Research Methods

Topics: Qualitative research, Quantitative research, Scientific method Pages: 5 (1624 words) Published: September 8, 2014
Assignment in Research Methods
1) Overview of various research methods

When writing a Research Paper it is important to know different research methods. These methods help to gather and systemize the information and data in order to scientifically prove the validity of the work. Further will be explained ways how to collect the data.

Research methods are divided in two big blocks: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative methods are those where results are explained in numbers, whereas qualitative methods define outcomes by what respondents answer. It is more subjective and more open, as results are not described by numbers, but rather as observations. To put both methods differences together: quantitative look more for statistical explanation, but qualitative are more in-depth. 1 Further will be in more detail explained methods that lay under quantitative and qualitative.

There are many ways how to collect data for the research. One of them is doing experiments. It usually involves small amount of people who are doing some tests, for example, detecting how fast people read, what affects their reading skills and other objectives. This method is very in-depth and counted as qualitative as the behaviour people is investigated in order to conclude some outcomes. One of the minuses of such methods is that it only researches small group of the society and does not give overall overview for all public. 2

Second type of methods is surveys. Surveys are conducted when a researcher wants quickly to gather a big amount of data. They have low cost, wide range of respondents, easy to conduct and systemize the results. Surveys are usually in a written form and they can be transferred to people in various ways- through e-mail, Web pages or questions can be asked in a person or through telephone call. This type also has few flaws- not all participants will answer to all questions, meaning they can skips some parts, it usually has a low return rate of answers and it also cannot present all society. 3

Third type of how to collect data for research is to conduct a questionnaire. Questionnaire similarly to survey is a method where information is gathered from a big amount of people and it is analysed quantitatively and systematically. The pluses of such method are: easy and quick to fill in, easy to analyse the data and it is easy to report the results. In questionnaires it is important to keep questions simple as people are usually lazy and not so eager to read long and complicated questions. A very good approach is to ask short answers and multiple choice answers for a quick response. It allows people just to circle the option and rapidly go to the next inquiry. For example, a question: How many hours do you sleep in a night? In a multiple choice question options would be: 1-4, 5-7, 7-10, more. Or above question could be placed a line where to write the number of hours. This shows how simply questions should be made. Moreover, questionnaires should not involve any sensitive topics, only general and common themes. 4

Fourth type of research methods is interviewing people. It is not common to have yes/no questions in this type, as the aim of it is to collect more in-depth data and have an open discussion with the respondent. Firstly, the interview has to be properly planned. It is relevant to create a pleasant atmosphere for a participant. If interview process will be chaotic and unplanned, researcher will not hear any true answers. For example, when interviewing a director of a bank. Researcher has to set a goal and objectives of the interview- what needs to be found out? Also it is important to come prepared not only with questions, but also materials which record the answers, such as paper, pencils or maybe a recorder. If a researcher wants to record the conversation with an electronic device a permission of the respondent has to be asked prior to the session. One of the drawbacks of recording an interview is that...

Bibliography: 1. Anderson, J.D., (2006). Qualitative and Quantitative research. Imperial COE, p.3. Available at: http://www.icoe.org/webfm_send/1936. Last visited on 23 February, 2014.
2. Research Methods, last updated on 21 August, 2009. Available at: http://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Research/Understanding-dementia-research/Types-of-research/Research-methods. Last visited on 23 February, 2014.
3. Hampton, C., Vilela, M., Conduction Surveys, Community Tool Box. Available at: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/assessing-community-needs-and-resources/conduct-surveys/main. Last visited on: 23 February, 2014.
4. Leung, W.C., How to design a questionnaire. University of East Anglia. StudentBM, Vol. 9, 2001. Available at: http://mail.cochrane.es/files/Recursos/How_to_design_a_questionnaire.pdf. Last visited on 23 February, 2014.
5. Conduct research, Interview.University of Texas at Austin, Instructional Assesment Resources. 2007. Available at: http://www.utexas.edu/academic/ctl/assessment/iar/research/plan/method/interview.php. Last visited on: 23 February, 2014.
6. How to conduct an Interview. Scholastic News. Available at: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/how-conduct-interview. Last visited on 24 February, 2014.
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