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Guidance for A Research Project for Akron

Scenario:

You are a research analyst with a large research and development firm, Akron Research. Your firm performs studies and analysis for companies that need product, process improvement, manufacturing, and consulting research services.

You have been assigned to develop a comprehensive research strategy and plan and develop a proposal outline for a customer-driven project. After you complete your review of the project, you will have to pick a topic and decide the research methodology that will be applied. Then you will have to develop the research design to include the topic, purpose statement, literature review, research question and hypothesis, and the analysis and report writing format. Finally, you will have to present the research proposal outline for customer approval. Since you may or may not be the one actually conducting the research, you must have a detailed research design plan that can walk a researcher or team through the entire research process for this project.

- Discuss how research topics are selected.
- Discuss the importance of the purpose statement.
- Explain how the research questions and hypothesis are developed. These should be succinct, yet as detailed as possible.
- Discuss the null and alternative hypothesis and how they support the research effort.
- Discuss how the research effort will be measured and analyzed.
- Include a discussion of the various research report formats and the documentation that will be needed for each of the research methods. (Qualitative, Quantitative, Mixed, Action)
- Explain how to conduct a literature review to support the research effort. Discuss how to develop an annotated bibliography and how it can be applied to effectively support the research effort.
- Explain the importance ethical and legal responsibilities in the research project.

Solution Preview

Selecting a Research Topic

Research topics are selected based on several factors. The level of interest the researcher has in a topic is very important, since the researcher is more likely to be engaged and interested in working on the topic if it is something that interests him. Scope is also important to consider. The researcher's topic must be manageable. If it is too narrow or hard to prove it will be difficult to find enough material. If it is too broad he may find himself overwhelmed by material. It is important to limit a topic to a particular population or age group, a particular environment, or by a particular theory to focus on a specific subject. The topic also must be supported with enough resources, and the researcher must be able to read and understand the resources. This will make the research topic easier to research and report on. It is suggested that research topics should be selected by making a list of key words, and then define the topic as a focused research question. During this process, a researcher will brainstorm for ideas and read general background information. He or she will then narrow down the subject into something that interests them, keeping flexible on the topic, in case it needs to be modified during the research process.

The Importance of the Purpose Statement

The purpose statement is important because it is the declarative sentence, which summarizes the specific topic and goals of a document. It is precise in its wording and clear so that the reader understands the goal of the paper and desired outcomes. The purpose statement serves to give the reader the significance of the research project.

Developing Research Questions and Hypotheses

Research questions and hypotheses are developed after a preliminary review of the existing literature of the research topic. Research questions suggest the relationship between two or more variables, but use a question to phrase the relationship. This is a critical step in the research process since it will serve to guide the researcher through the study, and give the study focus. A well-researched question will help the researcher focus his ideas and make sure he is collecting appropriate data. It serves the purpose of keeping the researcher on track. The research question determines what, where, when, and how the data are collected and is an important link between the conceptual and logistic aspects of your research plan (Apodac, n.d.).

Research questions determine why research is important and what other researchers in the field have done. The research question helps to define what areas need further exploration and where the researcher's work can help to lead to greater understanding. Research questions identify what is to be studied, and are clear, focused, concise, and defendable.

Once the research question is determined, a hypothesis can be created based upon this question. A hypothesis is a declarative statement that helps to predict the relationship between two or more variables. A hypothesis must give insight to the proposed research question, be measurable and testable, and be concise. Hypothesis statements are used to test and either ...

Solution Summary

This detailed solution discusses how to develop a comprehensive research strategy and plan. It discusses how research topics are selected, the importance of the purpose statement, and how the research questions and hypothesis are developed. It also explains the null and alternative hypothesis and how they support the research effort. It examines
how the research effort will be measured and analyzed and includes a discussion of the various research report formats and the documentation that will be needed for each of the research methods (Qualitative, Quantitative, Mixed, Action). It also explains how to conduct a literature review to support the research effort and how to develop an annotated bibliography and how it can be applied to effectively support the research effort. Finally, it explains the importance of ethical and legal responsibilities in the research project. APA references are included.

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