Shaily Parihar 15th June 2010
There is No Hope of Doing a Perfect Research Oxford Dictionary defines „research‟ as “the systemic investigation into and study of materials, sources, etc., in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions; an endeavour to discover new or collate old facts etc. by the scientific study of a subject or by a course of critical investigation”. Written in a technical jargon, a research report involves great investment of time and is an outcome of rigorous and laborious work done by researchers in universities. This makes it an article of faith in the eyes of people. We cannot quibble with its details and it does not give us the leisure for interrogation. In the light of the above definition of research, Griffith‟s quote “There is no hope of doing a perfect research”, does not mean to debunk the entire concept of research, it rather admits the fact that we are not living in a utopian world and there are limitations to research work. It also seeks to critique the conclusions of research analysis, which are usually blindly trusted by people. Therefore, my purpose of writing this paper is (1) to establish the importance of research in academic fields even if it has limitations and (2) to show how certain areas of research have been challenged and viewed critically.
LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH
Reading and Understanding Research by Locke, Silverman and Spirduso, in its second chapter, lists out various limitations in a research process which often lead to lack of faith among the readers of a research report. Along with “technical problems”, issues of “carelessness” and “poor scholarship”, the book also talks about the problem of sampling
(46-51). Collecting correct samples for research study which “truly represent the population” is far from easy in real life situations. “Lack of replication” is another problem (49). A study becomes less reliable if it is not repeated. Repetition is important to check whether or not the results remain the same after repeated study and whether or not results change when same research is done in different “sample or setting”. After discussing these limitations, the book states that even if “researchers strive for perfection” it is not possible to have a research which is “free of all limitations”. Just like “no journal article contains the full story”, it is not possible to have a perfect research (50). But just because research studies have limitations it does not mean that research work is flawed. In spite of its various limitations, it provides us with valuable information. I will now talk about the advantages of research, as it holds tremendous importance in the field of academics.
IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH
Importance of research brings our mind the importance of history in our life. It is only when we understand history we can understand our present and future better because inventions that took place in past lead to development in future. The present generation does not have to worry about inventing bulbs and televisions because such inventions have already taken place. And research in past discoveries and innovations will help in bringing up greater innovations in future. This leads to a social change and progress of the society. This importance of research is also discussed in Research as a Basis for Teaching- readings from the work of Lawrence Stenhouse, (edited by Jean Rudduck and David Hopkins). The book explains us that through teaching the researcher “makes himself an instrument of his research” because in this way, the researcher is putting his/her research into practice and becomes a “conscious artist” (8-11). The author further explains that just like an actor learns more about his acting through his performances on stage, so does a researcher learns more
about his/her subject through the act of teaching. This also improves his teaching skills. Thus, in section 1 under the title “How research can...