How to Do a Dissertation Secondary Research
When writing a dissertation paper, you have several options on how to conduct your research. The basic one is to do primary research that captures the use of qualitative and quantitative methods. This is where you do your initial study and collect fresh information from your study participants. However, you can choose not to go that route and settle for secondary research for your dissertation. This will decrease the amount of work you will do to get to your study objectives.
In secondary research, your work is to study past research to come up with answers for your dissertation questions. As you go through these pieces of literature, you will see answers to what you are studying about. Therefore, this is typically what secondary research is all about. You will not have to go through the initial stages of collecting data for analysis. Instead, your findings and discussions will be drawn from what others have done in the past.
Taking a secondary research approach
Now that you have settled on doing secondary research, here are some of the most important things you need to know. You will have to do the following if you want to succeed at writing dissertations secondary research:
- Write Down your Research Questions. To meet the objectives of your research, you should be prepared with a list of questions that your study will seek to answer. These are the items that will lead you through the writing process to make sure that you remain on track to achieve at the main aim and objectives of your dissertation.
- Choose your secondary sources. Since you will be doing secondary research, settle for the set of secondary data that you will be using to write your research. In every research work, a review of what has been studied in that area is usually among the first things that researchers do. The main objective is to identify study gaps that can be addressed through the current research. However, these could be your only source of information to help you get findings and merge them to form new conclusions.
- Assess each secondary source. The credibility and usefulness of each secondary data are determined through a proper assessment. Look at the methodologies used in each of the secondary data sources and look at their strengths, bias or any limitation that may have been experienced during the research work.
- Synthesize and analyze the secondary data. Guided by your research and the data contained in these secondary sources, you can analyze your findings. Use these sources to answer your questions and arrive at the objectives of your study. Remember that the objective is to draw meaningful conclusions and not to merely rewrite these sources.
In secondary research, your dissertation is not different, especially in the way it is structured. There has to be a well-thought-out topic and study questions to look at. These must be informed by your study objectives with answers and conclusions drawn from past research.