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What Guides Your Research: Understanding Hypothesis v/s Research Question

What Guides Your Research: Understanding Hypothesis v/s Research Question

Research questions and hypotheses are two distinct approaches to understanding a particular phenomenon. Research questions are the empirical questions that can be answered by collecting data through observation or experimentation. Hypothesis, on the other hand, is an educated guess about how something works or what it is like.

The purpose of research is to understand a phenomenon, process or outcome. It is not an end in itself. The purpose of research is to answer a question or solve a problem. Research questions are statements that describe the problem you want to investigate. The question should be specific enough so that it can be answered by the method used in the research study.The hypothesis is the main point of interest that guides your research. It is what you think will happen (example: if your research participants respond as you expect them to respond), which makes it important to consider carefully in your choice of study design and methods.

A research question is a statement about what you want to find out. It describes the purpose of the research. For example, “What factors influence the success of a new product?” or “How does a video game affect players’ cognitive abilities?” A hypothesis is an idea that might be true but has not yet been proven. It is based on observations and previous knowledge. If a researcher wants to find out whether playing violent video games increases aggression, they might develop a hypothesis like this: “Violent video games increase aggression”. This can be tested by measuring aggression in people who have played violent video games and comparing it with aggression in people who have not.

The role of research questions in research study is to provide a focus for the researcher’s efforts, which may be used to develop and guide the research. The researcher may use a variety of approaches such as qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in order to answer questions that he/she believes will lead to significant findings. This will help the researcher in developing an appropriate research design for answering his/her research question(s).

Hypothesis is an educated guess about how something works or what it is like. It provides a framework for conducting research by providing a testable prediction about the outcome of interest. A hypothesis can be either specific or general; however general hypotheses are more useful because they give researchers a way to organize their thoughts and outline their ideas more clearly before conducting tests on specific cases.

Hypothesis v/s Research Question

  • A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. In research, we usually frame a hypothesis around a research question. A hypothesis, however, is more broad and abstract. A hypothesis is an educated guess about what might happen. The hypothesis is not concrete; it’s just a theory. A hypothesis does not have an “if/then” format like an observation does. 
  • A hypothesis may be stated as “if X happens then Y will happen,” where X and Y are variables whose values can fit into one of two categories (e.g., “If participant A responds positively when asked how his job performance has improved, then he will also respond positively when asked whether he has improved his job performance”). A null hypothesis states that there is no difference between two variables (X1 and X2). A directional hypothesis specifies that there is an effect behind one variable but not behind another variable (X1 vs. X2 vs. Y).
  • A research question is the question that you want to answer through your research. It’s the topic that you choose to investigate, not the method you choose to investigate it. 
  • A research question is what you investigate and why you want to investigate it. Your research question can be phrased in many ways. 
  • For example, if you want to study how people use social media, your question could be: “What are the key trends that people are using social media for?”, “What social media platforms are being used most often?”, “How are people using social media?”, “What are the benefits of using social media?”, and so on. 
  • Your research question guides the type of research that you do. For example, if you want to know what social media platforms people are using most often, then your research question guides the method that you use, such as an online survey. Your research question determines what questions you ask, what answers you look for, and how you present your findings.
  • There are many ways to formulate a research question, and it can be hard to figure out what kind of question will yield the best results. When you’re conducting research, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a research question is a hypothesis. In some cases, though, a research question is not a hypothesis at all; instead, it’s more of an observation. For example, when you read journal articles, you may come across research that simply looks at data. This type of research does not have a hypothesis; instead, it’s an observation about the data. All that’s being examined is the data itself, not why it happened, what it means, or how it can help solve a problem.
  • A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. A research question is what you want to investigate and why you want to investigate it.

Your research question and hypothesis should be stated in the introduction and addressed again in the conclusion to demonstrate that you have completed what you set out to do and that you have not lost sight of your objective throughout your research process.

