The choice of research methods in the coursework

There are a large number of research methods - when writing a term paper, it is important to choose the appropriate ones and apply them correctly. You can look for a specific research method guide at blog.

Research methods are classified for different reasons. Here is a variant of division:
  • qualitative methods that answer the questions "why?" And How? ",

  • quantitative methods that provide an answer to the question "how much?"

Qualitative methods

The use of qualitative methods allows you to obtain detailed information about the subject of research.

Quantitative methods

Quantitative methods focus on collecting and quantifying data. The quantitative method is used for the development and subsequent application of hypotheses, theories and mathematical models. The measurement process is fundamental to quantitative methods.

Data types

The data is divided into groups according to different criteria. Common classification options are shown in the figure.

Qualitative and quantitative information is formed as a result of qualitative and quantitative research, respectively, says experts from the writing center.

Primary data is information that is collected specifically for the research being conducted. The secondary ones were obtained as a result of other studies carried out earlier, but can be used in the project under consideration. Usually, they first consider the available secondary information, and only then - if there is a lack of them - collect the missing primary information. The possibilities of students in terms of collecting information are extremely limited, therefore, most often the basis of the research part of the coursework is precisely secondary information. Unfortunately, secondary information is often not complete or outdated. In addition, the quality of secondary data cannot always be controlled, since the conditions for obtaining them are unknown.

Structured data is generated according to a specific model. It is convenient to store them in the form of a database or table. It is convenient to process structured data using a computer. Unstructured data is variable in nature, its content depends on the context. Sometimes it is possible to structure them, and sometimes it is not.

Sampling in the research part of the coursework

A sample is understood as a certain part of the general population, reflecting its general properties.

In practice, it is often impossible (or too time-consuming) to investigate the entire large group of objects, so some part is used for research. For example, if you are looking at consumer opinion about a particular food item, it is extremely difficult to interview everyone who has tried it.

In order for the results obtained from the sample to be generalizable to the general population, it is recommended by writers to ensure that the sample is representative. This means that it should be similar to the general population. So, if out of 1000 buyers there were 500 men and 500 women, and the sample included 90 women and 10 men, the results will be skewed. Different characteristics must be taken into account. For people, this can be gender, age, income, place of residence, education, etc. For enterprises - the field of activity, scale, duration of work, profitability.

Statistics, as a science, develops various procedures that make it possible to make a representative sample. When working on a term paper, they are usually not given special attention. Sample types are shown in the figure.

When probability sampling is performed, it is assumed that objects with more common characteristics in the population are more likely to be included in the sample. With targeted sampling, the number of objects of each type included in the sample is determined.

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