No matter your academic level, going about the primary research for a dissertation can be very challenging. Your knowledge about the process, how to start the subject, and compiling data from trusted sources can all be nerve-wracking. We know how it feels; hence, this piece guides you through the process of dissertation primary research.
Doing primary research can be fun, easy and fulfilling when you follow the right procedures. Therefore, we will take you through systematic procedures and the needed advice to successfully complete your dissertation research.
Before that, it is worth to know that different methodologies are available to choose from for primary dissertation research. That notwithstanding, the first two steps towards research are the same, no matter the procedure you employ. They are
Deciding the type of data to use
The first step to any primary research is determining the data you want to use. It could be from primary data, secondary data, or using big data. However, since our focus is on doing primary research, we would stick to primary data.
Choosing a primary research methodology
You can rely on qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodologies for your primary research.
This is used when the research area is untouched, and it is the first time a study is being conducted on the topic. As such, you need to gather information from people within the field or know the subject to take their perception.
When using a qualitative research method, you must consider the
- Strength and limitation
- Please select a specific method to be used being it, observations, interviews, focus groups, and case studies)
- Choose your participants (They can be persons with an idea or no idea about the topic, depending on your research question and aim)
- Choose your measures
- Select analyses: in qualitative research, you wouldn’t have to use or rely on complex data
- Understanding the procedure to use
Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research affords the researcher to confirm or disprove a hypothesis with statistical facts and analyses. This makes it much of a confirmatory study.
Take the following steps when using quantitative research
- Knowing your strength and limitations,
- Choose a specific quantitative method being its descriptive method, correlational research, experiments, or a quasi-experiment procedure.
- Select participants
- Choose measures
- Analyses method
This is a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The procedure is used to gain more insight on a topic that wouldn’t be possible using only one process. With this approach, you start by doing quality research, and then you enhance it with quantitative analysis.
When using the mixed research method for your primary dissertation, you need to consider
- Your strengths and limitations
- Choose a specific mixed research method. This could be the sequential exploratory design, sequential explanatory design, concurrent triangulation design, or the concurrent nested design.
- Choose your participants
- Select measures
- Select analysis method
- Understand procedure
- Think about ethics
- Consider your level of study and discipline