Making best use of ‘Research onion’: A model for effective formulation of PhD methodology section

Making best use of ‘Research onion’: A model for effective formulation of PhD methodology section

Preparing a research document is a time-consuming, tedious process and includes various stages. One has to consider several aspects like availability and access to sources, contents to be included in the research document, etc while writing down a research document. Chapters in research document often demand undivided attention from the research scholar, one such being, the ‘methodology’ chapter. 

Methodology section provides a clear idea of your research and its validity & reliability. Since methodology chapter can make an everlasting impression on readers, it has to be crafted in an effective manner. Typically, a research methodology chapter should be written by following a model to make it comprehensible for readers. Today, most of the Universities are demanding scholars to follow ‘research onion’ model while writing down this section. Has your University asked you to follow this model? Sounds like a complex process?

To ease your life, we, with the help of writers providing PhD synopsis writing service have figured out and have explained each layer of this model. 

Research onion model, based on the philosophies of ontology, epistemology, and axiology is segregated into research philosophy, approaches, strategy, time horizons and data collection approaches.

  • Research philosophy –  This determines the approach used to collect infer and utilise a certain set of data for your research work and to do so, you can select philosophies like  realism, positivism, and interpretivism. No matter which philosophy use have chosen, it must perfectly align your research objective and your choice of philosophy must be justified.
  • Research approach – Research approach includes inductive and deductive methods and determines the logical reasoning. Choose one among the approaches as per your needs. The inductive approach lets you form a novel theory based on the data collected, whereas the deductive approach lets you ensure if the collected data holds good with the existing theories.
  • Research strategy –  Research strategy consists of the source and nature of the data which has been collected to meet the objectives of your research. Based on nature, the data can be qualitative or quantitative. Whereas, based on the source, the data can either be primary or secondary. 
  • Time horizon –  Time horizon is of two types cross-sectional and longitudinal study. These  give an idea of the exact timeline in which the research work has been conducted. 
  • Data collection –  Data collection highlights the underlying techniques used by you to collect the necessary data for conducting your research. You should specify the statistical tools/software that you have exploited and approaches that you have followed while gathering the required data. This section of the research onion, lets you decide the content of the questionnaire sample groups. It is a must for you to ensure that all the tools and decisions you have used syncs with the philosophies.

Writing a methodology section is definitely a tough nut to crack. If you are facing tough time in writing this section, then seek professional help from writers offering PhD synopsis writing service. 

Key points to keep in mind while designing a questionnaire for PhD research

Key points to keep in mind while designing a questionnaire for PhD research

The researcher must pay attention to the following points in constructing an appropriate and effective questionnaire or a schedule:

  1. The researcher must keep in view the problem he is to study for it provides the starting point for developing the questionnaire/schedule. He must be clear about the various aspects of his research problem to be dealt with in the course of his research project.
  2. Appropriate form of questions depend on the nature of information sought,the sampled respondents and the kind of the analysis intended. The researcher must decide whether to use closed or open-ended questions .Questions must be simple and must be constructed with a view to forming a logical part of a well thought out tabulation plan.The units of enumeration should also be defined precisely so that they can ensure accurate and full information.
  3. Rough draft of the questionnaire/schedule be prepared, giving due thought to the appropriate sequence of putting questions. Questionnaires or schedules previously drafted may as well be looked into at this stage.
  4. Researchers must invariably re-examine,and in case of need may revise the rough draft for a better one. Technical defects must be minutely scrutinised and removed.
  5.  Pilot study should be undertaken for pre-testing the questionnaire.The questionnaire may be edited in the light of the results of the pilot study.
  6. Questionnaires must contain simple but straightforward directions for the respondents so that they do not feel any difficulty in answering the questions.
Five Easy Steps to Develop that Perfect Proposal

Five Easy Steps to Develop that Perfect Proposal

So, how do you develop a thesis proposal that gets approved in the first go itself?

