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A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. Research projects can be used to develop further knowledge on a topic, or in the example of a school research project, they can be used to further a student’s research prowess to prepare them for future jobs or reports. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole. The earliest recorded use of the term was in 1577. Research has been defined in a number of different ways.
A broad definition of research is given by Godwin Colibao: “In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information, and facts for the advancement of knowledge. Another definition of research is given by John W. Creswell, who states that “esearch is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue”. It consists of three steps: pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. Original research can take a number of forms, depending on the discipline it pertains to. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research is funded by public authorities, by charitable organizations and by private groups, including many companies.
Scientific research can be subdivided into different classifications according to their academic and application disciplines. Humanities scholars usually do not search for the ultimate correct answer to a question, but instead, explore the issues and details that surround it. Context is always important, and context can be social, historical, political, cultural, or ethnic. Other studies aim to merely examine the occurrence of behaviours in societies and communities, without particularly looking for reasons or motivations to explain these.
These studies may be qualitative or quantitative, and can use a variety of approaches, such as queer theory or feminist theory. It is the debatable body of thought which offers an alternative to purely scientific methods in research in its search for knowledge and truth. Consists of the subject area of one’s interest and following that subject area to conduct subject related research. The subject area should not be randomly chosen since it requires reading a vast amount of literature on the topic to determine the gap in the literature the researcher intends to narrow. A keen interest in the chosen subject area is advisable. The research will have to be justified by linking its importance to already existing knowledge about the topic. A testable prediction which designates the relationship between two or more variables.