Beginning Your Research

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Overview

In this Skill, you will be introduced to the process of discovery that is called research, showing you the various forms it can take and the range of opportunities it opens up for exploration. It will explain that some forms are more useful, and valued, in some circumstances and not so much in others while emphasizing that none is perfect. You will be encouraged to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and methods while considering what might be an appropriate topic for you to explore.

You will see how your choice of approach determines whether you turn your aims and objectives, once they have been refined through your review of previous research and current theory, into research questions or hypotheses. This is the beginning of understanding how research approaches have different traditions in practice, although rigour, precision, and practicality are common features of them all.

As a fledgling researcher, you should be practical, choosing a topic with low potential for becoming problematic, though you should also be alert to the tendency for research to evolve as you explore your topic further.

Research-specific terminology aids concise and precise communication between you and other researchers. However, some terms may not be familiar to you, especially if you are new to the field of research. If that’s the case, this Glossary can help you out when you come across a word whose meaning you are not sure about.

Suggested Readings

Gray, D. E. (Ed.). (2009). Part A, principles and planning for research. In Doing research in the real world (
2nd ed.
). Sage.
Flick, U. (Ed.). (2011). Chapters 1 & 2. In Introducing research methodology: A beginner’s guide to doing a research project. Sage.
Jensen, E., & Laurie, C. (Ed.). (2016). Section1.1 & 1.2. In Doing real research. Sage.
Denscombe, M.(2007). The good research guide for small scale social research projects (
3rd ed.
). Open University Press/McGraw-Hill Education.
Ruane, J. M.(2005). Essentials of research methods: A guide to social science research. Blackwell Publishing.
Banyard, P., & Grayson, A. (Eds.). (1996). Introducing psychological research. Macmillan Press Ltd.