An ideal thesis proposal is the one that is robust and flexible at the same time. This is so, because, your thesis proposal is a blueprint for your research and thesis. So it must not be only interesting and unique but should also have a realistic approach and achievable goals at the same time.Here you go with five easy steps that help you to draft that perfect PHD thesis proposal you have been dreaming about:

  • Choose the area of research that excites you: In the beginning, when you just begin your journey as a researcher, people around you, especially your supervisor would give you a lot of options with topics for research. One thing that you should be careful about is that, it should be something that creates the passion within you because regardless of what field you are researching in, you would have good days and bad days during the process of PhD thesis writing. And during the bad days, it’s only your passion and enthusiasm that would help you to keep moving forward.
  • The research should be a good blend of novelty and established research: The short cut here is that, start your research in an area where the methodology has been well established and would teach you the necessary skills that are compulsory for the field and then gives you the arena to expand the unexplored basics domains and novel zones.
  • Establish a strong foundation of Literature Review:  You must have a strong base for your research objectives by having a thorough literature review that clearly surfaces out the gaps that you have identified in the existing research and how you intend to fill them. Without relevant and strong literature review, you may not be in a position to validate the objectives you have stated for your research.
  • The proposal should establish the time frame and methodology: PhD is a time-consuming process, and if you become too ambitious with your topic, you may not be able to anticipate the time frame required to complete the project, and it may become unachievable. Your research methodology should be specific and clearly defined so that it is clear that you exactly know how would you achieve your objectives and complete PhD thesis writing in the stipulated time.

Use simple and unambiguous language: Ensure that you use simple and unambiguous language for your content. Using heavy or strong words to impress may work the other way round. Rather, you must simplify your content by using very simple and uncomplicated terminology.

Best PhD Thesis Proposal Writing Services in Hyderabad

Best PhD Thesis Proposal Writing Services in Hyderabad

  • Are you an aspiring research scholar or a PhD candidate pursuing PhD in Hyderabad?
  • Are you aware of the importance of writing a good thesis or research proposal?
  • Are you bombarded with the tasks and responsibilities that are coming along simultaneously?
  • Do you know that there are PhD thesis writing services and PhD synopsis writing services available?
  • Do you know who should you approach?
  • Do all these questions bother you? If yes then read the article to get a clear picture.

What do you mean by Thesis Proposal?

A thesis proposal is the starting point of your thesis writing journey. It states in detail the summary of your entire thesis paper.

Thesis proposal which is also known as research proposal is the first step towards you being a successful doctorate.

A research proposal can make or break your chances of giving a good first impression. It is like the first few pages of your exam paper. Remember your schoo$P$BSSF88W/l and college days when you tried to write in a good handwriting from start in the first few pages?

It is the same thing with a thesis proposal, it validates your entire thesis paper.

A thesis proposal identifies your research questions, research problem and the purpose of your research. It also helps you as to how you should move ahead with writing the complete thesis paper. 

What should be included in the Thesis Proposal?

Following are the elements which should be included in the research/thesis proposal:

  1. Title
  2. Chapter one-
  • Introduction
  • Problem statement
  • Purpose of research/study
  • Importance of the study
  • Research Hypotheses
  • Key terms
  1. Literature Review
  1. Research Methodology and Data Collection
  1. Possible or Expected Results/Outcomes
  1. Conclusion 
  1. Bibliography/References

Why is writing a good thesis proposal important?

As I mentioned previously that a thesis proposal validates your entire thesis paper, so it is important that you write it carefully, put all the necessary points into it and try to make it flawless just as you want your grades to be!

A good thesis proposal has the power to answer all the questions which may arise in the reader’s head. It is a way through towards your entire project getting accepted in one go without any hurdles.

The research proposal should be written in a clear and understandable language, it should avoid grammatical punctuation and format errors. 

But doing all this on your own becomes tedious as you also have to focus on the entire paper ahead, you also have other tasks and responsibilities related to your research work.

Why choose us?

You need someone you can trust blindly, you need a service which will help reduce the burden on your shoulders. You need us. We are here to help you with our PhD thesis proposal writing service. 

We have a set of amazing, talented, expert PhD synopsis writers with us who can make your research proposal look like those delicious Hyderabadi Sweets.

Our aim is to help you and make sure that your research proposal gets accepted, some of the assurances we give are:

  • A subject matter and research expert, highly talented academic writer. 
  • Delivery on allotted timeline.
  • Quality and Quantity on point.
  • Error free/ Glitches free content.
  • Well explained and minute project details.

