The key components are: m A description of the research problem. m An argument as to why that problem is important. m A review of literature relevant to the research problem. m A description of the proposed research methodology. m A description of how the research findings will be used and / or disseminated. DESCRIBING A RESEARCH PROBLEM 34 Empirical Research MethodologyHypothesesSpecific research hypotheses to be tested during data analysis.

Research Design Should the researcher plan to use several groups, or repeated testing to test particular hypotheses this should be explained in this section. Most research methodology text books discuss the more commonly used research designs. Sampling Empirical research almost always depends upon a sample which is assumed to accurately represent a population. Therefore, the techniques by which the sample was chosen are vital to a discussion the validity of the research findings. 35 Empirical Research Methodology (cont.

) Measurement instruments When particular measurement instruments are used it is often important to explain how those instruments were developed, where they have previously been used (if a tall), and to what effect. Data collection procedures Detailed data collection procedures should also be included so that other researchers can replicate your method exactly if required. Data analysis Various techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis exist and should be described in detail in this section. 36 Emergent Research Methodology Emergent research methodologies are useful when the research topic is a very new one and no established and tested methodologies exist. In these cases the researcher might choose to begin with some exploratory data collection and use this to develop an appropriate research methodology.

An appropriate methodology section might have the following structure: Exploratory Phase: Details of how an initial set of exploratory data will be gathered and analysed. Development of Research Methodology: Description of the process whereby an appropriate methodology will be developed. This may include descriptions of research participants, the criteria that will be employed in developing a method, and how the method will be tested (if a tall). Literature-Based Research Some studies are not based on empirical work at all but contribute through the systematic and detailed analysis of existing texts.

In these cases some of the following sub-heading might be appropriate to a research methodology section: Sources: Some description of the body of writing upon which the research will be based is necessary. This may include both primary and secondary sources, and should be clearly defined. Analysis procedures: A detailed description of how the various texts will be analysed must be included in order to ensure that another researcher, working from the same set of texts would be able to replicate the method.