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The University of Cambodia

The College of Social Science

Chapter 12

Finding, Evaluating & Using sources

Lecturer: Phan Ratha

015 585 947,
Master of Art in Clinical Psychology
Objective of lecture

• Upon completion of this lecture, students will be able to understand:

1) Overview of research in social science and its importance.

2) Types of research methods and design which normally applies by

different researchers in other specializations.

3) Identifying the reliable sources of premises for supporting claim.

1. Overview of research

 Definition and meaning of research:

• a quest for knowledge through diligent search or investigation or

experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of new
knowledge, apart of scientific investigation for an answers (WHO).

• In summary, it is process of exploring a reasonable and dependable

solution to a existing problem through the planned and systematic
collection, analysis and interpretation of data.
1. Overview of research (1)

• The investigation of certain questions which have

not been answered so far.
– Should lead to new knowledge.
– Think, analyze, find relationships, and test
– Objectivity/Subjectivity

• Remember that research should be :

A. relevant and socially significant.
B. outcomes should be verifiable, authentic and
generally serve interest to majority of population.
1. Overview of research (2)

 Purpose and function of research:

1. To validate and refine existing or acquisitive knowledge and generate

new knowledge. It is an intermediate step toward the improvement of

social studies process.

2. In education, research help improving ability of student learning and

classroom problem. So that, the effective teaching technique and material

can be developed in targeted problems.

1. Overview of research (3)

3. Help authorized administrator think logically and gaining objective way of

obtaining scientific information and making decisions based on that data

systematically collected, such as program development’s planning,

business, public policies…ect, to address to social issues.

4. Goals of science – Identify patterns in nature and to establish causality

since we can't assume that something works just because it seems to work.

You need to have an objective way to assess cause and effect.

1. Overview of research (4)

• There are three important objectives of

1. Theoretical - formulate new theories,
principles such as law, physic, chemistry…etc.
2. Factual - find out and describe the facts which
occurred previously.
3. Application -suggest improvement and
modification of new application/ practice, deal
with immediate existing issues such as
guidelines, strategies to deal with minimum
wage of workers ……ect.
1. Overview of research (5)

1) Fundamental / basic research (theoretical & factual objective)-produce

new knowledge, developing theories

2) Action / applied research (application objective)- producing practical

ways to deal with existing problems. So, they’re classified into 2
1. Overview of research (6)

1. Fundamental research 2. Action/Applied research

• contribute improving scientific • attempt to study problems
theories for improved scientifically in order to guide,
understanding with more correct and evaluate their
comprehensive. decision-making and action.

• collection information through

• Solve an immediate practical
literature review, theories,
problem, improve the current
complex examinations…..etc
practices, scientific theories is
Steps of action research

Step 1: Formulation of problems-problems are selected & clearly defined.

Step 2: Formulation of objectives and hypothesis - clear objective & tentative

answers are given.

Step 3: Designing the study -a research planning to collect data is developed.

Step 4: Methods and tool of data collection - are used to collection data.

Step 5: Analysis of data/information - appropriate statistical tools are applied.

Step 6: Interpretation, conclusion and dissemination of the results – to audience

2. Outline of research reports/articles (1)

a). background,
b). problem statement,
c). purpose and research question

- Summary
- Synthesis
2. Outline of research reports/articles (2)


a). Method of the study-qualitative, quantitative….etc.

b). Type of data – primary or secondary data

c). Defining population & sample

d). Sampling procedure – Random, Systematic, convenience, snowball….etc.

e). Measurement/Tools for data collection-questionnaire, test, annual report..etc.

f). Methods of data collection-individual interview, FGD, email, phone talk…etc.

g). Ethics & Limitations

3. Literature Review

• What is literature review?

• Why do we need it for doing research?

• What are objectives of doing literature review?

• How can we write one good literature review?

• Term “Review”- checking to gain • Term “Literature” - knowledge of

knowledge of the needing specific a particular area of investigation

area to show that this study would of any discipline which includes

be an addition to this field. theoretical, practical and its

research studies.

• Literature Review (LR) – process of
gaining knowledge around one particular
subject with published information, from
reliable existed sources within a certain
time period.