Let us together make your research journey a bit simple and sorted.

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Stratified sampling: An effective approach for dividing the population into subgroups

Stratified sampling: An effective approach for dividing the population into subgroups

In research design, the practical formulation is essential and hence must be done with immense care. But during the formulation of study on practical grounds, a large number of problems pertaining to determining the characteristics of the whole population or the part of the population creeps in accidentally. To encounter such problems, a technique known as sampling is employed in research.

Simply put, the sampling technique is a process of drawing a definite number of observations or individuals from the total population under investigation. Sampling methods are of various types, for example, snowball sampling, random sampling, etc. which can be used for different purposes. However, if the individuals in the population need to be defined using specific criteria, then we generally rely on the stratified sampling approach.

Stratified sampling involves the segregation of population into smaller subsets known as strata. In this type of sampling method, the strata are formed based on the characteristics or attributes of the individuals. Stratified sampling is widely used under the following circumstances.

  • Specific subgroups within the population of interest need to be highlighted
  • The target population is significantly heterogeneous
  • A relationship between two or more subgroups need to be determined
  • Representative samples from inaccessible subgroups must be created

Stratified sampling requires higher statistical precision when compared to any other form of sampling method. This is because the variability within the subgroups is lesser the variations of the whole population. 

Stratified sampling is of two types.

1. Proportionate stratified sampling – In this type of sampling method, each stratum sample size is directly proportional to the population size of the whole population of strata. This means that each strata sampling includes similar sampling factor. The proportionate stratified sampling is represented by an equation,

nh = ( Nh / N ) * n, 


nh is the sample size of ‘hth stratum

Nh is the population size of ‘hth stratum

N is the size of whole population

n is the size of entire sample

For example. If you have 3 strata and the sampling fraction is ½, then the final sampling sizes are as given in the table.

Sampling ABC
Population size200300400
Sampling fraction1/21/21/2
Final sampling size 100150200

Here, irrespective of sampling size the sampling fraction will remain the same.

2. Disproportionate stratified sampling – Typically, the sampling fraction is a differentiating factor between proportionate and disproportionate stratified sampling. Unlike the proportionate method, this type of sampling approach has different sampling fraction. 

Consider an example where you have three sample sizes and different sampling fraction. Then the final sampling size is as follows.

Sample ABC
Population size2005001000
Sampling fraction1/41/21/4
Final sampling size 50250250

In this type of sampling, if the fractions alloted are not precise, then the results may be biased due to under or over presented data. 

Stratified sampling technique works best when the population is a finite number, includes subgroups and the strata within the population is non-overlapping. 

The steps included in this sampling technique are:

a) Describe target audience – The first step in the define the target audience and decide the sample size.

b) Recognize stratification variables – This is followed by recognizing the stratification variables and determine the number of strata to be utilized. The stratification variables must align with the major objective of the research. If there is any additional information in the study, then such information to plays a role in determining the stratification variable. 

For example, if the objective of the study is to understand the subgroups, then the variables will relate to the subgroups and the information pertaining to the subgroups will influence the variables. Ideally, a study should include only a maximum of 6 strata and 4-6 stratification variables. 

c) Develop sampling frame – Next, create a new frame or use existing sampling frame that includes all the necessary information of the stratification variable for the elements in the target audience.

d) Evaluate the sampling frame – Assess the sampling frame on the basis of grouping, overlapping and make the required changes.

e) Assign unique numbers to element of strata – Ensure that each stratum is unique, and the difference between the two strata is different from each other. Then, assign a unique and random number to each element.

f) Identify the strata size – Determine the study requirements and figure the size of the stratum. The numerical distribution will identify the type of sampling. Next, choose random samples and form the required sample. 

Note: every element in the population must fit into one stratum. Put other words, an individual cannot be in more than 1 group. 

Today, stratified sampling is popular among the research scholars because of the number of benefits such as improved accuracy, exactness nature of sampling technique, and ability its to cover the maximum population. 

