INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH RESEARCH
Definitions of Research
- Research is the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
- Research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon.
- Research is a detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding
- Research is creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.
- Research is investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
- Research is a careful and detailed study into a specific problem, concern, or issue using the scientific method.
- Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings.
- Research is careful and organized study or gathering of information about a specific topic.
Characteristics of Research
Research is a process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting information to answer questions. But to qualify as research, the process must have certain characteristics:
1. Empirical – research is based on direct experience or observation by the researcher.
2. Logical – research is based on valid procedures and principles.
3. Cyclical – research starts with a problem and ends with a problem.
4. Analytical – research utilizes proven analytical procedures in gathering data, whether historical, descriptive, experimental, and case study.
5. Critical – research exhibits careful and precise judgment.
6. Methodical – research is conducted in a methodical manner without bias using systematic method and procedures.
7. Replicability – research design and procedures are repeated to enable the researcher to arrive at valid and conclusive results.
Is a body of information about a particular problem. These are information obtained during the research and they are used to explain the phenomena.
Types/Sources of Data in Research
1. Primary source/data is the original data collected directly from the field, they are obtained through interviews, questionnaires, observation and focus group discussion.
2. Secondary sources/data is the data collected from documents. Example; through books, journals, economics, survey, census report, official report
Objectives of Research
1. To describe about certain phenomena
2. To search for a new knowledge/insights.
3. To develop theory about certain social economic phenomena.
4. To test hypothesis so as to find out their reliability.
5. To be familiar with a certain phenomena
6. To find solution to the existing problems.
7. To make evaluation of a certain issue.
Importance of Research in Daily Life
1. Research is the Way to Prove Lies and to Support Truths
2. Research develop or generate new knowledge e.g the information produced by research can be applied in many ways.
3. It helps to improve human activities for the betterment of people e.g A society can develop irrigation scheme when finds show that there is food shortage.
4. Research can be used to develop new theories and laws.
5. Research enable in finding solutions about the special programmes e.g HIV, hunger, etc.
6. It helps to improve various sectors as related to daily life e.g Agriculture, industries, etc.
7. It provides reliable and needed information to data bank.
TYPES OF RESEARCH
a) According to their aims/purpose
1. Basic/Pure Research. Is a type of research which is conducted to collect data to advance or develop a certain scientific knowledge. It is always done through the verification of theories especially in laboratory.
2. Applied Research. Is the research which seeks the specific knowledge necessary to find solution to solve certain in the society.
3. Evaluative Research. It a type of research which is conducted purposely to measure or asses the achievement of a certain scientific practice.
4. Analytical Research. Is a type of research that uses facts already available and analyses these facts to make a critical evaluation of the material.
5. Fundamental Research Is a type of research which studies life process that is universal in their application to scientific knowledge.
b) According to the type of data to be collected.
1. Quantitative research It focuses on the measurement of quantity. It is applicable on phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity like population data. It tries to answer the question how much? How many?
2. Qualitative research. It concerned with qualitative phenomena. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of qualitative. The data gathering are purely in form of description. It is alternatively called Descriptive research.
c) Other types of Research
1. Empirical research - relies on intensive interpretation of data and come up with conclusion which is capable of being verified through observation/experiment.
2. Conceptual research - is related to some abstract ideas. It is used to develop new concept.
3. Exploratory research -Is conducted when a researcher explores things like gold, iron, diamond, and other mates related to mining.
4. Explanatory research - Is a research that explain about a certain phenomena
STAGES OF CONDUCTING RESEARCH
Research is scientific and systematic process of collecting, analysing and interpreting data basing on a certain problem or phenomena, Research work also is the scientific and systematic process of finding the truth concerning a specific phenomena or problem.
The following are the stages of conducting research:
1. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
A problem is the question or idea of interest which ought to be answered through data collection. The researcher identifies a problem to be researched e.g Early marriage, poverty, etc.
Characteristics of a Research Problem
i) The research problem must be carefully selected and come from the researcher’s mind.
ii) Must be clear, precise and meaningful.
iii) It must relate to the subject of interest e.g: A Geographer can do a research on the following issues; Climate, soil, etc.
iv) The research problem must be short and clear to avoid vague and ambiguity.
v) It must have variables.
Sources of Research Problem
Research problem is from the following sources
a) Personal experience
b) Conclusion from various theories
c) Literature reviews. Practical issues
d) Deductive and inductive reasoning
Researcher should make a survey of a place where the research is going to be conducted to know things like transport, weather etc.
3. LITERATURE REVIEW
These involve readings of various publications to know what other scholars/researchers have done about what you are investigating. It enables the researcher to gain experience, to decide a good method to be a used, to identify the weakness and success of other researchers. Sources of literature reviews are journals/reports, books, internet.
4. FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS
This is an assumption used on what one expects to find out in the field It can be either true or false or Hypothesis is a prediction of outcome of the results. It is the statement of expected results. Research hypothesis is usually tested before the study begins.
E.g: Poor students classrooms attendance results to poor academic performance. The hypothesis are:
- Involvement of students in economic activities.
- Poor family income.
- Poor parental care.
