Research Methods Essay

3328 words - 14 pages


Research has been defined by different people in different ways. At any point in time, depending on what an individual is doing in relation to a particular topic or subject area of study, there is the tendency that one may deem that activity as a form of research. Research therefore cuts across all facets of human endeavour; in the sciences, humanities, electronics etc. These diversities create room for one to distinguish between what scientific research ...view middle of the document...

” (MartynShuttleworth, 2008).
Scientific research must be organized and undergo planning, including performing literature reviews of past research and evaluating what questions need to be answered. Any type of ‘real’ research, whether scientific, economic or historical, requires some kind of interpretation and an opinion from the researcher. This opinion is the underlying principle, or question, that establishes the nature and type of experiment. The scientific definition of research generally states that a variable must be manipulated, although case studies and purely observational science do not always comply with this norm. (MartynShuttleworth,2008).
Another definition is "Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". (Creswell, J. W. (2008). This definition emphasizes the point that research must add knowledge and improve a person’s understanding of issues not on the face of it but at a deeper level.
“Research is the investigation of a particular topic using a variety of reliable, scholarly resources. The three major goals of research are establishing facts, analyzing information, and reaching new conclusions. The three main acts of doing research are searching for, reviewing and evaluating information.”
The University of Pennsylvania in its Council 2004-2005 Year End Committee Reports, presented on 20th September, 2005, reported that the University commissioned a Committee known as the Committee on Research Report to “Evaluate the quality and the opportunities for undergraduate research across the University.” The Committees “research included a discussion with the head of the CURF (Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships) and presentations by Dr. Rebecca Bushnell, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Paul Allison from the Wharton School.” In addressing the question of what is research, the “Committee supports a definition of research that focuses on the process and not the product. Much can be learned from the apprenticeship relationship with a
faculty engaged in research. The definition needs to encompass both scientific and humanities based research. The Committee strongly supports the ideas set forth by Dr. Bushnell in her Guidelines for Undergraduate Research Experience, including:
1. Common features of the undergraduate research experience should include: employing the methodology of the discipline, handling of primary materials or raw data and consultation with a mentor.
2. Documentation of the experience should take the form of a scholarly paper or artistic product.
3. Evaluation of the work should be assessed using a set of common factors across disciplines such as thoroughness, organization, rigor of analysis and knowledge gained.”

Research also according to Cambridge Dictionaries Online Cambridge University Press 2003 can be defined as a “detailed study of a subject, especially in order to...

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