INTRODUCTION health; heroine is addictive; cow dung is a

 INTRODUCTION            Research is a logical and systematicsearch for new and useful information on a particular topic.

In the well-knownnursery rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little Star How I Wonder What You Are the use ofthe words how and what essentially summarizes what research is. It is aninvestigation of finding solutions to scientific and social problems throughobjective and systematic analysis. It is a search for knowledge, that is, adiscovery of hidden truths. Here knowledge means information about matters.

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Theinformation might be collected from different sources like experience, humanbeings, books, journals, nature, etc. A research can lead to new contributionsto the existing knowledge. Only through research is it possible to makeprogress in a field. Research is indeed civilization and determines theeconomic, social and political development of a nation.

The results ofscientific research very often force a change in the philosophical view ofproblems which extend far beyond the restricted domain of science itself. Researchis not confined to science and technology only. There are vast areas ofresearch in other disciplines such as languages, literature, history andsociology. Whatever might be the subject, research has to be an active,diligent and systematic process of inquiry in order to discover, interpret orrevise facts, events, behaviors and theories.

Applying the outcome of researchfor the refinement of knowledge in other subjects, or in enhancing the qualityof human life also becomes a kind of research and development. Research is donewith the help of study, experiment, observation, analysis, comparison andreasoning. Research is in fact ubiquitous. For example, we know that cigarettesmoking is injurious to health; heroine is addictive; cow dung is a useful sourceof biogas; malaria is due to the virus protozoan plasmodium; AIDS (AcquiredImmuno Deficiency Syndrome) is due to the virus HIV (Human Immuno DeficiencyVirus). How did we know all these? We became aware of all these informationonly through research. More precisely, it seeks predictions of events,explanations, relationships and theories for them. As stated by Gerald MilburnScientific research is a chaotic business, stumbling along amidst red herrings,errors and truly, creative insights.

Great scientific breakthroughs are rarelythe work of a single researchers plodding slowly by inexorably towards somefinal goal. The crucial idea behind the breakthrough may surface a number oftimes, in different places, only to sink again beneath the babble of an endlessscientific discourse.Assumption             Methodological assumptionsconsist of the assumptions made by the researcher regarding the methods used inthe process of qualitative research (Creswell 2003). The procedures used by theresearcher are inductive and are based on the researcher’s own experience incollecting and analyzing data. The research here is the product of the valuesof the researcher. Through an inductive approach, raw textual data is condensedinto a brief, summary format.

Clear links are established between researchobjectives and summary findings derived from raw data. A framework of theunderlying structure of experiences or processes that are evident from the rawdata is developed.In adopting this approach the research questionsmight change in the middle of the study so that the research problem is betterunderstood. Due to this, the strategy to collect data, which is usuallydeveloped before the study begins, has to be modifies to accommodate newquestions. The researcher analyzes the data to develop an in-depth knowledgeabout the topic under consideration.  Hypothesis HYPOTHESIS Researchers do not carry outwork without any aim or expectation.

Research is not of doing something andpresenting what is done. Every research problem is undertaken aiming at certainoutcomes. That is, before starting actual work such as performing an experimentor theoretical calculation or numerical analysis, we expect certain outcomesfrom the study. The expectations form the hypothesis. Hypotheses are scientificallyreasonable predictions. They are often stated in terms of if-then sentences incertain logical forms.

A hypothesis should provide what we expect to find inthe chosen research problem. That is, the expected or proposed solutions basedon available data and tentative explanations constitute the hypothesis.Hypothesizing is done only after survey of relevant literature and learning thepresent status of the field of research. It can be formulated based on previousresearch and observation. To formulate a hypothesis the researcher shouldacquire enough knowledge in the topic of research and a reasonably deep insightabout the problem. In formulating a hypothesis construct operationaldefinitions of variables in the research problem. Hypothesis is due to anintelligent guess or for inspiration which is to be tested in the research workrigorously through appropriate methodology.

