We often hear our professor’s guide us regarding the assignments and dissertations that we are supposed to write as a part of our studies. Every student, be it a graduate, postgraduate, or PhD student has to write at least one report to pass out the course. Therefore, guidance for such a crucial piece of paper is imperative that is why our professors and seniors often assist us about the dos and don’ts of writing a thesis report. Whenever we receive orientation for composing a report, we are asked to consider some of the very important factors that would help the writer compile all the findings in black and white. Some of the important features of a report are; (Stanford, n.d.)
- Accurate and clear abstract that would briefly define the nature of the study
- The reader-friendly structure that can be easily comprehended
- Precise and clear research design
- Correct grammar and punctuation
- Correct usage of terminology
- Accurate data
As stated above, data is one of the salient features that must be considered before starting the writing of a thesis report because without the data there would be no basis for the report.
What is meant by Data?
There are multiple types of data available that a researcher can use based on their type of research. For example;
Firstly, comes the two main types of data; Primary and Secondary.
Primary data is what the researcher collects themselves and is firsthand information, whereas, secondary data is data obtained from previous researches, findings, and evaluations that a researcher uses to either modify or upgrader the results. Some of the types of data collection methods are as follows; (Leeds, n.d.)
- Experimental Data: It is the form of data that is obtained through experiments particularly taking place in a laboratory. This type of data collection method is usually used by scientists.
- Observational Data: As the name suggests, this type of data is collected through observation of the subjects that are under study. It could be both living and non-living objects.
- Simulation Data: This type of data is collected via setting pseudo set up for the subjects under study for evaluating their behaviors under different setups and scenarios.
Moreover, if we take the tools or resources that can be used to gather valuable data that also in an efficient and effective manner. There are many methods available to choose from and they are bifurcated into basic methods and special methods. (Simister, 2017)
Extensive forms of Data
So far, the different types of data have been discussed, however, it is necessary for the researcher to differentiate their type of data and choose one of them accordingly. The extensive form of data is Qualitative Data and Quantitative Data. (WEPREP, 2021)
Qualitative Data: Qualitative data is used to measure the non-countable elements or the elements that are palpable yet intangible for example; feelings, emotions, age, gender, race, ethnicity and similar factors. Also, qualitative data does not require mathematical equations to obtain the result.
Quantitative Data: Quantitative data on the other hand is the opposite of qualitative data. As the name suggests, it consists of the elements that can be put in numeric form and require mathematical equations to gather the results from.
Basic tools of effective data collection
Interviews are the most common type of data collection tool used by many as a primary source of gathering information. Interviews can be conducted either individually on a one-to-one basis or in a group depending upon the type of study. Also, interviews can be formal or informal as per the interest of the researcher and the interviewee’s comfort. Interviews are mostly conducted to plan, monitor, and evaluate the responses of the subjects under study.
Case studies are mostly provided to students of colleges and universities to evaluate and decipher the meaning behind the words. However, a case study is not a data collection tool per se, on the contrary, it provides in-depth insight into the topic which the researcher can use for his references later in the writing. Interestingly, case studies are formed through using one of the tools of data collection i.e., interviews or observations.
Surveys and Questionnaires:
Surveys and questionnaires are used when the researcher has to maintain a uniform method of data collection since surveys and questionnaires are filled by large groups of people and/or organizations that is why a standard application is required to obtain precise results.
Questionnaire: A questionnaire is simply a form consisting of a number of questions that can be open-ended; where the candidate can give his reviews and close-ended; where the candidate has to choose the answer from the given options only. Questionnaires are mostly used by university students as it serves as the best assignment writing service by being easy to assess than the rest of the methods.
Surveys: Surveys on the other hand are bigger in context than questionnaires and contains questionnaires as one of the parts of surveys. The other two are coherent samples representing a bigger population and actual analysis methods that would help in obtaining the results.
The above-mentioned methods are all termed as basic sources of data collection. Similar to it are other tools that are designed for special cases. The example of special resources of data collection are;
Focus groups consist of highly qualified and expert analysts who would sit together to discuss a particular topic sharing their experiences, reviews, and judgements. Focus groups are mainly used to understand the attitudes of the particular group about a particular topic and provide in-depth information for any subject. Focus groups usually consist of 6-12 specialists and can be useful for complex studies like corporate finance assignment help.
Photos, videos, and audio can be considered as a useful manner of collecting data and it could be both Primary and Secondary again depending on the type of research and the preference of the researcher. Photos can be used for future references and are mostly taken into consideration if the research is being conducted for a backdated topic. Since in the contemporary world, usage of technology like cameras and mobile phones has become very common, photos, audios, and videos have also gained importance as one of the resources for collecting data as they are easier to gather and store for a longer time period.
The multiple types of data and the ways it could be collected have been discussed in detail it is up to the researcher which method they consider to be the best for their research subject and would the candidates be willing to provide the answers in that particular manner. If these things are sorted then the researcher would have accomplished one crucial aspect of research or assignment writing and can move forward with a concrete and clear vision.