selecting research approaches & reviewing literature

1. This discussion will help you think about the varied research approaches and how they can be applied based on certain world views or the nature of the groups you wish to research. By choosing the best approach from the start, researchers are much more likely to get the best results to answer research questions. In your initial post, address the following:

  • Discuss the importance of the inductive approach in qualitative research. How does this approach differ from the deductive approach in quantitative research?
  • Explain how your philosophical worldview may influence the types of research you are interested in conducting.
  • Of the four philosophical worldviews, which do you feel most fits with your own perspective to research?
  • How does the definition and description of research design differ from your initial perception of the concept?
  • If you were given a research study to complete in the Ashford online learning setting, which criterion/criteria would figure most prominently in your decision about the research approach to take? For example, is there anything about the mode of online learning or the demographic of the students which would work best with a certain research approach?

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references.

It is critical that you read Chapters 1 & 2 of the Creswell textbook to complete this discussion (and all of the discussions/assignments in this course).

After reading the textbook, you should address each of the following:

  • Discuss the importance of the inductive approach in qualitative research. Think about how the inductive approach differs from the deductive approach in quantitative research?
  • Explain how one’s philosophical worldview may influence the types of research they are interested in conducting.
  • Which of the four philosophical worldviews discussed in the text do you feel most fits with your own perspective to research?  Why?
  • Look at the definition and description of “research design.”  How does it differ from your initial perception of the concept?

You will find all of the information you need to answer these questions in the textbook.  Even when you are asked for your own perspective on a given issue, be sure to think about it in relation to what you read.  

2. An integral part of preparing for a research study is performing a literature review. This includes defining key terms which support your topic, searching for journal articles which support these terms, adjusting your search terms as needed, and then organizing the data you have. Based on this foundation of early research, you can specifically focus on the most important aspects of the topic chosen and can even find gaps where other researchers have not explored. This can be especially important because a research study which fills a gap is very important to developing society’s and academic’s thoughts on the subject – truly groundbreaking! In your initial post, address the following:

  • What topic are you most interested in studying? In one sentence state the essence of this study, then write your research title. Basically, choose a research topic that interests you – is it a social problem that affects a particular group in society? Break down the elements: Who do you want to research? What is the issue? Is there a particular place or other differentiator which is useful to describe your study?
  • Considering the research topic you selected, list five key terms related to your topic and use these terms to perform a database search for journal articles on the topic in the Ashford University Library. What were the outcomes of your database search? Did you modify your search terms to achieve a successful search? Which databases were most useful to you and why?
  • Considering the research topic you selected and the database searches you performed, list the five terms you think are important in this study and define/operationalize them. Discuss the advantages and limitations defining these terms. To help you do this, list the terms and how they specifically support and are important to your research topic.

Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. 

This discussion question is asking you think about a research topic that interests you,  and then breaking that topic down into the first concrete steps researchers take in the research design process.  

After identifying a research topic and/or research question(s), you must think about many things — including gaining clarity on why this topic is important to you.  The next concrete step that all research projects begin with is a review of the existing literature on the topic.  
To do a literature review, you must identify key terms related to your topic in order to search for journal articles that discuss these terms.  After finding some journal articles, however, you will likely have to revise your terms based on the key terms being used by other scholars writing on the topic.  

For example, in my own research I study women in politics across the world.  I wanted to understand why the percent of female legislators varies so greatly around the world (Rwanda has the highest proportion of women in national government than any other country).  When I started, I identified terms such as gender, congress, political representation, etc, and these are the terms I used to search for journal articles on the topic.  However, as I began the search and found a few journal articles, I had to revise my terms a bit.  I saw that most articles talked about the percent of women in “parliaments,” whereas I had been searching for women’s representation in Congress (because that is what we call our national government in the United States).   Overall, your initial review of the literature provides you a foundation that you can build off of as you move forward in your research plan.  

Reading Chapters 1 &2 of the Creswell textbook is essential to allow you to answer the following questions:  

  • What topic are you most interested in studying? In one sentence describe the social problem you want to research and then give your research project an appropriate title. Next, a) Who do you want to research? b) What is the issue/social problem? c) Is there a particular place, location, or some other unique factor that is useful to describe your study?
  • Considering the research topic you selected, list five key terms related to your topic and use these terms to perform a database search for journal articles on the topic in the Ashford University Library. Next, describe what you found using those terms to conduct your search.  Did you have to modify your search terms to achieve a successful search? Which databases were most useful to you and why?
  • Next, operationalize your 5 key terms.  In other words, be very explicit about how you are defining your concepts.  For example, if one of your concepts is education… how will you measure it?  Or if one of your concepts is race, how will you unpack that complicated concept and measure it?  Which racial groups will you include?  Discuss the advantages and limitations defining these terms. To help you do this, list the terms and how they specifically support and are important to your research topic.
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