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Research Design
and Report writing

What is research?

Research means finding answers to the questions.

It is a systematic search for truth.

Through research, new and original information, ideas


about the world we live in, are obtained.

Research is search for knowledge.

Research is defined as a scientific and systematic search


for information on a specific topic.

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What is research?

Cont..

Research is systematic, because it follows certain steps that are logical in


order.

1. Understanding the nature of problem to be studied and identifying the


related area of knowledge.

2. Reviewing literature to understand how others have approached or dealt


with the problem.

3. Collecting data in an organized and controlled manner so as to arrive at


valid decisions.

4. Analyzing data appropriate to the problem.

5. Drawing conclusions and making generalizations.

Pure and Applied Research

APPLIED RESEARCH

Study & research that seeks to solve practical problems. Applied


research is used to find solutions to everyday problems, cure illness,
and develop innovative technologies.

PURE RESEARCH

Study and research on pure science that is meant to increase our


scientific knowledge base. This type of research is often purely
theoretical with the intent of increasing our understanding of certain
phenomena or behavior but does not seek to solve or treat these
problems.
Application

Objective

Inquiry mode

Pure Research

Descriptive

Quantitative Research

Applied Research

Correlative

Qualitative Research

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CRITERIA OF A GOOD RESEARCH

Purpose clearly defined.

Research process detailed.

Research design thoroughly planned.

High ethical standards applied.

Limitations frankly revealed.

Adequate analysis for decision makers needs.

Findings presented clearly.

Conclusions justified.

Researchers experience reflected.

Basic Research
Basic

research, also called pure research


or fundamental research, is scientific
research aimed to improve scientific
theories for improved understanding or
prediction of natural or other phenomena.

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Applied research
It

refers to scientific study and research


that seeks to solve practical problems.
Applied research is used to find solutions
to everyday problems, cure illness, and
develop innovative technologies.

How does tobacco use in various forms affect


humans?

Descriptive research
Descriptive

research is used to describe


characteristics of a population or
phenomenon being studied. It does not
answer questions about how/when/why
the characteristics occurred.

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Correlation Research
A

correlation research refers to a


relationship between two variables.
Correlations can be strong or weak, as
well as positive or negative. In other cases,
there might be no correlation at all
between the variables of interest.

Quantitative Research
It

is the systematic experimental investigation


of observable phenomena via statistical,
mathematical or computational techniques.

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Qualitative Research
It

is primarily exploratory research. It is used


to gain an understanding of underlying
reasons, opinions, and motivations. It
provides insights into the problem or helps
to develop ideas or hypotheses for
potential quantitative research

Types of Reports

There are many different formats for reporting


research; journal articles, technical research
reports, monographs or books, graduate theses
or dissertations.

Research is also reported orally at professional


meetings, seminars, symposia, and workshops.

These oral reports, however, are usually based


on previous written reports.

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Journal articles

Journal articles are the most condensed form of writing.


Journals have severe space limitations and often all the
details of a complex research project cant be
presented in one article.

They are the most prestigious format for reporting


disciplinary work.

Involve a peer-review process which evaluates quality


and importance of a paper

They receive wide distribution to disciplinary and subjectmatter readers

Theses and Dissertations

Graduate theses and dissertations tend to be on the other extreme


of length and completeness

This is the report of the students work to his/her graduate committee

These tend to be long and sometimes more wordy than necessary.


But completeness is considered more important than efficiency in
this writing. (In this respect, they are opposite to journal articles.)

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Components of a Research Report


1.

The components of a research report often include: Title,


Acknowledgements, Abstract, Table of Contents, Introduction,
Literature Review, Conceptual Framework, Methods and
Procedures, Results, Summary and Conclusions

2.

Note the similarities to the project proposal sometimes sections of


the proposal can be used directly in the report.

3.

The above sections apply mostly to graduate theses and


dissertations, not journal articles which tend to be much briefer.

Preliminaries

Acknowledgements

Recognize the assistance and support of individuals and organizations, especially


funding

Abstract

A compact summary of the research report, sometimes called executive


summary
Extremely important it is the only thing most people will read (in deciding to read
your paper)

Table of Contents

A listing or outline of the organization of the report. It shows headings, subheadings


and other divisions. Sometimes includes lists of Tables and Figures (esp. in thesis or
dissertation)

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Title

It should be precise. (Words)

It should be clear. (Conceptual)

It should be specific. (Scope)

It should be catchy. (Attractive)

Introduction

It is expected to introduce chosen research problem /


topic covering its origin, meaning, purpose,
developments at international / national / regional level
and its present status.

The very idea of this component in the research proposal


is to acquaint readers with the research problem.

