This collective article is designed to provide you with a realistic and relevant learning opportunity which will help prepare you for the dissertation. You are asked to prepare a research proposal similar to one that could be submitted to an ethics committee. This proposal could be linked to your proposed dissertation topic, if you have already identified one. If not, it could be associated with a current area of interest. Please see your handbook for information on writing and marking.
You are required to:
Identify a research question/problem
Justify the research, research design and methods
Consider resources & constraints
The main objectives of research ethics committees are to protect both prospective participants in research studies and researchers. To achieve this, ethics committees need specific information regarding proposed studies to be able to make informed decisions about the ethical implications of these studies, considering the proposal from the participants’ perspective. The main ethical issues focus on the validity of the research (is the research question important and do-able?) and the welfare of the participants (what will participation involve, are there any acceptable risks, how will informed consent be sought, how will confidentiality be respected?). Therefore, these issues need to be addressed in your proposal.
Identifying a Research Question/Problem
Your research question should be both:
Useful (extending knowledge relevant to health care that might contribute to changes in practice)
Do-able (feasible given resource constraints)
This can be achieved by identifying a practice related problem, considering complaints, policy initiatives and service delivery changes, or by reading articles in journals.
Justify the Research, Research Design and Methods
What is the current state of knowledge in your topic area? Has your research question already been answered? If not, what are the typical methods used to address research questions similar to yours? What other methods might be appropriate? You will need to provide a brief critical review of relevant literature and state how your study will contribute to this field of study.
Given your research question, what types of data will be collected to answer this (e.g. quantitative and/or qualitative)? What is the most appropriate research strategy (e.g. experiment, survey, case study, action research etc) and what methods will you use (e.g. observation, questionnaire, interviews etc)?
Resources and Constraints
What factors should you take into account?
Time – do you have enough to prepare, conduct, analyse and write up the study?
Expertise – do you have knowledge and skills in the particular topic & method(s)?
Participants – can you secure access to the necessary participants (e.g. patients, relatives, work colleagues) within the ethical guidelines and in the relevant time frame?
Financial resources – will you need to consider acquiring extra staff and/or equipment, how will you cover the costs of conducting the research (photocopying, postage, travel etc), can this be approved by your manager or do you need to secure funding?
Writing a Research Proposal
A research proposal is a detailed statement identifying what you intend to do; why; how; and with whom. It indicates your ability to conduct the study and provides an opportunity:
For you – to clarify your thoughts
For others – to examine these (importance, feasibility, ethics, funding etc)
Components of an Research Proposal
Title of the proposed project
Name of the student/researcher
Brief summary and problem statement
Aims & objectives
Rationale/justification (why the research is important and should be conducted)
Brief literature review (scientific background)
Brief description of research design (approach, strategy, methods, analysis)
Ethical considerations (consent of participants, other clinicians, participant information sheet)
Any resource implications (how costs will be met, any funding required/secured)
Proposed outputs (dissemination, feedback to participants)
Research Proposals – Questions to Ask
Is it realistic?
Have I the necessary skills & time to carry it out?
Is it ethical?
Have I considered how my sample will be selected, how informed consent will be achieved, how data will be collected, stored (and destroyed) and disseminated whilst maintaining confidentiality and complying with the Data Protection Act?
Is it clear?
Have I used simple language & not jargon?
Have I explained technical terms?
Have I included an indication of the kinds of questions I will be asking, or observations I will be recording?
Can I anticipate any problems?
Have I covered each section thoroughly?
Are there any weaknesses?
In this article we have identified what is generally required of researchers when they submit proposals for ethical approval. The assignment for this module involves preparing a similar proposal.
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Fashion forecasting is generally a career that involves focusing on upcoming trends in the fashion industry. Fashion and trend forecasting is the future determination of mood, behavior and purchasing habits of consumer at a given time of season. It does not only involve determination of markets, consumers in terms of age, their locations and income but also inquire deeply to get to know what they purchase depending on their culture, beliefs, moods as well as geographical location. Fashion and trend forecasting is more reliant on fashion cycle and plays a significant role in introductory stage of consistent fashion cycles.