• Simple summary of the sources, usually

has an organizational pattern and
combines both summary and synthesis.

A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a
synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information.

• It might give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old

• Or it might trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major


• And depending on the situation, the literature review may evaluate the
sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant.

3.1. The need of literature review (1):

1. Proving that you have read the

previous work of other researchers
who have done topics similar to

3.1. The need of literature review (2):

2. Providing you more detailed up-

to-date info about the studies that
you may prefer and include it into
background of your research

3.1. The need of literature review (3):

3. Providing you an indication of

direction over your project that can
situates your research focus within the
context of the wider academic community,

- Gaining ideas of techniques of data

collection, procedure of designing a
studies so forth.

3.1. The need of literature review (4):

4. It identifies a gap within that

literature that your research will

• What did other people say about

their topics which similar to yours?

• You then can formulate hypothesis

on basis of literature review.

3. 2. Purpose of reading literature review (1):

• We do literature review because:

1. To get theories, ideas explanation or hypothesis which may prove useful in

formulation of new problems.

2. To indicates whether the evidence already available solve the state of problem

without further investigation, avoid replication.

3. To provide foundation of forming hypothesis on basis of available studies.

3.2. Purpose of reading literature review (2):

4. To guide ideas on designing methods, procedure, source of data and

statistical techniques appropriate to the solution of the problems.

5. To significantly provide a comparative data between previous studies and

own finding useful in the process of interpretation and discussion of


6. To having accurate knowledge of solid evidence or literature to support your

unique result.

3.3. procedure & sources of literature review (1):

1. The logical starting steps is to get a

clear picture of the problems and
understand the key problems which you
want to explore.

2. Consulting with different reliable

sources: text-books, encyclopedia,
empirical studies, journals, newspaper to
find the most relevant topics.

3.3. procedure & sources of literature review (2):

3. Summarize individual studies or

articles with as much as little detail
as you can by changing keywords.

• What does that mean?

• Important articles should be

longer and less important articles
should be shorter.

3.3. procedure & sources of literature review (3):

• You will need to summarize/paraphrase:

– What does this mean?

– What are the main arguments?

– What are the theories? Methodologies?

– How does this information relate to your project?

• Divide up the review into a few sections and then talk about the relevant

3.4. Checklist to write up literature review (1)

 Final checklist

1. Have I fulfilled the purpose of the literature review?

2. Is it written at a level appropriate to its audience?

3. Are its facts correct?

4. Is all the information included relevant?

5. Are the layout and presentation easy on the eye?

3.4. Checklist to write up literature review (2)

6. Is the body organized logically?

7. Does the conclusion interpret, analyze and evaluate?

8. Are the recommendations reasonable?

9. Have I acknowledged all sources of information through correct


10. Have I checked spelling, grammar and punctuation?

11. Have I carefully proof-read the final draft?

3.5. Tips of reading literature review (1):

Some questions to help you analyze the research:

• Did you review the abstracts carefully? (important part of academic


• Extract key points, instead of reading one paper after another, for a review
may concern areas of similarities and/or differences in:
a) Research aim(s) or hypotheses ,

b) Research design and sampling,

c) Instruments and procedures used

d) How data were analyzed (data analysis),

e) Results or findings of that studies

f) Interpretations
3.6. Tips of reading literature review (2):

• Does the research seem to be complete? What further questions does it


• Be careful about sources! Don’t use unreliable ones.

• Use academic databases and journals

– Google Scholar

– UC E-library (has great databases)

– International news, like BBC, CNN, Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia Daily, etc

• You CANNOT use wikipedia, but look at the references at the bottom of
the page. Those are usually helpful !

4. Evaluating sources (1)

1. Content: Facts and Everything else

2. The author and publisher:

a) What is the author’s background?

b) What are the author’s bias and purpose?

c) What are the author’s source?

d) Who is the publisher or sponsor?

4. Evaluating sources (2)

3. The audience:

a) Who is the intended audience

of the author?

b) How has the audience

responded to author’s article
after reading?
Thank for your attention !