A Comprehensive Guide To Doing Primary Research For Your Dissertation

Primary Research

A dissertation is a large project and takes time to complete. It involves rigorous research, data collection, and analysis. The technique of research determines its data collection and analysis aspects. You can complete your dissertation in either primary or secondary research or even through a combination of both. This article will explore primary research and its Guide for a dissertation.

1. Understanding Primary Research in a Dissertation

Primary research collects data through the direct involvement of the researcher. It involves first-hand data on a topic or variables of a study. The researcher gathers data by themselves. The participation of a researcher is high in this type of research. But the question here is how one can conduct primary research in a dissertation? The answer to this question is given as follows in the form of a comprehensive guide by our expert dissertation helpers;

2. Comprehensive Guide in terms of conducting Primary Research

1) Select the Research Method

The researcher needs to select a suitable method for the topic of the study. Quantitative research is ideal for confirming or disconfirming research hypotheses. These hypotheses affirm or reject the possible association between variables of the study. Qualitative research is suitable for collecting in-depth data within a research study. This type of research study is exploratory. It is due to the reason that they overcome key gaps in prior research studies. Prior research studies are lagging in terms of overcoming these research gaps. Mixed method research is suitable for affirming hypotheses and collecting in-depth data on the topic of the study. The aim is to understand the issue in detail. Combining quantitative and qualitative approaches provides extensive information that an investigation needs.

2. Be Aware of the Strengths and Limitations of these Research methods

Quantitative Research Method

Underlying strengths of the quantitative method are as follows;

  • It provides a large sample of data that is representative of the population.
  • The findings are easily generalisable.

The key drawbacks of the quantitative method are as follows;

  • The sample is not an actual representation of the population.
  • It does not provide detail on the topic of the study.
  • Inappropriate representation leads to inaccurate findings in a study.

Qualitative Research Method

Underlying strengths of the qualitative method are as follows;

  • It provides room for exploring the topic in detail.
  • It provides necessary insights into the subject matter of the study.
  • It involves the open-ended process within a research study.

The critical drawbacks of a qualitative method are as follows;

  • The findings are not generalisable to a large population group.
  • It does not provide statistical data on the topic of the study.

Mixed-Method Research

Underlying strengths of the mixed method are as follows;

  • It overcomes the limitations of both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • It answers the research objectives and questions in detail.

The critical drawbacks of the mixed method are as follows;

  • The research design becomes complex to understand.
  • It leads to difficulty in terms of interpreting the results of the study.

3. What to do if you have opted for the Quantitative Method?

The quantitative method more often relies on primary research. The quantitative method conducts primary research through the following ways within a dissertation;

  • Questionnaires (closed-ended).
  • Experiments
  • Observations

Researchers can use statistical analysis to gather numeric information from the data. Regression analysis provides an association between variables of the study. The descriptive analysis describes data collection. Applicable analysis technique on primary data will be that of SPSS. SPSS presents numeric data in a meaningful form, such as charts, graphs, and tables. These charts, graphs, and tables assist the researcher in answering research hypotheses.

4. What to do if you’ve opted for the Qualitative Method?

The qualitative method conducts primary research within a dissertation through the following ways;

  • Interviews (Open-ended).
  • Experiments
  • Focus group.

Applicable analysis techniques in primary data are as follows;

  • Thematic Analysis.
  • Discourse Analysis.
  • Narrative Analysis.

These analysis techniques present primary data in a meaningful form. This effective form includes themes or codes. They assist the researcher in answering the research objectives of the study.

5. What to do if you’ve opted for the Mixed-Method?

In mixed-method, researchers need data collection in both quantitative and qualitative methods. The researcher has to combine interviews and administer survey questionnaires as well. The sequence can be “Qual-Quant” or “Quant-Qual”. The quantitative sample size will be larger in comparison to the qualitative method.

6. Ethical Considerations

Common ethical considerations involved in the domain of primary research are as follows;

  • Participants are participating with consent (willingness) in a study.
  • Participants have a right to withdraw at any time for the research.
  • Ensuring the confidentiality of the participants.
  • Arranging anonymity of participants by the researcher.
  • Minimal risk of harm to participant in study by the researcher and its environment.
  • Avoidance of deceptive practices within a research study.

7. Prevailing Pros and Cons of Doing Primary Research in a Dissertation

Following are some pros and cons of doing primary research in a dissertation;

Sr. No. Pros Cons
1 The researcher collects factual, first-hand data for the study. It takes a long time to complete a research study.
2 First-hand data fulfil the needs of the researcher. Demands high cost for doing a research study.
3 The researcher gathers data for the study. Or demands high involvement of the researcher in this type of research study. Requires prior information on the topic before gathering data relevant to it.


Final Thoughts

Primary research needs a careful selection of methods before it’s used in a dissertation. Any mismatch affects both the validity and reliability of the study. Despite this, primary research has many benefits for a dissertation. It provides first-hand data to the researcher according to their needs. The involvement of a researcher is high in this type of study. But it is time-taking and involves a high cost for the researcher.

Moreover, it also requires a prior understanding of conducting primary research. But primary research is preferable as compared to secondary research. This is due to its provision of factual and real-time data regarding the topic of the study. Hence, researchers should understand the primary research approach before applying it within a dissertation.


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