Dissertation research guide

Many students at the postgraduate level find the research process hard. The latter may be due to an array of reasons such as lack of knowledge on the methods of research, absence of required skills, or bald statistics.

  • Type of data selection

You have to decide on what data type you will use. You can select primary, secondary or enormous data. Primary data gets compiled by the researcher and gets done by undergraduate and graduate students. Secondary data is the one collected by a different person in the past and can be found online, in government sources, or past researchers.

  • Research methodology selection

You can choose qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods of research. Qualitative research tends to explain and is mostly a topic getting explored for the first time. Through conducting interviews and observing people, you can grasp the knowledge of understanding them and their perceptions.

Quantitative research tends to confirm a notion. The main aim of this type of research is confirmation or disconfirmation of a hypothesis through the use of analysis of statistics. Numerical data gets widely used here, and you hence seek to generalize your outcomes to the public.

Mixed research combines both quantitative and qualitative methods, and the critical goal of using this method is to have a deeper understanding of a given subject or topic that cannot get relayed with one methodology.

  • Strengths and limitations know-how

A critical strength of qualitative research is its ability to explore a subject in finer details since you can narrow down your research to specific people, places, or events. Still, you can not generalize your outcomes to the public since you interview a select group of individuals.

  • Have a specific selection of qualitative method

The methods range from focus groups, observations, case studies, and interviews.

  • Choose the participants

Ask yourself who the participants are. Consult your research question to help you get the participants. Decide on the number of participants you should have and their respective backgrounds.

  • Select measures

Qualitative research employs the use of measures that are way simpler than the ones used in a quantitative study. You can have a checklist of your observations. You can use semi-structured interviews on focus groups, interviews, and case studies.

  • Choose analyses

Qualitative research does not need complex analysis as you lack numerical data. You need to code and find themes in the collected data. It involves putting the coded observations in groups and putting answers in patterns. The different procedures used in this stage include thematic analysis, narrative analysis, constant comparative analysis, and discourse analysis.

  • Understand the procedure

It is straightforward. After recruiting your participants, you have to schedule a time for observation or interviews. During the collection of interview data, you will need to transcribe them afterward. Analyze your results after collection and write your final report.

  • Think about ethics

It does not matter if you are doing a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed study. You must ensure that your work is ethical. Some researches may involve vulnerable individuals, or some topics may be sensitive. Have it at your best of interest not to harm any of your participants in any way. You can achieve this by presenting your work before a panel of an ethics committee to verify your research.

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