Use of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

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Part 1 - All research activities begin with a question. Research, in its most basic form is the process of answering that question, or questions. Academic research, though, is a systematic process of collecting and analyzing information so that it increases the understanding of the phenomenon under study (Holton & Burnett, 2005). Regardless of the complexity or nature of the research project, there are at least eight characteristics that help define the process: 1) Research originates with a question or a problem; 2) Research requires a clear articulation of a goal; 3) Research follows a specific plan of procedure; 4) Research usually divides the principal problem into more manageable sub-problems; 5) Research is guided by the specific research problem, question, or hypothesis;6) Research accepts certain critical assumptions. These assumptions are underlying theories or ideas about how the world works; 7) Research requires the collection and interpretation of data in attempting to resolve the problem that initiated the research (Leedy & Ormrod, 2009). While requirements of research may vary between disciplines, and some may prefer qualitative or quantitative methodologies, multidisciplinary research within the medical field should follow at least six basic guidelines in order to be robust: 1) Contribute to theoretical development; 2) Be based on empirical data, on observation of some element of pedagogy; 3) Be cumulative, build on previous research; 4) Be objective; 5)
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