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7 academic methods to conduct research

Research papers are one of the most common assignments in colleges and universities and the earlier you learn how to write them, the better it will be for your grades and academic success.

In the beginning, you can check out various types and methods of research and analysis to see what each of them means.

What: Quantitative or qualitative research

Choose the subject of your research: Would it be the numerical data or some semantic analysis of meanings? The quantitative research where you use numbers, percents, and the periodicity of some phenomenon is considered more academic and, as a rule, is easier to conduct as it doesn’t leave much space for the subjective guesses of the scholar.

Qualitative research is usually used in humanitarian disciplines, for example, in cases when you have to make a literature review and find out what various authors think about your subject of interest. There is a way to include some numerical data in this kind of research as well by classifying the information you’ve researched into several groups.

Where: Primary or secondary research

Primary research is considered more complex as it means that the scholar has to come up with new information on the topic by making experiments, surveys, and interviewing people, and analyzing the data after. When conducting secondary research, you have to search for information that was already collected by other researchers and analyze it. If you’re not sure how to conduct proper research, you can always ask for professional help from experts and buy research papers online. Choose this option to receive a personalized example of how your type of academic assignment should look like.

How: Descriptive or experimental method

This classification has much in common with the previous one. For example, the chances are high that you will apply the experimental method when conducting primary research and the descriptive method for your secondary research.

For the experimental method, you will apply experiments (in which you have to pay attention to the variables you research and the measuring you do), survey, and interviews of the focus groups. The rules for all these methods will depend on the field of knowledge you’re studying: They will be quite different for sociological research and the physics lab report.

For descriptive research, you will apply observations, literature reviews, and case studies.

Data analysis

When your research has been conducted, it’s time for analysis. Depending on the methods you’ve chosen and your initial subject, you can do the statistical, thematic, or meta-analysis. Another method of analysis that is usually used as a part of qualitative research is the interpretation of patterns. What is peculiar about the analysis is that two different scholars with the same set of data can come to different conclusions. If you are an undergraduate student, make sure to communicate with your teacher or supervisor during your research. The thing is, to notice most of the cognitive biases, one has to have vast experience in research and if you’re just a beginner, your teacher has more chances to spot your errors.

The main rule of good research is to stay as unbiased and impartial as possible. The main problem of research is that when you start working on it, you’re trying to find proves for your point of view. This approach can drastically impact your key questions and inquiries which will lead to one-dimensional and biased results. To avoid this situation, read as much as possible on your topic, including the works by authors you disagree with. If this is your first research paper, look for some professional help from your teachers, tutors, or some online experts. Keep researching and don’t get upset if the results of your work are not as you expected them to be.

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