Research is a process with a series of steps to follow. Researchers always follow the steps before they can come up with the results to present to the relevant stakeholders. Although the steps are distinct, they are interrelated, and each step depends on the other before the study project is complete. This essay looks forward to discussing the major steps in conducting research and finding how they are interrelated.
The first step involves the identification of research problem before reviewing the literature and clarifying the stated study problem. This stage involves stating the problem in the form of a topic question (American Psychological Association, 2010). This initial phase influences all other steps because they are inclined towards the problem in question. Secondly, a literature review follows (Blankenship, 2010). The reviewed literature should be relevant to the study topic presented during the first step. This step helps the researcher gain information about what has been done in the past about the problem in addition to identifying the loopholes of previous research works and determining the problem’s magnitude. After a literature review, the research should clarify problem under study (Blankenship, 2010). The literature reviewed helps in narrowing the scope of the study to make the research focused.
After all these steps, the research design is the fundamental step of any scientific study project. The step entails creating a blueprint of activities aimed at answering the research questions and the problem (Bhattacherjee, 2012). It is during this step that the researcher selects the research method, comes up with a sample size, determines the type of instruments to collect data, and so forth. In the method, the research decides the method of data collection, which may include conducting surveys, experiments, qualitative methods among others (Bhattacherjee, 2012). Additionally, it is important to fix the time to collect data and the place or region, from which data can be collected as well as who will collect it. The sample selected in this step should have the problem under study, and the eligibility criteria are determined at this stage of the study. Therefore, this step is related to the initial ones as all the activities aim at addressing the research problem.
Data collection is the next step that involves the implementation of the research design. This is the step, through which the actual study begins, as data gathering occurs to answer the research question (Blankenship, 2010). The study subjects from the sample determined in the previous study are the ones with the responsibility of providing the necessary data under the guidance of the researcher. According to Blankenship (2010), data can be obtained from the previous literature sources or primary sources from individuals filling questionnaires, attending responding to interview questions, and/or through observations among others. Data collection greatly relies on the previous steps because the study subjects, which provide the data, are determined by the research design, while the type of data is dictated by the study question and literature view.
Finally, data analysis comes before the preparation and compilation of the study report for presentation. The raw data is analyzed to provide substantial information that can answer the study question formulated in the first step (Blankenship, 2010). It shows that the initial step of the process dictates all other steps of conducting research. After finishing the data analysis, a final research report should be prepared by documenting the entire process of research as well as its findings, from which the recommendation are made (Bhattacherjee, 2012). The report may be presented in the form of a dissertation or a research paper.
In conclusion, steps of conducting research are interrelated. No single step can comprehensively provide substantial study results and information without relying on the other one. Some of the steps include identifying the research problem, performing a literature review, and then refining the problem. The research design is the core step of the process since it outlines every activity that should occur. Data collection and analysis precede the report writing before the presentation.