Research terminology simplified: Paradigms, axiology, ontology, epistemology and methodology

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Laura Killam, Nov 10, 2013 - Education - 51 pages

Research is rooted in philosophical beliefs about values, concepts, and the nature of knowledge.  In order to appreciate these philosophical beliefs, several key concepts and terms require consideration and understanding.  Complicating the novice researcher’s understanding of these ideas is the unfortunate reality that existing definitions can be confusing.  This situation can leave students feeling overwhelmed and confused.

The purpose of this book is to provide an overview of major inquiry or research paradigms in a simplified way.  The terms discussed in this book include, but are not limited to:

ˇ         Paradigm

ˇ         Axiology

ˇ         Ontology

ˇ         Epistemology

ˇ         Methodology

ˇ         Paradigm shift

ˇ         Positivism

ˇ         Modernism

ˇ         Post-modernism

ˇ         Post-positivism

ˇ         Critical Theory

ˇ         Constructivism


Keep in mind that the terms covered in this book are often debated, understood, and communicated in multiple “correct” ways.  Also, due to the evolving nature of knowledge and diverse perspectives within the literature, this book serves as an introduction to research terminology that will help you understand, follow, and even participate in this debate.  This book will be particularly useful to nursing students who are learning about nursing inquiry.  Nursing is a field in which inquiry skills are integral to the development of best evidence and furthering of the profession as a whole. 


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About the author (2013)

 Laura Killam is a professor in the Bachelor of Science of nursing program with a strong research background.  She is passionate about providing creative and on-demand learning resources for students in an understandable way.  For more information about her please visit or Google her. 

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