With other essays you can rush them if you have to It demands more. Todd, Bannister and Clegg, , p …. My reasons for data collection is literature based as my research question involved sensitive subjects which would have been unsuitable for primary data collection. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University I chose primary data because it would enable me to build skills that would be useful for postgraduate study.
Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University It will involve primary data, secondary data, quantitative and qualitative research methods, lit reviews, theory and policy studies and an exploration of alternatives.
My dissertation is to be based around the experience of 'poverty', as poverty is the experience. Theories and policies are not. However, to do justice to the subject, theories and policies will be included so Iam able to demonstrate where failures in the system may exist. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University. Note: Research must be conducted in a sensible and ethical manner; data must be analysed and presented in a rational manner. It is important that students do not expose themselves or others to dangers or risks when conducting research.
Students need the approval of their dissertation supervisor before embarking on any type of fieldwork see the section on Research Ethics for more information. In general, deductive research is theory-testing and inductive research is theory-generating. Often people link deductive research with quantitative experiments or surveys, and inductive research with qualitative interviews or ethnographic work. These links are not hard and fast — for instance, experimental research, designed to test a particular theory through developing a hypothesis and creating an experimental design, may use quantitative or qualitative data or a combination.
If your research starts with a theory and is driven by hypotheses that you are testing e. However much research combines deductive and inductive elements. Research design is vital to conducting a good piece of work. At the start of your research you need to set down clearly:. You and your supervisor will discuss your design and decide whether the research is 'do-able'.
Your university may require you to produce a report e. Other people may have to look at the design to ascertain whether there are ethical issues that affect your research. Social Research Method. Researching society and culture. Interviewing for social scientists: an introductory resource.
Step 1: Explain your methodological approach
Doing Secondary Analysis. Ethnography: Principles in Practice. Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London, Pinter. Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences. Content About this site What is a Dissertation? How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies.
Introduction What approach should I take - qualitative or quantitative? Can my dissertation be entirely literature-based? What is case study research? What's an empirical study? What is secondary analysis? Where do I find existing research data? Collecting you own data - primary research Will my research be inductive or deductive?
How to write a research methodology
What about research design? Resources Further reading Research papers. Methodologies 1 Introduction The way you approach your question will have a profound effect upon the way you construct your dissertation, so this section discusses the types of research you might undertake for your dissertation. What if I want to find out about social trends, or the measurable effects of particular policies? What if I want to record people's views on an issue, and give them a 'voice'?
Whether you choose qualitative or quantitative analysis will depend on several things: Your preferred philosophical approach realist, phenomenologist or constructionist. Your skills and abilities with methods of data collection if needed and analysis. The topic or issue you are interested in. How you frame your research question. Can I combine qualitative and quantitative methods? You may be interested in doing an analysis that is primarily quantitative, looking at social trends, or policy implications.
However you also want to introduce a 'human touch' by conducting one or several interviews asking what these trends mean to people or how particular individuals experience events. After doing your quantitative analysis, you should include a chapter or section on the qualitative data you have collected. In your discussion of findings you can use the qualitative data to help you understand the patterns in the quantitative analysis.
You may be interested in doing an evaluative case study of a process or policy. You will have a particular focus — a 'case' that you are looking at. You will triangulate methods — i.
You will analyse each type of data and describe this, and then write a discussion that shows how each piece of analysis contributes to the overall picture of what is going on. Case Study 9 Think hard before you decide to undertake empirical research: a student's view What is secondary analysis? Download Case Study 6 Media research If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives. This has the following advantages: They allow you to discuss trends and social changes.
The data are often collected through a random sample, which allows you to generalise to the population under consideration.
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They may also allow you to make comparisons over time, as some datasets are products of longitudinal studies. Smaller, more targeted datasets may also be available. Secondary analysis has disadvantages also: the data were collected for a purpose different from yours. You have to find out something about that purpose, as well as the methods of collection, in order to justify your use of a secondary dataset. Collecting you own data - primary research Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e.
Your research methods tutor can give you further information on these types of data, but here are some common quantitative data collection methods and their definitions: Self-completion questionnaires A series of questions that the respondent answers on their own. Structured interviews Similar to a self-completion questionnaire, except that the questions that are asked by an interviewer to the interviewee.
Structured observation Watching people and recording systematically their behaviour. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation: In-depth interviews A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview. Focus groups A form of interviewing where there are several participants; there is an emphasis in the questioning on a tightly defined topic; the accent is on interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning.
Participant observation This involves studying people in naturally occurring settings. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University Note: Research must be conducted in a sensible and ethical manner; data must be analysed and presented in a rational manner. Will my research be inductive or deductive? What's all this about research design? At the start of your research you need to set down clearly: Your research focus and research question.
How you propose to examine the topic: approach methods of data collection methods of data analysis The types and sources of information you need. How you will access these sources of information be they people, existing datasets, biographical accounts, media articles or websites, official records. The proposed outcome of this research in your case, a dissertation and the form it will take.
A time-frame for all this. Summary Quantitative or qualitative? A quantitative approach will mean you will need substantial datasets, as well as the inclusion of tables and statistics in your final submission.
Research Approach - Research-Methodology
This information could come from a variety of sources - remember to acknowledge them! A qualitative approach will probably mean conducting interviews or focus groups or observing behaviour. Ask yourself if you are prepared to do this, and think about the best way of getting the answers you want from people. Will you stop people in the street?
Will you conduct telephone interviews? Will you send out survey forms and hope that people return them? Will you be a participant or non participant observer? Deductive or inductive? Deductive research is theory-testing, which is often linked to datasets, surveys or quantitative analysis.
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- Inductive Research Approach;
Inductive research is theory-generating, and is often linked to qualitative interviews. Empirical or theoretical? An empirical study could involve close analysis of statistics or some form of qualitative research. However, a theoretical study brings its own challenges, and you may be called upon to compare theories in terms of their applicability. Once you have decided upon your approach, you can write out a research design, i.
Formulating Research Aims and Objectives
Now look a little at the research methods that you have studied. How would you best be able to collect that data? Again, consider time and feasibility of the exercise.