What is Research? The Role of the Supervisor
in the development of research project
As Maxim says “All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry, and inquiry leads to invention” (Kothari, 3) .This means that doubt gives place to inquiry and inquiry to invention. When this inquiry becomes the part of a systematic investigation, is called research. Each research has three basic components: Student, Topic, and Supervisor. All these are basic requirements for any research project and in the absence of anyone of such component no research is possible. This term paper makes an attempt to define the basic features of the research by focusing on a range of issues associated with the role and the responsibility of the supervisor in development of a research project and the relationship between the student and the supervisor. There is difference between reading and study. We read a novel or a poem in general. But we study, when we have to review or make comments on them. Research is more than study; it has assumed a new meaning in the twentieth century. It is a technical term which means a systematic investigation in a field of knowledge to discover or establish facts or principle. The word “research” originates from the medieval French word recherché, meaning “to seek closely.” In its most general sense, research involves investigating a topic to learn more about it. Research, is an academic activity, as Clifford Woody defines “comprises defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis” (scribd). The following definition will give us a clear idea what is research is: 1. Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories. The primary purposes of basic research (as opposed to applied research) are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. (wikipedia). 2. D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences define research as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art(Kothari,1).” A close reading of these definitions leads us to the conclusion that research has the following features: I. Research is a systematic and critical investigation.
II. It aims at the discovery of new facts and their correct information. III. It is also the revision of accepted laws or theories in the light of the discovery of new facts. IV. It can be the practical application of new or revised conclusions, theories or law. Coming to the first feature, the word systematic means that the entire procedure of the investigation is done under certain principles. The word critical means that the researcher takes care of both kinds of facts, one that favours his hypothesis and the other that goes counter to his assumptions. It follows then, that the researcher must not be prejudiced or subjective in his observation, experiment, analysis or interpretation nor should be erratic in arrangement of facts nor ignores the facts that shatter his postulates or hypothesis. For example- suppose a researcher assumes that Hopkins is purely a modern poet and entirely different from the other Victorians. Now if the researcher finds that Hopkins is Victorian in his attitude and ideas, he must not ignores this fact and must revise his...
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