University of Phoenix
15 November, 2012
Professionals in any field may be required to research a specific topic and explain that topic. This includes Criminal Justice Professionals as well. Professionals working in the Criminal Justice System will more than likely be responsible for many research projects and knowing the process necessary to complete such a successful research project is the first step toward success in this field. There are also many terms used by researchers that need to be defined. This paper’s purpose is to explain that process and define some of the most commonly used terms. It is all in the Process
The first step in the research process is the inception, or creation of the research idea. Without the research idea there is no point in conducting research. The research idea includes the primary topic of the research, any sub-topics that may apply to the situation, and the reason the research is needed. Research can be conducted on any topic and can be conducted for any reason deemed necessary. Personal research ideas should cover topics that interest the person conducting the research, whereas professional research should cover topics that have social validity, the impact the research could have on society and the professionals involved (Wester, 2011). This is the point where professional research and personal research differ. After the researcher decides what he or she wants to research and why, the next step in a personal research project is to begin the research. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, the researcher should use sources that can be verified. These can include websites that end in “.edu” or “.gov,” published books by legitimate authors, and professionals who are knowledgeable about the subject the researcher is studying. When performing personal research, the researcher decides how much information he or she believes is needed about the topic. The research ends when the researcher feels they know as much as they want and they share the results if they want to. Because professional research ideas will have to be followed by other people, the research has to be explained in detail. Often the topic is decided by someone other than the person or people performing the research. Sometimes a general topic is ordered and the specific topic of the research is left up to the researcher. No matter which is the case the researcher should attempt to stay on the topic ordered. The first step the researcher is responsible is a statement of the research idea. This should be a simple statement of one or two sentences and should include the topic and the importance of that topic (Chenail, 2011). The next step is to focus in on the topic. You can do this by answering the five W’s and one H; who, want, when, why, where, and how. Answering these six questions can tell others exactly what the topic of the research is about and can be a general guideline for the rest of the research. The answers to these questions also provide the necessary information for developing the Initial Research Question or Hypothesis for your research project. This is the official explanation of the research idea but may also include the possible negative and positive consequences of the research. This explanation can be checked throughout the research process to maintain focus, or can be reevaluated as new information presents itself (Chenail, 2011). Included in the research should be a review or summary of the sources used in the research as well as cites and references as needed. This can be presented at any place within the research documentation. The next step is to develop a research design. The research design is a set of choices made by the person or people performing the research that helps the researcher conduct the study in an effective and efficient manner. The...
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