Research Methods

Components of a research proposal
‡ Rationale or justification of the problem ‡ Statement of the problem ‡ Objectives of the study ‡ Hypotheses (if any) ‡ Delimitation ‡ Assumption ‡ Definition of terms ‡ Review of literatures ‡ Research methodology ‡ Time schedule Expected outcomes

Theories
Concept, proposition form

Logical inference

Logical deduction

Empirical generalization

Decision ~ Ho

Hypotheses

Test of Ho Measurement Observations Instrument

Review of the literature     

An account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. Is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or thesis. Purpose is to convey to readers knowledge and ideas established on a topic, strengths and weaknesses. Must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). Not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries.

writing a literature review
Lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas:  information seeking:  critical appraisal:

A literature review must do these things: be organized around and related to the research question ‡ synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known ‡ identify areas of controversy in the literature ‡ formulate questions that need further research ‡

When to do a literature search ? ‡ Before formulating a research question ‡ Throughout the project

Review of literatures
Why do we need to review literatures? 
What has been done? : trends, ways of thinking, debates, etc  Level of knowledge development in the area.  Level of knowledge  How knowledge is generated  Research design congruent with other aspects?  Boundary of the research.  Relevance of the current knowledge to problem area  Rationale for selection of the research strategy.

Sources of literatures  

Journal articles:  up-to-date information.  can take up to two years to publish.  offer a relatively concise, up-to-date format  most relevant and reliable research. Books:  less up-to-date  text books are basically intended for teaching,  offer a good starting point from which to find more detailed sources.

Sources of literatures 

Conference proceedings:
latest research, or research that has not been published.  helpful in tracking down other work by the same researchers.  

Government/corporate reports: 

provide a useful source of information. 

Newspapers:
the information is of very limited use for literature review.  provide information about recent trends, discoveries or changes,  

Theses and dissertations:
can be useful sources of information.  can be difficult to obtain since they are not published,  the researchers may not be experienced, findings should be treated with more caution 

Sources of literatures   

Internet:  anyone can post information on the Internet, the quality may not be reliable,  information intended for a general audience, not be suitable for literature review  refereed electronic journals more reliable CD-ROMS:  most are intended for a general audience.  can be valuable tool in searching for the information you need. Magazines:  unlikely to be useful in providing information needed  useful as a starting point, provide news or general information about new discoveries, policies, etc.

Steps in doing a literature search

‡ Delimiting the search ‡ Using key words ‡ Time bound

Steps in doing a literature search
‡Mechanics of a search ‡ Conventional ‡ Computerized ‡ Look up in the references ‡ Contact the authors (if possible)

Steps in doing a literature search
‡ Organizing information ‡ Reading abstract and making judgment : ‡ highly relevant ‡ must be read ‡ some what relevant ‡ probably be read ‡ Critically read and take notes

Critical reading
SQ3R: ‡ Survey ‡ Question ‡ Read ‡ Recall ‡ Review

Survey
‡ Title page: general subject area, author names and qualifications, year of publication. ‡ Table of contents: scope of the book, way it is organized, main chapters and sections ‡ Preface: author¶s remarks, foreword/introduction ‡ Index: detailed source of information ‡ Bibliography: references given ‡ Glossary ‡ Appendices

Survey ‡ Leaf through the book: looking at section headings, chapter summaries/key words, figures/tables ‡ First and last chapter/paragraphssummarizes key points made or concepts developed ‡ Surveying a chapter: look at one chapter in greater depth.

Question ‡ Never start detailed reading until you have some clear questions requiring an answer. ‡ Questioning is a vital stage in assisting with recall

Question
‡ Examples: ‡ How this text fit in with what I already know? ‡ Are there evidences supporting or contradicting the view presented? ‡ What theoretical framework applied? ‡ Is the materials up-to-date? ‡ What can I do with the information?

