Data Collection Techniques Paper

Data Collection Techniques Paper

Meaning of “good research” and the “good researcher”

Good research involves setting time-based, systematic planning, and realistic objectives. It incorporates feasible methods of research grounded on research methodology that suits the type of research question (MacIntyre, 2011). Good research contributes to the existing knowledge in the area. Whether it is a final year undergraduate research paper or for publishing in academic journals, good research needs to have some contribution. The contribution requirements will differ depending on the level of research. Other considerations are readability, the relevance of the topic, and overall quality of writing.

A good researcher can acquire the skills and knowledge of knowing the difference between erroneous data and information that will invalidate any credible studies in evidence-based practice (MacIntyre, 2011). The ability of a good researcher is not the tasks at hand in linear, and conceptual ability. A good researcher should let his or her interests guide him or her to what fulfills exists. Good researchers must adopt critical thinking and be open-minded besides being diligent, hardworking, devoted, and focused on their fields of interest.

Data Collection Method: Surveys

Generalizability in surveys is achieved by having a broad representation of a given population with enough people in the survey. Researchers can then predict how the rest of the population would answer within a given set of parameters (MacIntyre, 2011). The only safe way to do survey generalizability to an entire population would be by random sampling. Many surveys use model target populations that have in the past been highly correlated with ultimate outcomes. To establish cause and effect in survey research, there is a need to conduct experiments. these experiments can incorporate surveys as methods of data collection. while conducting surveys, researchers can manipulate independent and causal variables in an environment that is relatively controlled.

Surveys are data collection methods that involve collecting data from a targeted population concerning their knowledge, behavior, and opinions. Common examples of surveys include face-to-face interviews, written questionnaires, electronic surveys, and focus groups (MacIntyre, 2011). The rates of survey responses are likely to differ in all types of data collection methods since their impact and reach are always different. in surveys, data is often obtained using standardized procedures the make sure that participants can answer the questions at a field level to avoid bias.

There are different varieties of surveys one of them being archival surveys. This uses data that is already collected such as patient records, prison records, employment records, student records, customer records (MacIntyre, 2011). There is also field count which involves observing behaviors and frequencies. A major problem is that only a few variables are observable in this fashion, not emotions or attitudes. Questionnaires are also types of surveys that include written and online. with this type of survey, researchers must distribute, collect, and make sure subjects are motivated to give complete and honest answers.

Survey also has its strengths and weaknesses. Survey-based research is ideal for quantitative data collection for numerical responses – typically. One major strength of using surveys for quantitative data collection is that the researcher does not need to be physically present and can distribute to a large population (MacIntyre, 2011). Data collection is also very quick and efficient but may cost more money for survey distribution, hosting, and/or participant acquisition. A primary weakness of survey research is the limitation associated with qualitative (open-ended) data collection, in that, participants may provide a narrative response to a question.

When you are experimenting, it is important to also do a ‘control’ for a variety of reasons. A researcher should use total control during research. This is because it gives them a point of comparison for the data collected in their experiments. It also allows them to eliminate confounding variables. Control is ideal for solving nonexperimental research problems.

An Example of Such “Popular” Uses of Research

An example of popular use of research is the New York Times, SurveyMonkey poll. In this survey, the New York Times conducted a survey through the SurveyMonkey online poll among a sample of 3000 participants. Respondents were selected from over 2 million people who take surveys on the platform every day. To reflect the United States demographic composition, data was heightened for race, age, geography, and education. This survey is conducted out of participants’ informed decisions. It also follows all the informed consent rules.














MacIntyre, L. J. (2011). The Practical Skeptic: Core Concepts in Sociology (Fifth Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.




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