Research Methods

Research Methods



What is research:


  • Research comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge.
  • Scientific research is a systematic way of gathering data, a harnessing of curiosity.
  • The word research is derived from the French word ‘recherche’ which means to seek.
  • g. Recherche du Temps Perdu, In search of lost time. A novel by Marcel Proust


Data collection methods:


  • Primary research consists of a collection of original primary data collected by the researcher.
  • Questionnaires, market research, experiments, direct observations, interviews



  • Secondary research (also known as desk research) involves the summary, collation and/or synthesis of existing research.
  • Internet, book periodicals, journals, blogs websites, document, academic papers etc.



Methods of research:


Qualitative research.

  • Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts. Qualitative research aims to gather an in-depth understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern such behaviour.


Quantitative research.

  • Quantitative research is about asking people for their opinions in a structured way so that you can produce hard facts and statistics to guide you. To get reliable statistical results, its important to survey people in fairly large numbers and to make sure they are a representative sample of your target market.



The mechanics of Research.

  • A hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. (Hupothesis=Greek for ‘suppose’)


Research Question.

  • A research Question is a statement that identifies the phenomenon to be studied. For example, ‘What resources are helpful for Theory of Optics research?”


A Literature review.

  • A literature review is a text of a scholarly paper, which includes the current knowledge including substantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. Literature reviews use secondary sources, and do not report new or original experimental work.


Plagiarism and Ethics.

  • “Plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or idea and passing them off as one’s own”. –New Oxford American Dictionary.
  • Ethics, sometimes known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematising, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.



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