Before carrying out a research on any field of study, it is important
to know the purpose of doing such if not there won’t be any justification for
your research. So we shall be looking at the essence of research and how to
carry out an academic research. ESSENCE OF RESEARCH •
To expand the horizon of knowledge by filling the gaps in knowledge
through the discovery of new information. This promotes a deeper understanding
of the phenomenon we are interested in.
To discover and verify relationships among various aspects of nature
To test and verify new and existing knowledge.
To help in the construction of theories and the general progress of
PROCESS OF CARRYING
OUT AN ACADEMIC RESEARCH •
THE RESEARCH PROBLEM The research starts with some broad and sometimes rather vague and
tentative problem or some questions which need to be answered. These questions
usually represent some gaps in knowledge which need to be filled. At this
stage, the problem may not have ben stated in a scientific fashion or in a form
which is amenable to scientific investigation.
STATEMENT OF THE
RESEARCH PROBLEM At this stage, there researcher translates the research problem into a
scientific problem. A scientific
statement of the problem involves stating the problem or question in a way that
clearly indicates that the questions can be answered by appeal to evidence.
This means that we can gather and analyse data to answer the question in a way
which minimises the chances of bias or error. For instance we may state a
problem thus: Are male staffs more industrious than female staffs?
PROBLEM TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE
This is also known as literature review. This is based on three
The researcher makes only a marginal contribution to existing
knowledge at a time
By doing so, he builds on what other authorities have contributed and
therefore must relate his work to such earlier contribution.
The researcher must be up to date with earlier works in related area
if not he may end up repeating what has been done before.
Literature review involves a careful examination of earlier
contributions both in terms of existing theories and conceptual formulations,
previous research findings and existing methodologies for answering questions
similar to the one being investigated.
TENTATIVE ANSWERS TO THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS On the basis of existing theories and previous studies, the researcher
can proffer tentative answers to his research questions. Such tentative answers
which are subject to verification are called hypotheses. For instance a
researcher can put up a hypotheses based on the earlier example as follows:
Male staffs are more industrious than female staffs.
DATA COLLECTION In order to answer our research questions, we need data. And this data
will also be used to test the hypotheses. This means that we need to verify
whether the data relating to the phenomenon being studied supports or negates
the validity of the hypotheses.
DATA ANALYSIS AND
TESTING OF HYPOTHESES This stage of the research involves relating the data or evidence
gathered to the research questions raised. The only two options that can emerge
from the hypotheses testing is that the data may support or may not support the
REPORT OF THE
RESEARCH FINDINGS The essence of a research will be defeated if the findings of it are
not freely communicated. The researcher has to report the detailed results of
his research efforts as well as the procedure or methodology used. It is such
free communication of results that make literature review possible.
GENERALIZATION It is expected that the researcher will relate
his research findings to existing knowledge. This may result in the
construction of new theories or the revision or refinement of existing ones