Table of Contents
What is Research?
Research involves creative work done through systematic ways to increase the knowledge stock which include knowledge of culture, humans as well as the society. The knowledge is later used to devise new applications (Fowler Jr, 2013). Research work is used to confirm facts, solve existing or new problems, to establish new theories or to enhance theorems as well as to reaffirm results of any previous work. Research work can also be used to expand past work on the same field as well as to develop further knowledge on a particular topic (Alexandrov, 2004).
There is always a systematic process in every research work that focuses on objectivity as well as gathering enough data for analysis. This helps the researcher to reach a conclusion. The process is used in every research and evaluation projects regardless of the research methodologies. Whenever a research is conducted, the studies are documented for others to review the process as well as the results (Peter Haisler, 2011). The process of an investigative research involves eight steps which include:
Identify the problem-Review the literature-clarify the problem -define terms and concepts-define the population-develop the instrumentation of plan-collect data-analyze data-draw conclusions (Jackson, 2015).
Through the eight steps, the researcher will be able to explore a topic in depth and to find out some things that were not known before. This means that the research will be in a position to solve the problem accordingly (Smith, 2015).
These are methodologies that assist the researcher in investigating the research issues. A research strategy assists the researcher when dealing with the research questions in a comprehensive manner. The research strategy needs to have clear objectives, research questions, resources for data collection and different constraints affecting the research. The constrains may include time and money limitations. Through an effective research strategy, the researcher will be able to use specific data gathering ways to support his or her arguments. When having a good research strategy, the researcher will effectively collect background information and will be able to analyze the data to reach a specific conclusion (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013). Some effective research strategies include case study analysis, experiments, observation surveys, interviews among others.
For instance, to accomplish the research objectives and aims the researcher can choose to use surveys as well as a study of academic articles stratagems. The survey approach allows the researcher to accumulate qualitative facts and information. The researcher will also be in a position to pull together wide-ranging views of the people associated with the topic under research (Punch & Oancea, 2014).
This refers to the process used to gather data and information to make the research decisions. The strategies include publication research interviews, surveys as well as other research techniques. The methodologies may include historical as well as present information (Creswell & Clark, 2007).
Research questions, designs, and approach are all connected in every research. The approach is something more than the type of data utilized by the researcher. It demonstrates the overall orientation to research as well as the claims one will make for his or her study. For instance, conclusions can be made based on quantitative or qualitative data or the combination of the two. The decision is made depending on the abilities, suitability, and preferences of different approaches to the topic (Berg, Lune, & Lune, 2004).
The first research method is qualitative research methodology which is an exploratory research method. The method is mainly used to have an understanding of the fundamental views, reasons, as well as incentives (Taylor, Bogdan & DeVault, 2015). . It provides insights into the issue of research, and it also helps in developing hypothesis and thoughts for possible quantitative research. The research method examines the how and why of decision making instead of just what, when, where or who. Additionally, this research method uncovers different trends in thoughts and opinions and goes deeper into the issue. These information gathering methods differ by means of unstructured or semi-structured methods. The frequent methods under this method comprise: individual interviews, focus groups mainly group discussions as well as involvement or participations (Kallestinova, 2011).
The second research method is quantitative research methodology. This research technique stress objective measurements as well as numerical and arithmetic analysis of the composed data through questionnaires, polls, and surveys. Through this method, the problem is quantified by ways of generating numerical data which refers to information that can be changed into useable figures. Researchers use the method to enumerate opinions, behaviors as well as attitudes and to simplify results from a bigger sample populace. The method employs quantifiable data to devise facts and to discover patterns in research. This data gathering process is further structured than the qualitative methods. This method involves a variety of surveys like paper surveys, online surveys, kiosk surveys as well as mobile surveys. It also includes in person interviews, longitudinal studies, telephone interviews, online polls as well as methodical observations.
