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Research methodology : a step-by-step guide for beginners

Some researchers prefer to reverse the process; that is, they start from objectives and formulate research questions from them. In addition to the qualitative-quantitative distinction, it is important for data analysis that you consider whether the data is to be analysed manually or by a computer.

The way the main objectives and subobjectives are worded determines how your research is classified ecition. The crucial question that divides the two is whether the methodology of the physical sciences can be applied to the study of social phenomena. Cohen and Nagel express their opinion in the following words: Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.

The third edition has been revised and updated to include extended coverage of qualitative research methods in addition to the existing comprehensive coverage researfh quantitative methods. Summary There are several ways of collecting and understanding information and finding answers to your questions – research is one way.

The book is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students in the social sciences embarking on qualitative or quantitative research projects.

Income is also a variable since it can be measured in dollars; therefore, you do not need to convert this into a variable.

Identifying variables — 6. As beginners in research you should understand that research is not all technical, complex, statistics and computers.

The basic objective of any sampling design is to minimise, within the ranjif of cost, the gap between the values obtained from your sample and those prevalent in the study population.


Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners – Ranjit Kumar – Google Books

The main function of statistics is to act as a test to confirm or contradict the conclusions that you have drawn on the basis of your understanding of analysed data. The main difference between objectives and research questions is the way in which they are written. But to qualify as research, the process must have certain characteristics: There is an enormous variety of study designs and you need to be acquainted with some of the most common ones.

You must understand that these working definitions that you develop are only for the purpose of your study and could be quite different to legal definitions, or those used by others. If your study is correlational in nature, in addition to the first three characteristics shown in Figure 4.

The use of statistics is not an integral part of a quantitative study. You strive to maintain flexibility, openness and freedom to include any new ideas or exclude any aspect that you initially included but later consider not to be relevant. This overall plan, called a research proposal, tells a researhc about your research problem and how you are planning to investigate.

Developing a research project: Within each perspective several theories have been put forward: You do not bind yourself with constraints that would put limits on your ability to explore. The third edition of the book metjodology some of the suggestions made by the reviewers, colleagues and students on the first and second editions.

It is also a statement of the main associations and relationships that you seek to discover or establish. For example, if you want to research the different perspectives of an issue, the problems experienced by people living in a community or the different views people hold towards an issue, then these are better explored using unstructured enquiries.


It has value even before the first step; that is, when you are merely thinking about a research question that you may want to find answers to through your research journey.

Once you have developed an exhaustive list of the subareas from various sources, you proceed to the next stage where you select what will become the basis of your enquiry. This can save you a lot of time. What contribution have you been able to make to the existing body of knowledge? In the above example the extent of smoking is the independent variable, cancer is the dependent variable and all the variables that might affect this relationship, either positively or negatively, are extraneous variables.

It follows, therefore, that as such they may not be measurable. You can add many other questions to this list. Most research is applied research, which has wide application in many disciplines. It is beyond the scope of this book to go into any detail about these.

If you want quantitative analysis, it is also necessary to decide upon the type of analysis required i. Selecting the sample — Similarly, you can study different aspects of a programme: You need to look further at the indicators of assets. Field testing or pre-testing a research tool is an integral part of instrument construction. When reviewing the literature you learn what aspects of your subject area have been examined by others, what they have found out about these aspects, what gaps they have identified and what suggestions they have made for further research.

If a book has been referenced by a number of authors, you should include it in your reading list.