Testing of hypothesis leads toexplanation of the associated phenomenon or event. 21 What are the criteria ofa good hypothesis? An hypothesis should have conceptual clarity and atheoretical orientation. Further, it should be testable. It should be stated ina suitable way so that it can be tested by investigation. A hypothesis madeinitially may become incorrect when the data obtained are analyzed. In thiscase it has to be revised.

It is important to state the hypothesis of aresearch problem in a research report. We note that if a hypothesis withstandsthe experiments and provides the required facts to make it acceptable, not onlyto the researchers performing the experiments but to others doing otherexperiments then when sufficiently reinforced by continual verification thehypothesis may become a theory 6. According to Poincar´e, a scientifichypothesis which was proved untenable can still be very useful. If a hypothesisdoes not pass an empirical test, then this fact means that we have neglectedsome important and meaningful element. Thus, the hypothesis gives us theopportunity to discover the existence of an unforeseen aspect of reality. As aconsequence of this point of view about the nature of scientific theories,Poincar´e suggested that a scientist must utilize few hypotheses, for it isvery difficult to find the wrong hypothesis in a theory which makes use of manyhypotheses.  Variables A variable is defined as anythingthat has a quantity or quality that varies.

The dependent variable is thevariable a researcher isinterested in. An independentvariable isa variable believed toaffect the dependent variable.Confounding variables aredefined as interference caused by another variable Very simply, a VARIABLE is a measurable characteristic that varies. It may change from group to group, person to person, or even within one person over time.

There are six common variable types: DEPENDENT VARIABLES . . . show the effect of manipulating or introducing the independent variables.

For example, if the independent variable is the use or non-use of a new language teaching procedure, then the dependent variable might be students’ scores on a test of the content taught using that procedure. In other words, the variation in the dependent variable depends on the variation in the independent variable. INDEPENDENT VARIABLES .

. . are those that the researcher has control over.

This “control” may involve manipulating existing variables (e.g., modifying existing methods of instruction) or introducing new variables (e.g., adopting a totally new method for some sections of a class) in the research setting. Whatever the case may be, the researcher expects that the independent variable(s) will have some effect on (or relationship with) the dependent variables. INTERVENING VARIABLES . .

. refer to abstract processes that are not directly observable but that link the independent and dependent variables. In language learning and teaching, they are usually inside the subjects’ heads, including various language learning processes which the researcher cannot observe. For example, if the use of a particular teaching technique is the independent variable and mastery of the objectives is the dependent variable, then the language learning processes used by the subjects are the intervening variables.

MODERATOR VARIABLES . . . affect the relationship between the independent and dependent variables by modifying the effect of the intervening variable(s).

Unlike extraneous variables, moderator variables are measured and taken into consideration. Typical moderator variables in TESL and language acquisition research (when they are not the major focus of the study) include the sex, age, culture, or language proficiency of the subjects. CONTROL VARIABLES Language learning and teaching are very complex processes.

It is not possible to consider every variable in a single study. Therefore, the variables that are not measured in a particular study must be held constant, neutralized/balanced, or eliminated, so they will not have a biasing effect on the other variables. Variables that have been controlled in this way are called control variables. EXTRANEOUS VARIABLES .

. . are those factors in the research environment which may have an effect on the dependent variable(s) but which are not controlled. Extraneous variables are dangerous. They may damage a study’s validity, making it impossible to know whether the effects were caused by the independent and moderator variables or some extraneous factor.

If they cannot be controlled, extraneous variables must at least be taken into consideration when interpreting results.   Levels of measurement   The level of measurement refers to the relationship among the values that are assigned to the attributes for a variable. What does that mean? Begin with the idea of the variable, in this example “party affiliation.” That variable has a number of attributes. Let’s assume that in this particular election context the only relevant attributes are “republican”, “democrat”, and “independent”.

