A research study is an academic exercise that seeks to create knowledge through investigation and critical analysis. Research is an exhaustive exercise, and it requires such strategies which can create an impact in the relevant field. Research studies increase our standing of a natural or social phenomenon. So, research requires proper planning and methodologies to reach meaningful conclusions. There are several important aspects of a research study, and as a researcher, you should know about them. It is important to know about the critical aspects of a research study if you are new to research.
Research studies can be intimidating, but it helps if you know the basic procedures and make a plan. Conducting a research study can be messy and recursive if you do not have a plan. You may need to get PhD dissertation writing service in case of difficulties. Proper planning and following an outline helps to keep your research on track and achieve the intended objectives. This article will inform its readers about the crucial aspects of a research study.
Selecting the Right Topic
Choosing the right topic is an essential aspect of a research study. It is necessary to select a research topic that aligns with your interests. If you choose a research topic contrary to your interests, you will do it half-heartedly and end up frustrated. So, it is vital to select an issue similar to your interests, and you will enjoy learning more about it. Here are some tips for choosing the right topic:
- It is better to do some brainstorming about things that interests you or whatever is happening around you
- Make a list of all possible topics which you come across
- Select the topic which aligns with your temperament and interests
- Consult the relevant literature and collect information on that topic
- Ask questions such as Why did you choose that topic?
- What are the important questions about that topic?
- What is the importance and relevance of your topic?
- Do not select a broad topic
- Narrow down your topic and make it specific
Do Extensive Research
After finalizing your topic, consult the relevant literature available on that topic and identify gaps in the study. It will help you formulate your thesis statement and justify your research study.
Formulate a Research Problem
After selecting the right topic and background research, you can narrow it down to a specific research problem. Formulating a research problem is one of the critical aspects of a research study. A practical research problem has the following characteristics.
- Should reflect on important issues and events
- Supported by the factual statements
- Should be relevant to the topic and manageable
- The research problem should be a preamble to research questions and hypotheses
Once you formulate a research problem, it will give a clear direction to your research study. It will help you to stay on track. You can develop a research problem by doing the following.
- Specify the research objectives
- Contextualize it within the broader literature
- Explore the nature of the problem
- Postulate variables and establish relationships between them
- Develop alternative approaches
The next step is to devise research questions relevant to your research problem. Formulation of specific questions is an essential aspect of a research study. You must take care of the following things while formulating research questions.
- Clear and focused questions
- Develop questions that are not too broad and not too narrow
- Do not formulate yes or no questions
- Develop researchable questions
- Formulate analytical questions
- Arguable research questions
One of the vital aspects of a research study is to develop hypotheses. Research hypotheses should have the following attributes.
- Specific and testable hypotheses
- There is a way to prove that the hypothesis is true
- There is a way to verify that the hypothesis is false
- Results of the hypothesis are reproducible
- Clear link between hypotheses and research topic
- Predicts the relationship between all the variables
The study design is another central aspect of a research study. It pertains to the strategy you will use to analyse your research problem. It provides a roadmap to the readers about the nature of the study, whether it is qualitative or quantitative. Also, it tells them about the data collection process, measurement, and analysis. An effective research design should have the following components.
- Should include your statement of the problem and justification for its selection in light of the available literature
- Aims and objectives of your study
- Explicitly state if it is a quantitative or qualitative study
- Inform the readers whether it is experimental, descriptive, exploratory or correlational research design
- Data collection methodology
- How will you analyse the data?
- Sampling method and criteria
The literature review is a crucial aspect of a research study, and a researcher must take care of the following things.
- Identify the gaps and missing data in the relevant research
- A literature review is not a summary of the available research
- A literature review provides you with the context to justify your research problem
- Search for the literature relevant to the research problem
- Analyse, examine and discuss the relevant literature
- Identify controversial areas and contestable claims
- Synthesis of the available sources through critical evaluation
- Elaborate how will your research address the gaps in the study
The discussion section is a key aspect of a research study that discusses the research’s meaning and importance. It elaborates on the important findings and establishes their relationship with the relevant literature and research questions. The discussion section should revolve around the following key elements.
- Interpret the results
- Draw a comparison of your results with the initial hypotheses
- Discuss the unexpected findings
- Compare and contrast your results with the previous studies
- Implications of the results
- Limitations of the results
- Summarize the key findings of your research
- Emphasize the significance of the study
- State your recommendations
The conclusion of a research study is the section that wraps up the entire research. It helps the reader to comprehend what was the significance of your research. The conclusion of your research paper should not only summarize your points, but it should be a synthesis. A conclusion is the final impression of a research study that highlights important points of the study. It should have the following components.
- Restate your research problem
- Summarize the essential findings and overall arguments
- Emphasize the importance of your research
- Possible research questions for future research
Do not forget to include a list of references or a bibliography section at the end of your research. References and citations should be in the appropriate format, such as APA, MLA or Harvard. The steps mentioned above are essential aspects of a research study. It is important to spend significant time on each step to complete your research paper successfully.