The research approach refers to the plans and procedures need to be incorporated in a study. These plans are explained step by step from the broad assumptions to the detailed methods. The research approach decides the method to be followed while collecting, analysing, and interpreting data. The basic idea behind determining the research approach is to opt an approach which will be used to study the topic. The decision of the research approach is based on numerous elements that are being talked about in the study.
There are three approaches associated with the research approach. Such as:
These three approaches are not as discrete as they appear. In fact, they are dependent on each other by some or the other way. Qualitative and Quantitative can be viewed as flexible, indistinct categories, and similar. Likewise, the mixed method incorporates the elements of both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
The distinction between Qualitative and Quantitative research can be made on the basis of words (qualitative) rather than numbers (quantitative) or using closed-ended questions (quantitative) rather than open-ended questions (qualitative). Read below for further information related to the three research approaches:
- Qualitative research deals with the behaviour of the individual or group ascribing to the social or human problems. The final written report in this kind of research has a flexible structure. Scholars who indulge in this kind of research focuses on individual meaning, and the importance of rendering the complexity of a situation.
- Quantitative research deals with the variables and their relationship with each other. The measurements in this research are done using the instruments, and then the numbered data is analysed using statistical procedures. The final written report is inflexible.
- Mixed method is an approach that involves both qualitative and quantitative data using distinct designs that may involve philosophical assumptions and theoretical frameworks. This type of research provides a complete understanding of the research problem.
Criteria for selecting a research approach
Till now, you must have some clear thoughts regarding the three methods in the research approach. Now, you will see what are the factors that affect the choice of the research approach.
- The Research Problem: A research problem is the issues and difficulties that need to be addressed. It is detected from the void or conflict in the literature or any topic that has been neglected in the existing works of literature. Certain types of research problems call for specific approaches. For example, If the problem calls for (a) recognition of factors that influence an outcome, (b) understanding of the best predictors of outcomes, then the use of quantitative approach will be best. The qualitative approach is used when the researcher doesn’t know the important variable to examine. Mixed method is used when both qualitative and quantitative approaches are incapable of giving the best outcomes.
- Personal Experiences: Researcher’s personal experience also affects the decision of research approach. A researcher with a small handful knowledge of quantitative approach will prefer using that. On the contrary, a researcher who enjoys writing in a literary way or conducting personal interviews will end up using the qualitative approach in their study. A researcher who is familiar with both types of research approaches will use a mixed approach. In this type of research study will take some extra time as the researcher will be collecting both qualitative and quantitative data. It suits a researcher who enjoys both the structure of quantitative research and the flexibility of quantitative research.
- Audience: Finally, the researcher should think about the audience intent. The audience could be a journal editor, readers, faculty committees, anybody. The experiences of these audiences with qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods can shape the decision of the research approach.
Choosing an appropriate research approach is a vital decision to make. It is like picking a corresponding key for opening a lock. The results of your study would be valid only when you will select an appropriate research approach. The points mentioned above influence decision for research approach. First, the researcher needs to check the audience, research problem, and the preference then they should decide about the approach. The ultimate objective is to find the truth with diverse research approaches. If the quantitative approach has a scientific orientation, then the qualitative approach is an art, you should think before deciding on the research approach.
Ironically true that the number one way to grow your confidence as a writer is to actually write. Taking action is the only way to improve rather than brooding over doubts. When you complete each project, you find platforms to demonstrate your capability as a writer and improvise. Even if that means many rounds of rejection but there is progression towards improvisation. David, in the process of writing his masters dissertation was made to feel that it wasn’t his cup of tea and he wouldn’t be able to sail through it because every time that he wrote, there was nothing but rejection that he had to face. He found a way to learn from repeated failures and develop his confidence in such a way that success had to follow. When David can do it, there is no reason that you cannot do the same.
In the words of David, the first thing that he learnt is that not being able to write in the first attempt was not going to improve with losing confidence. Confidence does not reflect in writing. What really matter is self efficacy. It is the description of those factors that help you to estimate your own ability. Your ability to act so that you are able to positively effect the change.
