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what are the strengths and weaknesses of using documents as a source of data forsocial and criminological researchIntroductionThis paper will explain what social and criminological research is and why it is very importantin social science. It will also talk about what documents are and the different types ofdocuments used in social research. It will then go into depth about the strengths andweaknesses of using documents as a source of data for social and criminological research.The term ‘social research’ is said to be academic research that focuses on topics relating tosocial scientific fields. According toBryman (2015), social research focuses on topics suchas sociology, human geography, social policy, politics and criminology. Social researchinvestigates a single topic to get more information on a body and to make sure it is asaccurate as possible. Another reason for the use of social research would be for when thereare visible gaps in information or have inconsistencies between a number of studies. Extraresearch would help fix these issues. The information obtained by the research can thenhelp the researchers extend and test their theories. These types of research would normallyinvolve small groups and focus groups. Criminological research influences social policygrowth as well as communicating knowledge to deliver the right kind of justice for anindividual that has committed a crime.With this, researchers also have to decide whether they are going to conduct qualitativeresearch or quantitative research to obtain the information they need. Qualitative researchfocuses on collecting and examining data that is not focused on the statistics but rathersearches for the reason behind a certain opinion, action or belief. Quantitative researchfocuses on numerical data. It is used to find certain patterns and averages in certain data.Strauss and Corbin (1990, p. 11)states, qualitative research is any type of research thatcreates findings that are not carried by statistical procedures or any other means of
quantification. It can relate to research about an individual's life experiences, behaviours,emotions, feelings and their interactions between nations. Qualitative researchers focus onanalysing texts and images rather than numbers and statistics (Flick (2014, p. 542).Quantitative research is an interpretive approach to a particular subject matter.According to Bryman (2012, p. 35), Quantitative research is a research strategy that showsquantification when collecting and analysing data. This means that quantitative researchrelies heavily on measuring something.A document is a form of nonfiction information or evidence that is either written, drawn orpresented. In latin, where the word originated, the word documentum indicates a ‘lesson' or‘teaching’. Documents can be read and are typically related to different features of the socialworld (Frohmann, 2020). Document analysis is a social research method and is used as a

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