Research Methods

Topics: Scientific method, Research, Exploratory research Pages: 2 (363 words) Published: October 26, 2014
The research process serves many purposes. It attempts to better understand, explain, or provide answers to various phenomena (Shi, 2013). Data is collected by researchers and analyzed to arrive at conclusions and present an interpretation of this analysis (Shi, 2013). However, before the data can be collected and analyzed researchers need to conceptualize the study to be conducted which includes understanding the aims and objectives of their investigation, and developing research questions (Shi, 2013). This is the first stage of research and lays the foundation for the research design. Research design is influenced by the objectives of the research study and is critical to the process. Qualitative methods are employed in exploratory research while survey methods are typically used in descriptive research. Experimental research is applied to explanatory research (Shi, 2013). The design links the research methodology and research methods to allow for logical and valid inferences to be made. Without a good research design, there can be serious errors and significant omissions in the research study (Shi, 2013). Choosing the most appropriate method of research for the study to be conducted is also very important. There are several methods available, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Some methods may be more efficient at collecting larger sample sizes, while others may be expensive and inefficient, and others could be cheaper and faster, yet not detailed enough. Oftentimes a combination of methods is a better approach than using individual methods (Shi, 2013). A significant challenge to conducting good research includes the availability of resources. Research methods are dependent on the available resources, including knowledge, money, time, support, and analytic skills (Shi, 2013). The types of methods used in research are dictated by the budget available for this process. Hence the best methods might not be employed because of the cost factor (Shi, 2013)....
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