Dissertation methodology secondary data

 

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Dissertation methodology secondary data

You will probably want to use in-depth qualitative data, and you may wish to adopt a realist, a dissertation methodology structure secondary data, or a constructionist approach to the topic. Qualitative dissertations will include descriptive material, usually extracts from interviews, conversations, documents or field notes, and are therefore likely to be nearer to the upper limit of your word range e.

The types of method suitable for a dissertation could include content analysis, a small scale ethnographic study, small scale in-depth qualitative interviewing. There are many ways in which qualitative and quantitative data and analysis can be combined. Here are two examples. Your supervisor or research methods tutor may be able to give you detailed examples of these or other ways to combine methods. If you decide to do a primarily theoretical dissertation, it is almost certain that your dissertation will be entirely literature-based.

This is likely to be the methodology of theoretical analysis: selection and discussion of theoretical material and descriptive material, in context, and detailed comparison of theories in terms of their applicability.

You might ask how useful certain concepts or theories are for understanding particular patterns of behaviour. How useful is the concept of institutional dissertation research methodology secondary data Is objectivity in the media possible? How useful is subcultural theory for understanding virtual communities? Here, the focus of attention is not so much to discover something about the social world, for example virtual communities, as to reach a judgement about the value of key concepts or theories in understanding that world.

How the study is approached and how contrasting approaches are drawn upon needs to be stated very clearly. A library-based or theoretical study is not necessarily 'easier' than an empirical study, indeed, it may well be harder. Remember that theoretical studies, like data-based studies, need to have their research design spelled out from the start. But even if your dissertation is more empirically focused, it could still be entirely literature-based.

You might choose to conduct a review of a field of work. What does the research literature in this field tell us about x? While all dissertations will include a literature review, it is possible to produce a dissertation that is entirely based on a review of dissertation methodology structure secondary data literature.

If you do this, it is important to review the literature from an explicit angle and identify some themes to make the review distinctive. You might, for example, explore empirical debates in your chosen field across different countries or time periods. Whilst it is possible for dissertations to be entirely literature-based, the most common form of dissertation takes the form of a case study.

Here the focus of attention is on a particular community, organisation or set of documents. The attraction of this kind of dissertation is that it stems from empirical curiosity but is at the same time practical.

You may be interested in a wider question but a case study enables you to focus on a specific example. A major challenge in case study dissertations is connecting your own primary research or re-analysis with the broader theoretical themes and empirical concerns of the existing literature. Most dissertations demand either primary or secondary research. In other words, you usually have to analyse data that you have either collected yourself or data that is already available.

The reason for this is that the questions dissertations usually address take the following form: Is x happening? Is x changing? Why is x happening?

Why is x changing? These questions demand primary or secondary analysis of data. Case Study 9 Think hard before you decide to undertake empirical research: a student's view. Secondary analysis is when you analyse data which was collected by another researcher.

It allows the researcher to explore areas of interest without having to go through the process of collecting data themselves in the field. The problem with using fieldwork methods in an undergraduate dissertation, however, is that they are costly in terms of time which is relatively scarce in your final year!

You may choose, therefore, to undertake secondary research, analysing existing data. There are a range of documents that already contain research data that you can analyse.

You may, for example, be interested in exploring whether gender stereotypes in the media are changing. This might entail content analysis of newspapers, magazines, video or other media over different time periods. Here you would not be collecting your own data but instead would be analysing existing documents. Download Case Study 6 Media research. If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives.

Government reports and autobiographies may also be used as data. Other documents include official statistics, datasets statistical dataand banks of interview transcripts which are all freely available to the academic community.

Increasingly, documents, databases and archives are readily accessible online. Research Methods tutors informal essay topics your course will be able to advise on the availability and accessibility of such data sets. There are some advantages of doing secondary analysis, particularly if you are doing a quantitative study.

You will be able to work with much larger datasets than you could have collected yourself. This has the following advantages:. Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e. Also, sometimes data that are collected through qualitative processes participant observation, interviews are coded and quantified. Kindly guide me on which methodology to employ and how to dissertation research methodology secondary data my data analysis. Thank you. Good day, I am working on a research to evaluate the usability of an institutions website to see whether or not the portal is user-friendly.

Kindly point me to what methodology to employ and how to analyze my data. Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy. Skip to content. Dissertation Writing. December 5, November 27, Network Coordinator. Appropriateness of the Research Design This section is optional in some institutions, but required by others. Research Design A qualitative study does not have variables. Pilot Study In a quantitative study, a survey instrument that is researcher designed needs a pilot study to validate the effectiveness of the instrument, and the value of the questions to elicit the right information to answer the primary research questions in.

