Categories
Research

Example Research Topics on Climate Change and Governance

Is there any relationship between climate change and governance? What are the topics of interest regarding climate change and governance? This article defines governance as it is a vague term to many students and presents two major research topics related to climate change and governance. This will jumpstart ideas and focus topics for research purposes.

In order to understand how climate change relates to governance and vice-versa, you should first have a good understanding of what governance means. The climate change issue is already well discussed in many literature and studies but governance appears to be a term that still baffles many especially undergraduate students trying to make their way about this subject.

What then is governance? The following definition of governance makes clear the concept and lays down the foundation to beginning researchers on this subject in order to carry out studies on climate change and governance.

Definition of Governance

Governance, as the root word govern connotes, does not necessarily mean government although sometimes governance is used interchangeably with government. The processes of government’s management of its affairs towards a desired order, of course, is governance. The government does governance but governance is not necessarily done by a government.

There are actually many definitions of governance. From what I gather, I would adopt the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) simplified definition as this site is devoted to simplifying things for understanding. Besides this is about climate change, a worldwide concern, that researchers would like to relate with climate change.

So here’s the UNESCAP definition of governance:

Governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented).

This is an excellent, easily understandable definition of governance. It is a process. Therefore, it is something that people involved do in order to carry out whatever decision outcomes have been agreed upon or arrived at. Those decisions may be done by people in government but may also be done in a corporate setting and at different levels or scope, i.e., local, national or international.

Now, since the definition of governance is in place how can the relationship between climate change and governance be studied? The next topic explores the issues to reveal research topics on climate change and governance.

Example Research Topics on Climate Change and Governance

The following are two major topics on climate change and governance where other related topics can arise.

1. How do people’s compliance to laws, ordinances or resolutions relate to climate change?

police

How do people behave in relation to laws and ordinances related to climate change? Since governance refers to the implementation of decisions through government policies or enactments, it would be interesting to know how this actually is being implemented in the field.

Do people comply with climate change-related laws? What are climate change-related laws? Are climate change-related laws as seriously implemented as any other law the government formulated such as laws that are matters of life and death? How are these climate change-related laws implemented by the law enforcers and what are the outcomes?

There are actually many issues associated with this as law or policy enforcement is usually associated with many flaws. What are incentives for people to respond and act accordingly to the intended desired outcomes of policy? Incentives here refer not just to punishment in terms of physical penalty but could be monetary in nature such as imposing fines. Are those fines enough to prevent transgression of laws?

2. How are laws and policies arrived at by those exercising governance?

Are policy makers in any way well guided in the process of making their decisions? Where do they base their decisions? Are those decisions founded on some objective basis or are these just random fruits of the mind or merely self-interest?

Good governance should be objective. Thus, there should be an objective basis for any decision made especially of a government that influences the citizens of a country through policies on climate change. What should policy makers then do to make their decisions objective?

In order to effectively address the issue of climate change, the government therefore must have the correct statistics or background to base their decisions on. How are climate change-related laws arrived at?

To be able to effectively implement climate change-related laws, there is popular belief that these kinds of policy making should be science based to be objective and effective. I heard from a climate change conference colleague that the Malaysian government is doing this quite well by engaging its researchers to do research for policy making purposes and really act on the recommendations made by them. Those in government have such high respect to their researchers. I wonder if this is happening in other countries that implement climate change-related policies.

I expound on this policy making process in my previous article titled What is science based policy making?

At this point I believe that many ideas on climate change and governance are already popping out of your head. Write those things down and start reviewing literature about them.

© 2013 November 16 P. A. Regoniel

Categories
Research

How to Write a Scientific Paper: 8 Elements

How do you write a scientific paper? How is it different from writing in a literary sense? What are the important elements that characterize a scientific paper?  This article provides answers to these common questions posed by students when faced with the task of writing their thesis or first scientific article. 

How is Scientific Writing Different from Other Types of Writing

Writing a scientific paper is unlike the kind of writing that people do when they are writing their diaries, casual blogs, or essays on whatever topics they so desire to write about. Scientific paper writing is more focused and objective oriented, that is, each statement written has an intended purpose.

In writing a scientific paper, beating around the bush is considered a definite no-no. It’s a technical kind of writing that has some integrated logic in it. The main intention is to make clear the subject at hand and to present, analyze, discuss and highlight the important findings.

Elements of a Scientific Paper

What is the logic behind scientific paper writing? The following elements must be present in a scientific paper:

1. A scientific paper has a rationale.

What is a rationale? A rationale is simply your justification of the topic you chose. It explains why the research was performed in the first place. It is the very reason why you conducted the research.

You may ask yourself the following questions in order to compose the rationale:

  • What is the issue all about? Why is it important?
  • Why is there a need to conduct the study?
  • How should the issue be resolved?

