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The Robert Gordon University School of Engineering Dr. Mohamed Amish

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1 The Robert Gordon University School of Engineering Dr. Mohamed Amish
INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH & RESEARCH METHODS The Robert Gordon University School of Engineering Dr. Mohamed Amish

2 MSc Handbook Introduction to Research MSc Project Components: Thesis
Poster Presentation

3 Introduction to Research
A research is a process of investigation, it is a systematic study that can help solve practical problems and increase knowledge. The purpose of research is to: Review existing knowledge; Investigate existing situations or problems; Provide solutions to problems; Construct or create new procedures; Explore and analyse other issues; Generate new knowledge.

4 Research Types Exploratory; Descriptive; Analytical; Predictive.

5 Exploratory Research Used when few or no previous studies exist. The aim is to look for patterns, hypotheses or ideas that can be tested and will form the basis for further research. Typical research techniques would include case studies, observation and reviews of previous related studies and data.

6 Descriptive Research Used to identify and classify the elements or
characteristics of a subject. Quantitative techniques are most often used to collect, analyse and summarise data.

7 Analytical Research Extends the descriptive approach to suggest or explain why and how something is happening. An important feature of this type of research is in locating and identifying the different factors (variables) involved.

8 Predictive Research The aim of predictive research is to speculate intelligently on future possibilities, based on close analysis of available evidence of cause and effect.

9 Research Approach Quantitative (deductive); Qualitative (inductive);
Applied / Basic; Combination of any of the above.

10 Quantitative Approach
Theory Hypothesis Research Design Data Collection Interpretation of Results Comparison of Results with Theory Conclusions & Recommendations

11 Qualitative Approach Issue Research Design Data Collection
Analysis & Interpretation of Results Review of the Literature Conclusions & Recommendations

12 Research Process Research Idea Conclusions & Recommendations
Formulation of Research Problem Research Design Data Collection Analysis & Interpretation of Results Comparison of Results with Earlier Research Conclusions & Recommendations Literature Review

13 Research Idea It should not have been answered already by previous research; It must not be too broad or general (although you will focus it even more later on in the process); It ought to be a question that needs to be answered (i.e. the answer will be useful to people); It must be a question that can be answered.

14 Hypothesis and focused question
A hypothesis is an idea or suggestion that is based on known fact and is used as a basis for further investigation. It is based on the findings of previous research, gained from the literature review and perhaps previous work experience with the subject.

15 Literature Review A good literature review comprises:
a comprehensive survey of existing relevant work; a detailed review of the best (most important) contributions; a critical comparison of these contributions; a synthesis of new knowledge from existing work.

16 Data Collection & Procedure
You should include the materials used in your study. For example, if you undertake experimental study, you would describe here the details of the experiment, the materials used and what factors were held constant.

17 Analysing Data Choose a method that is in harmony with the parameters you have set and with the type of data collected. Example: Statistical Analysis Descriptive (charts, tables); Comparative (similarities and differences); Relationships (correlation, regression); Multivariate (principal components, factor and cluster analysis).

18 Database Management Using the database principles for: Research data:
A place to store the data; A tool to manage the data; A tool to analyse the data. Reports / papers / thesis: A place to store our writing; A tool to help in layout presentation; A tool to manage and format list of references.

19 Interpretation of results
Finally, after presenting the results, you are in a position to evaluate and interpret their implications, especially with respect to your original hypothesis. It is useful to note how your study applies to the on going development of theory.

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