Read ‡ Read with purpose ‡ Active reading: search more information ‡ Don·t read too much at once ‡ Make note after finish reading a section. ‡ Look for the idea. ‡ Re-read the passage if it is difficult to understand

Recall
Most people forget 50% of a book within seconds of putting it down. ‡ Key recall steps: ‡ recall key points made by each paragraph in your won words ‡ write down the key words ‡ try and recall main explanatory sentence in each paragraph

Review

‡ Always check the accuracy of what you
recall by viewing again the materials you have studied. ‡ The best method is to repeat the process-survey, question, re-read, recall.

Taking Notes
Index cards ‡ Easy to sort: topic or alphabetical orders ‡ Can be colored coded ‡ Cards can be inserted as you read more ‡ Can be carried around ‡ Stands up to wear and tear ‡ Building a bibliography as you go

Index cards Basic details immediately on the card: ‡ Book or article title ‡ Author¶s surname and first name ‡ Book: book title, edition, place of publication, publisher, chapter or page numbers ‡ Article: title, journal name, volume number, issue, page numbers ‡ Library catalogue number ‡ Precise details: location, floor, room and shelf

Example
Book/journal: Book Author: Date: Title: Edition: Place: Publisher: Location: Date found: Classification number:

Kerlinger, F.N. 1986 Foundation of Behavioral Research 3rd London CBS Publishing, Japan St. Mary·s Road LRC, Floor A3, Shelf 4 October 20, 1999 150.72/KER

Bibliography card

Smoking and sexual behaviors Zabin, L. (1984). The association between smoking and sexual behavior among teens in the US contraceptive clinics. Am. J. of Public Health. 74, 261-26.

Taking notes
‡ Purpose and hypotheses ‡ Methodology ‡ Results ‡ Conclusion

Writing the literature review
1. Introduction ‡ ‡ ‡ Stating the objectives of the review Approach to be used: providing map of the review About half-page long

Writing the literature review

2. Main body: develop arguments ‡ ‡ ‡ Arranged in a logical order w/ clear headings Each section devoted to one topic or theme; one paragraph one idea First sentence of paragraph indicate what is all about and move on to support the idea by using evidences and examples. Avoid short paragraphs of one-two sentences

‡

Writing the literature review

3. Conclusions ‡ Note: ‡ ‡ ‡ Round off rather than stop abruptly Critical not descriptive Only analysis and evaluation that you are able to draw conclusions. Summarize and draw conclusions about the key points in the writing

Writing Styles
1. Chronological writing 2. Descriptive writing 3. Cause-effect writing 4. Compare and contrast writing (theme by theme) 5. Summarizing writing 6. Analytical/evaluative writing

Language and writing
‡ Keep it simple and clear ‡ Don·t use a long word when a short one will do ‡ Keep sentence length of 15 ² 12 words ‡ Always use third person; avoid I, me, my, etc. ‡ Check spelling and grammar

Tips on writing up the literature
Start writing as soon as possible  Select and cite only relevant materials  Group the materials into categories and comment upon most important feature  Be critical, it·s not a descriptive review  Use quotations to illustrate a point and add an extra dimension to your arguments. 

Questions your literature review should answer:  What you already know in the immediate area?  Characteristics of the key concepts or the main factors or variables?  Relationships between these key concepts, factors or variables?  What are the existing theories?  Inconsistencies / shortcomings in existing knowledge

Questions literature review should answer:  What views need to be (further) tested?  What evidence is lacking, inconclusive, contradictory or too limited?  Why study (further) the research problem?  What contribution can your study be expected to make?  What research designs or methods seem unsatisfactory?

When read for literature review, you are  trying to define research problem:
a gap, asking a question, continuing previous research, counterclaiming  trying to read every source relevant to your research problem. 
finding

Until problem is defined, there are hundreds of sources that seem relevant.  You cannot define your problem until you read around your research area.  

This seems a vicious circle, but what happen is that as you read you define your problem, and as you define your problem you will more easily be able to decide what to read and what to ignore.

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