Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment

Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment

Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment

The first step in understanding a theory is to identify the components that comprise the theory. This guideline helps you identify and describe a theory by posing a set of questions to answer as you read an author’s narrative about a particular theory.
1. What is the purpose for the theory? Why was the theory created? Is the purpose broad or narrow in scope (i.e., does the theory refer to a small range of phenomena or a broad range)? Is the purpose of the theory to create meaning, describe a phenomenon, explain a phenonmenon, or predict a phenomenon? Is the theory a grand nursing theory, conceptual model, middle-range theory, or practice theory?Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment
2. What are the concepts? How many concepts are there? Are there major and minor concepts? Are there subconcepts organized under other concepts? Are the concepts broad or narrow in scope? Are the concepts abstract or concrete? Are the concepts empiric (measureable)? Are the concepts defined? Are they defined so that the meaning is clear?
3. What are the major relationships within the theory? Are some concepts included in several relationships? Do relationships create meaning and understanding? Do they describe, explain, or predict?
4. Does the author provide an outline or diagram of the theory? If yes, is the structure congruent with the narrative? Could more than one structure represent the theory? If the author does not provide a diagram, what does the theory look like to you?
5. What are the assumptions that underlie the theory? Does the author have an obvious value orientation? Analyzing A Theory
In Parker and Smith, Chapter 3, criteria for analyzing and evaluating a theory are discussed. Now that you have learned to identify and describe the components that make up a theory, you need to analyze or critically reflect on the theory to determine how well the theory works, how the theory might be used, and how it might be further developed. As you analyze theories, there may be times you think, “This just doesn’t seem to be quite right; this just doesn’t seem to capture what I see in my practice.” At other times, you might think, “Yes, this makes sense to me; this is exactly what I see in my practice.”Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment
1. How clear is this theory? Can the theory be followed? Is the explanation of the theory adequate? Are the examples and diagrams helpful?
2. How simple is this theory? How many concepts and relationships are contained within the theory? Is the theory complex? Does the theory impart understanding?
3. How general is this theory? Do the purposes of the theory apply to all practice areas or specific ones? Can this theory be used by those outside of nursing?
4. How accessible is this theory to practicing nurses? Are the concepts observable in your practice?
5. How important is this theory? Does the theory have the potential to guide nursing practice? How? Does the theory have potential to guide research? Does the theory have the potential to influence education? Evaluating A Theory’s Usefulness To Practice
If theory is to be useful, it must be brought into nursing practice. This guideline provides a set of questions to ask in evaluating a theory for its usefulness to your own practice, and to nursing practice in general. Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment
1. Do you like this theory? Why or why not?
2. Does this theory reflect your values and beliefs truly held in nursing?
3. Does this theory reflect the nursing metaparadigm of person, environment, health and nursing???4. How would the theory influence your nursing practice?
5. If not your practice, how could the theory guide other areas of nursing practice?
6. How would the theory influence research, education, and administration? Sources: Parker, M., & Smith, M. (2010) Nursing theories and nurinsg practice (3rd. ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company and Chinn, P.L. & Kramer, J. K. (2011). Integrated theory and knowledge development in nursing (8th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.. Purpose: Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment

