Primary, Secondary, Citations and References
Lesson Learning Objectives
Sources: Primary, Secondary, Citations and References
As 306ers have already experienced, the first step in writing a proposal is planning and limiting the topic scope. Decide at the onset, what constraints influence the range of the project? How will its purpose be achieved? Identify problems, issues, concerns, and client expectations.
A proposal will be only as good as its supporting data. What is meant by supporting data? Legitimate research! Obtaining quality research is imperative. Two types of research exist; (1) Primary: New data experienced through observation and/or experience and, (2) Secondary: Data previously recorded from other’s observation, work and/or experience. Nearly every research project begins with secondary data which saves the researcher time and money by preventing the need to, “reinvent the wheel” because the information is already published.
Most students use electronic resources to find secondary data. Technology makes spending hours at the library undesirable. Via hand-held devices, laptops, I-Phones and all the rest, secondary data is available at the touch of a button. The problem is…and it’s a major problem… just because the information appears on a keyword search, does not mean, the information is legitimate for academic research. Ninety percent of the time, information pulled from a keyword search is not academically viable. To help find legitimate information on the Web, the first step is to check the URL file extension:
A good researcher is aware that computers are machines. These machines do not have common sense; therefore, don’t expect the machine to know the difference between legitimate and illegitimate information. Guide the computer by using effective search strategies. Work to gain effective results from research efforts. Be a savvy researcher:
The Web provides many great research opportunities but only to those who know how to properly search for it. For those who don’t, the constantly changing content and lack of organization within the Web causes frustration.The most reliable, legitimate information source for academia and secondary data is a college or a university library. Library databases include information already evaluated by scholars and publishers. The content in library databases is peer reviewed. For research projects (of all kinds) library sources are a “can’t lose proposition.”
|Chart Applications: Area, Column, Bar, Polygon, Histogram, Line/Curve, Pie, Scatter, and Map|
|Area||Cumulated totals (numbers or percentages) over time
|Column||Observations over time or under different conditions; data sets must be small
|Vertical (columns), horizontal (bars);
multiple columns/bars, columns/bars centered at zero
|Bar||Proportional relationships over time
|May be scaled to 100%
|Polygon||Discrete frequency distribution
|Histogram||Discrete frequency distribution
|Columns/bars without gaps
|Line/Curve||Trends, functional relations
|Data point connected by lines or higher order curves
|Pie||Proportional relationships at a point in time
|Segments may be pulled out of the pie for emphasis
(exploded pie chart)
|Scatter||Distribution of data points along one or two dimensions
|Map||Typically used for geographical data; can also be used for parts of devices, human or animal bodies
|Useful, if an analog relation can be used for
Assignment: Part 1
Read Chapter Nine
Part 1. Primary Research Instrument
For most projects, secondary research needs to be supplemented with primary data. Primary research includes the following data collection methods: Survey. (Gathers information through questionnaires, telephone, or e-mail inquiries.) Interviews. (Gathers information from individuals/field experts.)
Primary data is the most difficult for the researcher to acquire. Developing primary research instruments is an art–uh…to say the least. Properly developing these instruments takes time, knowledge, education, and persistence. Data is only as good as the instrument used to obtain the information. It’s always best to use nominal, Likert scale, or multiple-choice responses. Open-ended questions are extremely hard to develop, consolidate, and usually don’t provide precise information.
Interviewees and survey audiences always have limited time; therefore, when developing instruments ask precise questions that yield information relevant to the research. Make sure the questions developed cannot be answered with existing secondary data.
Part 2. Informed Consent Form
By law, all research that involves human subjects must include informed consent signed by the researcher and the subject(s). This document acts as a legal contract between both parities. The form gives the researcher permission to use the subject’s responses, behavior, or activities, and data derived thereof, within the specified research project. This form must also include the delineators involved within the study and the researcher’s future plans for the data. It must state “if” anonymity is provided to the subject. When creating written content for an informed consent, the researcher must be careful not to reveal too much information about the study, or his or her anticipated results will sway. Skewed results of any kind, invalidates the research.
Submit the required instrument and informed consent form as one document to your instructor at “Turnitin.”
|Sample Informed Consent Form|
|My name is (name of researcher), and I am a student at (state campus), I am inviting you to participate in an academic research study. Involvement in this study is voluntary, so you may choose to participate or not. A description of this study follows: (provide brief, concise study overview). I am interested in learning more about (research topic). My learning objectives are related to my formal educational pursuits. This information will be used in a business proposal for my upper- division writing class, “Management 306: Expository Writing for Administration” during the (state academic term and year).
(Describe what the subject will be asked to do). (State how much time the subject’s participation will take.) There are NO risks involved while participating in this study. (Any research that involves risk, of any kind, to the subject, CANNOT take place.)
If you no longer wish to continue, you have the right to withdraw from the study, without penalty, at any time. All information for this study will be kept (either confidential, in the case where subjects’ identities need to be retained or can be associated with their response, or anonymous and confidential, in the case where data collection does not allow responses to be connected with a particular subject).
I have been assured that the information I provide in this study will be destroyed after the researcher consolidates data. There will be no permanent record of my participation in this study.
I________________________________am a willing participant in this study. (Participant’s name)
Signature of participant: __________________________________
Print name of participant: _________________________________
Signature of researcher: __________________________________
Print name of researcher: ________________________________
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