A body of literature is relevant in any research. It is considered as a published collection of information that is relevant to addressing the research question.
Research is about answering gaps in knowledge and literature. In line with this, the research question provides a guideline for the researcher to determine the points he or she wishes to answer or address.
Questions such as what is the existing problem and what makes the problem relevant are commonly tackled during the definition of the research question. It provides the core of the research because it determines the focus of the researcher together with the significance of all the
variables in the research.
The first part of the research paper is the statement of the problem. The statement of the problem must be found after the title and abstract of the study. It is synonymous to a newspaper hook because it catches the readers’ attention and encourages them to read the paper thoroughly.
Reviewing existing literature is an integral part of research. Reviewing literatures entails the researcher to carefully examine the body of literature that leads to answering the laid down questions.
The usual literature review contains works ranging from scholarly journals, studies, books, databases and primary sources. Aside from the mentioned primary resources, other sources can also be considered as secondary sources like newspapers and audio interviews.
In line with sources, first hand sources are often fundamentals documents relevant to a particular topic. These sources are found in both physical and electronic sources even the internet. Secondary sources, like what was mentioned before, are documents pre-recorded before and are usually found in tape and audio recordings.
The review of related literature serves as the guide for any research. It provides a method on how the entire research will be viewed. It is an important component in the scientific process.
The main reason why researcher does literature review is to assess whether the question that they came up with is new and relevant. Through the review, the research will uproot more information and data that may cause alteration or changes in the research question.
If ever that the researcher discovered during the review that the questions he or she came up were not satisfactorily addressed by existing studies, then the researcher can raise additional questions such as what are the information known about the topic. Are there existing gaps in literature and knowledge that can be addressed by the research? Other questions such as whether the research will be relevant to people and society can also be discovered during the review of literature. After reviewing researches, the researcher can provide direction towards where he or she wants the research to go.
Another part of the research paper is the discussion. The discussion contains the explanation of the results of the paper. It provides a deeper explanation of the numbers found in the results. It is expected that the discussion is linked to the introduction and should incorporate how the study will help readers understand the study more. It gives new knowledge and insight about the research problem that was investigated.
Because the discussion is an integral part of the research, it needs to be done as concise as possible. It is the discussion and interpretation of the significance of the study. It challenges the researcher to think critically about the issue and to develop innovative solutions to problems. A researcher can come up with a good discussion through first presenting the underlying meaning of the research. It can contain the possible implication of the study to future studies and what other improvements can future research do. The researcher needs to stress the importance of the study and how will the problem help improve society. The discussion will list down the people or organization that will possibly benefit from the progression of the research. It also encourages the readers to think critically using evidence-based interpretation.
The data that must be contained in the discussion includes the following, one if the explanation of results. It needs to address whether the research has answered the questions. It needs to provide the patterns and trend relating to the topic. It must also contain the reference to previous researches to increase the validity and reliability of the results. As part of the discussion, it is also expected for the researcher to provide recommendations on how the study can still be improved in the future. It also addresses the hypotheses which are the scientific assumption during the earlier part of the research.
There are several steps on how create an en effective discussion. One is to think of the discussion part as an inverted pyramid. The points in the discussion must be arranged in the manner that it starts off with the more specific towards general inklings. During discussion the key terms used in the introduction must also be found. It must begin with re-stating the problems that were used in the research. After that, the researcher needs to highlight the patterns and relationships discovered by the study. It is important to state the significance of the finding. It is also good to add the unexpected findings in the research. These must also be followed by a good interpretation and analysis. Prior to concluding the discussion, the research must also list all the limitations and weaknesses of the research. The end of the discussion must contain a summary of the important points of the research.
One of the methods that can be used in research is Ethnography. The method is different from the manner of conducting social science due to a number of reasons. One of the reasons is it is field-based. The setting is conducted in a real-life set up. It is not done in a laboratory environment because it wishes to capture the real behavior of people. The method is also personalized. It is done using a face-to-face encounter with the subject of the research. Both the researcher and subjects live under close proximity during the study. The study is also multifactorial. It uses two or more methods to collect data. Multiple methods are used in order to arrive at a concise conclusion. The method is also inductive because it accumulates descriptive detail to deal toward patterns that are considered general. It also aims to answer and describe a sample holistically.
