Archive for the ‘Dissertation’ Category

Cross Sectional Data

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Every time an economic stimulus plan is announced by the government, each newspaper comes out with its survey on how people in general feel about it, is it good or bad for the economy and likewise. In such surveys, they take a cross-section of people and ask them the relevant questions and publish their data. This research is independent of the time component, and a random set of individuals are selected for the research. Then the resulting data gives us information like, say, 60 percent people feel good about it and the rest express their disappointments. This data is called the cross sectional data. It is, primarily, the observation and description of various subjects researched and applied for the purpose of planning and decision-making. Used in a lot of fields for research, cross sectional research is common in financial market research, health surveys, sociological research, and the psychological field.

Cross Sectional Data Definition

There is a basic difference between the terms ‘census’ and ’survey’. In the census, every person in a given state and country is counted. On the other hand, in a survey, a sample is taken, which means a cross section of people is taken, who are perceived as the representatives of the entire population. Then, extrapolation is done, which acts as an extension to represent the entire population. The data collected is the cross sectional data, since it is akin to taking a snapshot of the concerned population or subjects, as may be the case. Here, comparison is done between the differences in the subjects. Census can be said as the largest cross sectional research with the make-up of the population being understood at a single point in time. Here, what we simply do is eliminate the time dimensions of the data and make it one-dimensional. This data certainly helps in simplifying the comparison of various entities, irrespective of time. It is best expressed with the help of bar graphs and pie charts.

Cross sectional data is different from the longitudinal data considering the time aspect. In case of longitudinal research, we can find out the differences in the entities researched over a period of time. For instance, a dataset with the marks of a student over four years give us longitudinal data, helping us compare his performances over four grades. It can help assess whether there’s an improvement or fall in his studies. This type of data judges the long-term phenomena suggesting the change as opposed to cross sectional data, which gives only the short-term ones.

Examples of Cross Sectional Data

Various cross sectional data collection techniques comprise questionnaires, interviews, online surveys, etc. The best example of obtaining the data is prediction of the future president every four years or even the predictions of presidential nominees for a specific political party. What is done is, a cross section of people is taken in every state and their predictions are asked as to who they think is most likely to win the presidential election. This is done at the same point of time in all the states to compare the people’s inclinations at a particular instant. The data so collected across all the states form the cross sectional dataset, helping us to compare whose chances are more in various parts of the country.

Some other examples of cross sectional data are health surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for finding out the prevalence of many diseases and symptoms observed in the population at any given point of time, or the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted every year by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago to collect data on demographic characteristics and attitudes of the residents of the United States. It is used to correlate many different demographic factors like age, race, gender, as also their belief-system and opinions about various matters of national importance.

Advantages of Cross Sectional Data

  • Data collection is done swiftly as it eliminates the time dimension. There’s no delay in publishing the results and conclusions of the cross sectional research.
  • It is cheaper to collect the cross sectional data as compared to the longitudinal data.
  • It is possible to collect large amount of cross sectional data as time instant is fixed beforehand. No dynamic change means lesser on-time hassles.
  • There’s no need to keep the track of the entire population over a period of time, as in longitudinal research. It certainly minimizes the efforts.

Cross Sectional Data Limitations

  • Cross sectional data lacks the detailed analysis of longitudinal research, as it gives us only the differences in the subjects of research but fails to show us the differences over a period of time.
  • The biggest drawback of this kind of data is that sometimes the cross section of people taken for the research may not represent the entire population. So, the results can be deceiving if seen in the larger sense, which is technically termed as ecological fallacy.
  • Unplanned or sudden changes in the area of research cannot be taken into account, which can have a lasting impact on the entire research.
  • As cross sectional data eliminates the past and future comparisons, the causes and effects of the subjects in the study are unknown, hence failing to answer the precise question.

Overall, we can see that cross sectional data gives an entire idea of the subject for a specific point in time, but fails in helping to compare data over the years, like the longitudinal research.

by Rohan Bhalerap.

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How to Write a Methodology

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Students need to submit a research paper or dissertation when they are writing their thesis. Most of the research papers follow the same format. There are different sections and chapters that they need to cover when writing a research paper. Students always stumble when they come to the research methodology chapter for their thesis. We shall have a look at how to write a methodology for a research paper in the following paragraphs and learn the correct way to do so.

