Chapter 1 THE PROBLEM AND REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND STUDIES
The Title of the Study / Research Problem A problem is (1) any significant, perplexing and challenging situation real or artificial, the solution of which requires reflective thinking; (2) a perplexing situation after it has been translated into a question or series of questions that help determine the direction of subsequent inquiry.
Identification of problem is the most fundamental part of research. Problems are encountered everyday and because of these, researchers are often unable to identify specific subjects of their investigation. Most of these problems involve knowledge and skills.
Guidelines in writing the title: • Generally, the title is formulated before the start of the research work. It may be revised and refined later if there is a need. • The title must contain the subject matter of the study, the locale of the study, the population involved, and the period when the data were gathered or will be gathered.
It must be broad enough to include all aspects of the subject matter studied or to be studied. Hence, the title indicates what is expected to be found inside the thesis report. • It must be as brief and concise as possible.
Avoid using the terms “An Analysis of,” “An Investigation of,” and the like. All these things are understood to have been done or to be done when a research is conducted. • If the title contains more than one line, it must be written like an inverted pyramid, all words in capital letters, single space.
Although there is no fixed number as to the length of thesis title, it is suggested a maximum of 35 to minimum of 20 words should be used for the tile. • All theses titles should be consistent with the curriculum or degree pursued for.
All titles must be: • Theory-based or concept-based relevant to the researcher’s major field of specialization • Original or novel and significant in the pursuit of new knowledge; and • Feasible and attainable within the time and resources available to researcher.
Elements of a Research Problem: The term research problem implies that an investigation, inquiry or study is to be conducted, or that the problem is ready for investigation, inquiry or study.
There are certain elements that a problem must possess before it becomes a research problem ready for investigation. These elements are:
Aim or purpose of the problem for investigation. This answers the question “Why?” Why is there an investigation, inquiry or study? • The subject matter or topic to be investigated. This answers the question “What?” What is to be investigated or studies?”
The place or locale where the research is to be conducted. This answers the question “Where?” Where is the study to be conducted? • The period or time of the study during which the data are to be gathered. This answers the question “When?” When is the study to be carried out?”
Population or universe from whom the data are to be collected. This answers the question “Who?” or “from whom?” Who are the respondents? From who are the data to be gathered?”
Guidelines in the Selection of a Research Problem or Topic: • The research problem or topic must be chosen by the researcher himself. This is to avoid blaming or offering excuses for any obstacles encountered. • It must be within the interest of the researcher. This is to make sure that the researcher will focus his full attention on the research work.
It must be within the specialization of the researcher. This will in some way make the work easier for him because he is working on familiar grounds. Besides, this may improve his specialization, skill, and competence in his profession.
It must be within the competence of the researcher to tackle. The researcher must know the method of research and other research procedures applicable to his problem and he must know how to apply them. He must have a workable understanding of his study.
It must be within the ability of the researcher to finance; otherwise he must be able to find funding for his research. Research involves not a small amount of expense and the researcher must be able to foot the bills until his study is completed. There must be a budget, which he must be able to shoulder.
It is researchable and manageable, that is, • Data are available and accessible. • The data must meet the standards of accuracy, objectivity, and verifiability.
Answers to the specific questions (subproblems) can be found. • The hypotheses formulated are testable, that is, they can be accepted or rejected.
It can be completed within a reasonable period of time unless it is a longitudinal research, which takes a long time for its completion. • It is significant, important, and relevant to the present time and situation, timely, and of current interest. • The results are practical and implementable.
Equipment and instruments for research are available and can give valid and reliable results. • It requires original, critical, and reflective thinking to solve it. • It can be delimited to suit the resources of the researcher but big or large enough to be able to give significant, valid, and reliable results and generalizations.
It must contribute to the national development goals for the improvement of the quality of human life. • It must contribute to the fund of human knowledge. • It must show or pave the way for the solution of the problem or problems intended to be solved.
It must not undermine the moral and spiritual values of the people. • It must not advocate any change in the present order of things by means of violence but by peaceful means.
There must be a return of some kind to the researcher, either one or all of the following, if the research report is completed: • Monetary, either increase in salary or publication of the results in which there is some kind of royalty. • Advancement of position, promotion. • Improved specialization, competence, and skill in professional work especially if the research subject is related to the profession. • Enhanced prestige and reputation. • Satisfaction of intellectual curiosity and interest, and being able to discover truth.
