Mastering Advanced Research Methods

Required to Expand

If you are a Masters / postgraduate student or researcher, you will be required to use more advanced research methods.

Research Proposal

A research proposal is a written document which explains what you plan to study, questions you want to answer, a literature review of related research, what methods you will use to conduct your study, and an explanation of why the research will be significant.

Research proposals are written for various reasons, such as budget request for the research, certification requirements for research, as a task in tertiary education (e.g. before performing research for a dissertation or class assignment).

The basic elements of a research proposal are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Statement of the problem
  3. Purpose of the study
  4. Review of the literature
  5. Questions / Hypotheses
  6. The design — methods and procedures
  7. Limitations and delimitations
  8. Significance of the study
  9. References

Literature Review

A research literature review is a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method of identifying, evaluating and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers and scholars.

A review of the literature is important for any research project because it enables you to acquire an understanding of your topic, its key issues, and an awareness of relevant research that has already been conducted.

A systematic review aims to:

  • Address a specific, focused and relevant research question
  • Search to locate and collate the results of the search in a systematic way
  • Appraise the quality of existing research in the light of the research question
  • Synthesize the results of the review in an explicit way
  • Identify gaps in existing knowledge
  • Purpose future research

Where do you find research literature? You can find research reports in several locations:

  • Scholarly journals
  • Books
  • Government documents
  • Ph.D dissertations
  • Policy reports
  • Presented papers

How to conduct a literature review? Conducting a literature review is a six-step process:

  1. Refine your topic
  2. Design your search
  3. Locate the research reports
  4. Read and take notes on the reports found
  5. Organize notes, synthesize and write the review
  6. Create a reference list

Types of Research

There are several ways of classifying research methods. Those classifications are based on the depth, the techniques, objectives or tools used to conduct the research. Here are the most common types of research.

Descriptive vs Analytical Method

Understanding Descriptive and Analytical Research: Explore the distinct methods of descriptive and analytical research, each serving unique purposes in the research process. Delve into descriptive research, where the focus lies on describing the characteristics of a population or phenomenon without probing the underlying reasons.

Conceptual vs Empirical Method

Understanding Empirical Research: Discover the importance and methodology of empirical research, where conclusions are derived from verifiable evidence gained through experimentation, observation, and experience. Delve into the reasons for employing empirical research methods, such as the pursuit of scientific knowledge grounded in evidence and the self-correcting nature of empirical studies.

Applied vs Fundamental Method

Understanding the Distinction Between Fundamental and Applied Research: This comprehensive guide delves into the differences between fundamental and applied research methods, providing clarity on their respective purposes and contexts. Explore how fundamental research contributes to the academic knowledge base and seeks to answer broad questions, while applied research focuses on practical problem-solving and specific outcomes.

Quantitive vs Qualitative Method

Discover the Differences Between Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods: This comprehensive guide explains the fundamentals of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Learn how to conduct data analysis, explore popular software for quantitative research, and dive into the steps for qualitative data analysis.