Introduction to Research

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* searching for a theory (a scientifically acceptable general principle offered to explain observed facts). For testing a theory, or for solving a problem.

* a SYSTEMATIC, CONTROLLED, EMPIRICAL, and CRITICAL investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena (Kerlinger, 1973)

SYSTEMATIC – follows steps or stages that begin with identification of the problem, relating of this problem with existing theories, collection of data, analysis, interpretation of these data, drawing of conclusions, and integration of these conclusions into the stream of knowledge.

CONTROLLED – is so planned every step of the way that fancy and guess work do not set in. The problem is defined thoroughly, variables identified and selected, instruments carefully selected or constructed, conclusions drawn only from the data yielded, and recommendations based on the findings and conclusions.

EMPIRICAL DATA – will form the bases for conclusions. Everything is so controlled that any observer of the investigation will develop full confidence in the results.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS – is done by a panel of judges that passes judgment on the entire research.


ORGANIZED – involves a structure or method in going about doing research. It is planned procedure, not a spontaneous one. It is focused and limited to a specific scope.

SYSTEMATIC – follows a definite set of procedures and steps. There are certain things in the research process which are always done in order to get the most accurate results.

FINDING ANSWERS – is the end of all research. Whether it is the answer to a hypothesis or even a simple question, research is successful when we find answers. Sometimes the answer is no, but it is still an answer.

QUESTIONS – are central to research. If there is no question, then the answer is of no use. Research is focused on relevant, useful, and important questions. Without a question, research has no focus, drive, or purpose.

* sometimes called a term paper or library paper, an ordinary critical essay or the more daunting thesis (an essay embodying results of original research especially one written for an academic degree or dissertation (an extended usually written treatment of a subject especially one submitted for a doctorate)

* reports the writer’s research findings.

* involves “searching again” through what others have written about the subject.

* is primarily characterized by its use of data gathered from a wide range of sources to clarify, analyze, expound on, discover, discuss, and debate an idea.

* entails understanding a scholarly endeavor and acquainting yourself with the variety of materials at your disposal (e.g., the library, various institutions, field interviews, questionnaires, the internet, email, and the like) to support your claims.


(1) a summary of information from many resources

If the paper summarizes research, it reports the reading from a single source or, more likely, from many sources.

(2) an evaluation of research information

If the paper evaluates the research information, it considers why or how and is frequently either a comparison paper or a cause-effect paper. The evaluation paper requires the use of numerous sources and assumes the writer’s ability to show originality and imagination.


An effective research paper fulfills these requirements: * indicates careful, comprehensive reading and understanding of the topic

* establishes, in its introduction, a thesis to be developed in the course of the paper

* follows a clear organization

* employs the principles of good composition

* includes direct quotations, paraphrases, or precis that supports the thesis

* includes...
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