For purposes of analyzing the results of this variable, we arbitrarily assign the values 1, 2 and 3 to the three attributes. The level of measurement describes the relationship among these three values. In this case, we simply are using the numbers as shorter placeholders for the lengthier text terms. We don’t assume that higher values mean “more” of something and lower numbers signify “less”. We don’t assume the the value of 2 means that democrats are twice something that republicans are. We don’t assume that republicans are in first place or have the highest priority just because they have the value of 1. In this case, we only use the values as a shorter name for the attribute. Here, we would describe the level of measure Nominal Nominal is hardly measurement.

It refers to quality more than quantity. A nominal level of measurement is simply a matter of distinguishing by name, e.g., 1 = male, 2 = female.

Even though we are using the numbers 1 and 2, they do not denote quantity. The binary category of 0 and 1 used for computers is a nominal level of measurement. They are categories or classifications. Nominal measurement is like using categorical levels of variables, described in the Doing Scientific Research section of the Introduction module.   Examples:     MEAL PREFERENCE: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner     RELIGIOUS PREFERENCE: 1 = Buddhist, 2 = Muslim, 3 = Christian, 4 = Jewish, 5 = Other     POLITICAL ORIENTATION: Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Green Nominal time of day – categories; no additional information   Ordinal Ordinal refers to order in measurement.

An ordinal scale indicates direction, in addition to providing nominal information. Low/Medium/High; or Faster/Slower are examples of ordinal levels of measurement. Ranking an experience as a “nine” on a scale of 1 to 10 tells us that it was higher than an experience ranked as a “six.

” Many psychological scales or inventories are at the ordinal level of measurement.   Examples:     RANK: 1st place, 2nd place, … last place     LEVEL OF AGREEMENT: No, Maybe, Yes     POLITICAL ORIENTATION: Left, Center, Right Ordinal time of day – indicates direction or order of occurrence; spacing between is uneven Interval Interval scales provide information about order, and also possess equal intervals. From the previous example, if we knew that the distance between 1 and 2 was the same as that between 7 and 8 on our 10-point rating scale, then we would have an interval scale. An example of an interval scale is temperature, either measured on a Fahrenheit or Celsius scale. A degree represents the same underlying amount of heat, regardless of where it occurs on the scale.

Measured in Fahrenheit units, the difference between a temperature of 46 and 42 is the same as the difference between 72 and 68. Equal-interval scales of measurement can be devised for opinions and attitudes. Constructing them involves an understanding of mathematical and statistical principles beyond those covered in this course. But it is important to understand the different levels of measurement when using and interpreting scales.   Examples:     TIME OF DAY on a 12-hour clock     POLITICAL ORIENTATION: Score on standardized scale of political orientation     OTHER scales constructed so as to possess equal intervals Interval time of day – equal intervals; analog (12-hr.) clock, difference between 1 and 2 pm is same as difference between 11 and 12 am     Ratio In addition to possessing the qualities of nominal, ordinal, and interval scales, a ratio scale has an absolute zero (a point where none of the quality being measured exists). Using a ratio scale permits comparisons such as being twice as high, or one-half as much.

Reaction time (how long it takes to respond to a signal of some sort) uses a ratio scale of measurement — time. Although an individual’s reaction time is always greater than zero, we conceptualize a zero point in time, and can state that a response of 24 milliseconds is twice as fast as a response time of 48 milliseconds.   Examples:     RULER: inches or centimeters YEARS of work experience     INCOME: money earned last year NUMBER of children     GPA: grade point average ment as “nominal”.   Conclusion Basic research is an investigation on basic principles and reasons for occurrence of a particular event or process or phenomenon. It is also called theoretical research.

Study or investigation of some natural phenomenon or relating to pure science are termed as basic research. Basic researches some times may not lead to immediate use or application. It is not concerned with solving any practical problems of immediate interest.

But it is original or basic in character. It provides a systematic and deep insight into a problem and facilitates extraction of scientific and logical explanation and conclusion on it. It helps build new frontiers of knowledge.

The outcomes of basic research form the basis for many applied research. Researchers working on applied research have to make use of the outcomes of basic research and explore the utility of them.       Reference   · · · · · ·