Think broadly first then bring the issue into focus. This will be your prelude to the next step, that is, writing the goal and objectives of the scientific paper.

2. A scientific paper has a general objective or goal and a set of objectives directed towards that goal.

If the reason for the study is well laid out, then you should be able to write the main goal and objectives of your scientific investigation. The goal provides an overview or general statement of what the research intends to achieve. The objectives should specify what are the specific items that will have to be done to meet the goal.

What is the ideal number of objectives for a research venture? Normally, two to three objectives are written in a scientific paper. These objectives must have been thoroughly met and discussed by the researcher in both the discussion and conclusions section.

Be guided that the goal broadly defines the direction of the study and brings up the main issue. The objectives provides the specific direction by which the study will have to be carried out. You will sense that you have already written the objectives correctly if you can figure out what methods will have to be done to accomplish the objectives.

3. A scientific paper has a review of literature.

A scientific paper always has a review of literature. Why is this required? Simply, the main reason is for you to be able to avoid duplicating the work of others and to have a good grasp of the subject you want to study.

You should avoid being guilty of reinventing the wheel. The term “reinventing the wheel” is usually used to denote doing something which has already been done.

According to archaeologists, the wheel was discovered way back in 8,000  B.C. (see an interesting discussion of the discovery of the wheel here.). Surely, you do not want to tell everyone that the wheel should be round, unless you find, against all odds, that a triangular wheel is better than a round wheel in transporting a load.

As a researcher, you should make sure that your work is original or that which builds upon, not duplicate, what has already been discovered or done. This is why you are required to read a great deal of literature to broaden your knowledge on a particular subject you are interested in.

engineer

Upon reading related literature and studies, you will find out gaps in knowledge. Gaps in knowledge are those areas which nobody ventured to find out. This is where you come in if you believe you can perform what’s necessary.

Of course, you have to assess your capacity in doing the task at hand. This is the reason why you need to have a good background knowledge of the discipline you are in. A biologist is not expected to do research fit for an engineer.

Read quick tips on how to write the literature review here.

4. A scientific paper has a conceptual framework.

A conceptual framework is the researcher’s guide or map in conducting the research. This framework is the culmination of the review of literature, that is, it draws out specific variables from a phenomenon, the behavior of which will be the focus of the study.

For details on how the conceptual framework is arrived at, see my previous post titled How to Make a Conceptual Framework.

5. A scientific paper has a methodology section.

The methodology section in a scientific paper describes the procedure to follow in order that the researcher will be able to adequately answer the statement of the problem or address the objectives. It explains why certain methods have to be used to provide answers to the questions posed in the early part of the scientific paper.

Methodology is different from methods because methodology refers to researcher’s justification or reason behind using a specific method. The methodology varies between disciplines and it also provides information on whether the study will be qualitative or quantitative in nature. Methods, on the other hand, refers to the specific things the researcher will do to undertake the study such as interview or focus group discussion.

There are many methodologies used in research and this will be discussed in another article. The common ones encountered are descriptive and correlation methodologies.

Descriptive research, as the root word “describe” indicates, are those which refer to studies of existing phenomena, focusing mainly on description of what is there while correlation studies involve relating variables with each other in trying to determine causality or effect.

6. A scientific paper has a results and discussion section.

The results and discussion section is that part of the scientific paper where you present your findings, the analysis that you did which includes both subjective and objective analysis, and interpretation of the findings in the light of other findings in other literature.

Subjective analysis deals more with the researcher’s judgment or expert opinion on the matter studied while objective analysis is data driven, that is, statistical analysis is used to reveal trends. Many researchers combine both approaches to see the issue in different perspectives.

7. A scientific paper has a conclusion and recommendations section.

At the end of the results and discussion section, the researcher must make his conclusion or conclusions based on the hypothesis of the study. He may either confirm or refute the hypothesis drawn out after presenting the conceptual framework.

The conclusion is just a brief restatement of the whole paper, that is, those things discussed in the methods as well as the findings.

8. A scientific paper validates its arguments using a set of reference materials.

As standard practice, of course the scientific paper should cite the references or literature review examined in the conduct of the study. Make sure that whatever you cite in your research paper is backed up by your reference material. Be meticulous enough to do so, as those who would like to cross-reference your research paper will be looking for this.

There is no hard rule on the number of references to write here but some scientific journals prescribe a limit, say a maximum of 30. You should refer to the requirements set forth in the specific journal where you intend to publish your scientific paper.

© 2012 November 14 P. A. Regoniel

Categories
Data Analysis Research Statistics

Example of a Research Using Multiple Regression Analysis

Data analysis using multiple regression analysis is a fairly common tool used in statistics. Many people find this too complicated to understand. In reality, however, this is not that difficult to do especially with the use of computers.

