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41 42 / A P R A C T I C A L G U I D E T O R E S E A R C H M E T H O D S EXAMPLE 4: JENNY I was interested in looking at truancy in schools. The idea came about from my own personal experience as a teacher. I had noticed how some children didn’t ¢t the classic description of a truant and I wanted to ¢nd out more as I thought it might help me to deal with some of the problems children were experiencing. So I guess you’d say my own experience provided me with some initial data. Then I decided to go and have a discussion with some of my colleagues and see if they’d noticed anything like me.

It is also useful to include the location of this publication so that it can be found easily if needed again (website or library shelf location). Once you have stored this information electronically it is a simple job to cut and paste your references when you come to compile the reference section and bibliography of your report or dissertation (see Chapter 12). H O W T O C O N D U C T B A C K G R O U N D R E S E A R C H / 47 TABLE 2: SOURCES OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION PRIMARY SECONDARY Relevant people Research books Researcher observation Research reports Researcher experience Journal articles Historical records/texts Articles reproduced online Company/organisation records Scientific debates Personal documents (diaries, etc) Critiques of literary works Statistical data Critiques of art Works of literature Analyses of historical events Works of art Film/video Laboratory experiments SUMMARY X There are two types of background research – primary and secondary research.

Also, as it is opinions which are sought rather than numbers, fewer questionnaires need to be distributed. 3. Combination of both Many researchers tend to use a combination of both open and closed questions. That way, it is possible to find out H O W T O C H O O S E Y O U R R E S E A R C H M E T H O D S / 33 how many people use a service and what they think about that service on the same form. Many questionnaires begin with a series of closed questions, with boxes to tick or scales to rank, and then finish with a section of openquestions for more detailed response.

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