Fundamentals of Research
Research is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data in a logical, organized process. Its purpose is to increase understanding of the data. The focus of academic research is to not only increase understanding of an observable fact(s) but also to convey the discovery (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p. 2). Research begins with a specific question. To be able to answer that specific question, a goal must be stated in the form of a clear, unequivocal problem statement. Reaching the goal and keeping the process logical and organized requires a specific plan. This plan should include the description, explanation, and justification of the research methods.
To proceed, stay focused, and not overwhelmed, the plan designed should include breaking down the principle problem into smaller components or subproblems. There should only be a few subproblems, each one individually researchable, and when they are composed must equal the totality of the problem. This creates a more manageable process (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p. 53-54). Whether researching the principle problem or each subproblem, logical or critical thinking is required to separate the relevant data from the irrelevant data. Validity is an important part of logic as a component that determines if what is being measured is in fact being measured. Along with making sure the data has validity it must also have reliability, which is the concept that the measurements are accurate, and consistent (pp. 28-29). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the elements of the fundamentals of research.
The Goal of Research
Once the main problem and subproblems have been stated, one or more hypotheses – a logical guess - can be determined (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010, p. 4). Hypotheses give a direction to follow in order to determine which of those hypotheses supports the problem and which ones do not.
As information that supports the problem is collected over a period of time, a theory forms. “A...