What is a Methodology Chapter

When you are writing a research paper or dissertation, there is a general layer or research paper format to be followed. This means you need to cover the following chapters when writing your proposal:

  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter I – Introduction
  • Chapter II – Background
  • Chapter III – Methodology
  • Chapter IV – Results
  • Chapter V – Conclusions and Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix

Each of the chapters are divided into subtitles or contents. Students know how to write the introduction part, but may find it difficult to explain their methodology of research. This is the most important part of your research paper as you will be giving an insight to your readers about how you conducted the research and came up with the conclusion. In a research methodology chapter, you have to provide the reader with a quick overview of the way you were able to gather information as well as material for your paper. This chapter is where you need to include the techniques undertaken to collect data. This means explain the surveys, data mining, interviews and experiments you may have conducted to propose your conclusion. Also, include the procedures for data analysis like an analysis formula. You should also be able to justify your methods as to give it more credibility. This is true, especially for students who are writing a scientific research paper. A methodology is the most crucial point and should be presented thoroughly and in a concise way.

How Do You Write a Methodology

If you want to make your research appear more credible there is no option but to understand in detail, how to write a methodology. A research methodology will help you showcase your knowledge of using alternative methods that help in presenting your research topic more valid. The best way to demonstrate your research is by using a qualitative or quantitative research process. The following are the general guidelines that you should follow depending on the type of dissertation or research paper you are writing.

Tips on Writing a Methodology for a Research Paper

When you are writing a methodology, keep in mind you are supposed to explain your basic research plan. You need to begin with a few introductory lines that restate your purpose for research. It is alright to use the basic phrases and statements you used for the Introduction chapter. Then you need to begin writing the following information for your methodology chapter:


This is the part where you explain your basic research conducted using population or samples considered. You need to define the population or sample you have taken into consideration. Then you need to explain how many participants or samples were included in the study and the way you selected them.

For example:
The population considered for this study is defined is the number of OPD patients who have made a purchase from the hospital pharmacy during the time frame of this sampling.

You can explain the population considered using just one statement or short explanation. However, when it comes to the procedure of sampling you need to explain in detail. You will also have to detail how you selected the sample, the place, time, specific names (if possible or needed), number of participants or samples considered, etc. Do not miss out on any detail as it very important to explain the representation of your population to the reader.

The instrumentation part is where you explain the calculations, techniques, procedures, calibration plots and equipment used, whichever is applicable for your paper. If you have conducted a survey, explain how, when, why you conducted it and if you are using a survey conducted by someone else, make sure you state the source. You should include the original copy of the survey in the appendix and state in your methodology that the survey is included in the appendix.

Time Period and Procedure:

Another important aspect of methodology is to explain when you began conducting your research and the time it ended or will end. You should also explain any of the procedures you followed while conducting the research such as filling consent forms by the participants, instructions handed out to the participants, etc.

Now comes the most significant part of writing a methodology. You need to analyze the data you acquired in detail. You need to answer each of the research questions you have to address. Perform statistical tests specifically that helps identify the dependent and independent variables in the data (if present). You can even explain the computer software that was used to help you come to the conclusion.

In case of the instruments you have used for your research, for example, a survey, you need to prove its validity as well as reliability. Validity is the accuracy of your measurement. You need to include the face validity of your survey, content validity that covers the topic and construct validity that refers to the theories you have used to explore the survey. Reliability is the stability of your research over time. If your survey consists of a measurement that can undergo random error, your survey loses its reliability.

Obviously as you are writing a research paper, you will need to propose assumptions. You will need to specifically state the different assumptions made to support your research questions.

Limitation and Scope:
Limitation and scope is the part and parcel of every research study. Scope is the extent to which the research can be expanded and limitations include the time constraints, loss of participants, etc. The quality of the research takes a downfall with the increasing number of limitations.

When writing a methodology, always use past tense. Provide detailed information for your research, so that another researcher can use it for his/her experiments. Do not include any unnecessary information or outcomes that do not hold enough relevancy.

by Batul Nafisa Baxamusa.

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Methods of Qualitative Research

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

The need to understand how and why of any occurrence, has always intrigued the human mind. This curiosity gave birth to qualitative research in the 1950s. It is widely applied in many researches and studies in various disciplines such as education, social work, information, management, psychology, communication, etc.

