The Research Methodology

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How to Write a Research Paper

In the previous blog we learnt that: –

The purpose of an academic research writing was to push forward the boundaries of knowledge was true justified belief.  In some instances one may choose an academic writing service or write the paper himself from this we learnt a simplified scientific process: –

  • Observe something that can’t be explained by our current knowledge.
  • Provide a suggested explanation for this phenomenon… we call this suggested explanation a
  • Test the hypothesis to find out if it is really true.

We also learnt that to write our own research paper we will be expected to critically evaluate other research papers and this requires: –

  • an evaluation of research methods,
  • evaluating the discussion of results
  • and evaluating the conclusions reached.

All of this requires a deeper understanding of: –

  • Research theory
  • how research should be conducted and
  • the importance of experiments and experimental design.

This chapter aims to expand our understanding of research theory and to discuss the basics of experimental design. This will enable us to understand more about what we see when we look at research papers.

We will come back and look at the subject of experimental design in more detail later so we can understand more about how to critically evaluate research.

For now, our purpose is just to ensure we understand enough research theory so we can understand what we are looking for when we read research papers.


By the end of this chapter you will be able to.

  • Understand the principles behind good research
  • Understand some of the ways research can be conducted
  • Explain some of the ways research can be flawed.

Academic research writing  consists of 15 sections: -.

  1. .. .an analogy
  2. Scientific Method
  3. Scientific Principles
  4. Controlled Experiments
  5. Empirical Research
  6. Basic Research Criteria
  7. Basic Research vs Applied Research
  8. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research
  9. Project Types
  10. Alternatives to Laboratory Based Experiments
  11. Data used to Generate a Hypothesis cannot be Used to Verify the Hypothesis
  12. Testing the Null Hypothesis
  13. Testing Our Understanding of the Concepts
  14. Flawed Research
  15. Summary

Research…. an analogy

Our discussion so far states that the aim of research is to push forward the boundaries of human knowledge.

And that to do this we must: –

  • Observe something that can’t be explained by current knowledge.
  • Provide a suggested explanation for this. hypothesis… and
  • test the hypothesis to find out if our explanation is really true.

If are making a contribution to human knowledge it implies we are not working in isolation but are basing our work on existing work.

We want to add a piece of knowledge to the existing body of human knowledge.

By analogy we are trying to build a wall. To do this we need to: –

  • know where to place the next brick.
  • and we need to test the brick we are putting in the wall to ensure it is strong enough

Knowing where to place the next brick implies we must first read some research papers. Research papers show where the current gaps in our knowledge are.

Ensuring our brick is strong enough, implies we are testing our claims for knowledge, via experimentation or other form of proof, to ensure the claims we make are accurate and won’t be disproven by future researchers who are building on top of our part of the wall.

We need to do this testing in a rigorous, scientific, professional and competent way… so Other researchers who are evaluating our research, e.g. others like you who maybe writing a research paper, will recognize the validity of our work

If we don’t conduct our research in a competent way other researchers will identify our mistakes and cast doubt on our conclusions. To prevent this, we need to follow a sound scientific method

Either way researchers will evaluate our work and make a contribution to knowledge by confirming the validity of our conclusions or by highlighting issues/problems.

Categories: Research Paper

How to Get Grips with Your Studies

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This isn’t a book about study skills. We’re focusing on writing essays. But clearly every essay contributes to a wider study programme, so we should pay some attention to why you’re studying, and how to study effectively.

As we progress from school to college, we learn that we must take responsibility for our own learning. You’ll be studying a wide range of topics, so you’ll need to decide where to focus your attention. You’re working to deadlines but nobody else sets the timetable; you are responsible for your own schedule.

And you’re studying a good deal on your own. If you need support, you’ll be expected to ask for it, not wait for someone to offer it.

Look at the big picture. Review the course and work out its long-term strategy. Create a calendar and mark all the key targets — including deadlines for essays! Break larger tasks into smaller ones and allocate time to each. (We’ll look at how to do that for essays in the next section.) When times get busy, write regular ‘to do’ lists to help you focus on the day ahead. Set up an effective filing system so that you don’t waste time looking for material that you’ve been studying. Find your way around the faculty, the library and other routes to academic information. If you feel that you’re missing the support of a weekly timetable, create your own. Vary it each week.

Work out your weekly timetable by checking the calendar, reviewing deadlines and clearing your daily’ to do’ lists. Map out your timetable for the week, including extracurricular activities and rewarding yourself with some well-earned rest and recuperation.

There’s a great downloadable study timetable here.

You’ll study a whole lot better if you organize yourself. Find a good place to study and make it study- friendly. Get supplies of basic equipment — pens, notepads, sticky notes, filing cards for reference, batteries for the computer mouse — so that you’re not wasting time rushing to the store for replacements.

Study is part of the academic conversation. It works best if you think of it as finding out what others have said, working out what you think about it, and deciding what you want to say. So:

  • Reflect on what you read and work out what you’ve understood.
  • Join in with classroom conversations and seminars. It will help you to find your own voice
  • and contribution to the academic conversation.
  • Review the main learning points of lectures and seminars and note them down. In
  • particular, note down what you said in seminars and how others responded.
  • Make notes systematically, selectively and creatively. Rework notes for essays and other
  • Reward yourself with weekly review sessions where you look back over what you’ve learnt,
  • what’s interested you and how it fits together.
  • Think about how writing can help you learn.

Categories: Essay Help