The method is considered as one of the most in-depth study. It provides good description regarding people. Despite the natural setup of the Ethnography method also faces a number of challenges. One of the requirements of the method is that ethnographer must possess good and in-depth knowledge about the topic. It requires them to relate to people because the nature of the study is field work. The researcher must be sensitive to the people he or she is studying. The researcher must be aware of the difference in values and cultures brought by diversity. It may be difficult for some researcher because the nature of the writing technique is storytelling which is difficult in scientific methods.
Positivism, despite its changed perspective in today’s context, there are a number of characteristics that we can identify the parts of positivists. First, science is the only reliable source of knowledge. Methods used n sciences such as physics and chemistry are also applicable to use in educational research. Since science involves the process of logical inferring there are fundamental facts that help explain the behaviors. This means that positivism promotes standardization in terms of analyzing behaviors.
The interpretivist paradigm contains the belief that the existing reality is constructed through intersubjectivity with the use of meanings and understanding developed with the help of social experiential construction.
The origin of the paradigm of Positivism is credited to renowned mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes. However, some believe that it was even practiced as early as the time of Galileo since they share the same beliefs with regards to the nature of both reality and knowledge.
Included in the beliefs and assumptions of the positivist paradigm are the realist ontology and representational epistemology. Realist ontology circulates in the belief that the world objects apt from the knowledge that people are aware. It believes in the existence of objective reality. On the other hand, representational epistemology assumes that people can know about objective reality with the help of symbols.
Related to the topic of positivism, there are aspects such as prediction and control that affects the prediction and control of the phenomenon. The main goal of the research is to discover the existing patterns. It also calls for empirical verification, where the data and assumptions are reliable and accurate. The research must also be free from biases and must be achieved objectively.
The methodology practiced in the paradigm includes the heavy reliance on both the experimental and manipulative methods. It also ensures that there is a striking difference between the subjective biases of the researcher and the objective reality of the study. It relies also on the generation of hypothesis and testing. Due to these, quantitative methods are often used.
Objective reality is the main principle of the positivists’ method. It is grounded in the belief that if the researcher uses the correct method then it is most likely for them to apply the method in the proper manner. It is evaluated based on three methods namely Validity, Reliability and Generalizability.
The belief of the intepretivist paradigm is that a reality can not be separated from the existing knowledge. Dialogue can negotiate the truth. With the use of dialogues, findings and knowledge are created as the investigation progresses. The interpretations must be based in a practical moment wherein they are open to further dialogues.
The position of the intepretivist is that reality is constructed socially and is considered fluid. it is also negotiable in the context of culture, social settings and the relationship with other people. Due to these beliefs, an objective validity can not be grounded on either truth. There is no real truth because it is negotiable using multiple claims.
Angen (2002) provided different criteria in order to evaluate the research using the interpretivist perspective. One is that it requires a careful consideration of the research question. It also must carry the inquiry in a respectful manner. It must be open to reasonable arguments and the results must be disseminated widely. The articulation and choices turn into a moral question and according to Angen must be located in the discourse of the research community.
Ethical Validity is the recognition that the choices people make in the process of research are rooted in both political and ethical consideration. The research must therefore be helpful to desired population and must seek alternative explanations outside the construct of other researcher. In the end the researcher must ask his or herself whether he or she learned anything new form the research.
Substantive Validity deals with the evaluation the content or substance of an interpretative work. The research requires demonstrating pieces of evidence in line with the choices the researcher made. The biases in the research must also be evaluated. The last process is to reflect on how the researcher transformed the researcher in a personal level.
The common paradigms in research are divided into either quantitative or qualitative methods. Both methods are rooted in philosophical traditions that comprises of various epistemological and ontological assumptions. Epistemology, for example, is a theory of knowledge, beliefs and assumptions that relates to the nature of knowledge. It addresses the questions such as the nature of the world and relationship between the question and existing facts. Ontology is cored in the philosophy of existence. In relation to this, paradigms provide interpretation of worldviews. Methods are important in any scientific research. It provides direction to the research and provides a justification on how the researcher plans to address the research questions. The methodology contains the analysis that the researcher will be using.
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