P. 9

Methodology of Research and Statistical Techniques

                 Notes          rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming
                                widely thought of as true (or better, predictive), but this is not the same as it having been
                                A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the
                                prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis
                                may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case a new hypothesis will arise to
                                challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions
                                than the old, the new will supplant it.
                                The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use historical
                                sources and other evidence to research and then to write history.
                                There are various history guidelines commonly used by historians in their work, under the
                                headings of external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis. This includes higher criticism
                                and textual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher,
                                the following concepts are usually part of most formal historical research:
                                •    Identification of origin date

                                •    Evidence of localization
                                •    Recognition of authorship
                                •    Analysis of data

                                •    Identification of integrity
                                •    Attribution of credibility

                                Research Methods
                                The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge, which takes three main forms
                                (although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be fuzzy):

                                •    Exploratory research, which structures and identifies new problems
                                •    Constructive research, which develops solutions to a problem
                                •    Empirical research, which tests the feasibility of a solution using empirical evidence

                                Research can also fall into two distinct types:—
                                •    Primary research
                                •    Secondary research

                                Research is often conducted using the hourglass model Structure of Research. The hourglass
                                model starts with a broad spectrum for research, focusing in on the required information
                                through the methodology of the project (like the neck of the hourglass), then expands the
                                research in the form of discussion and results.

                                  Notes The researcher should select methods of collecting the data taking into consideration
                                       the nature of investigation, objective and scope of the inquiry, finanical resources,
                                       available time and the desired degree of accuracy.

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