At this stage, the primary research phase, you will have most porbably written up the literature review of your dissertation, methodology, a draft introduction and also recognized that you are ready to complete the different parts of the primary data collection stage. You will want to understand that there are many different processes in this stage and many student prefer to do them in a number of different ways.
You will want to understand that this stage will be linked to the different parts of whether you have chosen to conduct a qualitative or quantitative research project. Some students prefer to move back home to complete this phase of their work, but I would advise against this, as you will experience a considerable more amount of distractions and thus not be able to concentrate and work intensively on your dissertation research project. You will want to make sure that you are moving towards a point where you are able to conduct the research with ease and also compile the data that you have collected. You will not want to include the different things that will mean you will be devoting less time to this process, as you could find you missing a few important points in the data that mean the difference between an ok dissertation report and an exceptional dissertation report.
When you are conducting the primary research data collection stage of your dissertation, you should also be aware to keep impeccable notes on what you have completed. You will want to ensure you have understood what you have done, but more importantly that you haven’t forgotten anything. Remembering to be an ethical researcher and to understand the different parts of ethical research will mean that the participants of your study will be happy. Make sure they know that they can have access to the outcomes of your dissertation, but that you will need to understand the different pieces of information given to you are confidential, so you may not be able to supply everything to them and just the final overview in the dissertation paper.
Also, when you are conducting the actual research data collection, with whichever methods you have chosen, you should, if using focus groups or interviews, record the different sessions that you have. This will mean that you don’t really have to make notes and can thus concentrate on the different aspects of the responses and these responses leading to further questions and questions of clarification. This will help you gain an overall picture and understanding and thus lead to better and more revealing research – remember that a good academic researcher will always dig down and search for the answers to any initial answers that are given. Needless to say that you should ensure the other person’s permission has been sought before you actually record anything.
Following a few simple steps will mean that you can develop your analysis of the primary research material and form better and more complex conclusions for your dissertation.
2 thoughts to “Step 7 – Dissertation Primary Research”
If you have interview questions made up to get answers for do you have to rewrite out the questionnaire interview answers or whole interview? Where do you put it if it’s a recording do you have to write it out ? Or write it out and put it in your appendice
The normal practice is to have the interviews transcribed (as they are generally recorded). These are then included in the appendices (but some schools actually allow them to be omitted; send your supervisor a quick email asking them. That’s what they’re there for after all). If you’re making points in your paper and referring to what someone said in the interview then you should reference (inside quotations) just as you would any other source.