Fashion and trend forecasting involves a series of activities in each of the area it is dealing with. For example it looks at the; season, target market, consumer, colors, fabrics, silhouette, texture and usage. Therefore, comprehending fashion and trend forecast is not only crucial in determining the success of the ultimate object of the designer but also enhances the continuous repetition of sales in future seasons as well as promoting the fashion cycles.
Unlike in the past when trend forecasting was done manually, current trend forecasting is done using technological forecasting methods although they have been criticized for reducing creativity by most designers. Most trend forecasting are determined by the forecasting method applied by the ultimate user and it is therefore crucial to determine the most appropriate method of trend forecasting in any individuals business model. Generally, any trend forecasting methods involve the following steps (Hines, 2007);
The first step is Problem definition. Although this is the hardest section of forecasting, it is the most important. This step requires keen analysis of how the forecasts will be used, who needs the forecasts as well as how the forecasting technique suits within the firm needs the forecasts. A forecaster should therefore use enough time to every individual who will take part in data collection, keeping the data as well as applying the forecast for future planning. Then gathering of information follows whereby in most cases, statistical or quantitative data and qualitative data are the ones required. Therefore, the collectors of the data should be expertise who can be able to receive the qualitative information from the respondents who are usually the customers if there is no adequate quantitative information (Wong, 2010).
The third step is preliminary analysis, also called exploratory analysis. In this step, the forecaster should consider whether or not there are consistent pattern that lead to significant trend, whether or not there is evidence of business cycles, the presence of outliers in the information that need explanation as well as the extent of relationship between variables present for analysis.
The fourth step is choosing and fitting models. The best method of trend forecasting should depend on the historical data present, the application of the forecasts as well as the extent relationship between the forecasts available and explanatory variables. Some of the methods that can be arrived at includes; exponential smoothing model, ARIMA model, vector autogression, neural networks among others (Wong, 2010).
The last step involves the use and evaluation of the forecasting model. The success of the model can only be determined after the data for the forecast time has been present after which various methods are applied to assess the success of the model.
As earlier stated, the main data required in trend forecasting is qualitative, quantitative and mostly commonly, a combination of the two.
The quantitative research methodology start right from the bottom, where agencies and even the manufacturers either inquires directly from the customers on their purchasing preferences or the organization may record the consumers buying habit in a duration of a given time. The consumer’s response is recorded and used to determine preference for some specific garments, accessories or any other product on research, colors, and sizes among other factors of a product. Surveys through mail, customer response or phones are carried through publication as well as contracting market research organizations for manufacturers and as well as retailers.
The survey questions usually relate to life style, income, shopping habits as well as fashion preference. The customers who participate in these surveys are selected by the research company although they should suit with manufacturers or retailers requirements. Informal discussion with consumer enable researchers get information through asking questions to customers about what they would prefer to purchase, the types they prefer to purchase which is currently present as well as the change in products they require and are not available or they cannot reach. Most researchers use small scale retailers because of their contact and conversation with the customers.
The quantitative methodology entails the use of statistical data or information to determine the trend in customer demands and hence forecast on producing what the consumers purchase the most. Statistical data for fashion sector is easily obtainable without necessarily going to the field because it is available in manufacturers or retailers sales records (Hines, 2007).
From such records, the manufacturers can determine which garments, color of the product, size as well as the fashion preference of the consumer. After that, the manufacturer should be able to determine which fashion product should be produced more depending on sales experienced at each season of the year. It is valuable noting that a well-balanced combination of the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies is bound to boost the success of the model selected for trend forecasting.
This paper has attempted to show that the fashion industry has one main purpose; to offer desirable as well as appealing product to not only satisfy the customer needs, demands and aspire to have them but to also keep the product selling in the subsequent business cycles with a similar season. Every successful trend forecast must commence with the consumer through determination of the consumer’s needs to the market as well as the ability to make the consumer adjust the marketplace to his preferences and lifestyles. The paper has also expounded on the two critical methodologies used in forecast research i.e. the qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It has also emphasized on the need to combine the two methods in order to attain the best results of the model of forecast selected.
Wong, W. K., & Guo, Z. X. (2010). A hybrid intelligent model for medium-term sales forecasting in fashion retail supply chains using extreme learning machine and harmony search algorithm. International Journal of Production Economics, 128(2), 614-624.
