The different types of research can be classified as Theoretical, Empirical, and Evaluation. Theoretical research is focused on explaining phenomena through the logical analysis and synthesis of theories, principles, and the results of other forms of research such as empirical studies. Empirical research is focused on testing conclusions related to theories. Evaluation research is focused on a particular program, product or method, usually in an applied setting, for the purpose of describing, improving, or estimating its effectiveness and worth.
Research methods are broadly classified as Quantitative and Qualitative.
Quantitative research includes experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, and other methods that primarily involve collection of quantitative data and its analysis using inferential statistics such as t-tests, ANOVA, correlation, and regression analysis.
Qualitative research includes observation, case studies, diaries, interviews, and other methods that primarily involve the collection of qualitative data and its analysis using grounded theory and ethnographic approaches. The Case Study method provides a way of studying human events and actions in their natural surroundings. It captures people and events as they appear in their daily circumstance. It can offer a researcher empirical and theoretical gains in understanding phenomena.
You, as an adult learner, bring a wealth of expertise to your studies. This knowledge and skills should be used to formulate a research paper that raises new questions, new possibilities, and regards existing problems from a new angle. Effective research compares, contrasts, analyzes, evaluates, synthesizes, and integrates information rather than simply reports it. It should contains references to and examples of various theorists, theories, ideas, philosophies, being compared and contrasted as well as synthesized and integrated within your work. The research paper must demonstrate scholarly treatment of the material that the student has selected for further study. It goes without saying that the research paper must be free of spelling and grammatical errors. References must be cited correctly using APA style.
Research studies must include a Breadth and Depth components. In the Breadth component, you should demonstrate familiarity with broad theoretical and conceptual topic area and provide an overview of major theories, theorists, and schools of thought. The Depth section should promote understanding of latest research and build on theory presented in the Breadth section; it should be designed to foster greater depth, development and detail in examination of one or more aspects that has already been introduced.
While developing the Research Paper, the following questions should be used as a checklist:
Does the research deal with significant and meaningful problem that lends itself to a substantial research effort?
Is there a justification that demonstrates why the problem is worth studying?
Is it clear who or what will be aided by research findings?
Will the findings provide a basis for generalized conclusions or have practical applicability?
Is the purpose of the research expressed clearly?
Is the research question or hypotheses stated concisely and explicitly? Does it logically flow from the problem?
Are limitations of the study identified with recognition of their consequences?
Are technical terms well defined? Are definitions clear and unambiguous?
Is the theoretical framework related to previous research? Is previous work on the topic critically appraised?
Is the research informed by primary sources of theories, concepts, principles and models in the field, and are they referred to specifically?
Are methods of data collection appropriately explained?
Is data analysis complete and presented logically?
Are conclusions and recommendations useful and tied to findings?