There must be a consideration of the hazards involved either, physical, social or legal.
Introduction / Background of the Study This the first part of Chapter I. Some researchers call it background of the study while others call it situational analysis. Both refer to the introduction of the study.
Some aspects of the background are integrated into the theoretical framework, objectives of the study, scope and delimitation and importance of the study. Presentation must be brief but enough to justify the need to conduct the study.
There should be a theme in writing the background of the study. The theme serves an outline so that there is continuity of ideas.
The theme is based on the important variables of the study, their scope, nature and characteristics. Furthermore, the presentation must be from macro to micro, sometimes known as the deductive approach to data presentation.
The introductory statement must be eye-catching. The issues relating to the investigation should be quoted or documented to encourage readers to read on. The study should also be recent.
The last part of the study is a brief situational analysis to present information on the problem and what prompts the researcher to venture into such a study. The analysis attempts to show that the study is relevant and contributes to the existing fund of knowledge.
Review of Literature and Studies Review of literature is composed of discussions of facts and principles to which the present study is related. Related studies, on the other hand, are studies, inquiries, or investigations already conducted to which the present proposed study is related or has some bearing or similarity.
The review of literature is divided into two parts: Professional literature and related studies. All related ideas, concepts, theories and principles are to be reviewed to support the investigation.
The term “related” in the tile is deleted because all reviewed literature has significant relationships or have a direct bearing on the investigation.
Professional literature comes from published materials like books, journals, magazines, pamphlets, etc., while related studies are from unpublished materials like theses, research reports and dissertations.
Some writers prefer to review the literature first before framing the introduction, theoretical framework, statement of the problem, scope, delimitation and research methodology.
Advantages: • It helps the researcher look for possible theories, concepts or principles to support his investigation. • It is essential in formulating a sound research problem or research title, hypotheses, assumptions, etc.
It enlightens the researcher as to the direction of the study. • It proves that the study is researchable and possesses novelty.
It helps to identify the statistical instruments to be used in the study. • It serves as a guide to writing the findings, conclusions and recommendations.
Characteristics: • The surveyed materials must be as recent as possible. • Materials reviewed must be objective and unbiased. • Materials surveyed must be relevant to the study.
Surveyed materials must have been based upon genuinely original and true facts or data to make them valid and reliable. • Review materials must not be too few nor too many.
Sources: • Primary Sources: • Books, encyclopedias, almanacs, and other similar references, • Articles published in professional journals, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and other publications. • Manuscripts, monographs, memoirs, speeches, letters, and diaries.
Unpublished theses and dissertations. • The Constitution, and laws and statutes of the land. • Bulletins, circulars, and orders emanating from government offices and departments, especially from the Office of the President of the Philippines and the Department of Education Culture and Sports, Commission on Higher Education Technical and Skills Development Authority and other academic government institutions.
Records of schools, public and private, especially reports of their activities. • Official reports of all kinds, educational, social, economic, scientific, technological, political, etc., from the government and other entities.
Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources of Information: • Experimentation • Firs hand investigation: the interview and the questionnaire • Doctoral dissertations and monographs in professional journals
Letters, diaries, and autobiographies • Original creative work in art and literature • Reports of governments and their agencies: national, regional, provincial, city and municipal • Annual reports of research foundations, universities, and corporations • Newspapers
Secondary sources are the reports of a person who relates the testimony of an actual witness or, or participant in an event. • The writer of the secondary sources was not on the scene of the event, but merely reports what the person who was these said or wrote. • Most history textbooks and encyclopedias are examples of secondary sources, for they are often several times removed from the original, firsthand account of events.
Tertiary sources are those compiled from, or based on, secondary source material. Many textbooks are examples of third hand information. Since textbooks often have simplified treatment, concise entries, and broad coverage, they are considered acceptable reference tools.
The Mechanics of Note Taking: • Best (1981) classifies reading-reference notes under four principal categories: • Quotation • Paraphrase • Summary • Evaluation
Cards for note taking purposes vary in size. There are 3” x 5” cards, 4”x 6” cards, and 5” x 8” cards. • The researcher should select the size of the cards which is suitable for his purposes and needs. • In the absence of cards, half sheets of typing paper may be used.