How is multiple regression analysis done? This article explains this very useful statistical test when dealing with multiple variables then provides an example to demonstrate how it works.

Multiple regression analysis is a powerful statistical test used in finding the relationship between a given dependent variable and a set of independent variables. The use of multiple regression analysis requires a dedicated statistical software like the popular Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Statistica, Microstat, among other sophisticated statistical packages. It will be near impossible to do the calculations manually.

However, a common spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel can help you compute and model the relationship between the dependent variable and a set of predictor or independent variables. But you cannot do this without activating first the set of statistical tools that ship with MS Excel. To activate the add-in for multiple regression analysis in MS Excel, view the Youtube tutorial below.

Example of a Research Using Multiple Regression Analysis

I will illustrate the use of multiple regression by citing the actual research activity that my graduate students undertook two years ago. The study pertains to the identification of the factors predicting a current problem among high school students, that is, the long hours they spend online for a variety of reasons. The purpose is to address the concern of many parents on their difficulty of weaning their children away from the lures of online gaming, social networking, and other interesting virtual activities.

Upon reviewing the literature, the graduate students discovered that there were very few studies conducted on the subject matter. Studies on problems associated with internet use are still in its infancy.

The brief study using multiple regression is a broad study or analysis of the reasons or underlying factors that significantly relate to the number of hours devoted by high school students in using the Internet. The regression analysis is broad in the sense that it only focuses on the total number of hours devoted by high school students to activities online. The time they spent online was correlated with their personal profile. The students’ profile consisted of more than two independent variables; hence the term “multiple”. The independent variables are age, gender, relationship with the mother, and relationship with the father.

The statement of the problem in this study is:

“Is there a significant relationship between the total number of hours spent online and the students’ age, gender, relationship with their mother, and relationship with their father?”

The relationship with their parents was gauged using a scale of 1 to 10; 1 being a poor relationship, and 10 being the best experience with parents. The figure below shows the paradigm of the study.

multiple regression conceptual framework
Research paradigm of the multiple regression study showing the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables.

Notice that in multiple regression studies such as this, there is only one dependent variable involved. That is the total number of hours spent by high school students online. Although many studies have identified factors that influence the use of the internet, it is standard practice to include the profile of the respondents among the set of predictor or independent variables.

Hence, the common variables age and gender are included in the multiple regression analysis. Also, among the set of variables that may influence internet use, only the relationship between children and their parents were tested. The intention is to find out if parents spend quality time to establish strong emotional bonds between them and their children.

Findings of the Study

What are the findings of this exploratory study? The multiple regression analysis revealed an interesting finding.

The number of hours spent online relates significantly to the number of hours spent by a parent, specifically the mother, with her child. These two factors are inversely or negatively correlated. The relationship means that the greater the number of hours spent by the mother with her child to establish a closer emotional bond, the lesser the number of hours spent by her child in using the internet. The number of hours spent online relates significantly to the number of hours spent by the mother with her child

The number of hours spent online relates significantly to the number of hours spent by the mother with her child

While this may be a significant finding, the mother-child bond accounts for only a small percentage of the variance in total hours spent by the child online. This observation means that there are other factors that need to be addressed to resolve the problem of long waking hours and abandonment of serious study of lessons by children. But establishing a close bond between mother and child is a good start.

Conclusion

The above example of multiple regression analysis demonstrates that the statistical tool is useful in predicting the behavior of dependent variables. In the above case, this is the number of hours spent by students online.

The identification of significant predictors can help determine the correct intervention resolve the problem. The use of multiple regression approaches prevents unnecessary costs for remedies that do not address an issue or a problem.

Thus, in general, research employing multiple regression analysis streamlines solutions and brings into focus those influential factors that must be given attention.

©2012 November 11 Patrick Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick (November 11, 2012). Example of a Research Using Multiple Regression Analysis [Blog Post]. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2012/11/11/example-of-a-research-using-multiple-regression-analysis/
Categories
Research

What is Research and Development?

What is research and development? What is the main purpose of research and development? What is an example of research and development? Why are competitive industries investing on research and development? This article provides answers to these questions.

The words “research and development” is a buzzword in universities and colleges in many countries nowadays. Developing countries, in particular, have to invest more on productive activities through research and development to become more competitive in an increasingly globally-oriented economy.

But what is research and development? Why are these two words usually linked together?

Definition of Research and Development

The main purpose of research is to produce new information or discover new relationships that could be used to address human needs. Research, therefore, is the discovery of something new through the application of logical processes or procedures.

New findings through research means the possibility of producing new products, processes or procedures that use or integrate these new findings. The application of research findings is the development part. Development, therefore, is the application of research findings to productive uses to address a specific human need.

