Planning the Research study


Gul Nazir Khan
I.E.R P Peshawar University

§ Sources of Research ideas/Problems.

§ Formulating hypotheses

§ Review of the Literature

Research problem

One of the most difficult phases of any research project is the
identification of research problem. The identification of a good
research problem should be considered a discovery in itself.

In the beginning after the preliminary study of review literature
the investigator thinks that most of the problems of education have
already been studied (problem blind), However in the field of

education there are a number of variable factors in terms of

pupils,teachers,parents,communities, curricula, text book etc.

The problem lie everywhere around us, need is to develop problem
awareness, problem consciousness in order to locate and recognize

How to proceed?

n Select a field of specialization

n Develop a concern for that field

n Critically study the available literature in the specialized field.

n Accept the difficulties or obstacles of that field as a challenge.

n Prepare a record of that problems already studied in the areas
of specialization

n Acquaint yourself with the research underway in that area.

n Analyze the trend in the field of specialization.

n Widely discusses any problem that come to your mind

Sources of the research problem

n The classroom, school, home, community, and other agencies of education.

n Social development and technological changes are constantly
bringing new problems and opportunities.

n Record of previous research..

n Discussions.

n Questioning attitude.

n Consultations.

M.S Surindhar: has further pointed eight other sources of research i.e.

· Reading

· Academic

· Experiences,

· Daily experiences,

· Exposed to field situation,

· Consultation,

· Brainstorming,

· Research,

· Intuition.

According to William M.K Trochim(2001) the sources of the research problems are:

n Practical problems in the field,

n Literature in your specific field,

n Request for proposals,(from government or from non government)

n Think of the problems by your own self.

Criteria of a good Research problem:

n Novelty (original one)

n Interesting

n Importance

n Feasibility

n Availability of data

n Availability of cooperation

n Availability of guidance

n Immediate application

n Aim of research

n Level of research

n Courage and confidence.


Formulating and stating the problem

There are two different way of stating the research problem, one is
posing question/questions and the other is making declarative
statement/statements. Both of these ways may be used, keeping in mind
that question form has an advantage in focusing the issue.


After stating the problem it must also be defined. By
definition the separation of problem from the complex of difficulties
and needs. It means to put a fence around it, to specify it in detail
and with precision.


n Here the investigator states the limitation restriction which he
imposed on his study it will provide information concerning

n who

n What

n Where

n How many

It will determine the boundaries of research project

Justification of problem

n The investigator has to indicate:

n To what extent this study would contribute to the human knowledge.

n The chief purpose of the study

n And other subsidiary related specific objectives that compel him
to undertake such an investigation


n A hypothesis is tentative assumption drawn from knowledge and
theory which is used as a guide in the investigation of other facts
and theories that are yet unknown.

n A hypothesis states what we are looking for. A hypothesis looks
forward. It is proposition, which can be put to a test to determine
its validity. It may prove to be correct or incorrect. (Goode and
Hat,1952 course code 837 a.i.o.u). According to Lundberg _A
hypothesis is a tentative generalization the validity of which remain
to be tested. In its most elementary stage the hypothesis may be any
hunch , guess, imaginative ideas which become a base for further

Importance of Hypothesis

n Provide direction to research

n A guide to thinking process/discovery

n Focuses research

n Prevents blind research

n Serve as framework from drawing conclusions

n Link together related facts and information and organize it.

1 Investigator eye

n Clarify method and procedure to be used.

n Place clear and specific goals before us.

n Sensitized the individual to facts and condition that otherwise
might be overlooked.

n Gather relevant data, discourage haphazardness

Sources of Hypothesis:

n General culture (religion or moral values)

n Scientific theory

n Personal experience

n Analogies

Types of hypothesis:

§ Null hypothesis: states that no significant difference exists
between the two variables concerned. For example there is no
significant difference between age and intelligence.

§ Prediction form: applicable in action research. For example
there may be a significant
difference between age and intelligent.

§ Declarative form: for example there will be a significant
difference between age and intelligent.

§ Question form: for example "is there will be a significant
difference between age and intelligence?"

Characteristics of hypothesis:

n A good hypothesis is in agreement with the observed facts

n Does not conflicts any law of nature

n Stated in scientific language

n Stated in the simplest possible language

n Its test should provide an answer to the original problem

n Testable

n State relation between variables

n Limited in scope

n Testable in reasonable time

Formulation of hypothesis:

n According to Goode and Hatt;" The theorists who does not know
what techniques are available to test his hypothesis is in poor way to
formulate his usable hypothesis"

n According to P.V Young, "the more insight the researcher has in
to the problem, the simpler will be his hypothesis about it"

Steps in formulating hypothesis

n Deep knowledge of a clear theoretical framework

n Ability to make use of theoretical framework logically

n Familiar with the available research techniques

Review literature:

n According to Bruce (1994), the review forms an important chapter
in a thesis where its purpose is to provide the backgrounds to and
justification for the research undertaken.

The purpose of the review is to analyze critically a segment of a
published body of search through summary, calssification and
comparison of prior research study.

Bourner (1996), mentioned the reasons for the review literature:

Ø : Identify the gap in the literature.

Ø To avoid reinventing the wheel (avoid making the mistakes
committed by the others)

Ø To carry from where other have already reached (build the
platform of ideas and existing knowledge).

Ø To identify other people working in the same field.

Ø Increase breadth of knowledge of your subject area.

Ø Identify seminal (strongly influencing later development) work
in your area.

Ø Identify opposing views.

Ø Provide intellectual context to your work.

Ø Identify information and ideas relevant to your work.

Ø Identify method relevant to your project.

Ø To demonstrate that you have access previous work.

Ø provide your work in to perspective.

Ø Find models( other research)

Ø Clarify your problem

Ø Narrow your topic

Ø Use current sources of information.

According to william M.k trochim(2001)

· Concentrate your effort on scientific literature.

· Do the review early, in the review we should:

· Look for quite similar study

· Include all the relevant constructs in your study

· Use prior experience of other and to avoid their common traps.

· Anticipate common problems in your research context

· Methodology of research

· Measuring instrument to employed.


n In introduction you should:

n Identify or define the general topic, issue or area of concerned.

n Point out overall trend what have been published about the topic
or conflicts in the theory, methodology, evidence and conclusion.

n Establish the writer's reason (point of view) for reviewing
literature. Explain the criteria to be used in analyzing and comparing
literature and organization of review (

Body of research

n In body of research you should:

n Mention research study and other types of literature

n Summarize individual studies or articles with as much as little
according to its importance

n Provide the readers with strong umbrella sentences (different
things) at beginning signposts throughout (direction) and brief

n In body of research you should:

n Mention research study and other types of literature

n Summarize individual studies or articles with as much as little
according to its importance

n Provide the readers with strong umbrella sentences (different
things) at beginning signposts throughout (direction) and brief

Summary and syntheses

n In summary: A recap of the important information of sources

n But in synthesis a reorganization or reshuffling of that information occur


§ Trochim M.K W the research method knowledge base 3rd ed
atomic dog publication 2001 cincinnati ,OH.

n Bruce ,c.1994"supervising literature review",in zuber skert,O and

Ryan,y(eds) quality in postgraduate edn kogan page London

n Good,Cater.V.,Introduction to Educational

york :Appletion century crofts,1959.(a.i.o.u)

n Rashid.M,Allied material of educational research,National

Foundation (A.I.O.U) Islamabad (2000).

n Surinder.M.S Rsearch Methodology part-2 ISRO satelite centre

Banglore(nd), retrieved on 17-3-2009(

n ( retrieved on 19-3-2009.

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