The best way in which you can change your beliefs about your own abilities and feel that you can do it is to move away from those beliefs and venture into action. This worked for David as he learnt to continue to act , as in, write despite the fact that beliefs told him he wasn’t going to be good at it. It surprisingly worked for him and this is what is proven by theory that persistence in behaviour can actually change your attitude about yourself, which also includes self efficacy. For David this meant that shift his focus from fears about writing to continuously sitting to write, despite all constraints.
Eventually David was able to draft out his masters thesis to the surprise of his peer and faculty in quality that surpassed all expectation. In the words of David, “ Writing and only writing is the most result orientated cure for lacking the confidence to write. It is definitely the solution, though it isn’t a quick fix but a certain solution”
The real writer is only someone who just writes, irrespective!!
Right from our early school days, we have been taught to review or re-read our answer sheets before submitting it to examiner to avoid silly mistakes that can cause negative marking. This is no doubt a good practice that we must follow whenever we require to submit or print any research paper, journal, essay, email or any kind of written document. A write-up is not complete without proofreading. If you don’t proofread your manuscript before submission or publication and leave it along with the errors, then that could fetch negative impression for you from your readers.
How to Proofread Your Manuscript?
Proofreading is not at all a child’s play; it requires a vigilant eye and a good grip over language and grammar. At the first place, you have to read the write-up several times, slowly and minutely to understand whether it is capably conveying the message or topic you want to put forth. You should check whether the title of the dissertation or the written document matches with the content. At next level, you have to minutely observe whether the paragraphs are in sync with each other and the transition from one paragraph to another is smooth and coherent. If you find any trouble at any point, you may have to rewrite those parts and to conduct further research if required.
After you are done with this part, now you have to concentrate on finding the spelling and grammatical errors. Along with that, don’t forget to check whether the language you have used matches the academic standards and the punctuation of sentences are properly done. Make sure you have followed the prescribed formatting guideline and the sources you have used are relevant and properly mentioned in the bibliography chart.
Remember, your document is incomplete unless until you proofread it and make it error-free. If you find it tedious and time consuming, you can take professional editor’s help as well.
Doing PhD is not an easy stuff. It involves lot of studies, hard work, patience and dedication. You need to put your best efforts for collecting relevant data, doing data analysis, determining sample size, incorporating methods and software, writing methodology, doing statistical analysis and data interpretation. Completing the dissertation is not possible without guidance. Being a student of doctoral studies, you may often get stuck with problems regarding your research work. Isn’t it a good idea to get assisted by experienced professionals at every step of your dissertation preparation, who can help you to solve your queries and provide appropriate solutions for the same?
It has been observed that a majority of students find difficulty while dealing with the statistical analysis in their methodology chapter. Statistics is a vast syllabus in itself and it is tough for any student to spend a huge amount of time on studying statistics afresh at such a crucial phase of doctoral life. While performing the statistical analysis, a student has to keep in mind about the consistency and uniformity of the test, along with its accuracy, brevity and un-biasedness. Not only this, statistical analysis requires incorporation of different software, which is again a difficult job.
The entire process of dissertation preparation consumes lot of time, so it is a smart idea to get professional help for the statistical part which is again an important and essential part for your PhD paper. If you hire a consultant, he will guide you to resolve all requirements regarding study design and analysis of collected data. The experts are well versed with the application of software like SPSS, SAS, STATA, AMOS, or EViews that are used in doing the complex data analysis. The professionals can also help you in finding appropriate tools and techniques and sampling process. You can get assistance for the textual and graphical interpretation of your data from the professional. In a nutshell, a statistical consultant helps you to complete your dissertation properly and smartly on time.
To make a positive first impression of your dissertation on your target readers, it is critical that you avoid making any sort of linguistic and stylistic error in your content. A flawless document is what catches the attention of people and makes the work more readable and presentable. Here, we give you some tips on the way you may avoid making these mistakes within your dissertation draft itself.