Example of the Result of Research and Development

The research and development concept can be clarified using a research finding and its application through development activities. A classic example is the discovery of a liquid and electrolyte mix, Gatorade.

Gatorade is the ultimate example of successful research and development originating from a university that got its way into commercial uses. Through royalties from Gatorade, the University of Florida (UF) was able to fund countless research ventures.

The research component of this story is the discovery by a team of UF scientists of two key factors  that caused players to tire and succumb to illness caused by a hot environment. These are the fluids and electrolytes lost through sweating. Recognizing that these fluids and electrolytes are not replaced simply by water, the university scientists initially concocted a mix of salt, sugar and lemon juice.

At first try, the mix was not perfect but the researchers have found significant results. The players who took the drink did not tire easily and improved on their performance in the games.

The UF researchers further refined the product (the development part) until the right proportion of salt, sugar and lemon (primarily for taste) was finally made. From then on, the players of the University of Florida keep on winning their games. Later, some other universities followed suit to maximize the capacity of their players.

Why Invest in Research and Development?

Many commercial ventures especially those that manufacture products invest in research and development. Research and development enable them to be more competitive by delivering new or improved products in the market for the public’s use.

Without good research and development support, a company will lag behind and eventually lead to possible bankruptcy unless they merge with another company with competitive products where research and development may play an important role.

The universities and colleges, therefore, are in such position to make improvements on existing products and discover new ones through its research and development activities. This is one of the major reasons why the government encourages its faculty to engage in research. Ultimately, the aim is to be able to provide for the needs of its major clientele – the general public.

© 2012 November 10 P. A. Regoniel

Categories
Research

Brainstorming to Generate Research Ideas

How do you generate ideas for research purposes? Is it difficult to come up with one? The answer is No. It is easy to generate ideas for research as long as you employ a systematic approach to it. This article explores the usefulness of an organized brainstorming session by applying the principles of time management and ideas on how to conduct time-saving meetings.

One of the difficulties encountered by beginning researchers is how to generate ideas for research. This could be due to the lack of familiarity or exposure to the topic at hand. This could also be due to the preconceived notion that research is a difficult task to undertake.

You can easily generate ideas for research by brainstorming on the particular topic you are interested in. Find colleagues, classmates or friends who share the same passion, interest, field of specialization or discipline with you.

However, your group can easily get carried away and might talk about other things which are irrelevant to your initial intention of discussing ideas for research. Say, you talked about someone else instead of focusing on your initial idea for research. And you realized you are already gossiping.

You will therefore need to carry out a method or strategy to bring your idea for research into focus. You will need the following materials to facilitate the brainstorming session.

Materials Needed for Brainstorming Session

1. a new marker (to avoid interrupting the brainstorming session due to depleted ink) or chalk

2. a small (2′ x 3′) whiteboard, blackboard or Manila paper

3. a comfortable room free from distractions

The Group Memory

To avoid the tendency to talk about something else instead of your intention to generate ideas for research, make sure that you have a small whiteboard, blackboard, a Manila paper or anything you can write on where everybody can focus their attention towards it. This is what you call the “group memory”. The whiteboard or the Manila paper in front of the group will hold everybody’s attention as you discuss the idea for research that you are initially interested in but which you find too broad to research on.

You will, therefore, serve as the moderator who will present the initial idea for research that the group will brainstorm on. A group composed of 3 to 4 four people would be best where everyone is seated in an arc in front of you to avoid unnecessary conversations from taking place. Of course, you will need to hang the whiteboard or paste a Manila paper on a wall where everyone can see it. You may refer to the illustration below on how to arrange the seats.

brainstorming session
brainstorming session Seat arrangement for brainstorming session. ©2012 P. A. Regoniel

Mind Mapping

It is best to do this brainstorming at the early part of the day as the mind is still fresh, active and uncluttered by the day’s cares. You can do this in one hour, so 8 to 9 o’clock or 9 to 10 o’clock would be ideal. Never do this at 1 or 2 o’clock as sleepiness can easily slip in but 4 o’clock would be fine because the mind gets a second wind at this time.

Begin with a keyword such as climate change. Write this at the center of the white board, blackboard or Manila paper. From there, come up with a mind map (see mindmapping). Erasing or changing entries will not be problematic if you are using a whiteboard or blackboard. If you are using a Manila paper, just draw a line on each on the entry you want to change.

From the set of ideas in your mind map, select a clump where you can relate two or three variables (You have to read first what is a variable if you are not familiar with this concept). This set of variables now will help you find the applicable theoretical framework to back up your study. The theoretical framework will be your basis in constructing your conceptual framework. If you are yet unfamiliar with these two concepts, read my article What is the difference between the theoretical and the conceptual framework?

