How Do You Go About Writing Research Methodology Using Secondary Data?


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Secondary data is data that has been acquired by other experimenters performing studies previous to the one you are conducting now. Secondary data research usually involves an aggregation of secondary data, and a conclusion drawn from analyzing multiple past studies, identifying a common theme. The benefits of secondary data research are that you don't have to do any of the research yourself, which can be costly and time consuming. It is also entirely possible that you will find things that the original experimenters missed simply because they could not cross reference their data with the data that would be produced by experiments carried out subsequent to their own.

In order to write a research methodology, you will need to first discuss what it is you are trying to find out by conducting your research. Discuss why you are trying to do this, and then move on to the 'how'.

For most studies of this nature, the methodology is more or less the same. The experimenter will locate a number of papers on a certain topic; mostly ones that conducted very similar research, but also some papers that perhaps deviated from the norm. Then they will read each paper, noting similarities in methods and, most importantly, in findings. Finally, the experimenter will identify common themes in the findings, and make some observations of their own. This may open the door for future pieces of research, since new observations and predictions will need empirical evidence before they become fact.

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