Monday, March 9, 2009

Introduction to the research process.

The research process generally follows a scientific method that requires identifying a problem then developing a hypothesis or set of questions you would like to answer, this being the basis of your research. This blog describes and expands each step of the research process from start to finish and explains why they are important in developing a simple idea.

The layout for a research paper includes a statement question at the start of the paper, (your hypothesis), then broken up into precise paragraphs of your findings from your research. This would lead into your last paragraph being your conclusion where you summarise all findings and ultimately answer your hypothesis. All academic research papers require that all resources and authors be cited in a reference page at the end.

Initially, you need to discover a knowledge gap, research problem or an idea you think still needs to be explored. By using methods like brainstorming and mind mapping you effectively narrow the idea down to a single hypothesis, stating what will be researched and explaining the purpose of gaining value and significance to enhance your field of interest. The success of all research is about finding an answer to your question or hypothesis; whether it is proved right or wrong - it is still an answer. “Without a question, research has no focus, drive or purpose” (J Hammel, 2009).

The next step is to locate a high level of quality literature significant to your hypothesis this will find out what authenticated researchers and scholars have already discovered and documented about the subject matter. These resources will identify key concepts and further examine what is known about your chosen area of research. Ultimately your final review of the chosen literature will highlight the significant theories and should contain some scientific basis for their research.

Next step is to use Methodology, because during the research process there are set procedures and stages which need to be followed in the same order to keep your research process systematic, and to ensure you get the most truthful outcome. Research is an organised and planned process. By having structure or methods, to which it is focused and restricted to a specific scope, research is a valuable tool for any massage therapist.


Introduction to Research, (F. Molloy, personal communication, March 2nd, 2009).

The Research Process, J Hammel, personal communication, March 4th, 2009).