DEMYSTIFYING THE RESEARCH PROCESS

October 13, 2017 By Juliet Ugochi

Research is not just part of the academic world, it is a very important process in every area of life. That is why you see big companies spending huge amounts of money carrying out research before they go into a new area of production. But in this article, we are going to focus on the research process to gain academic merit.

When you get into school especially into university, college of education or polytechnic, you might expect the whole information you need to be presented to you in class or in the recommended textbooks. The truth is that you need more information, much more than you can get from the textbooks and handouts given by the lectures. That is where research comes in.

So What is Research?
In simple terms, a research is a study or search into the past to find out what others have done to solve a problem. It could also be a search into the future to find out what may be learned about a present problem or to learn new ideas and new ways of solving a problem.

In a more advanced form, research is a systematic approach to finding the answers to a specific problem. It is called a systematic style of finding answers because the process is done in a step by step manner. When results are gotten from a research, it is said to be successful. It doesn't matter if we like the results gotten or not, as long as there were answers to the research done, then it is a successful research.

Scientific research requires imagination for you to be able to draw conclusions to what you are seeing, hearing, tasting and observing. Even though you should use your imagination when conducting a research to be able to draw conclusions and make complete sentences about what you're seeing, you still need to follow a process to do it quite well.

Before we get into the research process, I want you to know that there are different types of research.
Types of research
Depending on the type of answers you seek to gain from the research process, the type of research you will carry out varies. They can also be called research tools as they help the researcher to find the correct answer to what they are seeking. They are:

  1. Survey: This is a popular research method used to obtain information from a population. It is often used to compare trends and make projections for the future.
  2. Desktop research: This a research type which you can use to find out facts and general information about a subject. This could be historical data or study results which can be found in libraries, government records, and websites, as the information is usually published in public documents.
  3. Interviews: This is another well-known research tool used when the problem is not defined and unknown. Interviews and conversations are used to find out more in-depth information regarding certain aspects.

 

Research is one of the least understood areas of the academic world yet it is one of the most important. It is through this process that we find out the reasons for certain actions that take place in our world. It is through it that we find answers to common questions in science. So you see, it is an important area in your quest for academic excellence. Therefore you need to follow the right process to achieve the result you want.

The Research Process
There are 7 main steps required in finding information for a good research paper.
They are:
1. Identifying the topic - This involves identifying the topic of your research.

Usually, you should put it in a question so that you can easily find answers when you start researching.
2. Get background information - This means reading articles from relevant literature to get the needed information. You can read an encyclopaedia, past projects and thesis and check the internet too.
3. Organising the work - Use keywords or subjects to search, then list the citation (authors, titles) and write out the location of the information e.g library.
This helps later when collecting information.
4. Evaluate the information collected - Here you develop your research work using the information you have gathered from different sources. If they are too much, narrow down with a specific topic.
5. Cite your sources - Use the standard format to cite the sources of information you are using in the research work. This gives proper credit to the author and helps a future researcher on where to search for information.
6. Writing a research report- Use the information and data you have gathered thus far and write your research paper. You should start with the research question, then the literature review and continue.
7. Reflecting and evaluating - Here you review what you’ve got and reflect on what you’ve written. Evaluate all the information and sources and make sure everything is in order.
Research is a very good way of finding answers to questions. It is not an easy task but when you follow the steps in the research process, you will get it right.

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