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Introduction to Research

Written By Admin on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | 9:49 AM




RESEARCH

  * searching for a theory (a scientifically acceptable general principle offered to explain observed facts). For testing a theory, or for solving a problem.

  * a SYSTEMATIC, CONTROLLED, EMPIRICAL, and CRITICAL   investigation of hypothetical propositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena (Kerlinger, 1973)

SYSTEMATIC – follows steps or stages that begin with identification of the problem, relating of this problem with existing theories, collection of data, analysis, interpretation of these data, drawing of conclusions, and integration of these conclusions into the stream of knowledge.

CONTROLLED – is so planned every step of the way that fancy and guess work do not set in. The problem is defined thoroughly, variables identified and selected, instruments carefully selected or constructed, conclusions drawn only from the data yielded, and recommendations based on the findings and conclusions.

EMPIRICAL DATA – will form the bases for conclusions. Everything is so controlled that any observer of the investigation will develop full confidence in the results.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS – is done by a panel of judges that passes judgment on the entire research.

  * an ORGANIZED and   SYSTEMATIC   way of FINDING ANSWERS to QUESTIONS

ORGANIZED – involves a structure or method in going about doing research. It is planned procedure, not a spontaneous one. It is focused and limited to a specific
scope.

SYSTEMATIC – follows a definite set of procedures and steps. There are certain things in the research process which are always done in order to get the most accurate results.

FINDING ANSWERS – is the end of all research. Whether it is the answer to a hypothesis or even a simple question, research is successful when we find answers. Sometimes the answer is no, but it is still an answer.

QUESTIONS – are central to research. If there is no question, then the answer is of no use. Research is focused on relevant, useful, and important questions. Without a question, research has no focus, drive, or purpose.

  * sometimes called a term paper or library paper, an ordinary critical essay or the more daunting thesis (an essay embodying results of original research especially one written for an academic degree or dissertation (an extended usually written treatment of a subject especially one submitted for a doctorate)

  * reports the writer’s research findings.

  * involves “searching again” through what others have written about the subject.

  * is primarily characterized by its use of data gathered from a wide range of sources to clarify, analyze, expound on, discover, discuss, and debate an idea.

  * entails understanding a scholarly endeavor and acquainting yourself with the variety of materials at your disposal (e.g., the library, various institutions, field interviews, questionnaires, the internet,
email, and the like) to support your claims.

TWO APPROACHES

(1) a summary of information from many resources
     
      If the paper summarizes research, it reports the reading   from a single source or, more likely, from many sources.

(2) an evaluation of research information

      If the paper evaluates the research information, it considers why or how and is frequently either a comparison paper or a cause-effect paper. The evaluation paper requires the use of numerous sources and assumes the writer’s ability to show originality and imagination.

CHARACTERISTICS

          An effective research paper fulfills these requirements:
  * indicates careful, comprehensive reading and understanding of the topic

  * establishes, in its introduction, a thesis to be developed in the course of the paper

  * follows a clear organization

  * employs the principles of good composition

  * includes direct quotations, paraphrases, or precis that supports the thesis

  * includes documentation in the form of parenthetical notes, endnotes, or footnotes

  * includes a list of works cited

  * exhibits careful, thorough documentation o sources of ideas

  * follows a carefully prescribed format

  * is almost always typed or, if prepared on a computer, printed on a letter-quality printer

 
      REMEMBER!
A research paper * uses documentation * analyzes, discusses, and debates ideas * acquaints you with a cross section of materials * engages you in critical, not creative,     reading and writing | A research paper is not a * piece of expository writing * personal essay * reflection paper * review of academic literature * mere reporting of facts and/or opinions |

How to Write Analytical or Argumentative Research Papers
By Joe Robertson
Research papers can be easily differentiated from personal essays on the basis of the extensive research that is executed before the writing of such papers. Research papers thus act as that creative output in which the writers' personal thoughts and opinions are merged with theories from already established sources.

However, the technique used in the presentation of the paper may make it fall under two broad categories: 1. Analytical, 2. Argumentative, in fact the strategy used by the writer to compose his paper will eventually determine the aim and purpose of the paper.
A detailed discussion of these two methods will clarify the concepts presented above:

1. Analytical Papers
In an analytical research paper, the aim is to attain a thorough expertise of the concept that is being presented so that it can be broken down and represented from the writers' point of view.

In this form of the research paper, an individual approaches the research
question without any pre-conceived notions and ideas about the subject at hand. Thereafter a careful survey of the opinions and views is undertaken. Ultimately when familiarity with the topic is achieved; a person is able to restructure and relocate the concepts that underlie the basic topic in his paper; the very essence of an analytical paper; critical contemplation and evaluation of the question at hand is necessary for an analytical paper.

2. Argumentative Papers
This type of a paper may also be termed a persuasive paper. Aside from critical thinking which is essential for the production of a quality paper, another familiar concept that dominates academic circles is the concept of an argument.

The basic difference from the former kind that qualifies the persuasive kind is that the paper takes a conscious stance and argues in favor of one of the arguments with cogent facts and points presented in its favor. The aim is to mould the reader's mind in favor of one possible answer to the research question backed by reliable data and arguments.

Both approaches require logical thinking and smart evaluation alongside comprehensive research of the available sources. However the difference is created through the process of writing, analytical papers provide a more balanced approach where all views pertaining to the question are presented whereas argumentative papers debate in favor of one logical solution above the others.

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