Conducting the primary research for a dissertation is a critical task for the success of your entire project. However, this is a daunting task for most students, including postgraduates. Several reasons account for students’ inability to start their primary research smoothly. It ranges from their failure to choose a primary research method and difficulties in interpreting data. We have therefore decided to provide you a complete guide to doing this research.
How to conduct your primary research?
- Choosing your data
Before you go about your primary research, determine the type of data you want to use. There are three types of data to choose from when researching primary data, secondary data and big/combined data. When doing primary research, you use the primary data in the process.
Primary data: It is the type of data you collect by yourself during research. It is described as real-time data because it is collected at the exact period of the study. The researcher has direct control over the data collection process and its usage.
- Decide on the research methodology
In the primary research, you can choose to use qualitative, quantitative, or combined methodologies.
Qualitative research: In qualitative research, the researcher collects and analyzes original data for the project. He/she does not rely on any previous data collected by other researchers. You need this type of methodology when researching a topic that has not been explored before. You collect data from government and private agencies and by interviewing specific persons.
You should select a suitable quantitative method, including observation, interviews, focus groups, and case studies.
Quantitative research: unlike qualitative research, this methodology uses data collected by other researchers. The aim is to confirm or otherwise the findings of previous studies.
Mixed research: It is the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods to derive and analyze data. It is used to achieve more comprehensive data and ensure a thorough analysis of your research topic. You first conduct qualitative research and complement it with quantitative research.
- Identify the strength and limitations of your research methods
The strength of the qualitative research method is that it offers you in-depth, insightful and detailed data and statistics in real-time. You can generate the information you require according to your research questions. Nonetheless, the method has various limitations, including your inability to generalize your findings since a limited group of persons was used. Also, since you analyze multiple views, it may be challenging to come to an unbiased conclusion.
- Select measures
After selecting the research methodology, please choose a suitable measure that goes with it to derive the intended results.
- Analyzes of data
After deriving your date, the next step is to analyze them. The data can be complex or not depending on the research methodology you used?
In summary, when doing your dissertation primary research, you should consider the methodology, the strengths, and limitations of the method you choose, choose a specific primary method, consider your participants, and measures the study. You should also take into consideration the research procedure and ethics.