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The mixed method approach to evaluating research data may be applicable to studies that are designed to gather both qualitative and quantitative information. This technique is often used in disciplines such as psychology, sociology or certain types of medicine. The continued development of these fields may depend on data that is derived from standardized scales or rating systems in addition to that gleaned from interviews, ‘focus group’ sessions and other similar tools. Therefore, the mixed method may be appropriate in a new project on a complex issue or situation that generates complex and highly individualized answers to research questions. Examples of these may include the societal impact of homelessness or the treatment of a lost or diminished sense. The data here may need to cover detailed and varied feedback (or ‘self-reports’) on the effect(s) of these target variables, as well as scores from formal quantitative tools typically used within the research community in question. One data type does not give a complete ‘picture’ of the outcome(s) without the other. Therefore, a methodology that incorporates both to analyse the data set as a whole is necessary.
The mixed method may combine and synthesize this data through a process called triangulation. This may involve the conversion of qualitative data into quantitative data. Such a form of triangulation is most applicable to data resulting from the administration of structured interviews or surveys, provided that data is sufficiently standard or homogeneous across respondents to be coded or scored effectively (i.e. without bias or other forms or statistical inadequacy). In this way, it may be converted to quantitative data, and compared or analysed in accordance with the requirements of the study design (e.g. subjected to a form of analysis such as a paired t-test). On the other hand, the qualitative data may be too individualized and/or complex to be coded. In this case, a thematic analytical technique may be used, incorporating findings such as significant differences among the quantitative data points as a theme or concept.
The aim of triangulation is the full integration of both data types to generate contiguous concepts or conclusions. This leads to another advantage of the mixed method: i.e. that it can address research aims that do not stem from standard null hypotheses. Questions, in other words, along the lines of ‘Does this novel treatment result in an improvement in the life quality of patients with hearing loss?’ rather than statements such as ‘This treatment improves hearing loss [in comparison to an existing alternative]’ to be confirmed or denied.
The mixed method is not, however, without disadvantages or detractors. Critics of this methodology often cite the risk of the ‘incompatibility paradox’; the probability that one data type will be inadequately analysed compared to the other. A prominent example of this risk is known as ‘pragmatism’, or the perception that researchers who use the mixed method value ‘experiential data’ (i.e. self-reports recorded from respondents) at the expense of quantitative data. The use of the mixed method may also be subject to preconceptions, judgement or other forms of observer bias that a researcher may impose on qualitative data in the course of its collection. These risks can be ameliorated, mainly through the skill and training of the individual researcher. Under these conditions, the mixed-method technique can be applied to generating full, comprehensive conclusions for non-standard research questions.
Brown RA, Kennedy DP, Tucker JS, Golinelli D, Wenzel SL. Monogamy on the Street: A Mixed Methods Study of Homeless Men. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 2013;7(4):328-346
Windsor LC. Using Concept Mapping in Community-Based Participatory Research A Mixed Methods Approach. Journal of mixed methods research. 2013;7(3):274-293
Robson C. Real World Research. 2 ed. Oxford: Blackwell; 2002
Mertens DM, Hesse-Biber S. Triangulation and Mixed Methods Research: Provocative Positions. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 2012;6(2):75-79
Lieber E, Weisner TS. Meeting the practical challenges of mixed methods research. SAGE handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research. 2010;2:559-579
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Title: Working with Undergraduate Dissertation Examples. An undergraduate dissertation or thesis is a document submitted in accordance of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification at university. The term dissertation is used in the UK to refer to a final year undergraduate project. In essence, an undergraduate dissertation presents research conducted by an author which is ultimately reviewed and graded by academic staff.
This article written on undergraduate dissertation examples provides support and guidance for personal study and to help you through the undergraduate dissertation process. It highlights some of the common questions, concerns and practical issues that undergraduate students come across when completing their dissertation or final year project. So, we aim to provide a useful overview on how best to use undergraduate dissertation examples during your academic studies.
The content provided on our website was written by students, academic and support staff who have a particular interest and experience in writing undergraduate dissertations in various fields of study. Our site has not been produced with the aim of providing a set of definitive answers for your own chosen topic of study. Instead, we offer a collection of pre-written undergraduate dissertation examples. We do not write undergraduate dissertations for students, we leave that to students themselves.
