MSc Research Methods Week 1

Note: this post is aimed as a memory mnemonic for me not you (I’m studying an MSc in Digital Marketing )

By Paul Morris

Week 1 Introduction to research methods

Need to focus in on a problem (you must have a problem!) and know what you want to find out.

Research = “an organised, systematic, data based, critical, scientific investigation into a specific problem” (sekaran, 2000)

 All about problem solving and being as specific as possible.

 Dissertation not just a practical piece and needs to live in academia. The research needs to make a difference and create a theory (knowing full well someone else will knock it down in due course and build on it).

 I will generate a hypothesis / assumption and then test it. I will make a model based on existing research and then test it on our business.


Deductive research – what I will be doing where:

Theory – Hypothesis – Test – Confirmation

 …This will then be tested via SEO tools + analytics and then developed in a focus Group and confirmed in monthly 1 2 1 discussions with Heads of Digital.

 A good research topic has to be academically valid, original and with fresh insights that adds to the body of academic knowledge.

 Focus on the questions raised at the end of the research papers as this will lead you to develop your own paper.


Objectives relate directly to the research problem.

A research objective states, in a single sentence, what result you hope to achieve

All aspects of the research process flow from the objectives

Objectives will relate directly to the research methodologies you employ


Objectives need to be simple, 3-5 of them, and start with action verbs such as:

‘to explore’, ‘to understand’, ‘to identify’, ‘to compare’, ‘define’ , ‘describe’ , ‘explore’ , ‘generate’ , ‘evaluate’ , ‘test’ , ‘measure’ , ‘prioratise’, ‘monitor’ , ‘track’ , etc.

…And then the above lead into what type of research you conduct e.g. if You use the ‘measure’ verb then you are going to need to use numbers and thus Quantative research

 the research process

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