.>
·   Significance of the study <Insert your response here.>


Example Introduction from the following resource:

Gillett, J., Clarke, S. & O’Donoghue, T. (2016). Leading schools facing challenging circumstances: Some insights from Western Australia. Issues in Educational Research, 26(4), 592-603. Retrieved from




(1) This paper is predicated on the simple yet profound observation that leadership can only be understood within the context in which it is exercised. As Gronn and Ribbins (1996) have suggested, context constrains leadership and gives it its meaning. (2) It is, therefore, the vehicle through which the agency of particular leaders may be empirically understood. (3) Nevertheless, while a significant finding of leadership research indicates that context matters, empirical research into leadership of organisations has traditionally lacked such sensitivity to the setting in which it is enacted. (4) Only recently, in the realm of education, has it been recognised that there is a need to investigate how different contexts influence the nature and character of school leadership in order to reveal how school leaders in different environments shape their leadership accordingly. (5) For example, there has been a growing body of work investigating in which ways leadership is understood and practiced in the distinctive environment of the small, remote school (Clarke & Wildy, 2004; Starr, 2016). (6) Further examples of examining educational leadership as it relates to the context in which it operates are represented by recent attention devoted to challenges of leadership in multi-ethnic schools attempting to construct and nurture an inclusive school culture (Walker, 2004).


(7) There has also been some interest in leadership as it is exercised in faith schools. In this connection, Sullivan (2006), highlighted the distinctive expectations placed on leaders to develop a school ethos that is conducive to religious faith, to build connections with the faith community and to articulate the bearing of the faith perspective on how the curriculum is understood. (8) More pertinent to this paper, however, is the focus on leadership in so-called ‘schools facing challenging circumstances’. (9) These are schools that are often located in inner city, low socio-economic environments, and are described as encountering “a multiplicity of economic, emotional and social challenges that, in certain combinations, result in constant crisis” (Harris & Thomson, 2006). (10) Such circumstances are characterised by increasing intensity and complexity that engender a level of environmental turbulence requiring different kinds of leadership from those which apply to organisations operating in less complicated and stable conditions.


(11) Taking into account the latter observation, the main aim of this paper is to examine leadership strategies that are most likely to foster success in schools that may be defined as facing challenging circumstances. (12) For this purpose, the paper is divided into three sections. (13) First, it presents an overview of the relevant literature in order to illustrate distinctive challenges that tend to be encountered in these environments, as well as strategies that are adopted for dealing with such challenges. (14) Secondly, the paper reports on a Western Australian study that investigated the ways in which four primary principals deal with the distinctive context of schools facing challenging circumstances.  (15) Thirdly, implications are drawn from the resultant theoretical and empirical insights for policy and practice as well as for future research endeavour.




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