Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dibrugarh University Solved Question Papers: Basics of Academic Project Preparation (May' 2017)


2017 (May)
COMMERCE  (Speciality)
Course: 604 (Basics of Academic Project Preparation)
(New Course)
Full Marks: 80
Pass Marks: 24
Time: 3 Hours
The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions

1. (a) Fill in the blanks:                                  1x4=4
a)      The search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is Research.
b)      The Primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time and thus happen to be original in character.
c)       Structured questionnaires are those in which there are definite, concrete and predetermined questions.
d)      Research report is a channel of communicating the research findings to the _____ of the report.
(b) Write True or False:                                                 1x4=4
a)      Some people consider research as a movement from the known to the unknown.   True
b)      The method of collecting information through personal interviews is usually carried out in an unstructured way.                         False, Structured way
c)       Pilot study should be undertaken for pretesting the questionnaire.                 False
d)      Interpretation is essential for the simple reason that the usefulness and utility to research findings lie in proper interpretation.  True
2. Write short notes on (any four):                          4x4=16
a) Research Design: The most significant part that follows the task of defining the research problem is the preparation of the design of the research project, popularly known as ‘research design’.  A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.  According to Pauline V Young, “The logical and systematic planning and directing a piece of research is called research design”.  First, it is the plan that specifies the sources and types of information relevant to the research questions.  Second, it is strategy or blueprint specifying which approach will be used for gathering and analysing the data.  Finally, since most business research studies have time and economic constraint, both time and cost budget are typically included.
Need for Research Design: It is needed because it facilitates the smooth sailing of the various research operations, thereby making research as efficient as possible yielding maximum information with minimal expenditure of efforts, time and money. Research design stands for advance planning of the methods to be adapted for collecting the relevant data and technique to be used in their analysis keeping in view the objective of the research and the availability of staff, time and money.  A research design usually involves he consideration of the following factors:
a)      The mean for obtaining information.
b)      The availability and skills of the researcher and his staff, if any.
c)       The objective of the problem to be studied.
d)      The nature of the problem to be studied.
e)      The availability of time and money for the research work.
b) Personal interview: Personal Interview:  In this method of data collection, there is a face-to-face contact with persons from whom the information is to be obtained.  The interviewer asks them questions pertaining to the survey and collects the desired information. The information thus obtained is original in character.
Techniques:  There are various techniques of personal interviews:
Structured and unstructured: this interview involves the use of a set of predetermined questions and of highly standardized techniques of recording.  The interviewer follows a rigid procedure laid down, asking questions in a form and prescribed order. It is used in descriptive studies. Unstructured interviews are characterized by a flexibility of approach of questioning. It don’t follow a system of predetermined questions and standardized techniques of recording. The interviewer has greater freedom. This method is used in exploratory or formulative studies. 
Focused Interview: It is to focus attention on the given experience of the respondents and its effects.  The interviewer has freedom to decide the manner and sequence of the questions.  These are generally used in the development of hypothesis and constitute a major type of unstructured interviews.
Clinical Interviews:  It is concerned with broad underlying feelings or motivation or with the course of individual’s life experience.
Non-directive interviews:  In this the interviewer’s function is simply to encourage the respondent to talk about the given topic with a bare minimum of direct questioning.
Advantage:  The advantages of personal interview method are as follows:
a)      More information and too in greater depth can be obtained.
b)      Interviewer by his own skill can overcome the resistance, if any, of the respondents.
Disadvantages:  There are certain weaknesses of interview method:
a)      It is very expensive method, especially when large and wide spread geographical sample is taken.
b)      There remains the possibility of the bias of interviewer as well as that of the respondents.
c) Pilot Survey: A pilot study is a small-scale study carried out on a small number of individuals under conditions similar to those of the final study. The size of the pilot study is a matter of convenience, time and money. The purposes of the pilot study are to have an idea about:
a. The time required for the study as a whole.
b. The cost of the final study
c. The skills required by the investigators and whether the instructions given to them are efficient and adequate.
d. The adequacy of the questionnaire, the ease of handling, the efficiency of its layout, the clarity of the definitions and the adequacy of the questions themselves. Any problems with the questionnaire contents should be detected and can be resolved prior to the main study.
e. The extent of non-response.( refusals and non contacts).