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This is a method for carrying out research involving the collection, scrutiny, and integration of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. This method is mainly used when the integrations offer improved comprehension of the research topic than either of the methods alone. Through the integration, the researcher can gain in depth and breadth of understanding. The major advantage of using the mixed approach is the possibility of triangulation. This is the use of several means to examine the same phenomenon. It allows the researcher to accurately recognize features of a phenomenon by approaching it from various vantage points using diverse techniques and ways. A successful triangulation calls for an improved analysis of the kind of information offered by every technique including its strengths and weaknesses.
The 6P’s of research
The research aspect can be classified as the 6P’s: purpose, products, process, participants, paradigm and presentation.
Purpose: This is the motive for conducting the research or the topic of concern. Any research devoid of a purpose will never be a high-quality research. The purpose explains why it is important to study a particular field of research.
Product: these are the research outcomes, mainly the researcher’s contribution to the information concerning the subject area. The contribution can be a response to the original research questions. However, the contribution can involve unexpected findings.
Process: This is the sequence of the activities that are undertaken in different research projects. The process includes coming up with one or more research topics, developing a framework, the selection and use research strategy and methods of generating data, data analysis and drawing of conclusions which includes reorganization of any limitation in the research (Patten, 2016).
Participants: these are the people who are directly involved in the research like through observing and interviewing them as well as those indirectly involved like editors to whom the research will be submitted. These people are supposed to be dealt with legally and ethically which means that the research should not do anything that will annoy them. The researcher is also among the participants. This, however, differs in different research where in some, researchers are always open regarding their ways of thinking and the ways their being there influenced other contributors while in others researchers are unseen.
Paradigm: This refers to a model, pattern or a collective means of thinking. Some managers mainly talk about the call for a paradigm move meaning that some new ways of thinking are required. The three types of the paradigm that are commonly used are interpretivism, positivism, and critical research.
Presentation: This involves how the researcher presents his or her research outcomes. There is always a relationship between research outcomes and presentation as it mainly lies on whatever is being produced. When the presentation is not correct, conclusions are made that the research was not conducted professionally.
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Types of research
Different types of research enable researchers to collect data and information. They include but not limited to:
Action research: mainly, this method not only involves asking about it but also involve doing it. It is a framework that is collaborative, involves practical intervention where the researcher does something to make changes in the situation that he or she is researching. Action research ensures that the researcher is actively involved in the planned intervention.
Surveys: Mainly, surveys are performed to assemble quantitative facts but are also used to gather qualitative data through the use of unrestricted questions. They are performed on samples of respondents from chosen populations through administering questionnaires. Data from surveys is later analyzed to produce important results (Brace, 2008).
Case studies: this is a kind of an expressive research focusing on a minute group of people or units like organizations and individuals (Matthews & Ross, 2014). Data is mainly collected through participation, observation as well as other methods like tests and interviews. Mainly conclusions are relevant to the individuals or units studied. It is worth noting that the conclusions may not be appropriate enough when the researcher wants to generalize to wider populations. Case studies are important for the why and how questions where context is important as well as where the researcher has limited control over events (Trochim & Donnelly, 2001).
Interviews: This is a conversation with an individual or more people. The information is documented to be analyzed later. They are highly flexible and be easily formalized or structured. Interviews are categorized into three groups according to the extent to which they are structured: structured, semi-structured, and unstructured interviews (Turabian, 2013).
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Methods of arguments
There are different types of argument models that are designed to persuade the audience to agree with different points of view and to take your side on the research issue (Jackson, 2015). The classical approach: this model of argument relies heavily on the use of pathos, ethos and logos appeal (Creswell, 2013). The following pattern is followed:
The Toulmin Approach is another model of argument that was developed by Stephen Toulmin a British philosopher. The model is important when making a case on controversial issues with no absolute truth (Duncan, & Fiske, 2015). This is so because the models seek to establish probabilities instead of the truth. The model uses the following six steps:
- Claims- this may involve claims of facts, definition, cause, value or policy. When introducing the issue the researcher can use any of these claims.
- Data-this is the information used to support the claims.
- Warrant—the assumptions made by the researcher for the claim to be true-
- Backing- what is used to support the warrant
- Rebuttal-considering the opposing viewpoints as well as refusing them
- Qualifier—using language to qualify the claims made to bring the argument to a close
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