Anyone who conducts research must engage in scientific inquiry. Scientific inquiry requires engagement with an objective process, which can lead from identification of a problem to the final stages where a researcher draws conclusions about his or her topic. Holistically, this process is known as research. Plano Clark and Creswell (2015) defined research as a method to “collect and analyze information in order to increase our understanding of a topic or issue… Research consists of three steps:

Posing a question

Collecting data to answer the question

Presenting an answer to the question” (p. 4).

One of the central tenets of research is the identification of an appropriate research topic based on a problem identified from the current peer-reviewed literature in your field. This can be trickier than it seems. First, you do not want to select a topic that is too broad, or it will lead to irrelevant data. Second, you must consider any time and resource limitations before undertaking a research study. It is important that your topic be something you are passionate about studying that reflects your personal and academic interests. Most importantly, it also should represent an identified gap in the literature for your educational context or the field in general.

When a new study is undertaken, the researcher has many options to consider when selecting the best research approach. Quantitative research allows researchers to gather and analyze numerical data to answer research questions. Qualitative research allows researchers to gather and analyze nonnumeric data such as narratives or interviews. The questions that define the study’s purpose, closely guide the researcher toward the optimal design for his or her investigation. Once a decision has been made as to whether a qualitative or quantitative approach (or a blend of both called mixed methods) best aligns with the study’s purpose and research questions, the researcher must decide which type of qualitative or quantitative designs to employ.  It is helpful to survey the wide variety of design options available to researchers.

For this assignment, you should complete the following:

Search for five peer-reviewed articles about a specific problem in your field of study that has not been sufficiently resolved.

Craft a paragraph where you summarize the problem identified in the articles and include citations to the five articles you identified to support your writing.  

Then, summarize the three approaches to research outlined in the Creswell text.

Based on the problem you explored in the peer-reviewed articles, state which research approach is the best choice to study the identified problem and justify your choice.

Submit paper of your discussion using points of emphasis above. 3-5 pages. Be sure to use APA formatting with a title and reference page.