logical investigation into and study of sources and materials with the main aim of establishing facts and attainment of new conclusions. Research entails a purposeful and intensive search for understanding and knowledge of physical and social phenomena. It is a scientific action carried out to establish something, a theory, a fact, an application or a principle, and involves an academic action comprising of a systematic search for relevant data on a specific subject (Johnson & Christensen, 2010). In this paper, I will reflect on my growth as a researcher through considering the new concepts that I have learnt about the process of research, the prospects and challenges for improvement as a researcher, and the link between social change and research.
Understanding the meaning of research is paramount for a good researcher. From my own point-of-view, a research entails an original contribution to the already subsisting knowledge stock to make new advancement. It is the search for knowledge via systematic and objective technique of finding for solution to a social problem. From the course, I view myself as an agent of social change. This is because I am a researcher in social sciences and the modern social science research has changed the comprehension of social problems that face the society and motivate efforts of social reforms. According to Freebody (2009), the link between social change and research has been a major area in debate and theorization.
As a social work scholar, I view social science research as a major portion of practice and social policy development. There are scores of perspectives regarding how research may influence practice development and social policy development. Moreover, social reality is defined via identification of pertinent concerns and interpretations of research findings. In so doing, there is a powerful impact on knowledge generation on both understanding of policy formulation and social change. The placing of a researcher is contemplated on how the research is performed, findings interpreted and applied in real world to make a change. Most research questions are based on social problems and the theoretical or methodological blueprint used in a give research. In this regard, I am an agent of social change given the close relationship between research and social change.
I have come to realize that research is carried out to establish principles or facts with different researchers doing research for diverse purposes, but the sole purpose of a research is to seek the hidden truth that has not been discovered. However, to attain the objectives of a given research, an elaborate research process must be involved. A research process is a procedure that enhances effective location of data for a given research process. This process involves topic selection, search for background information, refining of the selected topic, establishing and retrieving materials, assessing pertinence of materials, taking notes and creating the final research project.
The research process is crucial in developing a research project. As one moves from one-step to another, it is important that he/she add extra material, revise or even modify the selected topic. However, this relies on what the researcher discovers in the course of the research. I have learnt that there are various reasons for changing your already established research plan. The research topic might be too expansive, hence calling for narrowing of the topic. Other reasons that cause narrowing of a research topic include insufficient information sources, and the incompatibility of the project sizes and the requirements, and the thesis. It is important that a researcher employ a research process that supports his/her thesis. The process of research involves identification, location, assessment, analysis, development and expression of the researcher's concepts. These skills are vital when composing a research proposal or research report and are founded on secondary sources.
Secondary sources entail studies from other researchers while primary resources are innovative works. There are two major types of research data. They include primary data and secondary data. Secondary data entail information obtained from different studies conducted by other people (Johnson & Christensen, 2010). The information can be sourced from scholarly articles, magazine articles, dictionaries, periodical indexes, handbooks, books, journal sand other written sources. However, it is always prudent to appraise trustworthiness and relevancy of secondary data to guarantee that the data corresponds to a specific research issue. Primary source, on the other hand, include speeches, oral histories, diaries, surveys, government…