Research is the activity of gathering information related to a specific area of study and providing supportive evidence for the arguments and conclusions drawn. Research helps in drawing new conclusions by analyzing the evidence obtained. The aim of a research is to increase knowledge in a particular area and solve problems on a given topic. However, research can be carried out for the following reasons: review and elaborate existing knowledge, investigate existing problems and situations, explore and analyze general issues, and generate new knowledge as well as explain a new phenomenon.
The conclusion of a research is obtained after facts are established, based on new materials and information. Various methods are used for obtaining relevant information regarding a particular area of study. This article focuses on the key areas of research and research methods. Based on the hypothesis of the research, various approaches can be used to obtain relevant information regarding the study. A hypothesis refers to the prevision and the specific variable in the study. The variable covers a range of both dependent and independent variables. In simple terms, the hypothesis of a research refers to the particular topic under consideration.
A comprehensive and well-augmented research is comprised of the following stages: definition of the terms encountered in the research, various research approaches, stages of the research process, background information, information gathering, data collection, and ethical issues of the research. Other important areas of a research are the data analysis and data mining phases of the research. However, the most important stage of any research is the research method stage. The final project of a research needs to be conclusive and, depending on the type of project under consideration, various research methods can be used. Different types of research require different research methods. In order to understand the most effective method to apply for a given research, understanding the type of research is essential to achieve effective results. There are four different types of researches. These are: explanatory research, descriptive research, predictive research, and analytical research. The explanatory research is carried out when there are few or no studies in the given area. It aims to be informative and should be accompanied by various reputable sources. The basics of this research are to act as a foundation for further research. This is achieved by provision of patterns, hypothesis, and ideas that are testable and can be evaluated. Various techniques such as case studies, reviews, and observation are used to provide evidence on the data collected.
Descriptive research is used for identifying and classifying the characteristics and elements of the subject being investigated in the research. The most often used techniques to collect, analyze, and summarize the data are quantitative techniques. On the other hand, the analytical research aims at explaining the how and why occurrences of something. It aims at showing the causes of occurrence of a situation. For example, “what are the underlying causes of drug addiction among the youth in developing countries?” A distinguishing feature of this type of research is the identification and location of different variables involved. The predictive type of research aims at providing a speculation on future possibilities. The speculations are based on the analysis of current occurrences. The available evidence on the cause and effect of a given phenomena is used to draw a conclusion and a prediction of future possibilities of the occurrence or changes in the current situation. A thorough review of current evidence is essential to come up with a conclusive analysis of the future.
Research can be approached in the following various ways based on the type of research. The qualitative approach involves examining the less tangible aspects of the subject under research. This is the easiest type of research to start. However, it poses difficulties when it comes to presenting and interpreting the data. Due to the ease with which the findings are presented, they often tend to be challenged more easily. The other approach is the quantitative research. It emphasizes on the collection and analysis of numerical data. The phenomenon under scrutiny is analyzed in terms of scale, frequency, and range. As opposed to the qualitative approach, this research is hard to design. However, it is more effective as it is more detailed and well-structured. The results of this research can be easily correlated and presented statistically for the ease of understanding.
There is the basic approach of research. The aim of this approach is to improve knowledge and increase the understanding of a particular subject. This approach is basically applied where there is no particular understanding of the subject on the onset. It aims at giving its readers an insight of the material being discussed. Contrary to this, there is the applied approach of doing research. This research is formulated so that the learners are able to apply the given methods in solving real-life problems. An example may include business-related research where the facts gathered are incorporated into the principles of business to solve particular problems. The other approach is the deductive approach that moves from general ideas to draw a specific conclusion. The opposite of this is the inductive approach that makes a general conclusion from a particular and well-known situation.
Various approaches of research determine the methods to be used to deliver a conclusive, well-organized, and reputable research. The research methods can be broadly categorized into either positivistic or phenomenological category. Some positivistic methodologies include, but are not limited to the surveys that entail the selection of a sample that is unbiased to represent the group to be studied. During surveys, various methods are used to collect the data. This may be face-to-face conversations such as interviews, questionnaires, or even telephone calls. A survey can be further categorized as either descriptive or analytical. Experimental studies are another positivistic method of research. These studies are carried out in an organized and controlled environment to ensure and enhance casual relationships of the phenomena under study. The variables, both dependent and independent, can be manipulated to understand the subject being studied. Longitudinal studies are studies used to show the effect of time on the phenomenon under observation. Both short-time scale and long-term situations can be observed using this approach. Cross-sectional study is a method of data collection in a research that involves cross referencing different groups and comparing their similarities and differences.
In conclusion, this paper focuses on the phenomenological methodologies that are essential in collecting data for an effective research. The most common methods include, but are not limited to the case studies that offer the research an opportunity to study a particular subject. They are mainly used for formulating theories, description, illustration, and explanation or even experiment. Action research is another commonly used method. It involves the intervention of the researcher to influence change in a given situation and the ability to monitor and evaluate the results. He introduces new techniques to the situation and offers a way to monitor the situation. Participative inquiry is a research method that is done in one’s own organization and involves an active involvement of the people being evaluated. Their participation and cooperation are essential to the success of the research.