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1. Explore a subject area and define a problem. This is covered in the Chapter 2 literature review as well as the background of the problem in Chapter 1.
2. Define a
research question: This is Chapter 1 of your dissertation.
It is supported by Chapter 2 (the literature review), which provides the background
of the study.
3. Formulate Hypotheses (Restate your research question as a statement, and make a prediction of the outcome). This is also part of Chapter 1.
4. Design the Study: What procedures will you use to collect and analyze data? This is laid out carefully in Chapter 3 of your dissertation.
5. Collect
and Analyze data: This is Chapter 4 of your dissertation. Note:
the analysis conducted in Chapter 4 MUST match the analysis laid out in Chapter 3, so plan the analysis carefully!
Pilot studies are often a good idea so
you can discover design flaws before you conduct the actual analysis.
6. Draw conclusions: What have you learned from the study? This is Chapter 5 of your dissertation.
There
are, broadly speaking, two types of quantitative statistics:
1. Descriptive Statistics
describe a single set of numbers or data; that is, descriptive statistics summarize
the numbers and depict patterns formed by those numbers.
2. Inferential Statistics
examine the relationship between two or more variables. Inferential statistics
are used to analyze relationships between variables and answer the
researcher's questions.
Inferential statistics are used to test hypotheses.
1.
Descriptive
(e.g., What is the mean grade point average of students in this school?)
Describe/Summarize a Set of Data
Sample Descriptive Quantitative Research Questions:
1.
What percentage of participants
falls in each category?
(Present frequency tables)
2.
What percentage of participants
received each score for [name variable]?
(Present frequency tables)
3.
What is the distribution of
[name variable]?
(Present histograms, bar charts, or other graphic illustrations)
Draw inferences
Sample Inferential Quantitative Research Questions:
1.
Is
there a significant relationship between [variable 1] and [variable 2]?
(Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient or Spearman Rank Correlation)
2.
Is there a significant difference
between [variable 1] and [variable 2]?
(t-test or analysis of variance)