At this point, you will be able to generate a lot of ideas for research and focus your attention on those key variables that really matter to you or you are interested in.

© 2012 November 10 P. A. Regoniel

Categories
Research Statistics

How to Write a Concept Paper

What is a concept paper? Why is there a need to write a concept paper? How do you write it? This article explains the reasons why a concept paper is important before writing a full-blown research paper. It also provides a step-by-step approach on how to write it.

I once browsed the internet to look for information on how to write a concept paper. It took me some time to find the information I want. However, I am not quite satisfied with those explanations because the discussion is either too short or it vaguely explains what a concept paper is.

Preparing a concept paper entails different approaches but I somehow drew out some principles from these readings. I wrote a concept paper in compliance with a request to come up with one. Nobody complained about the output that I prepared.

I was reminded once again when a colleague asked me the other day to explain what is a concept paper and how to write it. He needs this information because students have been asking him on how to go about writing the stuff.

To him and his students, I dedicate this article.

What is a Concept Paper and Why Do You Need It?

First, before going into the details on how to prepare a concept paper, let me explain what a concept paper is and why do you need it.

A concept paper serves as a prelude to a full paper. What is the full paper all about? The full paper may be a thesis, a program, a project, or anything that will require a longer time to prepare.

In essence, a concept paper is an embodiment of your ideas on a certain topic or item of interest. The concept paper saves time because it is possible that your thesis or review panel may say that your idea is not worth pursuing.

One expects that the concept paper should consist only of 1 or 2 pages. Alternatively, if you want to resolve some matters, it can go up to 5 pages.

For example, as a student you may be asked to prepare your concept paper for your thesis proposal (see 4 steps in preparing the thesis proposal). This means that you will have to develop an idea and express it for others to understand. You may glean from either your experience or from the literature that you have read. Of course, your topic should be within your respective area of specialization.

If you are a student of computer science, you might want to study the behavior of wi-fi signals bounced to different kinds of material. Alternatively, maybe you wish to create a simple gadget to concentrate signals for a portable USB wi-fi connection to improve its performance. Or maybe you would like to find out the optimum cache size for greatest browsing experience on the internet. The list could go on.

How Do You Write a Concept Paper?

As I mentioned a while ago, there is no hard and fast rule on how to write a concept paper. It is not desirable to have a format as your ideas may be limited by placing your ideas in a box. You may miss some important points that may not be in the format given to you. The point is that you can express to others what you intend to do.

What then are the things that the concept paper as a prelude to a thesis should be able to address or contain? To systematize your approach, a concept paper must have at least the following elements and in the following order:

concept

Image Source

1. A Rationale

You explain here the reasons why you need to undertake that thesis proposal of yours. You can ask yourself the following questions:

What prompted you to prepare the concept paper?
Why is the issue of such importance?
What should you be able to produce out of your intended study?

2. A Conceptual Framework

A conceptual framework is simply your guide in working on your idea. It is like a map that you need to follow to arrive at your destination. An excellent way to come up with one is to do a mind mapping exercise.

That brings up another thing, what is mind mapping anyhow?

A mind map is simply a list of keywords that you can connect to make clear an individual issue. It is our subconscious way of analyzing things. We tend to associate a thing with another thing. This relates to how we recall past experiences. In computers, we have the so-called “links” that connect commands in a computer module to make an application program work.

How does mind mapping work? You just have to come up with a word, for example, that will help you start off. You can begin with an issue on computers and from there, generate other ideas that connect with the previous one. There are a lot of literature on the internet that explains what a mind map is.

Now, after reading an explanation of the mind map, how will you come up with your conceptual framework? Well, I do not need to explain it again here because I wrote about it previously. You may read an easy to understand explanation and example here.

3. Your Hypothesis

Once the idea of the conceptual framework is quite clear to you, then you may write your hypothesis. A hypothesis is just your expected output in the course of conducting your study. The hypothesis arises from the conceptual framework that you have prepared.

Once you have identified the specific variables in the phenomenon that you would like to study, ask yourself the following questions: How are the variables related? Does one variable affect another? Alternatively, are they related at all?

A quick review of relevant and updated literature will help you identify which variables really matter. Nowadays, it’s easy to find full articles on your topic using the internet, that is if you know how. You can start off by going to doaj.org, a directory of open access journals.

Example of Hypotheses

Considering the issues raised a while ago, the following null hypotheses can be written:

1. There is no significant difference in wi-fi signal behavior between wood and metal.
2. There is no significant difference in browsing speed between a ten MB cache and a 100 MB cache storage setting using Mozilla Firefox.

