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Fraternity Essay

1572 words - 7 pages

RESEARCH
A research problem is a statement about an area of concern, a condition to be improved, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in scholarly literature, in theory, or in practice that points to the need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation. 

The characteristics of a good research problem.
SMART
S-Specific
M-Measurable
A-Attainable/Achievable
R-Realistic
T-Time Bomb/Time Conscious

The characteristics of a good research problem.
1. The topic should be of good interest to you.
2. Useful for the concerned people in a particular field
3. Progress Novelty
4. Invites more complex designs / more variables
5. Time-bounded
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Sometimes it includes newspapers, magazines, other books, films, and audio and video tapes, and other secondary sources.
* Primary sources are the origin of information under study, fundamental documents relating to a particular subject or idea. Often they are first hand accounts written by a witness or researcher at the time of an event or discovery. These may be accessible as physical publications, as publications in electronic databases, or on the Internet. 
* Secondary sources are documents or recordings that relate to or discuss information originally presented elsewhere. These, too, may be accessible as physical objects or electronically in databases or on the Internet.
All good research and writing is guided by a review of the relevant literature. Your literature review will be the mechanism by which your research is viewed as a cumulative process. That makes it an integral component of the scientific process.

Why do it? The purpose of the literature review remains the same regardless of the research method you use. It tests your research question against what already is known about your subject. 

Through the literature review you will discover whether your research question already has been answered by someone else. If it has, you must change or modify your question. 

Considering your question. If you find that your research question has not been answered satisfactorily by someone else, then search for these answers:
* What is known about my subject? 
* What is the chronology of the development of knowledge about my subject? 
* Are there any gaps in knowledge of my subject? Which openings for research have been identified by other researchers? How do I intend to bridge the gaps? 
* Is there a consensus on relevant issues? Or is there significant debate on issues? What are the various positions? 
* What is the most fruitful direction I can see for my research as a result of my literature review? What directions are indicated by the work of other researchers?
Remember that nothing is completely black or white. Only you can determine what is satisfactory, relevant, significant or important in the context of your own research. 

Mechanics of a Literature Review

Your literature review will have two components:
* A search through the literature
* The writing of the review
Obviously, the search is the first step. However, you must remember that you love knowledge and that academic databases can be seductive. You could spend untold hours clicking around the bibliographies of your favorite collections. You may have fun, but you might not advance your literature review. 

The solution? Have your research question written down and at hand when you arrive at the computer to search databases or a library catalog. Prepare in advance a plan and a preset time limit.
Finding too much? If you find so many citations that there is no end in sight to the number of references you could use, its time to...

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