In social science research context, pilot study is deployed before the actual study to solicit feedback from a small number of respondents (normally convenient sample) in terms of understanding of the survey instrument / questionnaire's wording & measurement, evaluate any ambiguity in the questions and the questionnaire's reliability. The objective of the pilot study is to obtain additional information so that the researcher can further improve the survey questionnaire before the actual study.
d) Random Sampling Method: Random Sampling: Off all the methods of selecting sample, random sampling technique is made maximum use of and it is considered as the best method of sample selection.  Random sampling is made in following ways:
(i) Lottery Method: In this the number of data are written on sheet of paper and they are thrown into a box.  Now a casual observer selects the number of item required in the sample.  For this method it is necessary that sheet of paper should be of equal dimensions.
(ii) By Rotating the Drum:  In this method, piece of wood, tin or cardboard of equal length and breadth, with number 0,1 or 2 printed on them, are used. The pieces are rotated in a drum and then requisite numbers are drawn by an impartial person. 
(iii) Selecting from Sequential List:  In this procedure units are broken up in numerical, alphabetical or geography sequence.  Now we may decide to choose 1, 5, 10 and so on , if the division is alphabetical order we decide to choose every item starting from a, b, c and so on.
(iv) Tippet’s Number:  On the basis of population statistics, Tippet has constructed a random list of four digits each of 10, 400 institutions.  These numbers are the result of combining 41,600 population statistics reports.
Advantages; 
1.       Due to impartiality, there is possibility of selecting any unit as sample.
2.       Units have the characteristic of universe, hence units are more representative.
3.       Simplicity of method makes no possibility of error.
4.       Error can be known easily
5.       It saves money, time and labour.
Disadvantages: 
1.       The selector has no control over the selection of units. The researcher can not contact the far situated units.
2.       He can not prepare the whole field when the universe is vast.
3.       If units have no homogeneity, the method is not appropriate.
4.       There is no question of alternatives.  The selected units can not be replaced or changed.
e) Significance of Report Writing: Objective/Purpose/Significance of a Research Report:
Research report is considered a major component of the research study for the research task remains incomplete till the report has been presented and/or written. As a matter of fact even the most brilliant hypothesis, highly well designed and conducted research study, and the most striking generalizations and findings are of little value unless they are effectively communicated to others. The purpose of research is not well served unless the findings are made known to others. Research results must invariably enter the general store of knowledge. All this explains the significance of writing research report. There are people who do not consider writing of report as an integral part of the research process. But the general opinion is in favour of treating the presentation of research results or the writing of report as part and parcel of the research project. Writing of report is the last step in a research study and requires a set of skills somewhat different from those called for in respect of the earlier stages of research. This task should be accomplished by the researcher with utmost care; he may seek the assistance and guidance of experts for the purpose.
The main purpose for which a research report is essential are listed below:
a)      To provide information to someone who is interested in gathering such information or who wishes to make use of this information in one way or the other.
b)      To have the full knowledge about a fact.
c)       To make use of the report either for reference or for any other purpose in future.
3. (a) Describe the different types of research. Also discuss the objectives of research.                                10+4=14
Ans: Various Types of Research: On the basis of the objectives of the research, we can classify research into following types:
a) Applied Vs. Fundamental Research: Research can either be applied or fundamental. Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organization, whereas fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalizations and with the formulation of a theory. Research to identify social, economic or political trends that may affect a particular institution or the marketing research are the examples of applied research. Fundamental is mainly concerned with generalization and with the formulation of theory.  Research concerning some natural phenomenon or relating to pure mathematics are examples of fundamental research.
b) Descriptive Vs. Analytical Research: Descriptive research includes surveys and fact finding enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. In social science and business research, we quite often use the term Ex-post facto research for descriptive research studies. The main characteristics of this method are that the researcher has no control over the variable; he can only report what has happened or what is happening. Most ex-post facto research projects are used for descriptive studies in which the researcher seeks to measure such items:
1.       Frequency of Shopping.
2.       Preference of people etc.
In analytical research, the researcher has to use facts or information already available and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material.
c) Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Research: Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity. It is research methodology that seeks to quantity the data and typically applies some form of statistical analysis. Quantitative research is structured in nature and recommends a final course of action. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is concerned with qualitative phenomenon. Qualitative research is important in the behavioural sciences where the aim is to discover the underlying motives of human behaviour. Through such research we can analyze the various factors, which motivate people to behave in a particular manner or which make people like or dislike a particular thing.
d) Conceptual Vs. Empirical Research: Conceptual research is related to some abstract ideas of theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts. On the other hand, empirical research relies on experience or observation alone, often without due regard for system and theory. It is data based research, coming up with conclusions which are capable of being verified by observation or experiment. We can also call it an experimental type of research.
e) Other types of research:  All types of research are variations of one or more of the above stated approaches, based on either the purpose of research, or the time required to accomplish research, on the environment in which research is done, or on the basis of some other similar factors. There are many other types of research based on their occurrence such as one-time research, field-setting research, clinical or diagnostic, historical and conclusion-oriented research etc.