Assignment:Steps in Understanding a Theory

Assignment:Steps in Understanding a Theory

Assignment:Steps in Understanding a Theory
The purpose of scholarly papers is threefold: 1) develop a method to search current professional journals for theories of interest to you and of relevance to your nursing practice; 2) demonstrate your ability to describe, analyze, and evaluate theories for nursing practice; and 3) demonstrate your ability to express ideas clearly and concisely in writing.
Grading Criteria:
There are two scholarly paper assignments. The instructions for both are as follows:
Search the databases find a journal article that describes the use describes the use of your chosen nursing theory in practice or the testing of a theory. You can supplement the information about the theory from your Parker and Smith textbook. You must incorporate the journal article discussion into the discussion in this paper. In a 5-10 page paper, use the Guidelines for Describing, Analyzing, and Evaluating a Theory.
Your discussion should be written as a narrative whole, not a list of responses to guideline questions. Cite your source in the paper and in a reference page, using APA format. Address each of the criteria in the Guidelines for Describing, Analyzing, and Evaluating a Theory.
The grading rubric for this assignment is as follows:
Introduction 1. Provides introductory paragraph
2. States name of theory and author
3. Provides rationale for choosing theory and its relationship to student’s practice 15%
Describing a Theory • Theory purpose questions addressed
• Theory concepts questions addressed
• Theory relationships addressed
• Diagram or outline of theory questions addressed
• Theory assumption questions addressed 20%
Analysis of a Theory • Clarity of theory questions addressed
• Simplicity of theory questions addressed
• Generality questions about theory addressed
• Accessibility of the theory questions addressed
• Importance of theory questions addressed. 25%
Evaluation of Theory’s Usefulness • Likeability of theory addressed
• Theory’s reflection of YOUR values and beliefs addressed
• Theory’s reflection of the nursing metaparadigm (nursing, person, health, and environment) addressed. Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment
• Theory influence on your practice addressed
• Theory influence on other areas of nursing addressed
• Theory potential influence on education, administration, and/or research 25%
Summary • Provides a summary paragraph 5%
Format of the Paper • Adheres to APA guidelines
• Uses appropriate paper structure including an introduction, body, and conclusion
• Uses appropriate syntax, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling
• Cites sources and references for all information in the document.
• Cites and incorporates the journal article discussion on the use of the theory into paper. 10%
TOTAL 100%

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages. Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.


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Discussion Questions (DQ)

Initial responses to the DQ should address all components of the questions asked, include a minimum of one scholarly source, and be at least 250 words.
Successful responses are substantive (i.e., add something new to the discussion, engage others in the discussion, well-developed idea) and include at least one scholarly source.
One or two sentence responses, simple statements of agreement or “good post,” and responses that are off-topic will not count as substantive. Substantive responses should be at least 150 words.
I encourage you to incorporate the readings from the week (as applicable) into your responses. Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment
Weekly Participation

Your initial responses to the mandatory DQ do not count toward participation and are graded separately.
In addition to the DQ responses, you must post at least one reply to peers (or me) on three separate days, for a total of three replies.
Participation posts do not require a scholarly source/citation (unless you cite someone else’s work).
Part of your weekly participation includes viewing the weekly announcement and attesting to watching it in the comments. These announcements are made to ensure you understand everything that is due during the week.
APA Format and Writing Quality

Familiarize yourself with APA format and practice using it correctly. It is used for most writing assignments for your degree. Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for APA paper templates, citation examples, tips, etc. Points will be deducted for poor use of APA format or absence of APA format (if required).
Cite all sources of information! When in doubt, cite the source. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.
I highly recommend using the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition.
Use of Direct Quotes. Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment

I discourage overutilization of direct quotes in DQs and assignments at the Masters’ level and deduct points accordingly.
As Masters’ level students, it is important that you be able to critically analyze and interpret information from journal articles and other resources. Simply restating someone else’s words does not demonstrate an understanding of the content or critical analysis of the content.
It is best to paraphrase content and cite your source.
LopesWrite Policy

For assignments that need to be submitted to LopesWrite, please be sure you have received your report and Similarity Index (SI) percentage BEFORE you do a “final submit” to me.
Once you have received your report, please review it. This report will show you grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors that can easily be fixed. Take the extra few minutes to review instead of getting counted off for these mistakes.
Review your similarities. Did you forget to cite something? Did you not paraphrase well enough? Is your paper made up of someone else’s thoughts more than your own?
Visit the Writing Center in the Student Success Center, under the Resources tab in LoudCloud for tips on improving your paper and SI score.
Late Policy

The university’s policy on late assignments is 10% penalty PER DAY LATE. This also applies to late DQ replies.
Please communicate with me if you anticipate having to submit an assignment late. I am happy to be flexible, with advance notice. We may be able to work out an extension based on extenuating circumstances.
If you do not communicate with me before submitting an assignment late, the GCU late policy will be in effect.
I do not accept assignments that are two or more weeks late unless we have worked out an extension.
As per policy, no assignments are accepted after the last day of class. Any assignment submitted after midnight on the last day of class will not be accepted for grading.

Communication is so very important. There are multiple ways to communicate with me:
Questions to Instructor Forum: This is a great place to ask course content or assignment questions. If you have a question, there is a good chance one of your peers does as well. This is a public forum for the class.
Individual Forum: This is a private forum to ask me questions or send me messages. This will be checked at least once every 24 hours. Steps in Understanding a Theory Assignment