Meaningful research usually follows a staged process that could be visually summed up as follows:
We generally begin with a question (or hypothesis), move on to a review of existing (and relevant) knowledge in our chosen field, decide upon a suitable method (or approach) with which to conduct our investigation, analyse the results or information gathered and finally arrive at a conclusion that, it is hoped, addresses our initial question.
Organising Source Material
As the Extended Essay is written over a period of time it is advantageous to organise your note-taking in your Research Reflection Space. The strength in taking notes in an organized manner is that you will then have a quick reference point for when writing your essay.
Key Issues and Concepts in Research
Data can be said to be valid if it provides an accurate picture of the reality it is referring to. When it comes to research, often one would seek either a total sample size or a random selection of a broad enough cross-section of that group.
If you use the same method as a previous researcher, and get similar consistent results, then the method you've used is considered "reliable". This may often mean repeating the exact same questionnaire used by another researcher with all members of the chosen sample, or relying on a method that another expert in the field employ for similar investigations.
It is vital, in all instances, that a consideration of the value and limitations of the selected research is offered as it, more than anything, demonstrates a balanced and measured approach to data that is a requisite feature of all good academic writing.
There are two types of data that we usually end up with as a result of our primary research. Quantitative data is information represented in number form or something that can be measured. Qualitative data usually takes the form of description that can reveal people's feelings about an event, people's emotional states and opinions.
Research practices when working on an extended essay must reflect the principles of academic honesty. The essay must provide the reader with the precise sources of quotations, ideas and points of view through accurate citations. These are presented as in-text references in the APA style that is consistently used across Scotch College.
All works cited must appear in the bibliography. All sources in the bibliography must be cited in the text.