Stages in Research Process29th January 2021
These 8 stages in the research process are:
Identifying the problem
The first and foremost task in the entire process of scientific research is to identify a research problem.
A well-identified problem will lead the researcher to accomplish all-important phases of the research process, starting from setting objectives to the selection of the research methodology. But the core question is: whether all problems require research.
After the selection of research problem, the second step is that of literature mostly connected with the topics. The availability of the literature may bring ease in the research. For this purpose, academic journals, conference and govt. reports and library must be studied.
Setting research questions, objectives, and hypotheses
After discovering and defining the research problem, researchers should make a formal statement of the problem leading to research objectives.
An objective will precisely say what should be researched, to delineate the type of information that should be collected, and provide a framework for the scope of the study. The best expression of a research objective is a well-formulated, testable research hypothesis.
A hypothesis is an unproven statement or proposition that can be refuted or supported by empirical data. Hypothetical statements assert a possible answer to a research question.
Choosing the study design
The research design is the blueprint or framework for fulfilling objectives and answering research questions.
It is a master plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting, processing, and analyzing the collected data. There are four basic research designs that a researcher can use to conduct his or her study;
- Secondary data study
- Observational study
The type of research design to be chosen from among the above four designs depends primarily on four factors:
- The type of problem
- The objectives of the study,
- The existing state of knowledge about the problem that is being studied, and
- The resources are available for the study.
Deciding on the Sample design
Sampling is an important and separate step in the research process. The basic idea of sampling is that it involves any procedure that uses a relatively small number of items or portions (called a sample) of a universe (called population) to conclude the whole population.
It contrasts with the process of complete enumeration, in which every member of the population is included.
Such a complete enumeration is referred to as census.
A population is the total collection of elements about which we wish to make some inference or generalization.
A sample is a part of the population, carefully selected to represent that population. If certain statistical procedures are followed in selecting the sample, it should have the same characteristics as the population as a whole. These procedures are embedded in the sample design.
Sample design refers to the methods to be followed in selecting a sample from the population and the estimating technique, vis-a-vis formula for computing the sample statistics.
Data collection is the most important work, is researcher. The collection of information must be containing on facts which is from the following two types of researcher.
Primary Data Collection: Primary data may be from the following.
Secondary data collection: it has the following categories:
- Review of literature
- Official and non-official reports
- Library approach
Processing and analyzing data
Data processing generally begins with the editing and coding of data. Data are edited to ensure consistency across respondents and to locate omissions, if any.
In survey data, editing reduces errors in the recording, improves legibility, and clarifies unclear and inappropriate responses. In addition to editing, the data also need coding.
Because it is impractical to place raw data into a report, alphanumeric codes are used to reduce the responses to a more manageable form for storage and future processing.
This coding process facilitates processing the data. The personal computer offers an excellent opportunity in data editing and coding processes.
Data analysis usually involves reducing accumulated data to a manageable size, developing summaries, searching for patterns, and applying statistical techniques for understanding and interpreting the findings in the light of the research questions.
Further, the researcher, based on his analysis, determines if his findings are consistent with the formulated hypotheses and theories.
The techniques to be used in analyzing data may range from simple graphical technique to very complex multivariate analysis depending on the objectives of the study, research design employed, and the nature of data collected.
As in the case of methods of data collection, an analytical technique appropriate in one situation may not be appropriate for another.
Writing the report
The entire task of a research study is accumulated in a document called a proposal.
A research proposal is a work plan, prospectus, outline, an offer, a statement of intent or commitment from an individual researcher or an organization to produce a product or render a service to a potential client or sponsor.
The proposal will be prepared to keep in view the sequence presented in the research process. The proposal tells us what, how, where, and to whom it will be done.
It must also show the benefit of doing it. It always includes an explanation of the purpose of the study (the research objectives) or a definition of the problem.
It systematically outlines the particular research methodology and details the procedures that will be utilized at each stage of the research process.
The end goal of a scientific study is to interpret the results and draw conclusions.
To this end, it is necessary to prepare a report and transmit the findings and recommendations to administrators, policymakers, and program managers for the intended purpose of making a decision.
There are various forms of research reports: term papers, dissertations, journal articles, papers for presentation at professional conferences and seminars, books, and so on. The results of a research investigation prepared in any form are of little utility if they are not communicated to others.
The primary purpose of a dissemination strategy is to identify the most effective media channels to reach different audience groups with study findings most relevant to their needs.
The dissemination may be made through a conference, a seminar, a report, or an oral or poster presentation.
The style and organization of the report will differ according to the target audience, the occasion, and the purpose of the research. Reports should be developed from the client’s perspectives.
A report is an excellent means that helps to establish the researcher’s credibility. At a bare minimum, a research report should contain sections on:
- An executive summary
- Background of the problem
- Literature review
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