How to best use Undergraduate Dissertation Examples
You can make best use of pre-written undergraduate dissertation examples in various ways and at various stages of the dissertation process. For example, before you start the dissertation, you can use existing undergraduate dissertation examples to:
Explore what the demands and challenges of a dissertation are.
Raise questions that you can ask your academic supervisor about.
Help you think through what theme you could pursue in your dissertation.
Help you prepare a research question.
If you have already started your own dissertation, you can undergraduate dissertation examples to:
Clarify issues about specific chapters of the dissertation.
Focus on key aspects of the dissertation such as timelines, structure, ethical issues and marking criteria.
Organise the different stages of the dissertation. Remember, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Undergraduate Dissertation Examples
Our website has a wide selection of undergraduate dissertation examples written on a variety of subject areas. These subjects are:
Branding and Advertising
Finance and Accounting
Human Resource Management
Nursing and Midwifery
Benefits of using Undergraduate Dissertation Examples
It is safe to say that well written undergraduate dissertation examples have important factors that should be looked at in order to help you write your own research dissertation. These include the ability to be read and understood the research question you have in hand. Demonstrate the ability to capture the necessary facts so that you can successfully underpin and substantiate your research dissertation. Your research needs to be based on facts and not conjecture. You need to demonstrate the ability to follow the agreed format for writing a dissertation at your institution, it is important that you follow the guidelines outlined by your university. Students often gain a low mark in their dissertation as they used a bespoke format and structure. Most of all, you need the ability to communicate a certain message to whoever will reading your dissertation research, the dissertation must not deviate away from the research question or become uninteresting for the reader.
It is worthwhile noting that your dissertation should satisfy the rules of formal grammar because it is purely for academic purposes and will be treated as such. This is where pre-written undergraduate dissertation examples prove to be very useful indeed.
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Title: Research Methods – Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. One can also define research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation. The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English lays down the meaning of research as “a careful investigation or inquiry especially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge. Redman and Mory define research as a systematized effort to new knowledge. Some people consider research as a movement, a movement from the known to the unknown.
It is actually a voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of inquisitiveness for, when the unknown confronts us, we wonder and our inquisitiveness makes us probe and attain full and fuller understanding of the unknown. This inquisitiveness is the mother of all knowledge and the method, which man employs for obtaining the knowledge of whatever the unknown, can be named as research.
Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical sense. According to Clifford Woody research comprises defining and redefining problems, formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis. D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences define research as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of theory or in the practice of an art”. Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for its advancement.
Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problem. It may be understood as a science of studying how research is done scientifically. In it we study the various steps that are generally adopted by a researcher in studying his research problem along with the logic behind them. It is necessary for the researcher to know not only the research methods/techniques but also the methodology. Researchers not only need to know how to develop certain indices or tests, how to calculate the mean, the mode, the median or the standard deviation or chi-square, how to apply particular research techniques, but they also need to know which of these methods or techniques, are relevant and which are not, and what would they mean and indicate and why. Researchers also need to understand the assumptions underlying various techniques and they need to know the criteria by which they can decide that certain techniques and procedures will be applicable to certain problems and others will not. All this means that it is necessary for the researcher to design his methodology for his problem as the same may differ from problem to problem. For example, an architect, who designs a building, has to consciously evaluate the basis of his decisions, i.e., he has to evaluate why and on what basis he selects particular size, number and location of doors, windows and ventilators, uses particular materials and not others and the like. Similarly, in research the scientist has to expose the research decisions to evaluation before they are implemented. He has to specify very clearly and precisely what decisions he selects and why he selects them so that they can be evaluated by others also.
From what has been stated above, we can say that research methodology has many dimensions and research methods do constitute a part of the research methodology. The scope of research methodology is wider than that of research methods. Thus, when we talk of research methodology we not only talk of the research methods but also consider the logic behind the methods we use in the context of our research study and explain why we are using a particular method or technique and why we are not using others so that research results are capable of being evaluated either by the researcher himself or by others. Why a research study has been undertaken, how the research problem has been defined, in what way and why the hypothesis has been formulated, what data have been collected and what particular method has been adopted, why particular technique of analyzing data has been used and a host of similar other questions are usually answered when we talk of research methodology concerning a research problem or study.