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RESEARCH PROBLEM

What is a research problem?

The term problem means a question or issue to be examined.

Research Problem refers to some difficulty /need which a


researcher experiences in the context of either theoretical or
practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same.

Statement of Problem

Proposed research topic should have a genuine need for


investigation.

SOURCES OF PROBLEMS

Reading

Academic Experience

Daily Experience

Exposure to Field Situations

Consultations

Brainstorming

Research

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CRITERIA OF SELECTION

Factors

Internal / Personal criteria Researchers Interest,


Researchers Competence, Researchers own Resource:
finance and time.

External Criteria or Factors Researchability of the


problem, Importance and Urgency, Novelty of the
Problem, Feasibility, Facilities, Usefulness and Social
Relevance, Research Personnel.

Steps in defining a Problem

Statement of the problem in a general way

Understanding the nature of the problem

Surveying the available literature

Developing ideas through discussions

Rephrasing the research problem

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REVIEW OF LITERATURE

It is an extensive survey of all available past studies relevant to


the field of investigation.

It gives us knowledge about what others have found out in the


related field of study and how they have done so.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW

To gain a background knowledge of the research topic.

To identify the concepts relating to it, potential


relationships between them and to formulate
researchable hypothesis.

To identify appropriate methodology, research design,


methods of measuring concepts and techniques of
analysis.

To identify data sources used by other researchers.

To learn how others structured their reports.

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SOURCES OF LITERATURE

Books and Journals

Electronic Databases

Bibliographic Databases

Abstract Databases

Full-Text Databases

Govt. and Industry Reports

Internet

Research Dissertations / Thesis

RECORDING THE LITERATURE

The most suitable method of recording notes is the card


system.

The recording system involves use of two Sides of cards:


Source Side used for noting bibliographic information.

It is used for compiling bibliography to be given at the end


of the report.

Note Side used for actual note taking.

Detailed Information extracted from a printed source is


recorded on the note cards.

It is desirable to note a single fact or idea on each card

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ESTABLISHMENT OF RESEARCH
OBJECTIVES

The objectives refers to the questions to be answered


through the study. They indicate what we are trying to
get from the study or the expected results / outcome of
the study.

Research Objectives should be clear and achievable.

The objectives may be specified in the form of either


statements or questions.

Generally, they are written as statements, using the word


to. (For example, to discover , to determine , to
establish , etc. )

HYPOTHESIS

Research Hypothesis is a predictive statement that


relates an independent variable to a dependent
variable.

Hypothesis must contain at least one independent


variable and one dependent variable.

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Research Design and Methodology

A detailed outline specifying how the research will be carried out

Description / location of the study area.

Selection of company / enterprise.

Data source.

Selection of quantitative parameters.

Selection of qualitative parameters.

Data collection instrument.

Data analytical tool.

Scope of the study.

Duration of the study.

Material and Methods

Writing these sections in a research report can have


some important differences from the proposal

First, the Methods are largely written for other


researchers. Others may be interested but will tend to
leave judgments of the validity of methods and
procedures to the researchers.

The effectiveness of this sections depends on


organization and thoroughness. The procedures need to
be described in a logical sequence.

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Results (Findings) and Discussions

This presents and explains the results of the study.

Validity of hypotheses are discussed, along with


various test of validity used.

Dont just present experimental estimates these


must be analyzed, interpreted and possibly
tested to make findings complete.

The experimental results are often only the


beginning of the most meaningful part of the
research. understanding, expertise and insight
are needed to fully interpret the meaning and
implications of the results.

Results and Discussions

Cont..

Tables and figures are often effectively used to


present findings.

They help to organize and emphasize


information in the findings.

A recommended approach to writing this


section is to construct the tables and figures that
form the core of the findings first then write the
narrative which describes and explains the
tables and figures.

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Financial Assistance Required


For

Proposals only

Costs

need to be estimated as accurately as


possible.

Proposal

involving economic costs will be


appreciated.

It

is necessary to estimate cost of the research


project and include the same in the proposal.

Writing the Conclusions

Sometime people confuse Conclusions and Results


(Findings).

Findings address and test hypotheses, while Conclusions


are concerned with implications or tests of hypotheses.
Conclusions address questions of so what?

Conclusions extrapolate beyond the findings


examining and interpreting the implications of the study.

Conclusions allow judgment of the researcher about


implications of the study. This judgment must be
supported by logic, but is subjective.

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Acceptance
Among

the common reasons that proposed


refereed publications fail to be accepted are:
1.

Inadequate identification of a research problem

2.

Inappropriate or unclear methods and procedures

3.

Inappropriate material for the proposed


publication

4.

Failure to communicate what is important and


original

5.

Poor organization.

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