Check your writing constantly
Whenever you write a piece of content or a section of your dissertation chapter, make sure to do the grammar and spelling check using a reliable tool. There are many language-checking tools available online. You can make use of these free tools and remove errors based on the suggestions, if any appear within the tool. Similarly, you can use the language checking option within Word or similar software after you type your content. Thus, some basic mistakes are corrected as soon as these are made.
Keep a dictionary
If you are unclear about the meaning of any word or find it strange to use within your text, then it is better to avoid it. Still, you should check its proper use in a dictionary if there are doubts regarding its usage and context. Thus, keep a dictionary handy with you while you write your dissertation chapters.
Own a style manual
Usually, your institution would suggest about using a professional style manual for writing the language in a given style. You could be at huge loss if you do not follow this manual while writing your research documents. It can also lead to serious linguistic style errors. Thus, try to purchase the recommended styleguide to keep a check on your styles.
Read your work aloud
After you complete your writing, make sure that you read each section aloud to yourself. Sometimes, you spot an error in a better way while listening to the content. Make any required correction instantly.
Your PhD dissertation proposal is the first step to getting your doctorate. The proposal is a small aspect of the entire dissertation process but it is definitely a crucial one. This proposal is submitted to the review committee for acceptance and if it gets rejected, you need to start again from scratch, losing out on precious time. Therefore, it is important to have a well-structured and defined research proposal that will give you the much needed green signal.
1. Concentrate on a focused topic
Your topic must not be so broad that you can’t complete it and it shouldn’t be so narrow that you can’t find any information on it. Choose an interesting and workable topic and stick to it while writing the proposal. Don’t drift away from the core topic as a clear focus will be appreciated by the committee.
2. Clarity of thought
The advisors will only get to read your proposal and not talk to you in person. So it must clearly define the topic and explain the reasoning in the most apt and minimalistic words. Think that you have to explain the topic to a group of friends who have no idea about the field and write the proposal accordingly.
3. Understand the guidelines
You must check with your advisor about the different formatting styles and other guidelines required for the dissertation proposal and follow them properly to avoid rejections.
4. Consistency in language
While writing the proposal, ensure that you have a consistency in the quality of words and the language grammar. This will give a smooth flow to your writing and advisors will be impressed with your work.
5. Stick to the topic
It is tempting to drift away from the topic as you find new studies and articles related to the field. However, remember to stick to your chosen topic to make your dissertation writing work easier in the future.
Writing a PhD dissertation proposal requires skill, concentration and knowledge about the topic. With the right objectives, you can definitely ace the proposal and get the go ahead to begin your dissertation!
There will be times when students of literature decide to do their project on fictional books, poems, or short stories. The first thing that they will have to do is to prepare their thesis.
For this they will have to read the piece of literature very closely. They might have to read it more than once to get a complete grasp of the intricacies of the story. Just in case they forget what the main points of the story are, they should keep a book by their side and keep making points as and when they notice something that is of interest to them.
Many authors have something useful to say even in fictional pieces of work. In fact, many fictional short stories and novels derive their inspiration from real life incidents. The students should carefully analyze what the author is trying to say about society. There are often multiple messages in a story. If the researchers were to consider all the messages then it is possible that either they would struggle to develop a proper thesis or their thesis would be too confusing. That is why many students think it is a good idea to focus on just one message or one element of the story and develop the thesis around it.
Once the idea for the thesis has been developed, students should look at whether they have enough evidence to support it. There will be nothing to write in the project if the students do not have anything to support their ideas. If the evidence on hand for the message is not sufficient enough then the students should develop another thesis statement, one that is backed by enough material. Many writers first find the answers then frame a question that will suit the answers. This is an easy way of tackling the project.