Types of Research hypothesis
1. Null hypothesis - Is the one that is stated in negation i.e. it indicates non relationship between the variables.
2. Alternative hypothesis - Is the one stated to indicate the actual expectation. it indicates relationship between the variables.
5. RESEARCH DESIGNING
This is the frame work of the research, or is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in the manner that aim to combine relevance to the research purpose. It is the conceptual structure within which the study is conducted.
6. DATA COLLECTION
Refers to the collection of various information data in the field to enrich a research. Data collection can be done by observation, interview, questionnaires, or group discussions.
7. ANALYSIS OF DATA
The stage involves the following processes editing, coding, classification and tabulation of collected data.The data you have, make no sense until you convert the information into sensible ideas, and make no sense until they answer the question you had asked in the problem.
8. HYPOTHESIS TESTING
After data analysis the researcher needs to test the hypothesis formulated earlier the major question here is whether the fact support the hypothesis or not.
9. DATA INTERPRETATION and PRESENTATION
After getting correct information about the study topic the analyzed data is interpreted and preserved in different statistical graphs and charts so that it can be understood to everyone.
10. REPORT WRITING
At the end of the research, the researcher has to prepare a report of what has been done the researchers’ finding have to be communicated or exposed to the public.
Importance and Research Report
1. Exposes the problem and their implication
2. Presents the outcome of research data
3. Interprets the data
THE REPORT FORMAT
The research report should have three main parts;
a) Preliminary pages
b) Main body
A) Preliminary Pages
It saves as the guide to the reader Page
Page 1: Title of the researcher
Page 2: Declaration; that the work belongs to the said researcher.
Page 3: Acknowledgement. (A researcher gratitude to all who are in one way, or another help the researcher to be successful).
Page 4: Table of contents.
Page 5: List of tables (if any)
Page 6: List of figures Page
Page 7: Abstract –This summarize the whole research work. It should not be more than 120 words.
B) The Main Body
It contains five chapters;
Chapter 1: Introduction.
The Chapter contain the following parts;
- Background of the study.
- Statement of the problem.
- Objective of the study.
- Purpose of the study.
- The scope of the study.
- Significance of the study.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Covers the literature review of other researchers who did a similar research in the past.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
This describe the design of the research and method of conducting the study e.g; Population. Sampling. Location of the study area. Tools and data analysis techniques.
Chapter 4: Data Presentation
The parts cover the results of the findings of the research.
Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
Provide detailed summary of the findings and the implications drawn from the results.
DATA COLLECTION TOOLS / METHODS
There are several methods which can be used to collect data. The following are the basic and common method to collect primary data in the field:
A researcher uses his/her five senses of hearing, tasting, smelling, seeing and touching to observe the phenomena and record what is observed.
Types of Observation
i) Participant/direct observation In this method the researcher becomes part of people under study he/ she participates fully on a particular event.
ii) Non – Participant observation In this method the researcher observes the action, behaviours and activities of the researched group without participating or seen by the participants.
Advantages of Observation
1. Helps to develop skills like observation and recording.
2. Data are recorded as they occur/observed.
3. It give firsthand information.
4 Allows full participation of learners in teaching and learning process.
5. It is a quick method of data collection.
6. No bias. -Avoid language barriers.
7. It is flexible to use wherever and whenever needed.
Disadvantages of Observation
1. It can give wrong information especially when the respondent discovers that they are researched.
2. Misinterpretation of data may occur.
3.Some geographical phenomena may not be easily obtained.
4. It costs time and money.
5. Sometime it may involve risk taking especially when you are observing people that are doing something illegal.
6. It is subjective because data is based on personal observation.
It is a face to face technique between a researcher and a respondent. It is the verbal communication/interaction between the interviewer and interviewee, designed to list the information, opinions and feelings they have on their own. It can be through by two ways
a) Face to face interview,
b) Telephone interview.
Advantages of Interview
1. The interview enables a researcher to obtain required information quickly.
2. Not restricted it is flexible.
3. Interview can adapt to situation and gets as much information as required.
4. Provide data which is not possible to get through questionnaires.
5. Interview method can also employ observation method.
6. Interview gives/yield high responses because it is difficult for the interviewee to refuse completely to answer the question or ignore the interviewer.
Disadvantages of Interview
1. It is time consuming.
2. If the respondents are suspicious of the information required they can give irrelevant information.
3. There is an element of distortions.
4. The respondent tends to be subjective.
5. It cost the researcher has to travel to meet the respondents in different parts of the country.
6. It becomes a hindrance if the researcher wants to use big samples.
TYPES OF INTERVIEWS
1. Structured Interview
The type of interview in which the same question are asked to respondent. The researcher prepares questions which he/she asks each respondent in a good order and manner.
a) A researcher can compare answer from different respondent to see their validity.
b) It is possible to use quantitative analysis to analyses the date.
c) It is not time consuming
a) It is inflexible, researcher cannot ask more a part from those prepared before.
b) Some hidden information cannot be obtained easily.