Setting and Participants In a quantitative study, describe the geographic location where the study will take place, cite recognizable landmarks such as a nearby urban city. Instrumentation In a qualitative study, the instrument used to collect data may be created by the researcher or based on an existing instrument. Procedure Fully describe how the data paper homework collected. Data Processing and Analysis In both qualitative and quantitative studies, the precise method of how the data were processed and then analyzed is described.

Ethical Considerations In a qualitative study, the procedures for the protection of human participants should be stated. Internal and External Validity Validity is the criteria for how effective the design is in employing methods of measurement that will capture the data to address the research questions. Triangulation validates the methodology by an examination of the results from several perspectives Summary Summarize the research design and prepare the reader for the next chapter.

Author Recent Posts. Network Coordinator. Network Coordinator at Dissertation Editing Services. Latest posts by Network Coordinator see all. This is in no doubt helpful a post. I will appreciate your response. Your name.

Dissertation methodology structure secondary data

Your friend's e-mail. Message Note: The link to the page is attached automtisk in the message to your friend. Menu Getting started Getting started Lesson 1: Dissertation methodology structure secondary data search Criteria for a problem formulation Find who and what you are looking for Too broad, too narrow, or o.

Secondary analysis is usually contrasted with primary analysis, which is the analysis of primary data independently collected by a researcher. Unlike primary data, which is collected by a researcher herself in order to fulfill a particular research objective, secondary data is data that was collected by other researchers who likely had different research objectives. Sometimes researchers or research organizations share their data with other researchers in order to ensure that its usefulness is water quality phd thesis. In addition, many government bodies within the U.

In many cases, this data is available to the general public, but in some cases, it is only available to approved users.

Secondary data can be both quantitative and qualitative in form. Secondary quantitative data is often available from official government sources and trusted research writing essay about home. In the U.

Censusthe General Social Surveyand the American Community Survey are some of the most commonly used secondary data sets within the social sciences. In addition, many researchers make use of data collected and distributed by agencies including the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, and the U. Bureau of Labor Statistics, among many others at federal, state, and local levels.You would then want to explain why this combination was more appropriate to your topic than say, a review of a book that included interviews with participants asking open-ended questions: a combination of secondary research and qualitative data analysis.

Be sure you speak to your course advisor about what specific requirements there may be for your particular course. It is possible that you may need to include more or less information depending on your subject. The type of research you conducted will also determine how much detail you will need to include in the description of your methods.

If you have created a series of primary research sources, such as interviews, surveys, and other first hand accounts taken by either yourself or another person active during the time period you are examining, then you will need to include more detail in specifically breaking down the steps you took to both create your sources and use them in conducting your research. This is what differentiates them from descriptive and correlational research.

To establish causation, experiments manipulate the independent variable. Or, to put this another way, experiments have two or more conditions of the independent variable and they test their effect on the dependent variable. You need a reference point - something to compare this effect to. Thus, you compare the effect of a supplement to a placebo, by giving some of your participants a sugary pill. Now your independent variable is the type of treatment, with two conditions - supplement and placebo.

By comparing the concentration levels dependent variable between participants who received the supplement versus placebo independent variableyou can determine if the supplement caused increased concentration. Experiments can have two types of designs: between-subjects and within-subjects. The above example illustrated a between-subjects design because concentration levels were compared between participants who got a supplement and those who got a placebo.

But you can also do a within-subjects comparison. For example, you may want to see if taking a supplement before or after a meal impacts concentration levels differently. Here, your independent variable is the time the supplement is taken with two conditions: before and after the meal.

You then ask the same group of participants to take on Day 1 the supplement before the meal and on Day 2 after the meal. Since both conditions apply to all your participants, you are making a within-subjects comparison. Regardless of the type of design you are using, when assigning participants to a condition, you need to ensure that you do so randomly.

A quasi-experiment is not a true experiment. It differs from a true experiment because it lacks random assignment to different conditions.

You would use a quasi-experiment when your participants are grouped into different conditions according to a predetermined characteristic.

For instance, you may want to see if children are less likely than adolescents to cheat on a test. Here, you are categorising your participants according to their age and thus you cannot use random assignment. Because of this, it is often said that quasi-experiments cannot properly establish causation.

Nonetheless, they are a useful tool for looking at differences between predetermined groups of participants. A very good practice is to rely on a G-Power analysis to calculate how large your sample size should be in order to increase the accuracy of your findings.

Thus, you will need to find a study that investigated a similar effect, dig up its reported effect size, significance level and power, and enter these parameters in a G-Power analysis.