Quasi-Experimental Design: A Sneak Peek to Research Technique that Tests a Causal Hypothesis

Quasi-Experimental Design: A Sneak Peek to Research Technique that Tests a Causal Hypothesis

Experimental research design is widely used by the research community to manipulate one or more variables (independent) and determine their effect on the other variables (dependent). This type of research design is often used in two cases: (1) When time priority exists in a causal relationship and (2) there exists a consistency in a causal relationship. 

Experimental research design is classified into a pre-experimental, true experimental and quasi-experimental research design. Although true experimental design is regarded as the most accurate design, it is a quasi-experimental design that is widely used in the research in social science, psychology, etc. as it doesn’t involve random assignment of participants to orders of condition. 

A quasi-experimental research design, also known as ex-post-facto design involves the selection of groups without a random pre-selection process. This type of research design doesn’t allow the research scholar to control the assignment of participants to groups or conditions. It identifies a comparison group that is similar to the intervention group in terms of baseline features. 

Types of quasi-experimental research designs 

Quasi-experimental research designs are of various types and have a variety of applications in a specific framework. 

  • Non-equivalent group, posttest only design – This type of research design includes administration of outcomes measures to treatment group or two groups and a comparison. For instance,  a group of students might receive coding instruction using the latest programming language whereas another group of students might receive writing instruction using standard programming language. After a week, a writing comprehension test is administered to determine which programming language is more effective. However, the major setback of this design is that the two selected groups may differ in important ways that impact the writing process. For example, if a group of students who code using standard programming language, then we cannot determine if the students are well-prepared or if it’s the result of utilization of standard programming language.
  • Non-equivalent control group design – Here we compare the control group and the experimental group. The groups are selected & assigned through convenience rather than choosing via randomization. But the problem arises when the results of the control and experimental group are to be compared. For instance, a researcher wants to determine the impact of online training on the average grade point of class 11 students. Here the researcher cannot randomly collect the participants as the institution will not permit to regroup the classes. Therefore, the researcher chose two sections of class11 from the same institution. Since the participants were not randomly allocated, the researcher cannot conclude that two groups were equivalent before the manipulation. Also, it cannot be determined if the difference in the grade point is only due to the impact of online training as other variables such as intelligence, motivation, etc. can bring about the difference in learning.
  • Separate pretest-posttest sample design – The main idea of this research design is that the individual selected for the pretest is not the same as that of the posttest. For example, assume that the two companies are similar. You can use one company to implement your study and second company as a control. A customer satisfaction program is developed. Initially, the customer satisfaction is measured without implementing the program. This is followed by the implementation of program and measuring the client satisfaction. Here the clients for each company will be different for pretest and posttest. The response of the client from the pretest and posttest cannot be compared. As a result, nonequivalence exists not just between companies but also between the pre and post groups.
  •  Double pretest design – This type of quasi-experimental research design is regarded as the strongest design with respect to internal validity. This is because, in the pre-post nonequivalent research design, the nonequivalent groups may differ from one another. Pretest does not tell us if the changing at the same rates prior to the program. But with a double pretest design, we can determine the rate of change through pretest1 and pretest2. Therefore, this research is explicitly used to control the selection of maturation threat. 
  • Repeated treatment design – Here the treatment is withdrawn and then presented for the second time. Simply said, treatment is presented more than once. The response of the participant is measured prior to and after the implementation of treatment. The treatment program is withdrawn and then the process is performed again. Consider an example where the government has banned the consumption of alcohol. To analyze the impact of this policy, problems pertaining to alcohol consumption were assessed. The outcome of the policy was the health of individuals improved as a result of the ban. 

A quasi-experimental design is widely used to produce results for general trends. The added advantage of this design is that it doesn’t require randomization, prescreening and minimizes the threat to internal validity. 

Although this type of research design is easy to implement, one should take care to address the internal validity threat and utilization of additional data.

