Research studies and scientific research are being conducted in order to provide results that will help with social, professional and scientific evolution. Gathering data and information and analyzing them is the only way for a researcher to come to a conclusion. The process of conducting a research study starts by focusing on tested hunches and ideas. With the collection of all the necessary information, the results can come fast. Either positive or negative.
Conducting a research study has certain very, important steps that need to be taken in order for the research to be successful. Here are the 8 most important steps that you are going to take in order to conduct your own research study:
Step 1: Identifying the Subject
There is always a problem, subject, and issue or thematic that is being analyzed in a research study. Do you have a clear view of what yours is? Unless you have identified the subject of your research study, you cannot move on to the next step.
Step 2: Find the literature
What is the current information on the topic? Surely some research has already been conducted at some point. That research gave results, maybe answers to some of the questions. You need to find that research and those results. You need the current literature in order to create your own.
Step 3: Clarify the Subject
Once the literature has been reviewed and the details of the initial Subject have been identified it is time to clarify the subject. What is the scope of the study? If it is too big then it has to be broken down to categories and studied separately. There are many factors that can affect a subject and many variables. All of that need to be taken into account.
Step 4: Definition of Terms and Concepts
Every subject has terms and Concepts. Either scientific, cultural or social. These words and phrases are going to be used in the study constantly. You need to know exactly what they mean and how you should use them. Research studies are not simple papers. The words you use will affect the outcome of the paper itself and the way that people will understand the results and your ideas. So always define the terms and concepts before you start using them.
Step 5: What is your audience?
Your research study always has to do with an audience. Either directly or indirectly. It is your responsibility to define that audience. In the beginning, it can be rather confusing. Separating those that are immediately affected from the results of your study, from those that are not so connected with your results can help you clarify your audience and of course focus on the most important parts of the research study. After all working with a very large audience is not going to give you the results that you are looking for. The bigger the audience, the harder it will be for the study to be conducted.
Step 6: Instrumentation Plan
Consider this to be the roadmap for your entire study. It will specify some of the most important parts of the study like the participants, the main literature focus, the how, when and where the data is going to be collected and of course analyzed. Everything you will do will be based on this particular plan. You can choose when you are going to create it of course. However, the sooner you do it the better the process of the research study and the faster the results.
Step 7: Collecting the Data
After you have gathered the literature, found your audience and collected the original data of the subject, you will conduct your own ‘’experiments’’ to make sure that your results are the right ones. Those ‘’experiments’’ will give you data of their own. Collecting that data and analyzing it is a very important part of the process. You need to make sure that all that data will be safely stored and properly analyzed. This will happen after the completion of the instrumentation plan and during the start if the sturdy.
One important thing that you need to note here is where you are going to get the data from. Questionnaires and observation are always good places to start.
Step 8: Analyzing the Data
Last but not least is the analyzation of the data itself. That will be the last step that will give you the results and help you bind your research together. Take your time with it. Double or even triple check your analysis. Compare it over and over again. If a mistake is made here you will have to start over with the analyzation. That can take a long time and it is certainly not something that you will want to do. This is the last step to make sure that you will do it correctly.
By following these 8 steps, you will find that conducting a research study can be a lot easier than what you think. But certainly not easy. Take your time to familiarize yourselves with these steps. Do not rush into anything. Proper research studies require time to bring accurate and proper results. Always remember that these studies can affect your future as a scientist or a research either in a positive or negative way. The more attention you pay to them, while you conduct them, the more useful they will be for you and the future of your career!