There are many guides online on how to do this. When selecting participants for your quantitative research, you also need to ensure that they are representative of the target population.

You can do this by specifying your inclusion and exclusion criteria. For instance, if your target population consists of young women who have given birth and who have depression, then you will include only women who have given birth, who are younger than 35, and who have depression. Consequently, you will exclude women who do not fulfil these criteria. Remember that here, just as in qualitative research, you need informed consent from your participants, therefore ensuring that they have agreed to take part in the research.

A questionnaire is reliable when it has led to consistent results across studies, and it is valid when it measures what it is supposed to measure.

You can claim that a questionnaire is valid and reliable when previous studies have established its validity and reliability you must cite these studies, of course. Values higher than 0. Anything below 0. You can always consult your supervisor about which questionnaires to use in your study. Alternatively, you can search for questionnaires yourself by looking at previous studies and the kind of measures they employed.

Each questionnaire that you decide to use will require you to calculate final scores. You can obtain the guidelines for calculating final scores in previous studies that used a given questionnaire. You will complete this calculation by relying on a statistical program.

Very often, this calculation will involve reverse-scoring some items. If your questionnaire measures whether a person feels good, then you will have to reverse-score the second of these questions so that higher responses indicate feeling more rather than less good. This can also be done using a statistics program. However, there is no reason why they should, since the whole procedure of doing statistical analyses is not that difficult - you just need to know which analysis to use for which purpose and to read guidelines on how to do particular analyses online and in books.

Descriptive statistics include calculating means and standard deviations for continuous variables, and frequencies statistics include calculating the number and percentage of the frequencies of answers on categorical variables.

Continuous variables are those where final scores have a wide range. Throughout the section, relate your choices back to the central purpose of your dissertation. But if you take an approach that is less common in your field, you might need to explain and justify your methodological choices. In either case, your methodology should be a clear, well-structured text that makes an argument for your approach, not just a list of technical details and procedures.

If you encountered difficulties in collecting or analyzing data, explain how you dealt with them. Show how you minimized the impact of any unexpected obstacles. Pre-empt any major critiques of your approach and demonstrate that you made the research as rigorous as possible. Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research project.

It involves studying the methods used in your field and the theories or principles behind them, in order to develop an approach that matches dissertation methodology secondary data objectives. Methods are the specific tools and procedures you use to collect and analyze data for example, experiments, surveysand statistical tests. In shorter scientific papers, where the aim is to report the findings of a specific study, you might simply describe what you did in a methods section.

In a longer or more complex research project, such as a thesis or dissertationyou will probably include a methodology sectionwhere you explain your approach to answering the research questions and cite relevant sources dissertation methodology secondary data support your choice of methods.

In a dissertation methodology structure secondary data paper, the methodology always comes after the introduction and before the resultsdiscussion and conclusion. The same basic structure also applies to a thesis, dissertationor research proposal.

Depending on the length and type of document, you might also include a literature review or theoretical framework before the methodology. Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Each is associated with a range of research methods. Quantitative methods allow you to test a hypothesis by systematically collecting and analyzing data.

Dissertation methodology secondary data

Common methods include experimentsobservations recorded as numbers, and surveys with closed-ended questions. Qualitative methods allow you to explore ideas and experiences in depth. Common methods include interviews with open-ended questions, observations described in words, and literature reviews that explore concepts and theories. Reliability and validity are both about how well a method measures something:. If you are doing experimental research, you also have to consider the internal and external validity of your experiment.

A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population. Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research.

Strengths and limitations

This chapter provides the underlying rationale and purpose of the study. It should set out the business context and any existing strategic issues, demonstrating to the reader the relevance of the study in this context.

In this chapter you are expected to describe aims and objectives for the investigation, and to identify specific research questions, which may take the form of hypotheses that the first amendment essay be tested within the study. This chapter provides a critical review of the literature related to the dissertation methodology structure secondary data area you are studying.

This means that you should demonstrate your ability to identify and to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the theories or schools of thought relevant to your topic. You should also demonstrate your ability to identify how your study may contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

Once this is done, you should address missing data identify and label them and recode variables if necessary e. You may also need to reverse-score some items, so that higher scores on all items indicate a higher degree of what is being assessed.

Most of the time, you will also need to create new variables - that is, to compute final scores. For instance, in our example of research on anxiety during pregnancy, your data will consist of scores on each item of the State Anxiety Inventory, completed at various times during pregnancy.

