Steps for conducting research
Steps for conducting research
Research is a systematic method of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the data, analyzing the data and reaching certain conclusions towards the concerned problem for the theoretical formulation. The aim of the research is to find out the truth and to gain new insights in to the unexplored area. The steps for conducting research are:
- Formulating the research problem
Formulating the research problem is a first step in research process. Generally there are two types of research problem that relate to state of nature and other relate to the relationship between variables. To formulate a research problem, the researcher should choose the general area of interest that he wish to inquire in to. Initially the problem can be stated in a broad manner and later it can be formulated to a specific research problem.
- Extensive literature survey
Once the problem is formulated, a brief summary is written down. The earlier studies have to be studied to identify the research problem or to find out the research gap. The sources like academic journals, conference proceedings, government reports, books, online journals, eBooks available in library or in internet helps to study the various literature surveys that are confined to a specific topic. A thorough literature review will lead to identification of research gap that makes one’s study distinct from the earlier studies.
- Developing the hypothesis
After an extensive literature survey, the researcher should frame hypothesis. Hypothesis is a tentative assumption to test the logical or empirical consequences. Hypothesis should be specific delimiting to the particular area of research.
- Preparing the research design
Preparation of the research design includes obtaining the information, skills of the researcher, time and cost factor relating to research. The aim of research design is to collect relevant evidence with minimal expenditure of effort, time and money.
- Determining sample design
The researcher must decide the way of selecting a sample known as the sample design. Sample design is a definite plan determined before any data are collected for obtaining a sample from a given population. The researcher can choose the sampling type from different types of sampling which are random sampling, convenience sampling, quota sampling, systematic sampling, cluster sampling and so on.
- Collecting the data
The data can be collected through observation, direct interview, questionnaire method, telephone interview, mailing questionnaire and through schedules. Depending on the available financial resources, time and degree of accuracy, the researcher can choose any of the method for data collection.
- Analysis and interpretation of data
After the data is collected, the researcher has to analyze the data by coding, editing and tabulation process. Specific statistical tools are used to find the output for the data and it is tabulated. After the tabulation, the discussion or interpreting the data is done based on previous studies and also can specify how your study is distinct from earlier studies.
- Preparation of the report
The last step is preparing a report or thesis which includes three main divisions namely, preliminary pages, main text and end matter. Preliminary pages include acknowledgement, table of contents, list of graphs and tables. The main text includes introduction, summary of findings, main report and conclusion and the end matter includes bibliography and appendices.