Research is a careful, systematic, and patient study in a field of knowledge that aims at discovering facts and principles (Singh, 2006). According to Gray (2013), there are four types of research; exploratory, descriptive, constructive, and empirical. The standard study follows specific stages grouped into three chapters; chapters one, two, and three.
This is the first stage in which the study is introduced. The researcher establishes a specific topic to study. After stating the topic, background information on the topic is given. The background information is written from the global perspective, narrowing down to the continental, regional, and local perspectives. It should be written in such a way that it leads the reader to the statement of the problem. The next thing in line is the statement of the problem. This is the study’s focal point because it gives insight into the gaps in the study. The researcher states and explains what problem they have discovered and want to explore. The statement should be precise, clear, and specific.
After stating the problem, the researcher states the aim of the research or general objective. Like the problem, it should be precise, specific, and clearly written in one sentence. Usually, it is arrived at by objectively putting the research topic. Next, the specific objectives are created by breaking down the general objective. In this case, a good study has three to four specific objectives. After having cleared the objectives, the researcher formulates the research questions and hypotheses which guide them in conducting the research. The next thing is to justify the study in about one or two paragraphs. It states the rationality of the study.
After that, a paragraph of the significance of the study is given. The significance should answer why the study is being conducted, whether it is essential, to whom, and the study’s benefits (KELLEY, 2003). The researcher then explains the limitations and scope of the study. This essentially describes the characteristics of the design of the study. In this section, the researcher should explain how far the study will go. It also includes outlining the challenges expected during the research. The last section of chapter one is the operational definition of terms. It defines all the terms the study might use that are assumed to be unique.
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In this section, the researcher uses secondary sources to review the topic and identify gaps. It involves the researcher studying each specific objective they formulated in chapter one in which each of them is discussed in a minimum of two pages. This stage should maximize a higher percentage of what other people have researched on the objectives and analyze it in detail. It enables the researcher to know what has already been researched so that they develop their unique approach to their topics (Hart, 1998).
This marks the last section of chapter two. It involves discussing a theory or theories that will be used in tackling the research problem. In choosing a theory, the researcher should consider both modern and outdated theories to come up with a suitable framework. For example, if the study is about media-related topics, several approaches such as cultivation theory, uses and gratification theory, and agenda-setting theory, among others, can be used. Each field of study has some theories.
This chapter is all about the research methodology the study is going to employ.
It is a general plan explaining what the researcher will do to answer the research questions. It is simply the procedures and methods used in collecting and analyzing data. The design is characterized by four factors; neutrality, reliability, validity, and generalization. All the four elements should be balanced as they guide a researcher in answering the research questions. The research design is grouped into two main methods; qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative design explores the relationship between the collected data and observation (Alexander Di Pofi, 2002). In simple terms, why something exists in relation to what respondents say. Some of the qualitative methods are; in-depth interviews, focused groups, direct observations, and surveys. Quantitative design is employed where numbers are used to give conclusions. For instance, the use of questionnaires.
After choosing one of the two designs, the researcher then describes the target population in all aspects. This is the group of individuals the researcher has selected for the study (Windham, 2019). It may be a group of students, breastfeeding women, or any other group. A sampling procedure is then determined. There are two sampling techniques; probability and non-probability. In probability, the subjects have an equal opportunity of being selected, and non-probability subjects’ selection is by chance or randomly (Etikan, 2016). Examples of sampling techniques are; systematic, stratified, snowballing, quota, among others. After that, the researcher identifies the data collection instruments, such as cameras. Then determines the methods to use in collecting data based on the design chosen. It may be interviewing, use of questionnaires, observation, or surveying. Finally, after collecting the data, the researcher analyses it and give conclusions. In some instances, recommendations based on the results are given.
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Alexander Di Pofi, J. (2002). Organizational diagnostics: Integrating qualitative and quantitative methodology. Journal of Organizational Change Management, doi: 10.1108/0953481021042305315(2), 156-168.
Etikan, I. (2016). Comparison of convenience sampling and purposive sampling. American Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics, 5(1), 1. doi:10.11648/j.ajtas.20160501.11
Gray, D. E. (2013). Doing research in the real world. SAGE.
Hart, C. (1998). Doing a literature review: Releasing the social science research imagination. SAGE.
KELLEY, K. (2003). Good practice in the conduct and reporting of survey research. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 15(3), 261-266. doi:10.1093/intqhc/mzg031
Singh, Y. K. (2006). Fundamental of research methodology and statistics. New Age International.
Windham, C. (2019). Description of target & sample populations for research methods. Retrieved from https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/description-target-sample-populations-research-methods-29495.html