Theory Building Process with research methodology

Written By : Muhammad Khurram Sohail

Student of : Mphill Mass Communication (BZU,MULTAN)

Your suggestions are highly welcome

Theory Building Process

Understanding why we build theories

Theory Building Process with research methodology. Theories are pervasive because we need to make sense of those things to which we encounter in our environment. Theories are built on perception of human mind.

Keep in mind theories does not develop in social, cultural or intellectual vaccum.They are necessarily result or product of specific times, insights and mindsets.

Research methodology

What is theory?

Theory is set of propositions to evaluate two or more variables in perspective of social sciences (Our study belongs to social sciences)

STEPS FOR THEORY BUILDING PROCESS

  • Selection of topic
  • Relevancy of topic
  • Review of available literature
  • Creation of Hypothesis
  • Research Designs
  • Research suppliers
  • Data Analysis
  • Presentations of Results
  • Validate Study via Pilot study & Replication
  • Summary(Abstract now used)
  • References

Selection of topic:-

                                                     Topic selection is the most important aspect of theory building process and topic must be enough important and of social benefits to make research and it’s based on series of factors that we need to address.

  • Topic must be important
  • Topic should be appropriate to your field of study
  • Topic in accordance to public interest
  • Beneficial for society
  • Topic must be ethically right.
  • Narrow your topic to something manageable.
  • If your topic is too broad, you will find too much information and not be able to focus.
  • Background reading can help you choose and limit the scope of your topic.
  • Think of the who, what, when, where and why questions:
  • WHY did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
  • WHO are the information providers on this topic?  Who might publish information about it?  Who is affected by the topic?  Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • WHAT are the major questions for this topic?  Is there a debate about the topic?  Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level?  Are there specific places affected by the topic?
  • WHEN is/was your topic important?  Is it a current event or an historical issue?  Do you want to compare your topic by time periods?

How to select a topic:-

                  We can select a topic for our theory building process using the following procedures

  • Brainstorm for ideas
  • Choose a topic that will enable you to read and understand the literature the topic is manageable and that material is available
  • Be flexible
  • Define your topic as a focused research question
  • Research and read more about your topic

Determinacies of Topic Relevance:

                                                         Topic must be relevant to field you are dealing with.

We are students of Mass Media so have a look on this example

Relevance Non Relevance
Women  status in Islam and how media is projecting women Women status in Islam
Islam Perspective and Media both included so it’s relevant. Only women status in Islam. Our subject Mass Studies is Missing so it’s Not relevant.
  • Is the language and approach suitable to your level of expertise on the subject?
  • What are your biases or assumptions on this subject and your expectations for the source?
  • Does the source provide information that supports or challenges your point of view?  Does it verify information from other sources you’re using?

Review of available literature

                                                     Literature review help us to identify

  • You get familiar and your knowledge grows enough to make a visionary approach.
  • How much work already done and in which perspective
  • What new you can do in that subject
  • How researcher already worked
  • Which research methodology like quantitative or qualitative have been used.
  • How many variables have been studies and why only those variable studies. Also have a look on independent and dependent variables used in context of your Topic
  • To make your mind clarify about subject.
  • To avoid replication
  • What is the core of already done researches and what new angles you can make from those?
  • Helps to make theoretical frame work
  • Which formulas and research designs already been used and how they used
  • How questionnaire or survey technique used
  • It helps to understand how construction of message, uses of appropriate medium and effects of message have been done

You are studying Theory Building Process with research methodology

Hypothesis Construction

                                                              Hypothesis is assumption which is based on reasoning. Word “Hypothesis” is a combination of two words the first one is „Hypo‟ (that means under or less than or tentative) and the second one is „thesis‟ (that means General opinion or statement about solution of a problem) , So the word “Hypothesis” means tentative statement about solution of a problem or Hypothesis means the guesses to solve the research problem. Hypothesis is our expected answer to question.

How hypothesis make help

Hypothesis identifies and support in the following ways.

  • Selecting required field
  • To make research to the point
  • Separating relevant from irrelevant
  • Prevents from blind research
  • Expected answer or educated guess of question
  • Accuracy and precision

Process for the formulating and developing of hypothesis

                                                                        There is specific process for the formulating or developing hypothesis. These process consist of four steps as follows Observation:

 Reflection:

We see number of child marriages and also find uneducated people there. Now we anticipate a relation which is based on experience we now formulate an answer that child marriages common among uneducated people and this answer is Hypothesis.