2. Unstructured Interview
Is a set of questions that the interviewer asks when interviewing. Probing is commonly used to get deeper information. The questions vary from one respondent to another.
a) More information can be revealed because of high degrees of freedom.
b) Respondent are given chances to say more on what they are asked.
a) It is a time consuming because it involves probing questions.
b) Researcher can’t be able to compare answers given because different question are asked to different respondents.
c) If it is not controlled/planned it may collect irrelevant information.
Procedure for Conducting an Interview
1. Create friendly atmosphere where two people can talk easily.
2. Maintain warmth and friendliness. It enables respondent to express in detail their thought and feelings.
3. Be neutral in note and don’t suggest any answer.
4. Instill confidence and trust to the respondent by assuming his/her information given would be confidential.
5. Explain briefly the purpose of the interview.
These are ready written questions which are given to the respondent to be answered. Consists of list of questions related to the topics used to obtain the data required.
Advantages of Questionnaires
1. Researchers gets a lot of information from different respondent and from different area in the country.
2. Omission of names makes the respondent to respond to the questions.
3. Freedom to the respondents.
4. It is well planned (structured).
5. It is useful to distant respondent.
Disadvantages of Questionnaires
1. It time consuming
2. It is selective in natural as it is limited to illiterate
3. It may lead to ensure answers when questions need opinions or personal feelings
4. Questions may be understood hence the respondents answer, the way they understood and provide wrong data.
5. May got lost on transit.
6. It is expensive to prepare.
TYPES OF QUESTIONNAIRES
1. Structured or Closed - ended Questionnaires
Are questions which are accompanied by a list of all possible alternatives from which respondent select the answer that is best. The respondents are limited on answering the questions.
a) They are easier to analyze
b) They are easier to administer because each item is followed by an alternative answer
a) Are more difficult to construct because categories must be well thought out
b) Responses are limited; the respondent is required to answer the questions according to the researcher’s choice.
2. Unstructured or Open – ended Questionnaires
Are question where by the respondents are free to explain the answer. They permit respondent to respond in his/her words. The amount of space provided is however an indicator of whether a brief or long answers is required
a) Allow a greater chance of responses
b) Simple to formulate because a researcher does not have to come up with appropriate response categories.
c) Can stimulate a person to think about his/her feelings and to express what he/she consider most important.
a) When the respondent is fire, he/she may give information which does not answer the concerned research questions.
b) It is time consuming
Procedures Considered in Preparing Questionnaires
1. Questions should be short and straight forward
2. Question should be asked and should follow the order
3. Question should be polite
4. Question should be free from bias
This is the type of questionnaires which involves mailing questions to the respondent. It can be through post mail
4. FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION
Is the research method which involves intensive discussion on a particularly issue - Normally done in groups of 5-7 people - A researcher guides the discussion and records the data from what is discussed by the members. AIM: It enables the group to get additional information.
1. Low cost
2. Rasher becomes an active person in the discussion
3. Respondent get skills of writing , speaking and coordinating
4. Makes respondents understand well the topic
5. Allows critical thinking to the participants
6. Makes the research topic to be live and interesting
1. Not easy to analyse the data collected
2. Very small sample is used - Selection of sample may be affected by biasness
3. It is time consuming.
SAMPLE AND SAMPLING
Sample is the small number of population which represents the whole population
Sampling: Is the process of collecting samples from the population.
1. RANDOM SAMPLING
It is a type of probability sampling where by every individual has an equal chance to be selected in a sample. This technique involves selecting a sample randomly from the sampling frame without replacement. E.g. it is very common in Lottery’s such as Bingo and communication companies.
1. It reduces biasness.
2. It is a very important method in a small population.
3. The method portraits fairness in getting a sample.
4. It gives equal chance to every person to be selected.
1. The better sample may not be chosen.
2. It is very tedious or tiresome.
3. It is time consuming especially when the population is high.
4. It is representative in Heterogeneous population.
Heterogeneous population – means a population with different characteristics.
2. SYSTEMATIC SAMPLING
It is a sampling technique where by a sample is obtained randomly but in a systematic way. It is a sampling technique which involves selection of a sample randomly at regular intervals from the sampling frame
3. STRATIFIED SAMPLING
Individuals for the sample are selected from different strata. Example: A researchers wishes to get a sample of 20 students from 5 schools he/she will have to select 4 students from each.
4. PURPOSIVE SAMPLING
Is the judgemental sampling in which a researcher uses his/her knowledge to choose individuals to be samples. The sample base on certain purpose e.g only engineer, male, students, youth,elders,etc.
5. ACCIDENTAL SAMPLING
The researcher comes into contact accidentally with the individuals to form a sample.
6. SNOW BALL SAMPLING
The researcher begins with the few individuals available, then those individual recommend others.
The Uses of Research Outputs and Recommendations
1. Help to improve the knowledge of the people e.g Discovery of diseases.
2. The results help in finding problems facing society e.g Diseases, social inequalities, famine.
3. The results improve economic and social activities e.g Introduction of new breeds of cattle.
4. Research can lead to exploitation of the new resources like minerals and fossil fuel.
5. It helps to identify the specific need of each community e.g Community A needs schools, Community B needs water, etc.
6. Research results are useful in protecting and concerning the environment.
7. They are used in formulating government policy.