Methods Used for Conducting Qualitative Research

Qualitative research helps to gain insight into people’s behavior, value systems, motivations, culture or lifestyles, and how these attributes have a role to play in decision and policy making, communicating, and conducting research. Following are some of the many approaches that are used for conducting qualitative research.

Case Studies: A case study is an intensive and in-depth study of a specific individual, an event, a group, or an institution in a specific context. There is no fixed criteria and way of conducting case studies, and it is done with a combination of other methods. This method studies in a systematic way events, collection of data, analyzes of information, and reporting the results. The end result is generally a clear perception and understanding of why and how things happen in the manner they do. Some social researchers like Sigmund Freud and Piaget have used case studies to study several individuals and child development respectively.

Participant Observation: This method is highly dependent on the researcher’s ability to blend and extract information by being part of an event or group. This method requires the researcher to become an active participant, while observing. It aims to gain a close insight of individuals or social groups and their practices through an intensive participation with them, in their natural environment, and often requires months or years to collect the required data for analysis. The researchers record their own experiences (subjective experiences), and make them available to a wide audience, for future studies and references.

Direct Observation: In direct observation method, there is no participatory involvement on the observer’s part. The observer is more a part of the background and is as unobtrusive as possible. As there is no direct participation, the observations are more detached. The researcher is watching, and making notes for future use. Direct participation also makes use of technology in observing individuals or events. One can record the happenings or observe from behind one-way mirrors. Unlike participant observation, direct observation tends to be more focused, as the observer is only observing specific occurrences, rather than the whole behavior.

Interviews: Interviewing involves direct interaction between the researcher and a respondent or group. There are two types of interviews; structured and unstructured. Structured interviews are carefully worded questionnaires and don’t allow much scope to deviate from it. Unstructured interviewing is more informal, as compared to the former. It allows more exploration and deviation in its approach, which is useful for exploring a subject more broadly. It encourages responses from the respondents’ point of view, a very meaningful strategy in qualitative data collection.

Public Records: Public records can be collected from an external or internal source. They are all part of public domain information and created with the purpose of helping and furthering research. External records are census and vital statistics reports, government office records, newspaper archives, etc, whereas internal records are specific to particular companies or organizations.

Personal Records: Personal Records are first-person accounts of events and experiences, and can include diaries, portfolios, photographs, artwork, scrapbooks, poetry, etc. Personal documents can help the observer to gain insight of the participants world.

Methods mentioned above investigate the why and how of making decisions, not just what, where, when.

by Loyeleena Rajeey.

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How to Write a Hypothesis

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Taking up a research project is one of the best exercises in analytical thinking. It is a great opportunity to challenge your mind to think out of the box and come up with a possible explanation for any observable phenomenon. Imagination plays a very important role in the whole process of research. Imagination is required in the formation of a hypothesis and is perhaps one of the hardest parts of the whole process.

What is a Hypothesis
A logical question to be brought up right at the start of this discussion is what exactly does the term ‘Hypothesis‘ mean? To put it in the simplest of words, a hypothesis is a ‘guess‘ made to explain any phenomenon in nature. When you see something weird happening and guess about what could have caused it, you are actually formulating an hypothesis. However, hypothesis are informed and logical guesses, arrived at, after observing the relevant phenomenon in the most minute of details. Now you would say, isn’t that the same thing as coming up with a theory? No, it isn’t. Hypothesis and theory, though used interchangeably by some, are quite different concepts with different meanings. In the following section, I present a hypothesis vs theory comparison, which will make this clearer.

Difference Between a Theory and a Hypothesis
A hypothesis is an unverified idea or possibility, which has not been tested through actual experiment or factual checking. On the other hand a theory is an idea which has been validated by actual observation. It is a hypothesis which has stood the test of experiment and time to be unequivocally accepted. Hypothesis is a nascent theory awaiting the approval from testable experimental results.

How to Write a Hypothesis For a Research Paper
Forming a hypothesis carries utmost importance in the scientific method of analyzing nature. All hypotheses need to have two prime features. One is a possible explanation of the phenomenon and the second is a testable prediction. That is, your hypothesis cannot just be a guess, it has to have a clause in it which offers a hint of how that guess of yours could be actually tested. The format of most hypothesis statements is – ‘If. . Then’. The ‘if‘ covers the actual explanation which presents an explanation of how something works and ‘then‘ includes the testable prediction, which would provide a solid experimental proof for its validation. Try to make it as specific as possible and make sure that all the information included in there is accurate.

