Research Design - Designing a Research Project Dr. Clark...

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Designing a Research Project Dr. Clark Bi298 Jan 21 and Jan 26, 2010 Read Chapter 1 of Knisely, take blackboard quiz due Tuesday, 1/26; Part 2 will be due Thursday, 1/28
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2 Concept Map of Scientific Method http://birds.cornell.edu/schoolyard/research/scientific_method.html
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3 Information Gathering Formulate research question after studying earlier research, or after making observations Avoid duplication of research Study resources needed Sources (see Knisely (2005), Chapter 2): primary research secondary research World Wide Web Relevant background information goes into what part of the research article?
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4 Research Question (Purpose of Project) A real question (can’t look it up in book ) Answerable in some form (as opposed to pure description). Poor question: "describe the role of. .. ...blood pressure in regulating pulse, …water in the ocean” (exceptions—descriptive studies) Simple answer (yes or no; how much). Not too broad. Direct effect or related to direct effect. This helps researcher know when project is finished; open-ended questions lead to open-ended projects. Answer is feasible with the resources available . May have to narrow down question (time, budget, supplies, etc.)
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5 Example of Simple Research Question What do birds eat? MUCH TOO VAGUE! What birds? All? Those you see at a feeder? All foods? How would you study that? What seeds do birds at the park feeders prefer? “Prefer”? What seeds do birds at the park feeders eat? Good research question Hypothesis
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6 Hypothesis is the research question specifically phrased so as to be testable . Examples of a General Hypothesis e.g. “the birds that visit the park feeders eat more sunflower seeds than they eat cracked corn” e.g. “there is a difference in the amount of sunflower seeds consumed by all birds at the park feeders during the day compared to during the night” Statistical Hypotheses Null : “there is no difference in the amount of sunflower seeds eaten compared to corn” Alternative: “there is a significant difference in the amount of sunflower seeds eaten compared to corn”
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7 Design a Research Question and Hypothesis Question: You are interested in whether the size of the Helminth parasite is affected by what the rat eats (good research question?) Write Experimental Hypothesis If the rat eats meat then the parasite will grow larger. Rats that are carnivores will grow larger parasite than rats that are vegetation. Write Null and Alternative Hypotheses
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8 Procedure (Methods) Limiting the Scope : project not too large and ambitious—one small step forward, not a giant leap. limit the number of subjects/replicates so as to be manageable
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2010 for the course ECON 1313212 taught by Professor John during the Spring '09 term at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Research Design - Designing a Research Project Dr. Clark...

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