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Research Methods, Fallacies, and Citing Sources

This week, the module topics pertained to the issues that one encounters while conducting research, specifically, fallacies. Fallacies are essential to understand because they may present some risks to research and subsequently flaw one’s study in both analysis and findings. In addition, different research methods were discussed in order to understand the downsides and the benefits of using them in studies. Finally, the importance of citing information in research was raised. This paper aims to discuss the three topics mentioned in the materials during the week to identify the factors that are necessary to consider when researching and presenting one’s work.

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A fallacy is a concept that refers to the use of faulty or invalid reasoning when constructing an argument for research. A fallacious argument may seem deceptive or appearing superior than it actually is, with some of them being developed purposefully for manipulating or persuading the audience through deception, while some are created accidentally due to such reasons as ignorance or carelessness (Hansen, 2010). Thus, fallacies are defects in arguments that make the latter weak and unfit to being used in research. However, they are common to occur in research and may sound persuasive to the general audience. It is important to recognize fallacies, however difficult it may be, because arguments are often being integrated into rhetorical patterns that hide the logical connections that exist between statements. Once one is capable of recognizing fallacies, it becomes possible to develop reasoning skills that would expose the weak links between premises and conclusions.

The five types of fallacies that can present significant limitations in research include the straw man fallacy, irrelevant conclusion, faulty authority, circular logic, and hasty generalization. The straw man fallacy appears when a researcher dismisses unreasonable counterarguments, thus creating an illusion of different opinions on a certain topic by overlooking the real differences in opinion. The fallacy presents a risk to research in literature reviews used for research justification. The irrelevant conclusion fallacy refers to the omission of information needed for making a connection between ideas. It presents a risk to research conclusions where researchers have to demonstrate their findings that are relevant to the topic being studied. Faulty authority is a fallacy that occurs when researchers use the authority of someone with credentials that seem appropriate for validating an opinion beyond their expertise. An example of this is stating “studies show” something without offering a citation or making unsubstantiated references to known scholars without using their ideas. Circular logic is a fallacy occurring when the reasons offered in support of an argument restate the argument itself. Finally, hasty generalization occurs when there is not enough examples to prove a point.

Each research method, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed, has its own advantages and disadvantages. Qualitative research focuses on studying phenomena occurring in the real world, which means that it is experiential and underlines the importance of capturing people’s views and feelings (Austin & Sutton, 2014). The advantages of the qualitative method include the flexibility of its approach, the capacity to capture changing attitudes within a study group, the capacity to explain something that quantitative data cannot reveal, as well as being more speculative about the areas they choose for investigating. The disadvantages of the qualitative method include limited sample sizes, the bias in selecting a sample that would favor an anticipated outcome, difficulties in result replication, and the risk of research bias.

Quantitative research is aimed at examining the variables and observing the relationships between them, which means that it makes predictions about phenomena. The benefits of quantitative research include the possibility to reach a higher sample size, the ease of data collection, the possibility to duplicated results if necessary, as well as the focus on facts (“Characteristics of quantitative data,” 2020). The limitations include the lack of consideration of meanings behind studied phenomena, the creation of unnatural environments, limitations in randomization, and the high costs of data collection and analysis. Mixed methods research uses the advantages of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The advantages of the design include the comparison of qualitative and quantitative data, the fostering of scholarly interaction, methodological flexibility, and the collection of rich and comprehensive data. The disadvantages include the increased complexity of evaluations, the need for increased resources, and the dependence on a multidisciplinary team of researchers.

Citations are viewed as sources of evidence in analysis, deductions, and arguments. It is important to cite information to ensure that the target audience can see the evidence to determine findings’ validity. In addition, citations will show readers that a scholar has done their research and can provide reliable sources from which information was taken. A scholar citing sources shows the responsibility of giving credit to other scholars and acknowledging their ideas as relevant. Finally, it is essential that sources are cited because arguments provided in research are based on some evidence that should be acknowledge. Therefore, in scholarly work, whether it is qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods research, it is imperative to offer evidence that would validate arguments and ideas.


Austin, Z., & Sutton, J. (2014). Qualitative research: Getting started. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 67(6), 436-440.

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Characteristics of quantitative data. (2020). Web.

Hansen, H. (2020). Fallacies. Web.

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