What you need is an example of a hypothesis, which will demonstrate and inculcate all the features discussed before. Here are three hypothesis statements for your perusal.

  • If life was indeed seeded on Earth from outer space, we should find traces of living organisms at high altitudes over the Earth’s surface.
  • If the reason for the mass extinction of dinosaurs was meteorite impact, there should be a large impact crater on Earth which could account for it.
  • If there is intelligent life on any of the planets revolving around the many stars of the Milky Way galaxy and it has developed just like life on Earth, we should be able to receive an intelligible radio signal in the near future.

A hypothesis statement needs to be formulated very carefully as it determines the direction of your research and forms the core idea, which motivates your research further.

by Omkar Phatak.

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Cross-Sectional Research

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Cross-sectional research refers to the study of a vast group of people (sample) and their behavior at the same point of time. Cross-sectional researches are the basis of case studies and various analysis. There is no standard cross-sectional research definition as such, but it can be defined as a study of a specified group of people who vary in a certain specific variables (such as age) at the same point of time. It is used in different areas but most it is widely used in the study of epidemiology, market research and psychology. In epidemiology, cross-sectional research tries to establish a relationship between a disease and some traits that a specified subset of population may exhibit. Let us take a look at the purpose of a cross-sectional design.


While conducting a cross-sectional research the important points one needs to remember are: when to collect the information, which method is to be employed to collect cross-sectional data, and which mode is used to analyze the data. The structure of the research paper depends on the type of research that needs to be carried out. Studies are categorized as pre-experimental, quasi-experimental and true experimental. The purpose for which the research is carried out determines the design which is to be used.

Cross-Sectional Research Vs Longitudinal Research

While cross-sectional research is used to study the groups of participating population at a particular time, longitudinal research differs in the sense that it studies the sample group over a period of time. This period of time is dependent on the type of study. It can range from a few months to an entire life-time. Often development researchers have to decide as which research method will be more beneficial to them. A longitudinal study allows a researcher to observe the developments taking place in the sample. It helps them track certain behavior and habits of the population of the sample. But, the longitudinal research also comes with many disadvantages. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep a track of a large group of population. One of the common observations in the longitudinal method is that people tend to show completely different behavior when they are being observed or under scrutiny.

Cross-sectional research is quicker and does not require too much of capital. One also does not need to keep a track of the entire population over a period of time as in longitudinal research. But it lacks the in-depth analysis of a longitudinal research. Let us try to understand this with the help of examples.

Cross-Sectional Research : An Example

If you visit a college and ask the students about the education standard of the college, you will only get to know the general opinion that they have of the professors, faculty, etc. This can be categorized as a cross-sectional research as you do not know what caused them to have an opinion, whether good or bad about the college.

Longitudinal study allows you to measure the changes over a course of time. Let us take the same example as above. You visit a college and take the feedback of the faculty from a specific set of students. You then keep a track of this group of students for a period of time, say a year or two and then you again take their feedback. If they do not speak highly about the college you can relate it to the reasons that might have influenced their opinions.

by Rahul Pandita.

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Correlational Research

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Correlational research is a quantitative method of research which aims to determine if there exists any kind of relationship between two variables. Correlational research is an easy way to understand how two or more groups are related to each other. For example, a correlational study on cigarette smoking can examine the relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. The research method is purely observational in nature and the researcher merely examines the variables without any kind of manipulation. It is not to be confused with the cross sectional research as the nature and the scope of both these studies is entirely different.

Correlational Coefficient

To determine the relationship between two variables, a correlational coefficient is used, which is denoted by r. The range of correlational coefficient is between 1 to +1. The value tells us two things about the nature of the relationship between two or more variables, the intensity and the direction.

Ideally, for no correlation between two variables, the value of r should be 0 and for a perfect correlation, the value of r should be 1. These are very rare scenarios and ideally, if the value of r is above 0.70, the relationship is considered to be ‘almost always significant’. Direction signifies the manner in which the two variables move in respect to each other. Mentioned below are three types of correlation.

