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Research Plan

1) Define research plan. How is it different from a research design?
A research plan is a document to your plans and ideas of carrying out your research. It is the document that describes all the decisions that have been taken in the design stage plus the administrative decisions concerned with your research. It presents systematically everything starting with the title of your project to the tentative  structure of your thesis. Research design is also a strategy of how you are you going to conduct your research. But it precedes research plan. Research design is a plan of the technical decisions regarding the what, why, and how of your research. In research plan, we take decisions regarding the nature of investigation, data collection methods to be adopted, and number of contacts to be made with the subjects, and the period of reference with the subjects of study. Research plan can be formulated only when research design has been decided. In fact, research design helps to formulate research plan.

2) Describe what would you discuss in the introduction to the plan of your Study
The introduction to the plan of study provides a contextual background to the study. It discusses the basic theoretical and philosophical issues related to your topic. It also discusses the latest trends in the subject and area of discussion.

3) Taking a hypothetical example, state the objectives of your study.
Let us assume that the title of the study is “ Use of textbook collection in college libraries”. The objectives of the study could be stated as to know:
a. The adequacy of the text book collection;
b. Subjects whose collection needs to be strengthened; and
c. Improving upon the collection.

4) Define hypothesis. Differentiate between null and alternative hypothesis.
Hypothesis is an assumption, presumption, or in simple words guess towards some situation or condition. It is an assumption of relationships between the dependent and independent variables. It provides the researcher a line of action along which he moves to find out answers to the problem he is working on. Null hypothesis is stated as a negative relationship between dependent and independent
variables. The positive relation between the variables is called the alternative hypothesis.

5) Discuss the areas where ethical considerations are important in a research plan.
In a research plan, ethical considerations demand that one should not take a topic of research that has already been studied. If it has to be studied, it should be done from some different perspective or context. Plagiarism should not be resorted to and work of others should be acknowledged. Research grants should be asked for only if genuinely required.

Hypothesis : Assumption regarding the relations between the variables in a study.
Problem : A description of the problem you shall study in your research work.
Research Design : The strategy that a researcher adopts to undertake his research. It concerns the operationalisation of hypothesis, data collection, and data analysis.
Research Plan : The blue print of your research that states everything from the title to the limitations of your study. It also includes the financial estimates of your project and the work plan.
Work Plan : The plan of your research in terms of the tasks to be done along with the time at which they will be done.

Source:IGNOU Study Material

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