Research is the process of sourcing information to increase one's knowledge on a subject, topic, or issue.
There are two approaches to research, these are primary research and secondary research.
Primary research is designed to meet your unique and specific needs. The research is conducted by you. The research can include focus groups, surveys, interviews, and observations.
Secondary Source: A secondary source is a document that is written about the primary source. These are often documents that report, analyze, discuss, or interpret primary sources.
There are two types of research methods, Qualitative and Quantitative.
Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research. Qualitative Research is also used to uncover trends in thought and opinions, and dive deeper into the problem.
Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into useable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables – and generalize results from a larger sample population. Quantitative Research uses measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in research.
Identify the keywords from your research question to begin your search. These are the terms you will use to search the databases and online sources. These words can be searched for in different ways to achieve different results.
This means that when you are searching, you need to break your topic into keywords instead - you have to consider the words that authors are using to write about a topic.
If you are writing an assignment on the impact of diet on child obesity, your key concepts would be: diet, child, obesity, child obesity.
Boolean Search Methods
Boolean operators connect your search words together to either narrow or broaden your set of results. You can combine multiple Boolean operators to create more effective searches.
The three basic boolean operators are: AND, OR, and NOT.
Use AND in a search to:
Use OR in a search to:
Use NOT in a search to:
Use Quotation Marks
Placing quotation marks around your search terms will return sites based only on those exact words in that exact order. This will help to eliminate irrelevant pages and save you time.
Truncation - use the * symbol
If you are trying to search for specific combinations of keywords or phrases, you can add * within your search to gain results based upon that combination.
nurs* finds: nurse, nurses, nursing
child* finds: child, children, childhood, childbirth
Qualitative Research Questions
Once you have understood the assignment, you will use your keywords to search for sources to use in your assignments.
Search the following websites for statistics http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat
Search the following websites for statistics https://www.ons.gov.uk/
Search the following websites for statistics https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics
Remember that you will need to reference the sources you use. It is important to make sure you have a way of tracking your sources as you find them useful.