  • A positive correlation means that both the variables are moving in the same direction. For example, education and salary range are positively correlated to each other. People who have attained higher education like MBA, doctorate degrees, post-graduation tend to earn higher salaries.
  • A negative correlation on the other hand implies that the two variables move in opposite directions. For example, when you increase the speed of your car, the time taken to reach your destination decreases.
  • No correlation indicates that there is no relation between the two variables. For example, consumption of burgers and sales of the latest smartphone. In this scenario, these two events are mutually exclusive of each other, i.e. the occurrence of one does not in any way impact or effect the occurrence of other.

Out of the various designs, explanatory design model and prediction design model are widely used. The explanatory design examines the correlation of two and more variables with data being collected at one time only. After the collection of data, at least two scores are recorded and the researcher draws out inferences from the available statistics only. On the other hand, in a prediction design model, the capability of the prediction is the main aim of the research. The study focuses on the use of predictor variable and the criterion variable. A variable which is used to predict the value of the other variable is known as the predictor variable and the variable whose value is being predicted is known as the criterion variable. The prediction design is most useful for forecasting academic success.

Correlation and Causality

One of the most common mistakes associated with a correlational research is the interpretation of a correlation as a causality. A correlational research can only analyze the relationship between two variables, but it does not tell us about the cause and effect relationship. If two variables are negatively correlated to each other, it does not necessarily mean that they have a cause and effect relationship. Consider this example.

Suppose a study on the students of a college and their average grades found out that students who had undergone body-piercing had lower grades. So, does this mean that getting pierced affects one’s intelligence and makes a person dull? Should the college ban all kinds of body piercing in order to improve its score, and would restrictions on body piercing ensure higher scores? In this case, there is a third variable that affects the grades of the students. The third variable can be any reason like a difficult childhood, use of drugs etc. So, one should never interpret the findings of a correlational research as a causality.

Correlational research is one of the widely used methods of research. It ensures that the researcher just reports the data without making any changes to the behavior of the participant.

by Rahul Pandita.

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How to Write a Good Literature Review for Your Dissertation

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

For many people, the literature review is the hardest part of a doctoral-level dissertation report. In fields such as the social sciences and statistics, individuals who are talented in their fields of study may not have quite such an easy time with the skills required to create a really solid literature review. Of course, an effective graduate program will have trained its doctoral candidates in the necessary activities, including research, academic writing, and organization of ideas. Nevertheless, many otherwise solid dissertations end up lacking in overall quality due to a mediocre literature review.

Why Are Literature Reviews Important?

The literature review situates your work in the relevant academic, scientific, and professional contexts. This is important because, in order to have any impact, the research you do needs to be part of a cultural conversation that takes place among everyone working in your area and related areas. If you don’t locate your own work within this conversation, you risk being ignored, no matter how important your work is otherwise. As an analogy, consider a conversation among a group of people at a coffee shop. According to acceptable rules of social interaction, each individual speaks when he or she can find an opportune moment and when what he or she has to say fits into the overall structure and flow of the conversation. If someone says something out of nowhere, or if the other people at the table don’t understand how it’s related, they will probably pass over the comment altogether. In rare instances, if the comment is interesting enough, they might try to find out how it is relevant, but unless it’s something truly new, this isn’t likely to happen.

How to Structure the Literature Review

Luckily, writing a really good literature review is not as daunting as it might seem, and by following a few guidelines and approaching the review in manageable chunks, you can create an excellent product that bolsters the quality and credibility of your report as a whole. In a basic sense, the literature review is just a research paper. In your undergraduate and graduate studies, you have probably written a large number of research papers, so you should be familiar with them. Usually, you are presented with a topic and you must research that paper and write a report presenting and synthesizing your research. The trouble with applying this to literature reviews is that the topic is very broad and no one will provide you with a specific topic. Of course, the general topic of the review is the same as the topic of your doctoral research. What doctoral candidates often don’t understand is how to structure the more specific points within this broad topic.

What to Include in the Literature Review

In deciding what to cover in your literature review, start by making a list of your variables. If you are doing empirical research, this should be easy, as your variables should be determined by your research proposal. In other types of research, this may be more difficult, but should be no trouble if you stick to listing the most important topics and subtopics. This list can serve as a very rough initial outline of your literature review. You will need to synthesize all the existing literature related to each of the variables or topics you have listed. In addition, you may be required by your institution to include research related to methodology.

