When I teach scientific writing (and all evaluators need to be able to communicate clearly verbally and in writing), I focus on the 5Cs: larity, oherence, onciseness, onsistency, and orrectness, I’ve written about the 5Cs in a previous blog post, so I won’t belabor them here. Suffice it to say that when I read a document that violates one (or more) of these 5Cs, I have to wonder.
Recently, I was reading a document where the author used design (first), then method, then approach. In reading the context, I think (not being able to clarify) that the author was referring to the same thing–a method and used these different words in an effort to make the reading more entertaining where all it did was cause obfuscation, violating larity, one of the 5Cs .
So I’ll ask you, reader. Are these different? What makes them different? Should they have been used interchangeably in the document? I went to my favorite thesaurus of evaluation terms (Scriven) (published by Sage) to see what he had to say, if anything. Only “design” was listed and the definition said, “…process of stipulating the investigatory procedures to be followed in doing a certain evaluation…” OK–investigatory procedure.
So, I’m going to list several terms used commonly in evaluation and research. Think about what each is–design, method, approach. I’ll provide my answers next week. Let me know what you think each of the following is:
Pretest-Posttest Control Group
Random Control Trials (RCT)