At this point, you may already have a better idea of how to prepare a concept paper before working on a full thesis proposal. If you find this discussion useful, or you would like to clarify further the discussion above, your feedback is welcome.

© 2012 October 31 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick (October 31, 2012). How to Write a Concept Paper [Blog Post]. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2012/10/31/how-to-write-a-concept-paper/
Categories
Research Statistics

Example of a Research Activity Using t-test

Are you a statistics teacher looking for a simple example of a t-test activity that you can use in your class? Or are you a student who wants to have an idea how t-test works? I describe below an example of a situation where the t-test can be applied right after learning the procedures and understanding how it works. Read more to find out.

Teaching students through practical hands-on exercises enable them to appreciate how the different analytical tools used in research can help them address issues and problems that they encounter in their respective disciplines. I applied this approach in one of my classes in the graduate school. My students consisted of more than 44 graduates of different courses namely education, biology, nursing, environmental science, public administration, mathematics, business and tourism.

After giving them an LCD projector presentation about t-test, a statistical tool to test differences between two groups of data, I gave them a simple situation which can be applied right there in the classroom. This is to find out the difference between one’s heartbeat before and after exercise.

The t-test Research Activity

Since some of my students are graduates of nursing, they are the ones who took charge of recording the heartbeats per minute of all 44 students in every 5-member group before they exercise. After recording the heartbeats of each of their classmates, the whole class marched briskly in the classroom for about 5 minutes. It is expected that their heartbeats should be higher after the brisk walk in place.

I just can’t keep myself from getting amused seeing them enjoy the activity. I can see smiles in their faces while those who can’t keep their peace laughed it all the way. I even took a picture and a video to record this momentous occasion.

It was 7 o’clock in the evening as classes in the graduate school are held from 5:30 to 8:30 in the evening. This activity is quite beneficial to employees of the various government and non-government institutions where these students are working. Sleepiness and tiredness of the whole work day is dispelled for the moment as they stretch their leg as well as face muscles.

Right after the exercise, each student recorded their heartbeats and gave them to their group leaders. The group leaders then recorded the numbers on the board for everyone to see. Everyone in the class computed for the t-test value and compared their results with those of their classmates.

t test

Their findings showed, of course, a significant difference between heartbeats before and after exercise. But something intriguing happened. Some of the students have actually lower heartbeats after they exercised. These somehow puzzled us because before the exercise, everyone rested for about 10 minutes or even more.

Discussion of the t-test Results

This finding shows that there are unexpected things that could happen in the course of doing research. And explanation to this phenomenon requires further investigation. Why did the heartbeat decrease after exercise? Is this something worth investigating. Will we get the same results if a greater number of people are involved in the study?

My hypothesis in this case is that at the end of the day, everyone is quite stressed after work; thus, their rapid heartbeat. While doing the exercise, somehow their muscles relaxed and caused blood flow to be much more efficient, causing their heartbeats to drop.

This may be something that has already been discovered. A review of literature should be done to find out. This could be a groundbreaking study related to stress and exercise. And computing for the t-test value may be applied to find out differences in means before and after exercise.

Pedagogical Approach that Works!

The whole activity transpired within the three-hour duration of classes each week. It consisted of a short lecture followed by application of knowledge gained right there. The activity is quite memorable and found quite effective in getting across the principles of research and statistics and how it is applied in real life.

At the end of the day, the students were able to understand and actuate their learning through practical, hands-on experience. Most of the class were able to compute for the t-test value without a fuss.

© 2012 October 28 P. A. Regoniel

Categories
Research

5 Qualities of a Good Researcher

Can anyone be a good researcher? Do researchers possess specific qualities that make them succeed in the field of scientific inquiry? Find out in the article below if indeed you have any of the qualities a good researcher must have.  If not, then you train and build yourself up on those qualities that you find yourself wanting.

While everyone in college will be given the opportunity to do research, not everyone can do it unless they possess the qualities required of a good researcher. Just like leaders, scientists can also be made, not just born.

But there are innate qualities that researchers must possess to succeed in this challenging task that requires a lot of imagination and perseverance.

What then are the qualities of a good researcher? Here are five notable attributes of people who tread the path towards discovery:

1. A good researcher manifests thirst for new information.

A good researcher shows an open mind about things. He does not just take things by themselves but explores new grounds. He adopts the philosophy of “thinking beyond the box“, leaving out the conventional for something innovative. A good researcher treads the unknown frontier.

Pieces of evidence of this thirst for new information manifest in people who do not stop learning. Those persons who maintain an open mind for new possibilities to happen, even when everything appears to have been discovered or studied, or options exhausted.

Two hundred years ago, has anyone ever thought that man could go to the moon, or explore the depths of the sea? Or tap on the keys of the cell phone to communicate with another person so far away?