How to Make the Literature Review Flow

Of course, it isn’t enough to have a series of short essays on the literature related to each subtopic you select for your outline. It is crucial for your literature review to be a single, cohesive whole, rather than a series of disjointed sections. This is probably the most difficult aspect for those who aren’t accomplished writers. In order to make sure that your literature review flows, consider at every step of the writing process how what you are writing relates to your study. It’s important to frequently remind the reader of exactly how and why each item of literature that you review is relevant to your own project. Additionally, in the introduction, summary, and transitions, think about the broad picture that you’d like the literature review to create in the reader’s mind. This will help you build a cohesive paper that updates the reader on the state of the field you are working in, shows a clear need for your study, and explains why your study is an important contribution.

Consider Investing in a Professional Editor

Taking this advice into consideration will greatly improve the quality of your literature review and your dissertation as a whole. Of course, because this document is so important to your education and to your career, it is worthwhile to invest in a professional editor or consultant to help you polish the final version.

by Buzzle Staff.

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Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Research is defined as a process of systematic investigation with the objective of establishing facts. In social science, there are basically two popular methods of research – qualitative research and quantitative research. In some studies, qualitative research has an edge over its counterpart, while in others quantitative research is better. It is very important to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative research in order to determine which method would be useful to study a particular trend.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Which of these two methods is to be used depends on a range of underlying factors, including the properties of the subject and the objective of the research. Even though you can use both these methods one after another in social science studies, financial or time restraints may not allow you to opt for both. In such circumstances, comparison between the two can help in making the choice easier for you.

Qualitative Research: The objective of qualitative research is to gather in-depth understanding of human behavior, in order to find out the reasons which make the person behave in that particular way. This form of research relies more on quality instead of quantity. When it comes to decision making, this method focuses more on answering questions like ‘why’ and ‘how’, instead of restricting to questions like ‘what’. The number of samples studied in this method are quite less as compared to the number of samples studied in quantitative research. In qualitative research, the end result is more often based on the studies of a few samples, and hypothesis is formed on the basis of these general conclusions.

Quantitative Research: The objective of quantitative research, on the other hand, is to develop mathematical models and formulate theories, and employ the same to get the end results. This method focuses in the investigation of quantitative properties and the phenomenon, as well the relationship between the two. This form of research relies more on quantity and numbers, than on quality and details. The results in this case are derived from numerical analysis and statistics. Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research has a larger number of samples.

Difference Between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research

In comparison between qualitative and quantitative research, the most prominent difference is the fact that the former is restricted to a smaller group but goes into the details, while the later involves an exposure to a large group without going into the details. Other differences between the two revolve around this very fact. The number of participants in qualitative research is much less than the number of participants in quantitative research, owing to the fact that the investigation in this case takes much more time as it gets into the details of the matter. This also means the time consumed in qualitative research with a fewer subjects and less analysis is much less as compared to the time consumed for quantitative research which investigates a bigger part of the universe. The results obtained from qualitative research have more chances of being biased as this method of research is open to different interpretations. Some argue that qualitative research is more reliable as the researcher puts in more efforts in compiling the data, while some argue that quantitative method is more reliable as larger part of the universe is subjected to research.

As we mentioned earlier, both these methods of market research can even be used one after another.

by Abhijit Naik.

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Types of Educational Research

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

‘Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.’ – Dr. Carl Sagan

Research is a task that is essential in all areas of life. It can be used for serious inventions, or simply for educational purposes. In order to carry out a successful educational research, a person has to follow a certain set of methods. He may employ just one or a couple of methods for his research to be fruitful. Each of these methods have their own advantages, disadvantages, and result potential.

All research design types come under two categories namely, qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research is based primarily on concepts that include facts and solid information rather than figures and statistical data. On the other hand, quantitative research is right opposite. It mainly centers on measurements, figures, stats, and mathematical models. Remember that both these methods are believed to be important at their respective places. A blend of both qualitative and quantitative research is referred to as a mixed research.

Educational Research Types

Basic Research
This is simplest method of educational research. It primarily concentrates on the need to add to the existing pool of knowledge. It can also be used to understand a concept or phenomenon that seems complicated. A good example can be understanding how feedback has an impact on motivation in teenagers. It generally does not involve exhaustive qualitative and quantitative tasks.

Applied Research
An applied research is one which relates to more practicalities than theories. It is based on practical aspects and findings of the community or entity administering the research. It deals with practical issues and solutions, which can be associated with people and the economy. In this research, it is necessary to use a specific subject than just a random sample.

