9. Make sure your proposal has a comprehensive review of the literatureincluded. Now this idea, at first thought, may not seem to make sense.I have heard many students tell me that "This is only the proposal.I'll do a complete literature search for the dissertation. I don't wantto waste the time now." But, this is the time to do it. The rationalebehind the literature review consists of an argument with two lines of analysis: 1) this research is needed, and 2) the methodology I have chosen is most appropriate for the question that is being asked. Now, why would you want to wait? Now is the time to get informed and to learn from others who havepreceded you! If you wait until you are writing the dissertation it is toolate. You've got to do it some time so you might as well get on with itand do it now. Plus, you will probably want to add to the literature reviewwhen you're writing the final dissertation.
Both qualitative and quantitative research methods have their limitations. There is a recent trend towards a multi-method research approach which uses both types to:
22. Dissertation-style writing is not designed to be entertaining. Dissertationwriting should be clear and unambiguous. To do this well you should preparea list of key words that are important to your research and then your writingshould use this set of key words throughout. There is nothing so frustratingto a reader as a manuscript that keeps using alternate words to mean thesame thing. If you've decided that a key phrase for your research is "educationalworkshop", then do not try substituting other phrases like "in-serviceprogram", "learning workshop", "educational institute",or "educational program." Always stay with the same phrase -"educational workshop." It will be very clear to the reader exactlywhat you are referring to.
27. If you are including a Conclusions/Implications section in yourdissertation make sure you really present conclusions and implications.Often the writer uses the conclusions/implications section to merely restatethe research findings. Don't waste my time. I've already read the findingsand now, at the Conclusion/Implication section, I want you to help me understandwhat it all means. This is a key section of the dissertation and is sometimesbest done after you've had a few days to step away from your research andallow yourself to put your research into perspective. If you do this youwill no doubt be able to draw a variety of insights that help link yourresearch to other areas. I usually think of conclusions/implications asthe "So what" statements. In other words, what are the key ideasthat we can draw from your study to apply to my areas of concern.
Now this is the part we've been waiting for. I must assume that youhave come up with a good idea for research, had your proposal approved,collected the data, conducted your analyses and now you're about to startwriting the dissertation. If you've done the first steps well this partshouldn't be too bad. In fact it might even be enjoyable!
In this research method, you use your own experiences to address a cultural, political, or social issue. It is considered by many to be a non-traditional ethnographic method. This type of research can involve several people. For example, a group of immigrant women researchers conducted a study on how they navigated the US academy as immigrant women faculty (Ngunjiri et. al 2010).
Methodology is concerned about both the ways in which the research is carried out - i.e. its structure and process, as well as with the way in which this information is analysed.
Quantitative research is statistical: it has numbers attached to it, like averages, percentages or quotas. Qualitative research uses non-statistical methods. For example, you might perform a study and find that 50% of a district’s students dislike their teachers. The quantity (50%) makes it quantitative research. A follow up qualitative study could interview a small percentage of those students to find out why. The answers are free-form and don’t have numbers associated with them, so that makes them qualitative.
If you can keep these ideas in mind while you're thinking through yourresearch you stand an excellent chance of having your research projectturn out well.
Qualitative research(QR) is way to gain a deeper understanding of an event, organization or culture. Depending on what type of phenomenon you are studying, QR can give you a broad understanding of events, data about human groups, and broad patterns behind events and people. While traditional lab-based research looks for a specific “something” in the testing environment, qualitative research allows the meaning, themes, or data to emerge from the study.
Although qualitative research doesn’t have the same structure as a formal lab-testing environment, there are certain requirements you must meet in order for your qualitative study to be called “research.” Your study must:
Critical social research studies specific oppressive social structures (Harvey, 1990). This type of research attempts to expose problems, evaluate the problems and find their root causes. For example, critical social research could attempt to uncover cases of juvenile crime, racism, or suicide. The main difference between this type of research and other qualitative types is that there is always “a problem” that needs “fixing” going into the study. The research question revolves around an existing, known, problem. Traditional research uncovers problems or issues with interviews, data collection and other QR methods.
Naturalistic research is research that doesn’t manipulate anything in the environment. In other words, it’s the opposite of a lab environment where variables are manipulated on purpose. Care should be taken with naturalistic research, as even your presence can alter the environment–taking away the “naturalistic” component. can easily creep in to these types of studies; two people can have different viewpoints of the same thing. It’s a common safeguard to have two or more researchers observing the same thing so that any differences in viewpoint can be addressed.
Usually a guide of this nature focuses on the actual implementationof the research. This is not the focus of this guide. Instead of examiningsuch aspects as identifying appropriate sample size, field testing theinstrument and selecting appropriate statistical tests, this guide looksat many of the quasi-political aspects of the process. Such topics as howto select a supportive committee, making a compelling presentation of yourresearch outcomes and strategies for actually getting the paper writtenare discussed.