Six Steps to Write Research Paper | Research Design Methods

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Six Steps to Write Research Paper


Reasearch Design Methods After discussing the benefits of research for academics and companies, this time we will discuss the six steps in conducting a research study. It will be helpful for you who got assignment about writing research essay or research paper. Some literature may have different versions of the number of stages in conducting research, but basically stages in research are the same for every approach, which includes the planning, implementation and prepare research report. The planning stage includes formulating research problem, selecting research approach, and develop research designs, where all three will be needed in composing research proposal. Implementation stage includes field data collection, data processing, and data analysis. In the last stage we will prepare a research report and present our research conclusion so that it will be helpful for others.

In this research course I am trying to give you a brief explanation about process in research, while the more detail explanation will be given in the next courses.

Generally, there are six steps in research which begin with define research problem and will be ended by reporting research conclusion. You can read the explanation below:

Step 1 : Formulate Research (Objective) Statement and Define Research Problem
The very first step in research is formulation your research objectives, which are what problems are trying to be solved by your research. This set of research problems then will be your guidance in determining what research design will be applied. Commonly, there are three option objectives conducting research: (1) to persuade the audiences, (2) to develop a new innovation, and (3) to understand and predict human behavior or a phenomena.

Mostly companies usually use research in order to help them provide such important information to make a decision, both in low level management and top level management. Since research plays crucial role in decision making process thus before we conduct research we need to discuss with the decision makers. By discussing with them we can find out what information actually we need or what problems are we facing now.

Tips :
In order to define a clear research problem, we could also make an evaluation toward our internal condition and compare it with competitors, update our insight about business environments, etc. We should remember that research is a way to add our competitive advantage, thus our research conclusion later should contain a solution to win competition.

Step 2 : Select Research Approach
After we could define our research problem, next step is choosing research approach that best suit. Research approach is derived from our research problems. Activities in this step include finding theoritical framework, formulating research model and hypothesis. Approach that will be used in your research depends on your research problems. In general, there are four types approach:

  • Quantitative approach. This approach is commonly associated with positive paradigm which requires the researcher has one or some prior hypothesis. In this approach, data gained are turned to numbers so that we can make a statistic counting.
  • Qualitative approach. This approach is widely used in any social construct researches. Basicaly, qualitative research is used to record, analyze, and to gain a deeper understanding about particular material such as consumer behavior. Some literature said that the conclusion of research using qualitative approach cannot be used for generalizing all people.
  • Pragmatig approach. This approach also called with mixed method. It is an approach that mix both quantitative and qualitative approach to answer the research problems. For example, you want to know what cause people buy particular brand of a canned juice. At the first, you conducted an interview with some consumers and you figure out there are three factors that motivate them to buy that brand of canned juice. You then use a quantitative approach to test whether those factors really affect the consumers in choosing what brand of canned juice to be bought.
  • Advocacy or Participatory approach. The main objective of this approach is to make positve changes in society or to persuade people to do something. When we are using this approach, we need active participation or contribution from our respondents. Usually the researchers also become a part of object being observed.

Tips :
To choose what approach that suit best with your research project, you can look at any previous research studies, e.g. research journal or research paper, related to your project now. Moreover, you can also discuss with the experts to get suggestion.

Step 3 : Formulate research design
Similar with two previous steps, formulating research design is also part of planning stage in research. Malhotra (2008) said that research design is a guideline in conducting research. In this step we build our hypothesis, then we choose which methodology in research will be applied, what data collection method will be used and which statistic analysis method will be appropriate for our research, and so on .

If you have no idea which method of research should be applied for your research project, you can benchmark from the previous research studies. Please remember that benchmarking is different from copying the content of other people’s project.

Step 4 : Fieldwork
Fielwork is an activity to collect data from respondents. This step contains activities such as selecting our research area, training the fieldworkers, supervision, validating data, and evaluation. We must note that in conducting fieldwork, the surveyor or interviewer should be trained in collecting data from respondents. They have to be objective in doing their work. In this step we also need to evaluate all data gained to ensure that data is valid to be processed in the next step in research.

Mostly error in research commonly happen in this fieldwork process. In order to minimize the number of human error in this process you are required to train your fieldworkers before they do their jobs.

Step 5 : Processing Data and Analyze
Million data you already gained from fieldwork still cannot give you any information you needed unless it processed. That data will be evaluated and maybe edited. Before we input it to our research software, we change the data with code that represents the each answer that our respondents gave. All data coded then will be processed by particular software. Remember to make the transcript from our research and save the data to a secure storage. The output data that has been processed then can be used to analyze the answer of your research problems.

Step 6 : Prepare Research Report
To make your research be helpful for other people, for you to pass your study or for your supervisor in making the best decision, therefore your research findings must be made in a report. Actually, your research paper format depends on your style or need, but a standard research paper contains: definition of research problems, research objectives, method of research be used, important findings, conclusion and suggestion. The most important in preparing report is the report should be made in an easy understood format.

Tips :
To make your report more attractive, you can present your findings in a graph or table and complete it with short explanation.


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