13 Jan 2020

STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL RESEARCH

Students pursuing studies at academic institutions (especially universities) at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels are required to conduct an independent piece of research and present as part of the requirements for the award of academic degrees in the form of a dissertation or thesis or preparation for a successful school year. Explaining what research means and its types is expedient at this stage because that provides a context for the subsequent discourse. The analysis is a systematic inquiry using an appropriate scientific methodology for gathering, evaluating and interpreting information to solve problems or answer questions and generating new knowledge that is generally applicable.

Research is an initial and systematic study or inquiry into a subject in order to gain knowledge of a phenomenon and understand it. Therefore, work can simply be defined as an embarked journey that leads to the discovery of new knowledge or revision of evidence, theories, and applications. Any research conducted must, therefore, make an original contribution in the appropriate discipline to the current body of knowledge. There are two main types of study known as common sense research, which are scientific/academic research and research that is more or less carried out by people in their daily lives. When making a distinction between these two research styles. Data, which is a form of study, can be routinely analyzed, categorized and interpreted by almost everyone in their daily lives. For example, a potential buyer of a particular model of a car may systematically investigate the car’s performance before finally making a decision to buy it and that is research. Several factors can affect the outcome in real life and, thus, in examining causality in relation, for example, to two variables, it is crucial that the analysis is set up in a way that minimizes the effects of other factors affecting the relationship. External factors can be extremely difficult to control as research is being carried out on issues relating to human beings living in a society where such controls are impossible and, therefore, their impact will need to be quantified. There are two main forms of data-based academic research. The first is remote analysis, which is any research done where only published and unpublished documents are the basis of the data; that is, the study relies heavily on secondary data. Sources will include book knowledge, journal articles, published and unpublished theses and dissertations, surveys, databases, newspapers, and magazines. The second is empirical research in which data is collected through direct experience, observation, experimentation, interviews, and questionnaires— this type of research, therefore, uses primary data primarily. Academic research can be conducted, which is an amalgam of the two, and thus are not watertight closed boxes.

Preliminary reading allows potential researcher to become familiar with the subject area and help him to gain a sense of its scope and complexity. Once some context information has been acquired, the next step is to narrow down the subject area by formulating a topic that can be thoroughly investigated within a given time period. The potential researcher should be able to articulate at least one tentative topic for the research to be conducted at the thematic formulation stage. Through this route selecting a topic can serve as a motivator and driver for research. It can recognize and explore subjects that seem important and maybe meet the student’s career aspirations. It may be helpful to confer with colleagues and lecturers on what one intends to pursue their input in using this route. Admittedly it takes a lot of time to pick a subject through this path.

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