2. A good researcher has a keen sense of things around him.

Keenness is a quality developed through an observant attitude. A good researcher sees something more out of a common occurrence around him. And he sees this quickly.

He can see a wiggling worm inside a flower, or the beautiful color combinations of a wild plant, or simply, notices the small fly in the burger.

Do you know which part of the vertically-oriented traffic light is green?

keenness

Image Source

3. A good researcher likes to reflect or think about the things he encounters.

Researchers who pause and reflect on the knowledge that they gained, either formally in school or through their experience, gain insights. Insights are creative thoughts that make one nod his head and say, “Aha, this is something I have been looking for!” An original idea was born.

4. A good researcher must be intelligent enough to express his ideas.

How can you express your thoughts if you cannot write? The point here is that a good researcher must be adept in the written language.

How can people understand your point when you are the only one who can understand what you have written?

Intelligence to express ideas is a quality that appears to reside in gifted individuals. But if you recognize your weakness in this realm, why not seek someone who can? After all, ideas are more important; but of course, better if you present them in such in a way that others understand well what you want to say.

5. A good researcher applies a systematic approach in assessing situations.

Research requires systematic and objective thinking to arrive at something. Logical reasoning, therefore, is applied by a good researcher.

He can analyze things, meaning, he can break down a complex situation into manageable bits that he can focus his attention into (see article on conceptual framework).

Do you have these qualities? If not, then it’s time for you to harness the hidden talents in you through training and continuous learning.

© 2012 October 24 P. A. Regoniel

Categories
Research Statistics

What are Examples of Research Questions?

To effectively write the statement of the problem of your thesis, you will need to bear in mind certain principles that will guide you in framing those critical questions.  Well-written research questions determine how the whole research process will proceed.

At least three basic research outcomes are expected. These are described below along with examples of research questions for each outcome.

There are already many pieces of literature written on how to write the research questions required in investigating a phenomenon. But how are the research questions framed in actual situations? How do you write the research questions?

You will need to bear in mind certain rules and principles on how to go about writing the research questions. Before you start writing the research questions, you should be able to discern what you intend to arrive at in your research.

What are your aims and what are your expected research outcomes? Do you intend to describe something, determine differences or explain the causes of a phenomenon?

Three Basic Research Outcomes

There are at least three basic research outcomes that will arise in writing the research questions. These are 1) come up with a description, 2) determine differences between variables, and 3) find out correlations between variables.

Research Outcome Number 1. Come up with a description.

The outcome of your research question may be in the form of a description. The description is provided to contextualize the situation, explain something about the subjects or respondents of the study or provide the reader an overview of your study.

Below are examples of common research questions for Research Outcome Number 1 on a research conducted on teachers as respondents in a study.

Example Research Questions

  • What is the demographic profile of the teachers in terms of age, gender, educational attainment, civil status, and number of training attended?
  • How much time do teachers devote in preparing their lessons?
  • What teaching styles are used by teachers in managing their students?

The expected outcomes of the questions above will be a description of the teachers’ demographic profile, a range of time devoted to preparing their lessons, and a description of the teaching styles used by the teachers. These research outcomes can be presented in the form of tables and graphs with accompanying descriptions of the highlights of the findings. Highlights are those interesting trends or dramatic results that need attention such as very few training provided to teachers.

Research Outcome Number 2. Determine differences between variables.

studying

To be able to write research questions that integrate the variables of the study, you should be able to define what is a variable. If this term is already quite familiar to you, and you are confident in your understanding, you may read the rest of this post.

You might want to find out the differences between groups in a selected variable in your study. Say, you would want to know if there is a significant difference in long quiz score (the variable you are interested in) between students who study at night and students who study early in the morning. You may frame your research questions thus:

Example Research Questions

  • Non-directional: Is there a significant difference in long quiz score between students who study early in the morning and students who study at night?
  • Directional: Are the quiz scores of students who study early in the morning higher than those who study at night?

The intention of the first research question is to find out if a difference exists in long quiz scores between students who study at night and those who study early in the morning, hence is non-directional. The second research question aims to find out if indeed students who study in the morning have better quiz scores as what the review of the literature suggests. Thus, the latter is directional.

Research Outcome Number 3. Find out correlations or relationships between variables.

The outcome of research questions in this category will be to explain correlations or causality. Below are examples of research questions that aim to find out correlations or relationships between variables using a combination of the variables mentioned in research outcome numbers 1 and 2.

Example Research Questions

  • Is there a significant relationship between teaching style and long quiz score of students?
  • Is there a significant association between the student’s long quiz score and the teacher’s age, gender, and training attended?
  • Is there a relationship between the long quiz score and the number of hours devoted by students in studying their lessons?

