Normally, the process of research involves the following five steps:
(1) Problem Definition:
There should be clear idea about the problem we are facing. In general, it refers to some difficulty which researcher experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same. The components of research problem are:
- There must be an individual or a group which has some difficulty or the problem.
- There must be some objectives(s) to be attained at. If one wants nothing, one can not have a problem.
- There must be alternative means for obtaining the objective(s) one wises to attain.
- There must remain some doubt in the mind of a researcher with regard to the selection of alternative.
- There must be some environment(s) to which the difficulty pertains.
(2) Research Design:
Decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means concerning an inquiry or a research study constitute a research design. A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. This is the blue print for the research. The basic issues addressed in research design are-
· Should the research environment be internally disturbed by the researcher in specified ways an experimental design?
· How many observations should be made on each unit in the study? When?
· Should a single sample be chosen from the total population or should a series of samples be chosen from various subgroup of the population?
· Should a probability or non-probability sampling procedure be adopted for the study?
(3) Data Collection:
The task of data collection begins after a research problem has been defined and research design plan checked out. While deciding about the method of data collection to be used for the study, the researcher should keep in mind two types of data viz. Primary and Secondary. The primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time, and thus happen to be original in character. The secondary data, on the other hand, are those which have already been collected by someone else and which have already been passed through the statistical process. The researcher would have to decide which sort of data he would be using for his study and accordingly he will have to select one or the other method of data collection. The method of collecting primary and secondary data differ since primary data are to be originally collected while in case of secondary data the nature of data collection work is merely that of compilation. Errors associated with data are typically classified into two categories: Sampling and Non-sampling errors, which can be minimize thorough appropriate research plan.
(4) Data Analysis:
The data, after collection, has to be processed and analyzed in accordance with the outline laid down for the purpose at the time of developing the research plan. This is essential for a scientific study and for ensuring that we have all relevant data for making contemplated comparisons and analysis. Processing implies editing, coding, classification and tabulation of collected data so that they are items under investigation. Data analysis can be conveniently classified as under (a) Univariate analysis which deals with a single characteristic of interest. (b) Bivariate analysis which deals with two characteristic of interest & (c) Multivariate analysis deals with more than two characteristics of interest.
(5) Interpretation of results:
Interpretation refers to the task of drawing inferences from the collected facts after an analytical and or experimental study. In fact, it is a search for broader meaning of research findings. The task of interpretation has two major aspects viz. (i) the effort to establish continuity in research through linking the results of a given study with those of another and (ii) the establishment of some explanatory concepts. The usefulness and utility of research findings lie in proper interpretation. It is being considered a basic component of research process because of the following reasons:
(a) It is through interpretation that the researcher can well understand the abstract principle that works beneath his findings.
(b) Interpretation leads to the establishment of explanatory concepts that can serve as a guide for future research studies.
(c) Researcher can better appreciate only though interpretation why his findings are what they are and can make others to understand the real significance of his research findings.
(d) The interpretation of the findings of exploratory research study often results into hypothesis for experimental research and as such interpretation is involved in the transition from explanatory to experimental research.
Now, let’s try to our research work to make a brilliant decision and enjoy!