Action Research
This kind of research is also called participatory action research, since it includes findings by performing actions. Action research concentrates on a person carrying out findings with other people to reach a conclusion. In this type, researchers coordinate with others to devise a new approach to a concept to be explored. It is mainly used for solving social issues.

Evaluation Research
This type of educational research is used to provide suitable feedback to particular entities. The results obtained then contribute to decision making of further theories. It requires much of the same skills from a traditional research. An example for this can be to find out and decide whether to continue with a program or end it permanently.

Experimental Research
As the name suggests, experimental research consists of drawing conclusions with observations. It includes selecting and comparing two or more aspects which have a certain impact on the subject. For instance, an experimental research would be to compare and check two teaching methods and determine which of them would be most preferred by students.

Non-experimental Research
This research does not include direct comparison of two subjects or their aspects. It instead focuses on how the subject is and gets conclusions. For example, a non-experimental research concentrates on if the subject’s good or bad, instead of till what extent it is good or bad. Owing to the rough and generic conclusions, this method is not included in extensive research modules.

These are the known types of educational research.

by Stephen Rampur.

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What is a Thesis Statement?

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”- J.R.R. Tolkien

True for the Lord of the Rings and well, true for most research papers. Most students or thesis writers, tend to finalize their argument for the subject of their choice, when they start their paper. The statement that puts forward this argument in black and white, is known as the thesis statement. While a thesis statement definition can be put forward in extremely simple terms, it is important to understand how to write a thesis statement.

What is a Thesis Statement?

Most graduate or postgraduate programs require students to write a thesis or a dissertation on a topic or subject of their choice, related to their program course. A thesis statement defines in a sentence or two, the essence of the essay. The definition of thesis statement is, a part of the opening paragraph of the essay, which in a clear, precise and focused manner, puts forward the stream of argument that the author intends to follow.

A thesis statement is generally a good measure of how focused, the author is. A concise and well-thought-of thesis statement will always garner the attention of a reader. It is this sentence, more than any other text in the essay, that will tell the reader what to expect from the dissertation. It tells the reader about the importance that you have given the subject that is under scrutiny. The thesis statement is your answer to the research question in the paper. The rest of your paper will be a methodical representation of the evidence that you have managed to collect in order to prove your answer to the research question right.

A working thesis statement refers to a thesis statement that, will remain unfixed throughout the process of paper research. It helps you narrow down the scope of your paper. If you intend to write a paper on the portrayal of Afro-Americans in English novels, you may find that the area you will have to cover is too large. The thesis statement can help you narrow it down to a paper, that will try and determine, whether the portrayal of Afro-Americans in To Kill a Mockingbird, was a reflection of the period it was written in.

A thesis statement is generally placed at the start of the paper. It is advisable not to start the paper with the statement itself but to put in a couple of paragraphs with your ideas and then end these paragraphs with a statement, …and therefore I would like to prove in this paper that…

Tips to Write a Thesis Statement

In order to write a good thesis statement, it is essential to keep in mind a few crucial tips.

  • It is important for the author to understand what kind of research paper, he/she is writing. Determine whether your paper is analytical, explanatory or debatable.
  • Your thesis statement need not necessarily fall under these three categories and if not, then ensure that your thesis statement is outlined boldly in the first paragraph.
  • Be sure to write a thesis statement that is specific to your paper.
  • Ensure that the thesis statement reflects the findings of the paper. You may have to revise your statement due for the same purpose.
  • Your thesis statement cannot be a neutral statement nor can it be an overview of the topic.
  • The thesis statement has to be arguable.

Thesis Statement Sample

The following is an example of a thesis statement written by a graduate student for her research paper entitled, Criminals in the Fourth Estate. The paper intend to prove that the reportage of crime in national newspapers, does not follow the standards prescribed by the American Bar Association.

The thesis subject is a study of the reportage of crime in national newspapers, namely, New York Times and Washington Post. The study aims to research the following of ABA guidelines in crime reporting by these papers. The study intends to prove that the guidelines, which comprise nine specific features, set down by the ABA, are being violated by the crime reporters of these two papers.

While learning how to write a thesis you may be faced by several different problems. Writing a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It is not easy to narrow down on a thesis statement, when you are in the process of researching and gathering material.

by Tulika Nair.

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