Decision-making may not be a part of research, but research certainly facilitates the decisions of the policy maker. Government has also to chalk out programmes for dealing with all facets of the country’s existence and most of these will be related directly or indirectly to economic conditions. The plight of cultivators, the problems of big and small business and industry, working conditions, trade union activities, the problems of distribution, even the size and nature of defense services are matters requiring research. Thus, research is considered necessary with regard to the allocation of nation’s resources. Another area in government, where research is necessary, is collecting information on the economic and social structure of the nation. Such information indicates what is happening in the economy and what changes are taking place.
The decision to be made in the current research work is whether or not the organizational culture affects the alignment of IT strategy with the business strategy of a firm. Decision making is not the part of research method and process in the subject research. Through the research we aim to gather relevant and pertinent data to enable us to make appropriate decisions based on the past data. Various parameters that constitute the organizational culture will be first established and validated and the research work shall start.
Types of Research
The basic types of research are as follows:
Descriptive versus Analytical
Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. In social science and business research we quite often the term Ex post facto research for descriptive research studies. The main characteristic of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables; he can only report what has happened or what is happening. Most ex post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which the researcher seeks to measure such items as, for example, frequency of shopping, preferences of people, or similar data. Ex post facto studies also include attempts by researchers to discover causes even when they cannot control the variables. The methods of research utilized in descriptive research are survey methods of all kinds, including comparative and correlational methods. In analytical research, on the other hand, the researcher has to use facts or information already available, and analyse these to make a critical evaluation of the material.
Applied versus Fundamental
Research can either be applied (or action) research or fundamental (to basic or pure) research. Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organization, whereas, fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalizations and with the formulation of a theory. “Gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake is termed ‘pure’ or ‘basic’ research”. Research concerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of fundamental research. Similarly, research studies, concerning human behavior carried on with a view to make generalizations about human behavior, are also examples of fundamental research, but research aimed at certain conclusions (say, a solution) facing a concrete social or business problem is an example of applied research. Research to identify social, economic or political trends that may affect a particular institution or the copy research (research to find out whether certain communications will be read and understood) or the marketing research or evaluation research are examples of applied research. Thus, the central aim of applied research is to discover a solution for some pressing practical problem, whereas basic research is directed towards finding information that has a broad base of applications and thus, adds to the already existing organized body of scientific knowledge.
Quantitative versus Qualitative
Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is concerned with qualitative phenomenon, i.e., phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind. For instance, when we are interested in-.investigating the reasons for human behavior (i.e., why people think or do certain things), we quite often talk of ‘Motivation Research’, an important type of qualitative research. This type of research aims at discovering the underlying motives and desires using in depth interviews for the purpose. Other techniques of such research are word association tests, sentence completion tests, story completion tests and similar other projective techniques. Attitude or opinion research i.e., research designed to find out how people feel or what they think about a particular subject or institution is also qualitative research. Qualitative research is especially important in the behavioral sciences where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behavior.
Conceptual versus Empirical
Conceptual research methods are related to some abstract idea(s) or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones. On the other hand, empirical research relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data-based research, coming up with conclusions which are capable of being verified by observation or experiment. We can also call it as experimental type of research. In such a research it is necessary to get at facts first hand, at their source, and actively to go about doing certain things to stimulate the production of desired information. In such a research, the researcher must first provide himself with a working hypothesis or guess as to the probable results. He then works to get enough facts (data) to prove or disprove his hypothesis. He then sets up experimental designs which he thinks will manipulate the persons or the materials concerned so as to bring forth the desired information. Such research is thus characterised by the experimenter’s control over the variables under study and his deliberate manipulation of one of them to study its effects. Empirical research is appropriate when proof is sought that certain variables affect other variables in some way. Evidence gathered through experiments or empirical studies is today considered to be the most powerful support possible for a given hypothesis.
Kothari, C. R. (2004) Research methodology: Research Methods and techniques. New Age International.
Slesinger, D., & Stephenson, M. (1930) The Encyclopedia of Social Sciences and Research Methods Vol. IX.
Woody, C. (1924) A survey of educational research in 1923. The Journal of Educational Research Methods, 9(5), 357-381.