Deduction/Induction:

 In deduction thinking process goes from the general to specific, this process begins with general Hypothesis and proceeds towards specific Hypothesis. Induction is an approach which goes from specific to general. It begins with data and observation and proceeds toward hypothesis.

Verification:

 This is the last stage or even post Hypothesis formulation. In this we actually take our Hypothesis to solve our difficult problems

Hypothesis must be non-contradictory, economical, simple & general and lastly must be capable of empirical test

            Research Design (Blue Print of the Study)

The design of a study defines the study type (descriptive, correlational, semi-experimental, experimental, review, meta-analytic) and sub-type (e.g., descriptive-longitudinal case study), research question, hypotheses, independent and dependent variables, experimental design, and, if applicable, data collection methods. Method of investigation, procedure to conduct research must be in accordance with environment.

Keep following points in mind while making research design

  • Research design should suite the topic
  • Nature of research
  • Ethics involved
  • Depend upon area of research
  • Depend on sample size

Research Suppliers

                                                 Research suppliers as name shows are those individual or organization which conduct research on your behalf when it is not possible for someone to conduct research itself due to factors like your target audience are widely spread in form of population or inform of geographical area. Similarly sometimes target is away from your reach so in that case you uses research suppliers to conduct research as per your instructions and provide you results finally.

Data Analysis

                                                                    Is a technique for systematically describing written, spoken or visual communication.  It provides a quantitative (numerical) description. Many content analyses involve media – print (newspapers, magazines), television, video, movies, the Internet.

Data Analysis is the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data.

While data analysis in qualitative research can include statistical procedures, many times analysis becomes an ongoing process where data is continuously collected and analyzed almost simultaneously.

There are a number of issues that researchers should be cognizant of with respect to data analysis. These include:

  • Having the necessary skills to analyze
  • Concurrently selecting data collection methods and appropriate analysis
  • Following acceptable norms for disciplines
  • Determining statistical significance
  • Providing honest and accurate analysis
  • Environmental/contextual issues
  • Data recording method
  • Training of staff conducting analyses
  • Reliability and Validity
  • Extent of analysis

Presentation of Results

                                                        Results of your research can be in the form of report, article or in the form of thesis or books. Presentations of results depends on the purpose of your research.

  • Data must be presented in a systematic way
  • Relevant graph format can be used
  • Present data impressively
  • Present main ideas in bold or H1 format
  • Each presented style sheet must have key points along numberings or bullets
  • Summary (Abstract) is needed to present at the end

Validate study

                          We can validate our studies in two ways

  • Pilot study
  • Replication

Pilot Study

                     A pilot study is a small study designed to gather information prior to a larger study in order to improve the quality of final study.  A pilot study can reveal deficiencies in the design of a proposed research proposal.  A good research strategy requires careful planning & a pilot study often is a part of this strategy.

 

Replication

                         Replication is the repetition of whole steps on small amount of participants e.g.: if we study 100 people and we can take replication using any 10 and repeating all the method from A-Z.

Summary (Abstract)

                                                          An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose.(Wikipedia)

Summary (Abstract) is the crux of whole research. Abstract usually comprises of 120 Min to 150 Max words. While writing abstract you need to include following components in it.

  • Statement of problem
  • Hypothesis research question
  • Method/Sample size
  • Main result of the study
  • You can also include benefits of study in it.
  • the background to the problem
  • the purpose of the report
  • the goal of the work reported on / the scientific or commercial       objective
  • brief details of the approach, procedure and/or methods
  • important results and/or findings
  • Conclusion(s)
  • Recommendations

References

              Reference  is the detailed description of the document from which you have obtained the information?

                    All the books, journals which are used by researcher should be quoted in reference section .It’s actually a way-out to give credit to whom from where info has been taken out.

Honest and professional citation of references provides part of the framework for sound written research:

  • because you must acknowledge the sources you have used to establish your arguments and criticisms;
  • the references enable other people to identify and trace the sources you have used for your ideas;
  • And it helps avoid charges of plagiarism because it makes clear when you are using someone else’s ideas and words.

NAME AND DATE CITED IN TEXT

Duncan (2008) has reported that . . .

BEGINNING OF ENTRY IN THE LIST OF REFERENCES

Duncan, B. (2008).

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Theory Building Process with research methodology.

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