Free «The Major Steps in Conducting Research and Their Interrelation» Essay
The world is full of unknown processes and phenomena. People explore something new studying it. It is through research scientists create medicines for various diseases in all epochs of humanity. Research efforts have also led to the breakthrough in information, technology, agriculture, business, and social sphere. Research is not a single action. It is a set of interrelated stages and elements. It is important to identify the main steps in conducting research and how these various steps are interrelated.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development interprets research as a creative work that is performed to increase the knowledge and use this knowledge to develop new applications (OECD, 2015). Research can also be seen as a detailed analysis of the subject which is conducted to find new information or new understanding. Research is a set of closely related activities that complement each other.
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The research process consists of eight main steps: identification of research question, scientific literature review, determination of a conceptual framework (a set of hypotheses), choice of methodology, data collection, data verification, data analysis and interpretation, reporting and recommendations (Creswell, 2008). These activities constitute one complete process, and each next stage depends on the results of the previous one.
The first and one of the most important steps is a statement of the problem and setting goals the researcher wants to achieve in the process of research. Each study has specific questions that need to be answered. After determining the goal, it is important to review existing research findings and literature. It helps to find flaws and gaps in the previous studies. It is necessary to learn from mistakes and not to repeat them. Such reviews will indicate such errors, or vice versa will help investigator understand the effective direction of research. Often, a literature review stage comes prior to defining research question. A gap in the current literature may generate the need to conduct a research.
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The next step is hypotheses formulation. To establish a framework for the chosen topic, the researcher must make assumptions that are either confirmed or refuted in the end. This step is closely related to the following one. In order to test the hypothesis, the researcher must collect data for analysis. Being aware of hypotheses will help to select the right methods to fulfill research objective. The choice of methodology, in turn, will make it possible to find all the necessary information and analyze it. Selected methods serve as a map for the study specifying how the data will be collected, who will participate in the study, as well as when and where it will be conducted. A choice of research instrument will be based on the nature of the data.
Once the methodology is chosen, the actual study begins with the collection of data. It is an important step in gathering information that will help to answer the research questions. This process is not easy and quick. It requires a lot of effort, attentiveness to details, and responsibility. Collected information will provide a basis for certain judgments and conclusions. The researcher must take into account all the factors that may affect data collection including the reliability of sources. There is a need to verify all collected information. Data collection requires its analysis and interpretation. This stage largely depends on the professionalism and objectivity of the researcher. Analysis of data should be detailed and clear to the target audience of the research. Then, the researcher has everything to present the results and give some advice. Thus, the final step in conducting research is reporting and recommendations. All the efforts, time, and resources that have been used during previous steps of the research process culminate in this step.
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It can be concluded that the research is a multifaceted process that consists of many interrelated steps. None of the steps can be skipped because it would negatively affect the study making its results questionable. The researcher must remember that it is unacceptable to make conclusions at a certain stage of the study. Only when all steps lead to the same conclusion, it can be stated that the researcher has reached a goal and his/her research is valid.
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