Writing does not come naturally to everyone. Some scholars are natural writers; they can easily pen down several pages of research report. While others may take hours to get just a few paragraphs completed. The challenge is greater in case of academic writing because the style is so distinct. There are several rules to be followed, which make it different from casual or creative writing that most students are used to. Here are some guidelines to help scholars who struggle with the documentation part:
Simple writing, high thinking
The review committee is not judging your linguistic skills, unless you are doing a doctorate in literature. They are looking for strong arguments and original insight, and will appreciate if you are able to express the same in simple language. So, don’t go looking for complicated terminology or words that no one understands. Your purpose should be to make the content easily readable.
Another tip for the vocabulary; steer clear of colloquial terms or language that is derogatory for any lingual or ethnic group. The academic report must be serious in its tone.
While the vocabulary and writing style must be kept succinct, you must not omit any specific jargons or terms that are necessary for the report, especially if you are writing a report on any technical subject. However, remember to define the terms used clearly in footnotes or glossary. Also, the use of such jargon must be limited to the extent needed. Do not overuse such terminology; it will only make your writing complicated.
Sources and references
All your sources must be mentioned in endnotes or bibliography, as required. Plus, in text quotes and other information must be cited using the proper style. Make sure to use the mandated style uniformly throughout the report.
Although you do not exactly ‘write’ them, yet tables, graphs, charts and illustrations make a vital part of your report. Include them carefully, placing them along with relevant text. Follow the guidelines for labeling and numbering of all such presentations.
Practice academic writing to get the flair. Writing regularly will certainly help you to draft an impressive report.
Conducting a research study is a challenging and complex task at any academic level. While there are multiple activities to be performed, the analysis and interpretation of data can be really tough for many students who are unaware of the right statistical tools and techniques to use. This is where a professional statistician can come to your rescue.
Professional statisticians hold a strong academic and research background in the area of statistics. Thus, they remain updated on all the latest statistical techniques and software tools that are utilized in varied types of research. When you approach a statistician, they not only understand your study in an in-depth manner, but also suggest relevant statistical tests that can be performed to simplify and filter your research data, as well as analyze to turn it into meaningful information.
A statistician checks your research design and sample, along with the type of study you are performing in a specific academic area. Accordingly, they recommend suitable analytical techniques to analyze complex data sets. In addition, they help you in performing the data analysis using the right software package that has been recommended by your academic institution. Although there are several statistical software available, but they make use of the latest software per your requirements.
Professional statisticians have knowledge of almost all such software packages, such as SPSS, SAS, EViews, STATA, etc. They can also help you choose the right package that would suit your qualitative or quantitative study type. For those of you who require guidance on study design and sampling, professional statisticians can also support with such tasks. They may not only help you in choosing apt data collection techniques, but may also assist you in interpreting your findings in various textual and graphical forms. Thus, data processing can be done very efficiently and effectively with the help of a professional statistician.
It is not just important to analyze your data effectively to arrive at accurate results, but also to present your findings in an impressive manner. Here are some tips that can help you achieve an effective presentation of your data and findings.
Develop presentation ideas related to the topics and variables involved in your study. Avoid being too comprehensive, but organize your ideas in a prioritized and logical manner. While organizing your content, you may make use of headings and subheadings. You may also use sidebars to organize it.
Using polished language
Keep your language simple, clear and crisp. It should be directed toward your target readers. You should also ensure to make it linguistically flawless. Remember that a well readable paper can even cover some precision loopholes.
Using right presentation tools
It is critical to choose the right methods and tools to present your findings. Do not remain confined to the use of text and tables. You may make use of several types of graphs and charts too. The graphical representation of your data and findings can make things simple, interesting and comprehensive for readers. You should also use meaningful captions or titles for your tables and graphs. Additionally, take care while presenting information through tables and graphs. See to it that you are not sacrificing the clarity of information by using a specific tool.
Providing details on analytical tools
Ensure to keep a section where you may briefly explain about the tools and techniques used to analyze data. You should also include information about the used data sources. If any confidentiality requirements are imposed by these sources, then make sure to follow them while presenting your findings.
Giving information on quality of findings
You should also provide information on the quality of your results. This can be done by making use of several indicators, such as confidence intervals, standard errors, coefficients of variation, etc.