The First Steps in Conducting Any Kind of Research

Written by admin on November 26th, 2010

Research is an essential component of the sciences. It is used to learn more about topics we are all ready aware of, as well as to discover topics and concepts that we are not aware of yet. There are many different types of research that can be conducted by students, however, regardless of what type of research a student wants to conduct they will need to take the same basic initial steps.

#1 ? Ask Questions About the World

The first step in conducting any kind of research is to ask questions about the world. This step will help the student to identify topics and areas of interest. This is a very important step as it helps to focus the student?s search for a research idea.

Questions can focus on things that the student is curious about. They can focus on things that the student has noticed. They can even focus on things that the student is interested in on a personal level, such as sports or recreation activities.

#2 ? Select a Topic

The next step is to select a topic to research. This topic needs to be interesting to the student and it needs to fit the requirements developed by their teacher or by the person who assigned the research project. Topics are generally broad to begin with, such as an area of science. They are then narrowed down by asking questions and conducting general research on the topic.

#3 ? Conduct Background Research

When the student has their research topic narrowed down to a sub-topic, they will need to conduct a general background study of that sub-topic. In this step the student will be developing their understanding of the topic and they will be searching for a very specific component of the sub-topic to explore in their research project.

#4 ? Develop a Hypothesis or Thesis Statement

The next step is to develop a hypothesis or thesis statement. A hypothesis is a prediction about a cause and effect relationship between two specific variables. A thesis statement is a position that a basic information research project will try to support. Both of these things are used to focus a research project and the project?s written report.

#5 ? Conduct a Literature Review

Step five is to conduct a literature review on the topic that you have selected for your research project. This literature review will want to address the research that has all ready been conducted on the variables you have selected for your project. It is also a good idea to conduct research on the relationship between the two variables that you have selected, if that research exists.

#6 ? Develop a Research Proposal

The final step is to develop a research proposal. This step is basically writing up the main components of your research paper. It will include a preliminary abstract, an introduction, your hypothesis statement or thesis statement, the methodology that you plan on using, your literature review and an overview of what you think you will discover with your research. This is a step that college students usually have to take. It is not usually required of younger students, but it is a good practice to get into as it encourages you to complete the elements of your final report as you work on your research project as opposed to when you have finished it.

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