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									The Research Process



    DOING RESEARCH
         DOING RESEARCH
 I. Getting started
   A.   Selecting a Research Topic
      1. Assigned topics

      2. Professional & personal

       interests
      3. Prior research (from libraries,

       internet, etc.)
      Etcetera
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
 4. Determining Topic Relevance—some
 questions:
   a. Is the topic too broad?
   b. Can the problem really be investigated?
   c. Can the data obtained be analyzed in a
    systematic way?
   d. Is the problem significant?
   e. What time & costs would be involved in
    the analysis?
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
    f. Are the resources accessible?
    g. Will the results be useful?

        1) If quantitative, can they be
         generalized?
        2) If qualitative, will they add to
         our knowledge?
    h. Is there any potential harm to

     the participants?
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
 B. Basic Research Steps (“Library” or document
  research):
    1. Develop a plan of action.
       a. Establish parameters of the research—

        narrow & limit topic.
       b. Consider the following:

           1) Tradition—established knowledge
           2) Authority—credibility of sources
       c. Develop preliminary research questions.

       d. Approach the search systematically.
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.

    2. Locating documents:
       a. Library resources

       b. Internet or electronic resources

       c. Other resources (gov’t., industry, etc.)

    3. Types of documents
       a. Print

           1) Books
               a) Monographs & original studies
               b) Yearbooks & series
               c) Textbooks
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.

 b. Periodicals
   1) Magazines
      a) General interest

      b) Specialized interests

   2) Journals
      a) Professional publications

      b) Indices & abstract

   3) Newsletters
   4) Newspapers
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
     c. Internet sources (see below)
     d. Electronic/visual documents
         1) Computer based systems (e.g. ERIC,
          Dissertation Abstracts, etc.)
         2) Audiovisual (video/DVD, audiotape,
          film)
 4. Types of Sources
     a. Primary (original; archival; etc.)
     b. Secondary (different levels)
     c. Tertiary (summaries, e.g. textbooks)
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T
 5. Finding sources
   a)   Indices
   b)   Government documents
   c)   Abstracts
   d)   On-line searches
       a) Databases

       b) Listservs

       c) Websites

       d) Use key words & Boolean searches.
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
 6. Establishing credibility of sources
   a) Content
   b) Authority
   c) Critical standards
   d). Primary sources considered more
    credible than secondary; secondary
    more credible than tertiary (textbooks,
    journalistic sources, etc.).
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
 II. The Literature Review (for original research or
  stand alone papers):
    A. Organize existing knowledge:
       1. Establish cut-off dates for search.

       2. Establish key terms or descriptors to guide

        research.
    B. Establish relationships between concepts:
       1. Assess strengths & weaknesses of research

        base.
       2. Helps establish a theoretical perspective.
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
 C. Importance of the literature review:
   1. Formally interprets documents
    reviewed.
   2. Develops rationale, or justification for
    study.
   3. Presents context of prior research.
   4. Shows significance of topic.
   5. Provides research questions and/or
    hypotheses for study.
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
 III. Doing original research
      A. From the literature review, refine the research
       questions & develop hypothesis(es), if
       appropriate.
      B. Create an appropriate research design.
         1. Quantitative

             a) Control of variables
             b) Research participants specified
             c) Issues of reliability & validity
             d) Select instrument(s) to gather data
             e) Specify statistical tools
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T.
    2. Qualitative
       a) Specify basic data collection procedures

       b) Specify participants

       c) Issues of ecological validity

    3. Textual
       a) Specify basic criteria for analysis

       b) Specify universe/sample of discourse

       c) Limitations

 C. Conduct research--gather & interpret the data
 D. Prepare the research report
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T
 IV. The Research Report
   A. Written documentation of your research
   B. Uses specialized style (APA, MLA,
    Turabian, etc.)
   C. Common structure of the report:
      1. Statement of the problem

         a) Background
         b) Brief rationale/justification
         c) Possible limitations
DOING RESEARCH, CON’T
 2. Literature review (further justification)
 3. RQ & Hypothesis(es) [if appropriate]
 4. Methodology
 5. Results
 6. Implications & conclusions
 7. Reference citations
 8. Appendices [if applicable]

								
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