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Rigorous scientific research is the method of conducting research that is distinguished by succinct, narrow, and objective analysis and design procedures (Berg, Lune & Lune, 2004). It also refers to how the scientific research rules have been implemented to all of the work, as well as the adherence to the basic scientific format. In scientific study, rigor can also involve sticking to a given philosophical viewpoint. It also necessitates meticulous data collection. Scientific inquiry is guided by how logical the emerging hypothesis is to what is known about the phenomenon or whether the results add up.Rigorous scientific research is mostly applied to qualitative research compared to quantitative research. The reason is that rigorous scientific research in nature is not experimental.
The idea behind rigorous research is to comply with the trustworthiness of a particular investigation. There are set criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of a research. The first criterion is credibility of the study. This refers to the degree in which a person undertaking a study has established the truth of the findings or has confidence in it for the context and the subject in which the research was undertaken. Rigorous scientific research also includes consistence. Consistency can be confirmed by looking at other similar studies. If the findings are different, the study lacks consistency. Rigorous scientific research involves the applicability of the materials being investigated. Applicability is the degree to which the subject being investigated and its findings can be applied to a particular setting, group or context.
In research, identifying a population for sampling is essential to the study. One of the ways of identifying an appropriate population is first identifying a population that has something in common. For example, if an individual is studying about education, the population will be inclusive of teachers, students and sub-ordinates in the institution. Conversely, if an individual wants to study about Alzheimer disease, the research ought to target all institutionalized elderly with Alzheimer disease. The idea is setting a criterion of interest so that the population can be defined rather than using random people for the study. Having people with a common identity will yield valid information for the research. Additionally, the population can easily be used to develop a representative samples for the research.
Identifying appropriate population will also include looking at the accessibility of that population (Chenail, 1995). A researcher should always ensure that the target population is within a reasonable reach. The population may be limited to a state, city, region, institution, or county. By first looking at the local population, a researcher can identify if it will yield valid information or wrong. A population may have the necessary data that is needed but lack the proper ways in which they can communicate that information. The shortcoming can come in the form of language barrier or hostile people. As such, by first understanding how accessible a particular population is, the researcher can identify if the information can be valid or not.
Scales in social sciences is the process of ordering and measuring entities with respect to quantitative traits. In the assessment of social variables, indexes rank orders and summarize many specific observations as well as representing some general dimension in the variables. For instance, if an individual is interested in measuring the quality of life in a workplace, one of the probable variables will be the number of holidays given in a year. Measuring such a variable is hard when done with one question. However, several different questions can be created to deal with the variable. This will include creating an index of the variables that have been included. Index also enables the assessment of social variables by combining observations without worrying about their intercorrelations.
Scales in social sciences is composed of several entities which have an empirical or logical structure (Pawar, 2004). The measurement technique enables the assessment of social variables by taking advantage of the difference which is found in the intensity in the indicators of the variables. For instance, when measuring discrimination of a certain race, a series of statements that reflects discrimination will be created with each of the responses categories having agree, strongly agree, strongly disagree, disagree and neither agree or disagree. The scores of the series can then be summed to give an overall score of the discrimination. As such, the scale allows the assessment of social variables by making it simple and easy for the target population. Conversely, it allows for easy sampling and presentation of the data.
According to Creswell (2014), research design gives glue which holds the project together. It is mainly used to structure the research project so that it can show all the primary parts of the entire project work which aid towards addressing the vital research questions. Using practical research design will ensure that the researcher formulates a proper blueprint for collecting, measuring and analyzing data. One of the common social issues within the current society is cancer cases. I would like to undertake research which aims at finding out the reasons why individuals in A Community have a higher rate of a given rare form of cancer when compared to the people living in B Community. It will be essential for the researcher to survey the lifestyle of the residents within A and B communities in this research study. Conversely, the type of businesses existing within these two communities and the past medical records will help in this research. The study will focus on lung cancer cases. The hypothesis of this research study will be as follows:
The Null Hypothesis of this research study will be, “lung cancer cases are caused by smoking within the A community, while smoking in B Community does not cause it.” The alternative hypothesis of this study will be, “lung cancer cases are not caused by smoking within the A community, while smoking in B Community causes it”. The research will require unbiased methods of collecting data so that the correct result can be obtained.
The aim of collecting data in any research is to ensure that it captures quality evidence which will translate to analysis which will lead to a credible and convincing answer to the question posed. The degree of impact due to faulty data collection varies depending on the research being undertaken. Any error in data collected in the above-mentioned research problem can lead to the wrong conclusion. In this study, it will be vital to use the most effective and reliable methods of collecting data. First, interviewing will be the most efficient technique. The researcher should interview doctors or medical practitioners within the two communities. The aim of the interview should find out the number of lung cancer patients they have admitted, and the number of smokers of has been admitted with lung cancer.
Secondly, distributing questionnaires in various social centers within A and B communities will supplement data collected by interviewing. Thirdly, using focus groups will also help collect data. He or she can use focus groups in different ways; the research can seek legal permission to visit lung cancer patients undergoing medical treatment. The researcher should try to find out if the victims were regular smokers. Moreover, the researcher can also sample some of the patients who were previously discharged, patients. Using structured interviews will work best in this case. It will be effective to use standardized questions to understand the participants better and speed data collection process (Pawar, 2004).
Not all techniques of analyzing data will work in this research study. It is due to the difference between the analysis of the qualitative data and analysis involving quantitative data. The above study is a qualitative study as it involves collecting data using focus groups, interviews, and surveys. In this study, data analysis will involve identifying a common pattern within the data collected (responses) and critically evaluating them so that the researcher can obtain the aims of the research including objectives. It will also be essential to compare the research finding with the findings from various literature reviews to justify the value of the research study.
The content will be analyzed on two primary levels. The basic level or the manifest level will mainly be accounting the data without trying to apply any theory to explain the data. The next level will be the higher level or the latent level of data analysis. The level will involve interpretive analysis of the data. It will be a level where the researcher will try to find out the implication of the collected data (Berg et al., 2004). The content analysis of this research study will mainly involve classification of received data and coding. The stage is mainly referred to as indexing and categorizing. The aim of the context analysis will be to ensure that the data collected makes sense and to highlight the vital message and the findings of the study for presentation.
The research findings of this study can mainly be two. The researcher can find out that that the rate of smoking in A Community is higher than the rate of smoking in B community. On the other hand, the researcher can find out that the rate of smoking in B Community is high compared to the rate of smoking in A Community. Another finding can be that there is the high rate of delay or skip in attendance of doctor check-up sessions among smokers in A Community than B Community or vice versa. It will be appropriate to use the most efficient methods to present any finding of this study. The researcher can opt to use tables or charts to help the academic audience understand the data and then highlight essential findings of the research study. Proper analysis will help here to mainly focus the presentations towards answering the research questions which audience might have.
It will also be essential to avoid using percentages or proportions to report the findings of the study as it can be misleading. The presentation should mainly use numbers than percentages like if the researcher received 25 questionnaires back, it would be effective to present the find that 25 smokers felt that…’ rather than saying that 70% of the smokers felt that….’ Additionally, it will be essential to comment on the methods used by the researcher. The researcher must comment on the findings across all the methods used during the study (Chenail, 1995). For instance, commenting on the survey findings and how it fits into the entire research topic.
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Berg, B. L., Lune, H., & Lune, H. (2004). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (Vol. 5). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Chenail, R. J. (1995). Presenting qualitative data. The qualitative report, 2(3), 1-9.
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Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.
Pawar, M. S. (2004). Data collecting methods and experiences: A guide for social researchers. Elgin, IL: New Dawn Press.
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