What is Research?
Generally, research is the organized and systematic method of finding answers to questions. It is systematic because it is a process broken up into clear steps that lead to conclusions and it is organized because there is a planned structure or method used to reach the conclusion. Simply, research is the ongoing conversation and/or answering the questions.
Purpose of Research (Why do we do research?)
As indicated above, the primary purpose of research is to find answers to questions or find a solution to a problem. Research allows us to find the right solutions to key issues in our communities by:
In addition, research can ...
Much of the terminology that researchers use is unfamiliar to others. In this section, we explain the terms most commonly used in DP research.
Comprehensive research terminology can be found here.
There are different types of research activities that can assist you in undertaking research. In this section we touch on some basic methods:
|Primary Research||Secondary Research|
Primary research (field research) involves gathering new data that has not been collected before.
It is based on raw data.
Secondary research (desk research) involves gathering existing data that has already been produced.
It is based on analyzed and interpreted information.
The information that is collected through these methods is either quantitative or qualitative in nature. Quantitative research depends on numbers and statistical procedures. For example, a household income survey is a quantitative survey that looks at the average household income in an area.
Information can also be qualitative - based on observations of behavior, participants' reports of how they or their lives have changed, etc. For example, the Department of Transport may want to find out the impact of its Rural Tram service using a qualitative study in areas that are usually high accident zones. Here the researchers will observe how road users conduct themselves in these areas and in addition speak to a sample of them to find out what impact the television and radio advertisements have had on their behavior on the roads.
Some studies seek to understand cause and effect - what causes something else to happen or the connection between two factors. For example, the Department of Water Affairs may want to find the cause of certain rivers being highly polluted and the effect this has on the lives of people living along these rivers.
Some studies are conducted to find answers to very specific questions. For example, the Department of Agriculture may want to find out whether maize or pumpkins are the best crops to grow in a particular area as part of a poverty alleviation project.
However, based on its PURPOSE, there are three (3) types of research. Such as-
1. Exploratory Research: As the name suggests, exploratory research is conducted to explore the research questions and may or may not offer a final conclusion to the research conducted. It is conducted to handle new problem areas which haven’t been explored before. Exploratory research lays the foundation for more conclusive research and data collection. For example, a research conducted to know the level of customer satisfaction among the patrons of a restaurant.
2. Descriptive Research: Descriptive research focuses on throwing more light on current issues through a process of data collection. Descriptive studies are used to describe the behavior of a sample population. In descriptive research, only one variable (anything that has quantity or quality that varies) is required to conduct a study. The three main purpose of descriptive research is describing, explaining and validating the findings. For example, a research conducted to know if top-level management leaders in the 21st century posses the moral right to receive a huge sum of money from the company profit?
3. Explanatory Research: Explanatory research or causal research, is conducted to understand the impact of certain changes in existing standard procedures. Conducting experiments is the most popular form of casual research. For example, research conducted to understand the effect of rebranding on customer loyalty.
KEY ISSUES AND CONCEPTS IN RESEARCH
Data can be said to be valid if it provides an accurate picture of the reality it is referring to. When it comes to research, often one would seek either a total sample size or a random selection of a broad enough cross-section of that group.
If you use the same method as a previous researcher and get similar consistent results, then the method you've used is considered "reliable". This may often mean repeating the exact same questionnaire used by another researcher with all members of the chosen sample, or relying on a method that another expert in the field employs for similar investigations.
Values & Limitations
It is vital, in all instances, that a consideration of the value and limitations of the selected research is offered as it, more than anything, demonstrates a balanced and measured approach to data that is a requisite feature of all good academic writing.
Quantitative vs Qualitative
There are two types of data that we usually end up with as a result of our primary research. Quantitative data is information represented in number form or something that can be measured. Qualitative data usually takes the form of description that can reveal people's feelings about an event, people's emotional states and opinions.
Adapted from Scotch College, https://library.scotch.wa.edu.au/extendedessay/research
Research skills are a central element of the inquiry-based pedagogy of IB programmes. According to IB, fundamental research skills include formulating focused and precise research questions, appraising sources, recording, analysing, evaluating and synthesizing information, and presenting and evaluating results (IB EEG, 2018).
You have been assigned a research paper for a class. You are told to find information from several different kinds of sources, but not to use the class textbook. Your paper has to present and discuss an idea and take a position about it at the conclusion. What do you do, and how do you start?
Choose a Topic
Choose a Thesis Statement
Make an Outline
Write a Draft
Write the Final Version
Copyedit and Proofread
Charles Darwin University. Researching and Reading: Effective reading strategies. <http://learnline.cdu.edu.au/studyskills/studyskills/reading.html>
Questia School. Find a topic idea. <https://www.questia.com/writing-center#!/topic-ideas/>
“Writing a Research Paper.” World News Digest. Infobase Learning, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2017. <http://wnd.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?wid=276695&nid=484540&umbtype=0>
Adi Batt. WHAT IS RESEARCH- DEFINITION, TYPES & PURPOSE OF RESEARCH. <https://www.questionpro.com/blog/what-is-research/>
Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS). Learn to Research. Research to Learn. <https://secondary.oslis.org/learn-to-research>
Understanding research by Education and Training Unit (ETU), South Africa <http://www.etu.org.za/toolbox/docs/development/research.html>