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Research and writing: From planning to production . What research is? Why do we conduct research? Why is it necessary? How researchers think about it?. The ultimate aims of research are to generate measurable and testable data, gradually adding to the accumulation of human knowledge.

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What research is?

  • Why do we conduct research?
  • Why is it necessary?
  • How researchers think about it?

The ultimate aims of research are to generate measurable and testable data, gradually adding to the accumulation of human knowledge.

  • In the past: Researches believed that all answers could be achieved through deduction and reasoning, rather than measurement.
  • Science now uses established research methods and standard protocols to test theories thoroughly.

No theory or hypothesis can ever be completely proved or disproved,

  • but research enables us to make valid assumptions about the universe.

First step: observation

  • The first stage of any research is to observe
  • to ask questions about why things are happening.
  • Every phenomenon in the universe has a reason behind it, and the aims of research are to understand and evaluate what is happening.

Second step: predict ion

  • you must make a statement of intent
  • develop a strong hypothesis.
  • This must be testable, with aims of research being to prove or disprove this statement.
  • you may express your personal opinion, favoring one side or the other.
  • You must make a statement predicting what you expect the final answer to be.
  • You must, however, keep an open mind and understand that there is a chance that you may be wrong. Research is never about right or wrong, but about arriving at an answer, which improves our knowledge of natural processes.

Third step: determination of the cause

  • This is where one of the predictions is tested, usually by manipulating and controlling variables.
  • The idea is to generate numerical data that can determine the cause with one of the many statistical tests.
  • Statistical procedures are then utilized to either prove or disprove the hypothesis and prediction.

Fourth step: EXPLAIN

  • try to find possible explanations of ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ things are happening.
  • try to separate the better quality sources from the inaccurate or poorly designed studies.
  • take into account any opposing points of view and accept that they may be equally valid.
  • Explanation is about coming up with viable reasons, and you must try to be as objective and unbiased as possible.
  • At this stage, personal opinion must be put aside and both sides of the debate must be given equal credence.


Whatever the final answer, it can be used to promote a healthy debate and discussion about the validity of the results.

The aims of research can then be fine-tuned, or may serve to open up new areas of interest.

Either way, the store of human knowledge has been enriched and increased.


If possible, choose a topic that interests you.

  • There are few things more difficult than trying to write about a topic in which you have little or no interest.
  • Be sure your topic is neither too broad nor too narrow for the assignment you have been given.

Check your assignment due date to see how much time you have and the length requirements to see how much you are expected to write.

  • You should do some preliminary checking for potential sources before you decide on your topic.
  • Choose a topic about which there is likely to be information.
  • Make sure your instructor approves your topic before you start your research. 
how to find a topic
How to find a topic?
  • Talk to your instructor.
  • Talk to a reference librarian. Librarians have a good idea of which topics are suitable for library research.
  • Use sources recommended on What Do I Write About?
  • Talk to friends and classmates. 
  • Consult general and/or specialized encyclopedias and other reference books that cover the subject area of your topic. 
  • Read current newspapers and magazines; watch or listen to the news on TV or radio. 
develop your topic
Develop Your Topic
  • Once you have chosen a topic, you will need to develop it into a more specific research question.
  • The research question or thesis statement provides the focus of your research;
  • when you are conducting your  research, you should be constantly asking yourself how the information you are gathering helps to answer your research question or support your thesis statement. 

Topic:  Television violence 

Research question:  What effect does television violence have on children? 

Thesis statement: The depiction of violence in television cartoons contributes to aggressive behavior among children who watch these programs. 

is your topic suitable
Is Your Topic Suitable?
  • After you have a well-defined research question or thesis statement, you will want to test the main concepts against the resources that are available to you.
  • To test your topic,  you would look up these concepts in the library catalog, relevant periodical databases, and specialized reference books. 
  • If you find too much information, you may need to narrow certain parts of your topic. If there appears to be too little information, you may need to broaden your topic or, in some cases, discard your topic and choose a new one. 

For next time

  • Read chapter two
  • Think about a topic for your research paper

Thank you