To Turnitin by Week 8, 10:00 pm Sydney, Australia Time, Thursday, 22 April 2021.
1200 words. The 1200-word limit includes all text added to the template, including main text, title, heading, headers, footers, page numbers of citations and references, along with any text remaining from the original template. Thus, the word limit applies to the entire document. The word count for an assignment will be taken from the Turnitin submission, not the original document before it was uploaded.
Poorly reported evidence is poor quality evidence.
The randomised controlled trial (RCT) is the ideal design for a study evaluating the effects of a treatment intervention on measured health outcomes. Of all invention study designs, RCTs provide the best support for causal inferences about treatment effects. However, the quality of usable evidence from an RCT depends also on how well the report is written. Evidence-based practice requires that research be reported clearly, thoroughly and accurately, enabling practitioners and policymakers to judge how well the research was done, what the results were, and what they mean. Incomplete, inaccurate, poorly organised or ambiguous reporting makes it harder for readers to evaluate the quality of the actual research, casting doubt on its practical value. For example, if the report neglects to mention how bias was controlled, readers may wonder whether bias was controlled, and thus whether the results can be trusted.
The CONSORT statement is a checklist enabling evidence-based practitioners to evaluate the reporting quality of an RCT in a structured, systematic way, and thus a means to evaluate evidence quality. This assignment gives students a practical introduction to the CONSORT and how it assists them to critically evaluate a journal article report of an RCT. The assignment develops students’ understanding of journal article structure for research reports, and develops critical appraisal skills.A well-written journal article will have all of its required information explicit (i.e., actually stated) rather than implicit (i.e., not stated but can be inferred) or (worse) not stated at all.
A well-written assignment will do the same. The writer makes everything necessary apparent to the reader.
A research article reporting an intervention study will be available on your university. You are asked to evaluate the reporting quality of this report against selected criteria from the CONSORT statement for clinical trials. Also download from links on this page:
• The CONSORT checklist.
• Reporting quality guide – you may use this guide as well as or instead of the CONSORT checklist.
• A document template with sections to complete and submit as the assignment.
The Resources folder on this page has extra materials, including a similar task for diagnostic studies and the STARD statement for reporting quality of diagnostic studies.
Scored sections of the assignment are matched to the major sections of the research article: Title and Abstract, Introduction, Results Method and Discussion. Appraisal of the Title and Abstract together is worth 15 marks. Appraisals of the Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion are each worth 20 marks. APA citation and referencing, and assignment presentation are together worth 5 marks across the whole assignment. Hence: 15 + (4 x 20) + 5 = 100 marks. The total score out of 100 will be multiplied by 0.30 to arrive at a score out of 30. To get a high mark, write your assignment according to the assessment criteria in the marking rubric (see Learning Guide). Take special notice of the High Distinction criteria because they show what markers are really looking for. Avoid anything that leads to a Fail. Expected standards will be discussed further in class.
The general system for the grading of CONSORT evaluations is as follows:
• Fail – Poorly targeted, vague or inaccurate description, preventing effective evaluation or the identification of implications for evidence-based practice.
• Pass – Accurate, relevant description only; little or no effective evaluation; and therefore, cannot effectively discuss implications of reporting quality for evidence-based practice.
• Credit – Evaluates effectively; succeeds beyond mere description but does not effectively discuss the implications of the reporting quality for evidence-based practice.
• Distinction or High Distinction – Effectively describes, evaluates and briefly discusses the implications of the reporting quality for evidence-based practice. In summary: Evaluate the reporting quality of the article against numbered CONSORT items and suggest implications of the reporting quality for evidence-based practice.
In summary: Evaluate the reporting quality of the article against numbered CONSORT items and suggest implications of the reporting quality for evidence-based practice.
Please see the criteria and marking rubric outlined in the Learning Guide.
Presentation is assessable (i.e., worth marks). All assignments are to be typed in Arial 12-point font or an almost identical font such as Helvetica. Typing must be doubled-spaced (not 1½ spaced) with wide margins. Spacing of 1½ lines is permitted only for the reference list. The supplied document template for the assignment is formatted correctly. You should not modify this formatting. Headers and footers, including page numbers, must be retained and updated with your name and student number in the footer on every page. Assignment text must be typed manually and must not consist of embedded graphical objects.
The 1,200 word limit includes all text added to the template, including references, and also any text remaining from the original template. Thus, the word limit applies to the entire document.
The word count for an assignment will be taken from the Turnitin submission, not the original document. Turnitin and word-processor word counts may differ. It is important to check the word count according to Turnitin and fix any problem before the final submission.
Watch the word count! Assignments that are over the maximum permitted length of 1,200 words will be penalised 1 mark out of 100 for every 25 words over limit, to a maximum of 50 marks out of 100 (i.e., 50%, or 10 marks out of the final 20).
Direct quotations should be used sparingly and not instead of your own ideas expressed in your own writing. An assignment consisting of direct quotations at the expense of original writing will not score well and may be penalised. Use direct quotations only to substantiate a point, but your own writing should make the point.
For this assignment, a maximum of 10% of direct quotation is permitted, amounting to 120 words in total for the assignment. Higher amounts of direct quotation, even if properly cited and referenced, will incur a penalty as per the written expression marking criteria.