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Philosophy of Research

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  • Introduction

    This stage will:

    • Explain the philosophy of research
    • Provide an overview of methodology and methods
    • Explain research traditions and different schools of thought

    This section deals with the philosophy of research and research methodology. Methodology underpins all the work you do. These are important concepts which need to be understood, but they’re one of the areas people find most challenging, so don’t worry if they don’t sink in right away. Read the section and see which concepts are familiar to you. Identify other things that are new to you—you can return to this section at any time throughout your project.

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  • Why Do Research?
  • What’s the Difference Between Methodology and Methods?
  • What Are Ontology and Epistemology?
  • Do All Social Scientists Use the Same Methodology?
  • What Other Terms Might I Encounter When Learning About Methodology?
  • What Role Does Theory Play in Social Science Research?
  • How Do Theory and My Methodological Position Affect the Methods I Choose?
  • What’s the Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Methods?
  • Are There Disciplinary Traditions I Should Know About?
  • What Research Traditions Exist in My Discipline?
  • Checklist: Things to Think About Before You Start Your Research
Next Stage: Defining a Topic
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