You will need to calculate final anxiety scores for each time the measure was completed. Your final step consists of analysing the data. You will always need to decide on the most suitable analysis technique for your secondary data set. In our first research example, you would rely on MANOVA to see if women of different nationalities experience different stress levels at the beginning, at three months, at six months, and at nine months of pregnancy ; and in our second example, you would use an independent samples dissertation research methodology secondary data to see if interest in Greek tourism differs between Germans and Britons.

The process of preparing and analysing a secondary data set is slightly different if your secondary data is qualitative. In our example on the reasons for living on boats, you would first need to outline all reasons for living on boats, as recognised by the original qualitative research. Then you would need to craft a questionnaire that assesses these reasons in a broader population. Note that this example combines qualitative and quantitative data.

But what if you are reusing qualitative data, as in our previous example of re-coding the interviews from our study to discover the language used when describing transient lifestyles? Here, you would simply need to recode the interviews and conduct a thematic analysis.

Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences

Outline all reasons for living on boats; Craft a questionnaire that assesses these reasons in a broader population; Analyse the data. The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation. How to do your dissertation secondary research in 4 steps. Here's what we'll cover in this guide:. TABLE 1 outlines the differences between primary and secondary research:. Whatever type of research you are conducting, always be aware of its strengths and limitations. If you look at the table above, you should already be able to discern some advantages of secondary research.

But this is far from the only consideration. By now you may have concluded that using secondary data is a perfect option for your graduate or undergraduate dissertation. TABLE 2 provides a full summary of advantages and disadvantages of secondary research:.

So far, we have defined secondary research and outlined its advantages and disadvantages. TABLE 3 summarises particular methods and purposes of secondary research:. The two most common types of secondary research are, as if i could time travel essay all types of data, quantitative and qualitative.

Secondary research can, therefore, be conducted by using either quantitative or qualitative data sets. TABLE 4 highlights the two main types of secondary data and their associated purposes:. The two most common types of secondary data sources are labelled as internal and external. TABLE 5 summarises the two sources of secondary data and associated examples:. In previous sections of this guide, we have covered some basic aspects of doing secondary research.

We have defined secondary data, outlined its advantages and disadvantages, introduced the methods and purposes of secondary research, and outlined the types and sources of secondary data. At this point, you should have a clearer understanding of secondary research in general terms. Secondary research begins exactly like any dissertation methodology structure secondary data of research: by developing your research question s.

As we mentioned above, most research begins by specifying what is already known on the topic and what knowledge seems to be missing. I will use this service again"- by ahmed.

It really worked for me. Draft service is remarkable. I recommend Academic Discussion. It allows the researcher to explore areas of interest without having to go through dissertation methodology structure secondary data process of collecting data themselves in the field.

The problem with using fieldwork methods in an undergraduate dissertation, however, is that they are costly in terms of time which is relatively scarce in your final year! You may choose, therefore, to undertake secondary research, analysing existing data.

There are a range of documents that already contain research data that you can analyse. You may, for example, be interested in exploring whether gender stereotypes in the media are changing. This might entail content analysis of newspapers, magazines, video or other media over different time periods. Here you would not be collecting your own data but instead would be analysing existing documents.

Download Case Study 6 Media research. If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives. Government reports and autobiographies may also be used as data. Other documents include official statistics, datasets statistical dataand banks of interview transcripts which are all freely available to the academic community.

Increasingly, documents, databases and archives are readily accessible online. Research Methods tutors on your course will be able to advise on the availability and accessibility of such data sets. There are some advantages of doing secondary analysis, particularly if you are doing a quantitative study. You will be able to work with much larger datasets than you could have collected yourself. This has the following advantages:. Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e.

Also, sometimes data that are collected through qualitative processes participant observation, interviews are coded and quantified.

Your research methods tutor can give you further information on these types of data, but here are some common quantitative dissertation methodology structure secondary data collection methods and their definitions:. A series of questions that the respondent answers on their own. Self-completion questionnaires are good for collecting data on relatively simple topics, and for gaining a general overview of an issue. Questionnaires need to have clear questions, an easy to follow design, and not be too long.

Similar to a self-completion questionnaire, except that the questions that are asked by an interviewer to the interviewee. The same questions are read out in the same way to all respondents.

There will typically be a fixed choice of answers for the respondents. Watching people and recording systematically their behaviour. Prior to the observation, an observation schedule will be produced which details what exactly the researcher should look for and how those observations should be recorded.

If you are conducting a qualitative analysis you are likely to wish to use at least some original material. This may be collected through in-depth interviews, participant observation recordings and fieldnotes, non-participant observation, or some combination of these. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation:. A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview.

 

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