Methods of research and thesis writing
A dissertation is an extended piece of writing based on comprehensive reading and research, written by an academic scholar at an undergraduate, masters or post graduate level. In some cases, a dissertation is referred to an academic research document written at PhD level, while a Thesis may be one which is written by an academic at Masters or Undergraduate level. However the opposite is also true in other cases. However, in British English it is the other way round, a dissertation is usually written for a masters degree and a thesis is written at PhD level.
The word ‘dissertation’ was derived from the Latin word dissertātiō which means ‘discourse’ or ‘path’.
Types of Research
Practical Research: The practical approach consists of the empirical study of the topic under research and chiefly consists of hands on approach. This involves first hand research in the form of questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations and discussion groups.
Theoretical Research: A non empirical approach to research, this usually involves perusal of mostly published works like researching through archives of public libraries, court rooms and published academic journals.
This type of research methods involve describing in details specific situation using research tools like interviews, surveys, and Observations. Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research. Qualitative Research is also used to uncover trends in thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem. Qualitative data collection methods vary using unstructured or semi-structured techniques. Some common methods include focus groups (group discussions), individual interviews, and participation/observations. The sample size is typically small, and respondents are selected to fulfill a given quota.
This type of research methods requires quantifiable data involving numerical and statistical explanations. Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into useable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables – and generalize results from a larger sample population. Quantitative Research uses measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in research. Quantitative data collection methods are much more structured than Qualitative data collection methods. Quantitative data collection methods include various forms of surveys – online surveys, paper surveys, mobile surveys and kiosk surveys, face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, longitudinal studies, website interceptors, online polls, and systematic observations.
This research method is useful for finding out the average impact of several different studies on a hypothesis.