Note that in all the preceding examples of research questions, the variables of the study found in the conceptual framework of the study are integrated. Therefore, research questions must always incorporate the variables in them so that the researcher can describe, find differences, or correlate them with each other.

If you find this helpful, take the time to share this with your peers so that they can likewise discover new, exciting and interesting things along their fields of interest.

© 2012 October 22 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick (October 22, 2012). What are Examples of Research Questions? [Blog Post]. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2012/10/22/what-are-examples-of-research-questions/
Categories
Research Statistics

What are Examples of Variables in Research?

In the course of writing your thesis, one of the first terms that you encounter is the word variable. Failure to understand the meaning and the usefulness of variables in your study will prevent you from doing good research. What then are variables and how do you use variables in your study? I explain the concept below with lots of examples on variables commonly used in research.

You may find it difficult to understand just what variables are in the context of research especially those that deal with quantitative data analysis. This initial difficulty about variables becomes much more confusing when you encounter the phrases “dependent variable” and “independent variable” as you go deeper in studying this important concept of research as well as statistics.

Understanding what variables mean is crucial in writing your thesis proposal because you will need these in constructing your conceptual framework and in analyzing the data that you have gathered. Therefore, it is a must that you should be able to grasp thoroughly the meaning of variables and ways on how to measure them. Yes, the variables should be measurable so that you will be able to use your data for statistical analysis.

I will strengthen your understanding by providing examples of phenomena and their corresponding variables below.

Definition of Variables and Examples

Variables are those simplified portions of the complex phenomena that you intend to study. The word variable is derived from the root word “vary”, meaning, changing in amount, volume, number, form, nature or type. These variables should be measurable, i.e., they can be counted or subjected to a scale.

The following examples of phenomena from a global to a local perspective. The corresponding list of variables is given to provide a clear illustration of how complex phenomena can be broken down into manageable pieces for better understanding and to subject the phenomena to research.

  • Phenomenon: climate change

Examples of variables related to climate change:

  1. sea level
  2. temperature
  3. the amount of carbon emission
  4. the amount of rainfall
  • Phenomenon: Crime and violence in the streets

Examples of variables related to crime and violence:

  1. number of robberies
  2. number of attempted murders
  3. number of prisoners
  4. number of crime victims
  5. number of laws enforcers
  6. number of convictions
  7. number of car napping incidents
  • Phenomenon: poor performance of students in college entrance exams

Examples of variables related to poor academic performance:

  1. entrance exam score
  2. number of hours devoted to studying
  3. student-teacher ratio
  4. number of students in the class
  5. educational attainment of teachers
  6. teaching style
  7. the distance of school from home
  8. number of hours devoted by parents in providing tutorial support
  • Phenomenon: Fishkill

Examples of variables related to fish kill:

  1. dissolved oxygen
  2. water salinity
  3. temperature
  4. age of fish
  5. presence or absence of parasites
  6. presence or absence of heavy metal
  7. stocking density
  • Phenomenon: Poor crop growth

Examples of variables related to poor crop growth:

  1. the amount of nitrogen in the soil
  2. the amount of phosphorous in the soil
  3. the amount of potassium in the ground
  4. the amount of rainfall
  5. frequency of weeding
  6. type of soil
  7. temperature
Arid land
Poor crop growth in the arid soil of a hill in an island.

Notice in the above examples of variables that all of them can be counted or measured using a scale. The expected values derived from these variables will, therefore, be in terms of numbers, amount, category or type. Quantified variables allow statistical analysis. Variable correlations or differences are then determined.

Difference Between Independent and Dependent Variables

Which of the above examples of variables are the independent and the dependent variables? The independent variables are just those variables that may influence or affect the other variable, i.e., the dependent variable.

For example, in the first phenomenon of climate change, temperature (independent variable) may influence sea level (dependent variable). Increased temperature will cause expansion of water in the sea. Thus, sea level rise on a global scale may occur. In the second phenomenon, i.e., crime and violence in the streets, the independent variable may be the number of law enforcers and the dependent variable is the number of robberies.

I will leave to you the other variables so you can figure out how this works.

How will you know that one variable may cause the other to behave in a certain way? Finding the relationship between variables require a thorough review of the literature. Through a review of the relevant and reliable literature, you will be able to find out which variables influence the other variable. You do not just simply guess relationships between variables. The whole process is the essence of research.

At this point, I believe that the concept of the variable is now clear to you. Share this information to your peers who may have difficulty in understanding what the variables are in research.

©2012 October 22 P. A. Regoniel

Cite this article as: Regoniel, Patrick (October 22, 2012). What are Examples of Variables in Research? [Blog Post]. In SimplyEducate.Me. Retrieved from https://simplyeducate.me/2012/10/22/what-are-examples-of-variables-in-research/