Empowerment and promotion of inclusive and equitable Research Education & Learning opportunities!
What makes an effective discussion for research? [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ]
The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.
When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.
A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:
a. the results of your research,
b. a discussion of related research, and
c. a comparison between your results and initial hypothesis.
A literature review [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers.
Occasionally you will be asked to write one as a separate assignment, but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries.
A literature review must do these things:
✓ be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing.
✓ synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known.
✓ identify areas of controversy in the literature.
✓ formulate questions that need further research.
The first step [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] in your scientific endeavor, a hypothesis, is a strong, concise statement that forms the basis of your research. It is not the same as a thesis statement, which is a brief summary of your research paper.
The sole purpose of a hypothesis is to predict your paper's findings, data, and conclusion. It comes from a place of curiosity and intuition. When you write a hypothesis, you're essentially making an educated guess based on scientific prejudices and evidence, which is further proven or disproven through the scientific method.
The reason for undertaking research is to observe a specific phenomenon. A hypothesis, therefore, lays out what the said phenomenon is. And it does so through two variables, an independent and dependent variable.
The independent variable is the cause behind the observation, while the dependent variable is the effect of the cause. A good example of this is “mixing red and blue forms purple.” In this hypothesis, mixing red and blue is the independent variable as you're combining the two colors at your own will. The formation of purple is the dependent variable as, in this case, it is conditional to the independent variable.
Finding a research topic [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] that is interesting, relevant, feasible, and worthy of your time may take substantial effort so you should be prepared to invest your time accordingly.
A good topic is:
√ Broad enough that you can find enough information on the subject.
√ Focused enough that you are not overwhelmed with too much information.
√ Interesting to you
Keep in mind, good research takes time and effort.
Field Research ------- [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ]
It encompasses a wide range of social research methods, such as direct observation, limited participation, analysis of documents and other information, informal interviews, surveys, etc. Although field research is often characterized as qualitative research, it often includes multiple aspects of quantitative research.
Field research usually begins in a specific environment, although the ultimate goal of the study is to observe and analyze the specific behavior of a subject in that environment. However, the cause and effect of a certain behavior are difficult to analyze due to the presence of multiple variables in a natural environment. Most data collection is not entirely based on cause and effect, but mostly on correlation. Although field research looks for correlation, the small sample size makes it difficult to establish a causal relationship between two or more variables.
Field Research Methods
Field research is usually carried out with 5 different methods. They are the following
✓ Direct observation
In this method, data is collected through an observational method or from subjects in a natural setting. In this method, the behavior or the outcome of the situation is not interfered with in any way by the researcher. The advantage of direct observation is that it provides contextual data about people, situations, interactions, and the environment. This field research method is widely used in a public setting, but not in a private setting as it poses an ethical dilemma.
✓ Participant observation
In this field research method, the researcher is deeply involved in the research process, not only as an observer, but also as a participant. This method is also carried out in a natural environment, but the only difference is that the researcher is involved in the discussions and can shape the direction of the discussions. In this method, the researchers live in a comfortable environment with the research participants, so that they feel comfortable and open to in-depth discussions.
Ethnography is an expanded observation of social research and the social perspective and cultural values of an entire social environment. In ethnography, entire communities are objectively observed. For example, if a researcher wants to understand how a tribe in the Amazon lives and functions, he may choose to observe them or live among them and quietly observe their daily behavior.
✓ Surveys and Interviews
Surveys are closed questions that are asked directly to the research subjects. Qualitative interviews can be informal and conversational, semi-structured, standardized and open, or a mixture of the previous three. This provides the researcher with a large amount of data that he can classify. It also helps collect relational data. This field research method may use a mixture of individual interviews, focus groups, and text analysis.
✓ Study of cases
A case study investigation is an in-depth analysis of a person, situation, or event. This method may seem unwieldy, however it is one of the easiest ways to conduct research as it involves a deep dive and comprehensive knowledge of data collection and inference methods.
A research design [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] is a systematic elucidation of the whole research process that includes methods and techniques, starting from the planning of research, ex*****on (data collection), analysis, and drawing a logical conclusion based on the results obtained. A research design is a framework developed by a research team to find an answer/solution to a problem.
The research designs are of several types that include descriptive research, surveys, correlation type, experimental, review (systematic/literature), and meta-analysis. The choice of research design is determined by the type of research question that is opted for. Both the research design and the research question are interdependent. For every research question, a complementary/appropriate research design must have been chosen. The choice of research design influences the research credibility, reliability, and accuracy of the data collected.
A well-defined research design would contain certain elements that include a specific purpose of the research, methods to be applied while collecting and analyzing the data, the research methodology used to interpret the collected data, research infrastructure, limitations, and most importantly, the time required to complete the research. The research design can broadly be categorized into two types: qualitative and quantitative designs. In a qualitative research method, the collected data are measured and evaluated using mathematical and statistical applications. Whereas in quantitative research, a larger sample size is selected, and the results derived from statistics can benefit society.
