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What is Research?

What is Research?

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What is Research?

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  1. What is Research?

  2. Research • Word has a broad spectrum of meanings • “Research this topic on ….” • “Years of research has produced a new ….”

  3. What Research is Not • Not mere information gathering • Computer Crime • XML for Web Pages • Not the mere transportation of facts from one location to the next • Computer Crime and Digital Signatures • XML versus HTML • Not merely rummaging for information

  4. What Research Is • Originates with a question or a problem. • makes a difference, worthy • leads to new knowledge • human mind struggling with data • A clear articulation of a goal • What problem to you intend to solve?

  5. What Research Is • Follows a specific plan of procedure • how you will reach your goal • Usually divided into manageable subproblems • guided by a hypothesis • accepts certain critical assumptions • the collection and interpretation of data

  6. What is Good Research? • Purpose clearly defined - scope, limitations are fully defined • Process detailed - can be repeated and except when secrecy is imposed reveal the sources of data and means by which they were obtained • Design thoroughly planned - make as objective as possible

  7. What is Good Research? • High ethical standards applied • Limitations frankly revealed - there are very few perfect designs • adequate analysis - data classified to clearly reveal findings, probability of error should be estimated • findings presented unambiguously • conclusions justified

  8. Our Research Proposal Format

  9. Format of the Research Proposal • Problem Description • Research Objectives • Literature Review • Importance/Benefits of the Study • Research Design

  10. Format of the Research Proposal • Data Analysis • Schedule • Facilities and Special Resources • Deliverables • References

  11. Problem Statement • Convince the “sponsor” to continue reading the proposal • know the dilemma, its significance and why something should be done to change the current status quo

  12. Research Objectives • Flows naturally from the problem statement giving the reader a concrete, achievable goal. • Verify the consistency of the proposal by checking to see that each objective is discussed in the research design, data analysis and results sections

  13. Literature Review • Recent or historically significant research studies • Always refer to the original source • discuss how the literature applies, show the weaknesses in the design, discuss how you would avoid similar problems

  14. Importance/Benefits of the Study • Importance of the doing the study now • if you find this difficult to write, then most likely you have not understood the problem

  15. Research Design • What you are going to do in technical terms. • May contain many subsections • provide information for tasks such as sample selection and size, collection method, instrumentation, procedures, ethical requirements

  16. Data Analysis • Describe the proposed treatment and the theoretical basis for using the selected techniques.

  17. Schedule • Include the major phases of the project • exploratory studies, data analysis, report generation • Critical Path Method (CPM) of scheduling may help

  18. Facilities and Special Resources • Access to special systems or computers • specialized computer algorithms

  19. Deliverables • Measurement instruments • computer program • other technical reports

  20. Weaknesses in Research Proposals • Research Problem • unfocused • unimportant (done before!) • more complex • limited relevance

  21. Weaknesses in Research Proposals • Research Design • so vague it prevents evaluation • inappropriate or impossible data • procedures inappropriate for problem • lacking controls

  22. Weaknesses in Research Proposals • Investigator • inexperienced • unfamiliar with relevant literature • not enough time to devote to project

  23. Weaknesses in Research Proposals • Resources • institutional setting is unfavorable • no equipment, (unrealistic)

  24. A Sample Research Proposal • Read (study) the sample proposal, pages 139-142, in Practical Research

  25. A Sample Research Proposal • Fill in the critique on page 287 and 288 for this proposal. Since it was made for the REPORT, simply change the tense for most questions. • Is the sample size adequate? -> • Will the sample size be adequate • For questions which clearly need the final report skip (step 9, the first question)

  26. Research Proposal Presentations

  27. Preparation • Condensing a complex body of information • 20 minute presentation • speaking rates should not exceed 100 to 150 words per minute • about 2000 to 2500 words

  28. Types of Presentations • memorized speech • read from manuscript • EXTEMPORANEOUS

  29. Extemporaneous Presentation • Audience centered • made from minimal notes or outline • place title and preliminary remarks on the first card • use each remaining card to carry a major section

  30. Extemporaneous Presentation • include key phrases, illustrations, statistics, dates and pronunciation guides for difficult words • along the margin, place instructions, cues, such as SLOW, EMPHASIZE, TURN CHART, GO BACK TO CHART 3

  31. Speaker Problems • Too soft, too fast • do not let your words trail off as you complete a sentence • do not “uhs”, “you know” • no rocking • no eye contact • no fiddling with clothes

  32. Title Page • Title of Research • the date • for whom and by whom it was prepared

  33. Selecting a Title • Brief • include the variables included in the study • the type of relationship among the variables • the population to which the results may be applied • Avoid … Report of, Discussion of, single-word titles

  34. Outline • Provide one • tell the audience where you are taking them • note the difference in the two introductions on page 142, 143 of Writing for Computer Science

  35. Major Parts • Opening • Background • Design • Schedule • Deliverables

  36. Opening • About 10% of the time • direct, set the stage, • explain the nature of the project, what it attempts to do (goal)

  37. Background • Remember the audience may be unfamiliar with the area, so basic concepts are necessary

  38. Design • Study data • analysis

  39. Schedule • Only the important steps • just don’t repeat dates

  40. Deliverables • What do we get out this study?

  41. Ending • End the talk cleanly, just do not fade away • a bad ending is : that’s it, that’s all I have say. • Wrap up the talk with a positive spin

  42. Question Time • Try to anticipate questions • Respond positively and honestly to all questions • don’t try to bluff • no one knows all the answers • never be rude

  43. PRACTICE