Conducting a research is somehow complicated and it shows the extent to which he learner can create more knowledge about a particular subject. In this reflective paper, I am going to outline the experience and knowledge I have gained so far in my studies during this term particularly in the area of research. First of all, it should be noted that a research is different from other ordinary essays or reports. The structure of a research paper is completely different from an ordinary paper and the other notable aspect is that a research paper is usually longer. The main reason for this is that a research paper contains more information than an ordinary paper.
When conducting a research, the researcher needs to clearly state the objectives of the study. Failure to do so means that there is no research to be conducted. The objectives of the research clearly state the aims and goals of what the researcher seeks to achieve. In other words, this is the foundation of the research since it outline how the researcher intends to dig out more information about a particular subject in a bid to generate more knowledge and insight about a certain topic. The objectives of the research also form the basis of the research questions that should be answered in the study. I have observed that in most cases many people fail to successfully conduct researches by virtue of failing to clearly outline what they intend to achieve by conducting their studies.
The other important element about conducting a research pertains to the aspect of literature review. This is probably the longest section of a research. In most cases, there is no topic that is unique or completely new since there exists some information about that particular topic. This means that the researcher should try to find as much information about the topic that has been published by other writers. For instance, I conducted a research about the importance of social media in doing business and this whole exercise was so enlightening. I learn quite a lot of things about the importance of social media to business during the contemporary period. For instance, consumers can now share their experiences and provide valuable information as feedback and the other issue is that using social media for business is highly profitable for promoting brands, services and products (Lin, Fan and Chau, 2014). This shows that this topic has been covered by other writers and it is important to state what other writers have found in their studies. This is very important since it helps to show that the study is authentic since it is based on information that is obtained from official documents. The other issue is that a scholarly research should be supported by facts obtained from different reputable sources such as journals, newspapers as well as academic books.
I have also learnt that the literature review section of the report is very important since it helps to support what the researcher will be saying with facts. For example, in my research paper I have observed that other scholars like Chen (2013), have argued that the adoption of social media for business purposes is not completely safe given that social media at the same time can expose the company to abuse. A literature review section is also very important since it helps to identify the gap that exists within the body of information about the study available. This helps the researcher to add more knowledge about the topic to what is already available. This is also very important since it forms the basis of conducting a research. Basically, a research is conducted in order to generate more knowledge about a specific subject. A research can also be conducted in order to solve a particular problem identified.
The other important thing that I have learned about conducting a research is that the research methodology should also be clearly stated. This shows the method of data collection that can be used by the researcher in order to solve the problem identified. There are different types of research methods and these are applicable to different types of studies. The research methodology also helps to determine the quality of data that will be collected for the study. For example, a strong methodology is required in order to conduct the study on the advantages and disadvantages of using social media in business (Zikmund et al., 2013). The sources of information also have to be mentioned so as to make the study credible. Reliable sources also help to improve the reliability of the study. In some cases, it can be observed that both primary and secondary data can be used in conducting a research. Primary data can be obtained through the use of research tools like interviews as well as questionnaires. On the other hand, secondary data can be obtained from official documents such as financial statements about different organizations.
When the data for the study has been gathered, it has to be analysed in order to find the answers to the research questions posed in the study. There are different methods that can be used to analyse the data for the study. In my case, I used content analysis as the method of analyzing the data for this study. This method was selected since it was appropriate for analyzing published literature about the subject of the use of social media in conducting research. The other significance of analyzing data that has been collected is that the researcher is in a position to write a meaningful conclusion to the study. Each study should be concluded to show that the researcher has discovered something that can be used to solve the problem that has been identified. A research that lacks a conclusion is not credible and this is likely to compromise the quality of the findings.
The other thing that I have also learnt is that a good research should highlight the limitations of the study. This also helps the researcher to outline the need for further research in the same topic. This shows that the study area is open ended and other researchers that are interested in pursuing the same area can do so since this helps to contribute to the body of knowledge that exists in the same area. The other important thing is that the researcher needs to highlight the sections he thinks need to be covered by the other researchers. I can safely say that I have gained quite a lot of knowledge about different measures that ought to be taken when conducting a research. I also believe that this knowledge can be used in other disciplines in my academic career. At least I now have the experience of selecting the right type of information that can be used to successfully carry out a specific study. I also have knowledge about the significance of social media to different businesses following the study that I conducted about the topic.
Lin, H., Fan, W. and Chau, P.Y., (2014). Determinants of users’ continuance of social networking sites: A self-regulation perspective. Information & Management, 51(5), pp.595-603.
Neuendorf, K.A., (2016). The content analysis guidebook. Sage publications.
Smith, J.A. ed., (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage.
Spradley, J.P., (2016). Participant observation. Waveland Press.
Vaismoradi, M., Turunen, H. and Bondas, T., (2013). Content analysis and thematic analysis: Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nursing & health sciences, 15(3), pp.398-405.
Zikmund, W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. and Griffin, M., (2013). Business research methods. Cengage Learning.