What makes people to undertake research? This question is of fundamental importance. The possible motives for doing research may either be one or more of the following:
1. Desire to get a research degree along with its consequential benefits.
2. Desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems, i.e., concern over practical problems initiates research.
3. Desire to get the intellectual joy of doing some creative work.
4. Desire to serve the research community.
5. Desire to earn respect.
However, this is not an exhaustive list of factors motivating people to undertake research studies. Many more factors, such as directives of government, employment conditions, curiosity about new things, social thinking and awakening, etc may well motivate, or at times compel, people to perform research operations.
The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures. The main aim or objectives of research is to find out the truth that is hidden and has not been discovered yet. Though each research study has its own specific purpose, we may think of research objectives as falling into a number of the following broad groupings:
1. To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it. Studies with this object in view are termed as exploratory or formulative research studies.
2. To accurately portray the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group. Studies with this object in view are known as descriptive research studies.
3. To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with. Studies with this object in view are known as diagnostic research studies.
4. To test the hypothesis of a casual relationship between variables. Such studies are termed as hypothesis-testing research studies.
Research is an academic activity and therefore the term should be used in a technical sense. Research comprises of defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions, collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions, and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. Research is also defined as the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art. Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison and experiment. In short, the search for knowledge through the objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research. It is the systematic approach concerning the generalization and formulation of a theory. Overall, research is enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting facts or data, analyzing the facts and reaching certain conclusions, either in the form of solution(s) towards the concerned problem or in certain generalizations for some theoretical formulation.
A research design is the arrangement of the conditions for collections and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.
Research design is the conceptual structure with in which research is conducted;
It constitutes the blue print for the collection, measurement and analysis of data. As such the design includes an outline of what the researcher will do from writing the hypothesis is and its operational implications to the final analysis of data. The designing decisions happen to be in respect of;
â€¢ What is the study about?
â€¢ Why is the studying being made?
â€¢ Where will the study be carried out?
â€¢ What type of data is required?
â€¢ Where can the required data be found?
â€¢ What periods of time will the study include?
â€¢ What will be the sample design?
â€¢ What techniques of data collection will be used?
â€¢ How will the data be analyzed?
â€¢ In what style will the report be prepared?
Exploratory research usually provides qualitative data. Exploratory research provides greater understanding of a concept or crystallizes a problem rather than providing precise measurement. The focus of such qualitative research is not on numbers but on words on observations: stories, visual portrayals, meaningful characterizations, interpretations and other expressive descriptions. Exploratory research may be single research investigation or a series of informal studies intend to provide background information.
Research, in common parlance, refers to the search for knowledge. One can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. It can be described as a careful investigation or enquiry, especially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge. It is basically a systemized effort to gain new knowledge. Some people consider research as a movement from the known to the unknown. It is actually a voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of inquisitiveness for the unknown facts. When anything unknown confronts us, our inquisitiveness probes us to attain a complete understanding of the unknown. This inquisitiveness is the mother of all knowledge and methods, which man employs for obtaining the knowledge of the unknown, which we call the research.
Note taking is very important to help you remember key facts. Just donâ€™t get too wrapped up in taking notes without thinking through what youâ€™re writing. Take notes on the most important parts of your reading, and something that will help you quickly review what you just read.
After youâ€™re finished reading, review what you just read. Ask yourself the same questions you had in the beginning of the reading, and see if you remember the answers. Think how the reading material fits with your class or assignment. Also think about possible ways you might be tested on the material, and you can best prepare.
After reading a chunk of text, take a break and try to recite what youâ€™ve just read. Try to summarize your reading as best you can. If you have trouble, look back at your reading to see what youâ€™ve missed. This might take some practice, but pretty soon youâ€™ll start remember what youâ€™ve read a bit quicker.
As you read, try to find answers to the questions you have. Think through what the author is saying, and try to develop more questions as you read. If you have a lot to read, plan on dividing up the text so you can take adequate breaks. Studies suggest youâ€™re more likely to remember the first and last things that you read. So divide up the text and take breaks accordingly.