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Conceptual Research: Pen and Paper

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Today the distinction is not so clear. Conceptual research focuses on the concept or theory that explains or describes the phenomenon being studied. How can we describe the motions of the planets? What are the building blocks of matter? The conceptual researcher sits at his desk with pen in hand and tries to solve these problems by thinking about them. He does no experiments but may make use of observations by others, since this is the mass of data that he is trying to make sense of.

Until fairly recently, conceptual research was considered the most honorable form of research—it required using the brain, not the hands.

For all of their lofty status, conceptual researchers regularly produced theories that were wrong. Aristotle taught that large cannonballs fell to earth faster than small ones, and many generations of professors repeated his teachings until Galileo proved them wrong. To test a hypothesis , quantitative research uses significance tests to determine which hypothesis is right.

The significance test can show whether the null hypothesis is more likely correct than the research hypothesis. Research methodology in a number of areas like social sciences depends heavily on significance tests. A significance test may even drive the research process in a whole new direction, based on the findings.

The t-test also called the Student's T-Test is one of many statistical significance tests, which compares two supposedly equal sets of data to see if they really are alike or not. The t-test helps the researcher conclude whether a hypothesis is supported or not. Drawing a conclusion is based on several factors of the research process, not just because the researcher got the expected result. It has to be based on the validity and reliability of the measurement, how good the measurement was to reflect the real world and what more could have affected the results.

Anyone should be able to check the observation and logic, to see if they also reach the same conclusions. Errors of the observations may stem from measurement-problems, misinterpretations, unlikely random events etc.

A common error is to think that correlation implies a causal relationship. This is not necessarily true. Generalization is to which extent the research and the conclusions of the research apply to the real world. It is not always so that good research will reflect the real world, since we can only measure a small portion of the population at a time.

Validity refers to what degree the research reflects the given research problem, while Reliability refers to how consistent a set of measurements are. A definition of reliability may be "Yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials" the free dictionary. Research methodology lacking reliability cannot be trusted. Replication studies are a way to test reliability.

Both validity and reliability are important aspects of the research methodology to get better explanations of the world. Logically, there are two types of errors when drawing conclusions in research:. Type 1 error is when we accept the research hypothesis when the null hypothesis is in fact correct. Type 2 error is when we reject the research hypothesis even if the null hypothesis is wrong. Check out our quiz-page with tests about:.

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Supporting documentation, including statistical data if available, should be used to emphasize the need for this research. You care about the research, but the reader may need some convincing. The first few sentences of the Concept Paper should intrigue the reader to spike his or her interest and encourage further reading.

As you begin to write the problem statement of your Concept Paper, consider your research. First consider why you feel the problem is important. Consider how your study relates to previous work in the field, how you will link your hypotheses and objectives to theory, and how the hypotheses relate to the research design.

Finally, consider the theoretical and practical implications involved in your research project APA, A well-developed, concise, and clear problem statement will lay the foundation for a strong Concept Paper and the dissertation that follows. Preliminary Literature Review — provides identification of major literature that supports and validates the topic; focuses on areas that offer support for new research, and offers the student an opportunity to analyze and synthesize past research in the context of their present problem.

For the Concept Paper, the student should connect their research project to a theoretical model reported in the literature. The most successful research projects have been based on the research of predecessors, and this section of the Concept Paper provides enough of a description of previous research to plant seeds in the mind of the reader suggesting more information is needed.

A strong Concept Paper is based on a wide-range literature review that is condensed into a summary of key points. Goal Statement — provides a broad or abstract intention, including the research goals and objectives. Research Questions — provides a preliminary view of the questions the student will investigate. Questions are based on theory, past research, experience, and need.


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Research is the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalizations, principles, or .

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There are several important aspects to research methodology. This is a summary of the key concepts in scientific research and an attempt to erase some common misconceptions in science.

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This section will explain the concept of research methodology, including an outline on the main methodological approaches and philosophies that exist; following this, the research strategies that will serve to address the objectives of this research topic will be explained. Basic Concepts of Research Methodology Research Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation.

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INTRODUCTION 1. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The concept of the research What are the new challenges women face today, how they cope with them, what they need in. Research Methods: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications compiles chapters on key considerations in the management, development, and distribution of data. With its focus on both fundamental concepts and advanced topics, this multi-volume reference work will be a valuable addition to researchers, scholars, and students of science.