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Consuelo L.

Topic Outline
 What research is
 Characteristics of research
 Distinct characteristics of research
 The research cycle
 Tools of research
What is research?
 Research is a systematic process of
collecting, analyzing and interpreting
data in order to increase our
understanding of a phenomenon we are
interested or concerned (Leedy, 2005)

 A systematized effort to gain knowledge

(Redman and Mory, 1923)
Distinct characteristics
 Research originates with a question or
 Research requires clear articulation of a
 Research requires a specific plan for
 Research usually divides a principal
problem into more manageable sub-
What is research (cont)
 Research is guided by the specific research
problem, question or hypothesis.
 Research accepts certain critical assumptions
 Research requires the collection and
interpretation of data in an attempt to resolve
the problem that initiated the research.
 Research is, by its nature, clyclical or, more
exactly, helical.
Research originates with a question
 Examples:
 Are Filipinos well nourished?
 What do streetchildren eat in a day?
 Why are there thin and fat students?
 How does diabetes develop in overweight
….requires clear articulation of a goal

 What problem do you want to solve?

 Malnutrition? i.e., micronutrient
deficiency, PEM, overnutrition
 Improve food quality?
 Change behavior? Practice breastfeeding,
 Improve nutrition compliance to diet?
…requires a specific plan
 Not groping in the dark to find a solution
 A planned discovery with outlined steps for
attacking the problem
 design of study specific to get relevant data
…divides problem into sub-problems
 Main problem divided to into more manageable
problems that will answer the main problem
 Example:
 Main problem : “How do you go to Baclaran?”
 Sub-problems :
 What are the ways to go there?

 What is the fasttest way?

 How much will it cost to travel by these routes?

 How long will the trip last?

… guided by specific research problems,
questions and hypothesis
 A hypothesis is a logical supposition , a
reasonable guess, an educated conjecture that
provides a tentative explanation for the
phenomenon under investigation. It can also
provide information in resolving the specific
problem and in the process, the main research
 Ex. If you switch on the lamp and it does light what
is your guess as to the reason why it does not
… accepts certain critical assumptions
 Assumptions are similar to axioms in
geometry – self –evident truths -the sine
non qua of research. They must be valid for
the research to be meaningful.

 For example, if a research wants to evaluate the

knowledge gained from a nutrition education class,
one assumption would be regular attendance to the
class of participants.
… requires collection and interpretation
of data to resolve problem initiated
 Data collected based on objectives or research
 Data collected becomes meaningful when it is
interpreted correctly
 Methodology of the project controls how data are
to be collected, arranged, synthesized and
… research by nature is cyclical, or
 Follows logical developmental steps:
 Questioning mind asks “why?”
 One question becomes the problem
 Problem divided into simpler sub-problems
 Preliminary data gathered
 Data seem to point to alternative solution
 Data collected more systematically
 Data are processed
 Discovery is made
 Hypothesis supported or not
the research process
General classification of research
 Basic ( pure or fundamental research) – primary purpose
is for the development of theories. Example : how the
memory system works, language development, social
 Applied research – purpose is to test theories and other
ideas in the context of naturally occurring educational
settings; focused on a problem that needs to be solved.
Ex; compare teaching styles
 Action research – investigates specific problems, Ex.
Strategies for weight reduction among children
 Evaluation research – directed towards making decisions
about the effectiveness of a program
The hourglass shape of a scientific article
Research methods vs methodology
 Research methods : all those techniques / methods for
conducting research

 Research methodology : the way in which research

problems are solved systematically
Research approaches
 Qualitative approach : uses subjective
assessment of opinions, behavior and
attitude. Uses techniques such as indepth
interview, focus group and projective
 Quantitative approach : collection of
quantitative data
Types of research
 Descriptive research – describes facts or
state of affairs as it prevails in the study
 Analytical – tests hypothesis
 Basic or fundamental research – concerns
formulation of theory; deals with
fundamental laws of nature; studies on
behavior, etc
 Applied – to find solution to a practical
Tools of research
 A tool is a specific mechanism or strategy that
researchers use to collect, manipulate or
interpret data
 Not to equate tools of research with
 A methodology is the general approach that a
researcher takes in carrying out the research
Writing to communicate
 Say what you mean to say
 Keep primary objective in writing and focus discussion
 Provide overview of what will be discussed
 Organize ideas from general to specific using headings
and subheadings
 Provide transitional phrase, sentences or paragraphs to
help readers follow your train of thought.
Writing to communicate (cont)
 Use concrete examples to make abstract ideas
 Use appropriate punctuation
 Use tables and figures to organize ideas and
 Summarize what was said at the conclusion of the
 Anticipate revision of draft of report.
Qualities of a good researchers
 Truthfulness : relates to the accuracy of
observation and precision of statement
 Alertness of mind
 Endurance to conduct research
 Makes statements cautiously
Six general tools of research
 Library and its resources
 Computer and software
 Techniques of measurement
 Statistics
 The human mind
 Language
The library
 Card catalog
 Indexes and abstracts
 Reference librarian
 Browsing the shelves

The computer and its software

 The internet and World Wide Web
 Electronic mail
Measurement as a tool of research
 Measurement is limiting the data of any
phenomenon- substantial or insubstantial – so
that those data maybe interpreted and compared
to acceptable qualitative or quantitative standard.

 Four scales of measurement of data

 Nominal, ordinal, interval , ratio
Summary of measurement scales
Measurement Characteristic of the scale Statistical possibilities of
scale the scale
Nominal scale Measures names or designation Determines mode, percentage
of discrete units or categories value, or the chi-square
Ordinal scale Measures ranking, values of Determines the median,
more or less , larger or smaller, percentile rank and rank
but without specifying the size correlation
of the intervals
Interval scale Measures equal interval or Determines the mean,
degrees of difference but the standard deviation and
zero point is arbitrarily product moment correlation,
established allows conduct of inferential
statistical analysis
Ratio scale Measures in terms of equal Enables determination of the
intervals and with absolute geometric mean and
zero percentage variation; allows
one to conduct any statistical
Validity and reliability of measurement
 Validity – extent to which the instrument
measures what it is supposed to measure

 Reliability – the consistency with which a

measuring instrument yields a certain result when
the entity being measured has not changed.

 Both validity and reliability reflect the degree to

which we may have error in measurements
 Function of statistics in research:
 Describe the data (descriptive
 Draw inferences from the data
(inferential statistics)
The human mind
 Strategies used by the human mind to discover the
 Deductive logic - reasoning that begins with a premise
(assumptions, widely accepted “truths” then to the
conclusion; useful for generating hypothesis and testing
 Inductive reasoning – begins with an observation from
where conclusions are drawn ; observe sample and draw
generalization to the population
The human mind (cont)
 Scientific method – method where insight into the
unknown is made by 1) identifying a problem that
defines the goal , 2) states the hypothesis that when
confirmed, resolves the problem , 3) gathering data
relevant to the hypothesis, 4) analyzing and
interpreting data to see if data supported the
hypothesis nor not; also uses both deductive and
inductive reasoning
The human mind (cont)
 Critical thinking - involves evaluating information or
argument in terms of accuracy and worth; it may
 Verbal reasoning
 Argument analysis
 Decision making
 Critical analysis of prior research

Collaboration with others

 Enables us not only to communicate but also to think
more effectively
 Use of language in writing is important in research.
 Advantage of writing down ideas
 Identifies specific ideas known and not known about the
 Clarifies and organizes thoughts sufficiently to
communicate to readers
 Detect gaps and logical flaws in thinking