Steps of Social Research
Research is a systematic investigation undertaken by researcher to fulfill the objectives. The objectives may be solution of current problems or building the theory. It is done by collecting, analyzing the data for drawing conclusions. It is only conducted if there is knowledge gap between existing literature and objective of research. For conducting the research activities researcher must enter to the series of activities called research cycle. There is no single universal stage of research but following are the common stage in every research:
Identification of Problem:
Researcher must feel the problem at first. Internal, external environments stimulate the researcher to feel the problem. After research feel the problem than s/he convert into research problem. Statement of problem is the outcome of research problem. General problem is considered in qualitative research but more specific problem is set in quantitative research.
Setting of Objectives:
Researcher set general objective at beginning. It is the main objectives of research which is broad in nature. Title of the research itself is general objectives in research. After that the researcher set specific objectives. It is more measurable objectives set in research. In one research there may be more than one specific objectives. These are the supplementary objectives in research.
Review of literature:
Generally, researchers need literature from the beginning but in this stage systematic study of subject matter is conducted. At first, conceptual review is done for the clarification of concept use in research, dimension of concept and their theoretical aspect. Secondly, empirical review is conducted to find out what are the relevant finding of subject matter and lastly, knowledge gap is identified by matching finding of existing knowledge with objectives of research. If gap is significance further steps are considered otherwise researchers consider another problem or set another objectives.
In this stage, researcher at first define the types of research then consider sampling strategy. The use of sample is dependent on different factors like nature of research, approach used, types of research,consideration of epistemology and ontology and so on. After sample is finalized researcher consider methods of data collection. Methods of data collection is also dependent on qualitative, quantitative or mixed research design. After data collection methods are finalized researchers consider methods of data analysis.
Collection of Data:
After research design is completed research visit field for data collection. S/he collect data by applying predetermine sampling strategy and data collection tools. Researcher carefully collect the data and develop data frame.
Analysis of Data:
Researcher clean the data from dataframe if needed. After cleaning the data set analysis is done using pre-determining methods for computing finding and drawing conclusions.
In this stage researcher develop the research report considering proper format. The style of reporting are different in different institution but there are presents of core component in reports. Research report is a documentation of research activities. It acts as proof of research activities are systematic and scientifically conducted by researcher.