Past weekend, I [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] spent several hours interacting with Open AI's ChatGPT language model and thinking about how it affects us as a researcher.
Students and researchers may increasingly turn to AI tools to help make their academic writing easier and more efficient. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which delivers intelligent-sounding and well-written text much like a real human, has emerged as a powerful tool to help us, especially non-native English speakers, with the academic writing process.
Here’s a quick look at some ways we can use ChatGPT.
1. Creating a research paper outline
2. Writing research paper abstracts
3. Translating text in one language to another
4. Rewriting difficult passages of text
5. Summarizing long articles or documents
While ChatGPT is a powerful tool for research writing, there are some limitations we need to consider when using it.
ChatGPT is incapable of generating original ideas, it only creates text based on the patterns it sees in it's training data. This raises the risk of plagiarism as the AI-generated text may not include references or citations that is critical for research writing.
Note: Result of ChatGPT may also be incorrect, exceptionally. It has been reported that many publishers are banning the inclusion of ChatGPT as a co-author.
That said, Springer's Nature editor, Magdalena Skipper, told the Verge that despite not permitting ChatGPT to be an author, they are happy for it to be used in the preparation of articles, as long as there is transparency.
Formulating research aim and objectives in an appropriate manner is one of the most important aspects of your thesis. This is because research aim and objectives determine the scope, depth and the overall direction of the research. Research question is the central question of the study that has to be answered on the basis of research findings. --------- Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ
Research aim emphasizes what needs to be achieved within the scope of the research, by the end of the research process. Achievement of research aim provides answer to the research question.
Research objectives divide research aim into several parts and address each part separately. Research aim specifies WHAT needs to be studied and research objectives comprise a number of steps that address HOW research aim will be achieved.
A research strategy/methodology [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] is systematic process of how a research is conducted to solve an inquiry problem. It should be recognized that a research methodology is different from a research method. Research methods falls under methodologies and may refer to specific procedural techniques used to conduct a research. Research methodologies can be classified in several ways. The term ‘research methodology’ may refer to a research approach, research type, research paradigm or even research framework. In general, research methodologies tend to be more quantitative or qualitative or a combination of both (mixed approach). Research methodologies, operative at a more applied level, provide a specific framework, guideline or direction for research procedures.
Reference: Crotty, 1998; Creswell, 1998, 2003; Strauss & Corbin, 1994)
Phenomenological Research [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] is a qualitative research method that focuses on the lived experience of individuals. It aims to describe and interpret the essential nature of human experiences and perceptions. Phenomenology involves gathering detailed descriptions of experiences through interviews, observations, and other data collection methods.
Some key features of phenomenology include:
✓ Bracketing or epoché: This involves setting aside preconceptions and biases to focus on the essence of the experience being studied.
✓ Phenomenological reduction: This involves analyzing the data to identify the underlying structures and patterns of the experience.
✓ Intentionality: This refers to the inherent directedness of consciousness towards objects or experiences.
✓ Epoche: This refers to the suspension of one's beliefs about the world to allow for an open, non-judgmental exploration of the lived experience.
✓ In-depth interviewing: This method emphasizes the exploration of the participants' experiences and allows for an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon under study.
Overall, the phenomenological method is a powerful research approach for investigating human experiences and perceptions, and it can be applied in various fields such as psychology, sociology, and education.
Starting research [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are some steps you can take to get started:
1. Identify a research topic: Before you begin your research, you need to identify a topic that interests you. Think about the subjects that you are passionate about or that you want to learn more about.
2. Conduct a literature review: Once you have identified your topic, conduct a literature review to understand what has already been studied on the topic. This will help you understand what has already been discovered and identify gaps in the research.
3. Develop research questions: Based on your literature review, develop research questions that you want to answer through your research. These questions should be focused and specific.
4. Choose a research method: There are many research methods available, such as surveys, experiments, case studies, and interviews. Choose a method that is appropriate for your research questions.
5. Collect and analyze data: Depending on your research method, you may need to collect data. Once you have collected your data, analyze it to answer your research questions.
6. Write up your findings: Once you have analyzed your data, write up your findings and conclusions. Your findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner.
7. Share your research: Finally, share your research with others. This could include presenting your research at a conference, publishing your findings in a journal, or simply sharing your work with colleagues.
Remember that research is a process, and it can take time and effort to produce high-quality work. Don't be afraid to ask for help along the way, whether from your colleagues, mentors, or other experts in your field.
A thesis [ Ajit'sⱽᵒᶦᶜᵉ ] statement:
✓ tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
✓ is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
✓ directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
✓ makes a claim that others might dispute.
✓ is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.