Research is the orderly process of conducting a careful or thorough examination about a particular subject. The aim of conducting research is to discover new facts and obtain information about the subject matter. Research could be conducted to gain an understanding of a newly emergent phenomenon that has not been studied before. It could also be done to gain a better understanding of an existent matter that the researcher already has some information about (Myrtle & Bolner, 2006).
Research information could either be from primary or secondary sources. Information obtained from primary sources involves the researcher obtaining the first-hand data for himself/herself. Secondary sources are the sources of information that the researcher obtains from already gathered data i.e. from books, journals or the internet.
Conducting research involves an elaborate and detailed process that will ensure the research objectives are met. The first stage in conducting research involves determining the problem statement. This entails clearly stating the topic on which research will be carried out. It explains what the problem to be researched on is. It is the motive for conducting research (Oliver, 2010).
The next stage in the process of conducting a research involves formulation of the research objectives. These objectives give the researcher a clear understanding of what he intends to achieve once he conducts the research. Research objectives help in the formulation of the research questions. These questions, when answered, should provide sufficient information that will help in satisfying the information needs that necessitated the carrying out of the research.
A literature review is then carried out concerning the research problem. Literature review involves the analysis of past data gathered in relation to the problem in question. Literature review could either be general or specific in nature. General review involves the analysis of data collected all over the world concerning the research problem. Specific literature involves the analysis of the examination of data collected from the locality or area that the problem in question affects. A hypothesis is then formulated. This is guesswork by the researcher on the results he expects to obtain from the research. At the end of the research process, the researcher determines whether his/her hypothesis was true or not.
After the formulation of the research hypothesis, the researcher should come up with the research design. At this stage, the researcher determines the kind of information he shall collect. He/she also determines from where or whom he shall collect the information. The conditions in which the information will be collected are also determined.
The next stage after the formulation of the research design entails the researcher understanding the meaning of key variables to be used in the research. The instruments to be used to collect information should also be prepared. Such instruments may include the questionnaires or observation schedules to be used in measuring the variables within the research. Other methods used in collecting data include the use of interviews and recording events.
A pilot test of the whole data collection process is carried out. The applicability of the data collecting techniques and procedures to be followed is evaluated. This is aimed at determining whether the use of the planned techniques or procedures will meet the goals targeted by the research.
If the pilot test is successful, it means that the preparation and planning conducted to aid in the data collection process is adequate to meet the objectives of the research. Data relevant to the research is then collected by the researcher. Once data is collected, it is organized to form clear and logical sequence. An analysis of the data is then carried out done. Data collected is summarized and then tabulated. A report is then written to summarize the findings from the research.