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The Cyclical Nature of Research

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In a response, describe how the cyclical nature of research is related to the other characteristics of research. This should reflect critical thinking: assessing the validity of arguments, interpreting the accuracy of data, and ascertaining the depth and quality of research. Work should be original with proper acknowledgment of the work of others (APA format).

Understand the eight distinct characteristics of research.

Learning Objective:
Describe the relationship between the eight distinct characteristics of research.

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One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is to address the two sections and provide examples, which you can then draw on for your final 2-3 page paper. This is the approach this response takes. You will need to write it in your words, as suggested in the assignment requirements.


1. Understand the eight distinct characteristics of research.

According to Leedy and colleagues (1996), there are eight characteristics of research. First, research originates with a question or a problem. Second, research requires a clear articulation of a goal. Third, research follows a specific plan of procedure. Fourth, research usually divides the principal problem into more manageable sub-problems. Fifth, research is guided by the specific research problem, question, or hypothesis. Six, research accepts certain critical assumptions. Seven, these assumptions are underlying theories or ideas about how the world works. Eight, research requires the collection and interpretation of data in attempting to resolve the problem that initiated the research.

This process is often considered by cyclical in nature. For example, action research (AR) is known for its iterative nature (Greenwood & Levin, 1998, as cited in http://comm-org.wisc.edu/papers2004/tinkler/1.htm) wherein the research goes through a cycle of planning, acting, observing, reflecting and then returning to planning. This process involves critical thinking at each level of decision making. For example, one study called "Just Between You and Me" reports following this cycle throughout the project, beginning with the planning of the recruitment and evaluation, acting upon those plans, observing and reflecting on the outcomes, and then moving on to the curriculum development and program delivery. These authors report that the evaluation process especially reflects the cyclical nature of action research, using a continuous feedback process throughout. Some AR practitioners call this type of cycle double-loop learning (Hall, 1993, as cited in http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/rs/rep-rap/2004/rr04_5/p1.html) reflecting the incorporation of learning developed in the research, into the ...

Solution Summary

To understand the eight distinct characteristics of research, this solution describes the relationship between the eight distinct characteristics of research.