Proven Tips to Develop a well-designed Questionnaire for Social Science Research

Proven Tips to Develop a well-designed Questionnaire for Social Science Research

Social science research is regarded as the primary tool to illustrate and predict the human behaviour. The outcomes of research contribute to the advancement in the academics and policy making. The results are based on the data collected via questioning the respondents (survey process). 

The most crucial part of the survey process is the creation of questionnaire. Inconsistent questions generate ambiguous & incoherent outcome of the research. Therefore, it becomes a necessity to develop an appropriate and organised questionnaire that measures the opinion & behaviour of the public. 

Depending on the needs, questionnaire is segregated into structured, unstructured and combination of these two studies is the quasi-structured questionnaire. 

  • Structured questionnaire includes well-defined pre-coded questions. This can be used to collect quantitative data. 
  • Unstructured questionnaire includes open-ended, vague opinion-type questions and is commonly used in focus discussions. 
  • Having a structured questionnaire with a few unstructured questions whose answers are not feasible is known as quasi-structured questionnaire. This type of questionnaire is most commonly used in social science research. 

Questionnaire design is a multistage process requiring an eye for details. It is considered as one of the most complicated tasks because surveys demand topics in varying degrees of detail. 

Best practices involved in designing a questionnaire 

Conducting pilot tests or focus groups in the initial stages of questionnaire development gives a clear idea of what people about the particular issue you are aiming to study. 

Step1 –  Identify the main goal of your questionnaire. Decide the nature of information(s) you want to collect. Formulate a research question that lies on the focal point of the questionnaire. This is followed by developing a hypothesis that is to be tested. The questions in the questionnaire must test the hypothesis which may be rejected or accepted on the basis of data analysis results.

Step 2 –  The next step is to choose the questions. Depending on the information gathered in the previous step, several possible types of questions can be included in the questionnaire. 

Some of them are:

  • Dichotomous question –  This type of question is generally of the form “yes/no” question, or “agree/disagree.” it is highly sensitive and simplest questions to analyse. 
  • Open-ended question –  This type of question allows the respondent to answer the questions in their own words and is commonly used to address the issue of “why.” The advantage of this kind of questions it that it provides insight into the feelings of the respondent. 
  • Multiple choice question – Mcqs enable easy analysis of results and consists of three or more categories of questions and demand a single answer.
  • Rank-order (or ordinal) scale question – Here the respondents are asked to choose or rank items in a particular order from a set. For instance, you can ask the respondent to order 5 things from most to least important. 
  • Rating scale question – A scale provides an equal number of negative & positive choices such as “strongly agree” or “strongly disagree.” Rating scale questions let the respondent to analyse the specific issue on the basis of a given dimension. 

Step 3 – This is the most important stage in the creation of questionnaire. That is the development of questions. The questions developed must be concise, clear,  brief and direct. Avoid using technical jargons (until and unless necessary), and complex statements as they may confuse the respondents leading to incorrect responses. Also, avoid asking biased questions and determine if you want to include options such as “not applicable for me.” The most crucial aspect is take immense care while asking for sensitive or personal information. Include them only if they are absolutely necessary. 

Step 4 – Development of questions is followed by sequence and skipping. The questions must begin with general and simple ones and then narrow down to specific ones. To build a sense of trust, rapport with your respondents, include common and non-controversial questions in the beginning of the questionnaire.

Step 5 – Once the questions are ready, pen down the questionnaire. This process includes two steps.

  • Details about interrogator (the one who asks questions) – Here, you must clarify if you are working as part of a team or as an individual. Include the name of your institution or University. For instance :”My name is Kiran and I am the only creator of this questionnaire. I belong to XYZ school of research.” 
  • Explain the purpose of your questionnaire –  Answering the questionnaire without understanding its purpose is next to impossible task. Many respondents might end up not answering the questions or provide misleading answers. Therefore, provide a brief explanation of your study or the purpose of the questionnaire and help them understand the underlying objective. 

Step 6 –  Prior to collecting information from the respondents, ask your peers to answers the questions and ask if your questionnaire requires modification or improvement and if the questions are clear enough. 

Master the art of developing a questionnaire, reduce errors and gather the required data for your study. 

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