Research is required because of the following reasons:
a)      To identify and find solutions to the problems.
b)      To help making decisions.
c)       To develop new concepts.
d)      To find alternative strategies.
a) To identify and find solutions to the problems: Research is required to understand the problems in depth. For example:
Ø  Why is that demand for a product is falling?
Ø  Why is there a business fluctuation once in three years?
Ø  By identify the problem as above; it is easy to collect the relevant date to solve the problem.
b) To help making decisions: Research is helpful for making the decision. For example: Should we maintain the advertising budget same as last year? Research will answer this question.
c) To develop new concepts: Research is helpful in developing new concepts of problem solving. For example: Should we follow price pack deal of sales promotion? Research will answer this question.
d) To find alternative strategies: Research is helpful to find alternative strategies. For examples: Should we follow pull strategy or push strategy to promote the product.
Or
(b) “Research design in exploratory studies must be flexible but in descriptive studies, it must minimize bias and maximize reliability”. Discuss.                                  14
Ans: DIFFERENT RESEARCH DESIGNS
Different research designs can be conveniently described if we categorize them as:
(1) Research design in case of exploratory research studies;
(2) Research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies, and
(3) Research design in case of hypothesis-testing research studies.
1. Research design in case of exploratory research studies: Exploratory research studies are also termed as formulative research studies. The main purpose of such studies is that of formulating a problem for more precise investigation or of developing the working hypotheses from an operational point of view. The major emphasis in such studies is on the discovery of ideas and insights. As such the research design appropriate for such studies must be flexible enough to provide opportunity for considering different aspects of a problem under study. Inbuilt flexibility in research design is needed because the research problem, broadly defined initially, is transformed into one with more precise meaning in exploratory studies, which fact may necessitate changes in the research procedure for gathering relevant data. Generally, the following three methods in the context of research design for such studies are talked about:
(a) the survey of concerning literature;
(b) the experience survey and
(c) the analysis of ‘insight-stimulating’ examples.
The survey of concerning literature happens to be the most simple and fruitful method of formulating precisely the research problem or developing hypothesis. Hypotheses stated by earlier workers may be reviewed and their usefulness be evaluated as a basis for further research. It may also be considered whether the already stated hypotheses suggest new hypothesis. In this way the researcher should review and build upon the work already done by others, but in cases where hypotheses have not yet been formulated, his task is to review the available material for deriving the relevant hypotheses from it.
Experience survey means the survey of people who have had practical experience with the problem to be studied. The object of such a survey is to obtain insight into the relationships between variables and new ideas relating to the research problem. For such a survey people who are competent and can contribute new ideas may be carefully selected as respondents to ensure a representation of different types of experience. The respondents so selected may then be interviewed by the investigator. The researcher must prepare an interview schedule for the systematic questioning of informants. But the interview must ensure flexibility in the sense that the respondents should be allowed to raise issues and questions which the investigator has not previously considered.
Analysis of ‘insight-stimulating’ examples is also a fruitful method for suggesting hypotheses for research. It is particularly suitable in areas where there is little experience to serve as a guide. This method consists of the intensive study of selected instances of the phenomenon in which one is interested. For this purpose the existing records, if any, may be examined, the unstructured interviewing may take place, or some other approach may be adopted. Attitude of the investigator, the intensity of the study and the ability of the researcher to draw together diverse information into a unified interpretation are the main features which make this method an appropriate procedure for evoking insights.
2. Research design in case of descriptive and diagnostic research studies: Descriptive research studies are those studies which are concerned with describing the characteristics of a particular individual, or of a group, whereas diagnostic research studies determine the frequency with which something occurs or its association with something else. The studies concerning whether certain variables are associated are examples of diagnostic research studies. As against this, studies concerned with specific predictions, with narration of facts and characteristics concerning individual, group or situation are all examples of descriptive research studies. Most of the social research comes under this category. From the point of view of the research design, the descriptive as well as diagnostic studies share common requirements and as such we may group together these two types of research studies. In descriptive as well as in diagnostic studies, the researcher must be able to define clearly, what he wants to measure and must find adequate methods for measuring it along with a clear cut definition of ‘population’ he wants to study. Since the aim is to obtain complete and accurate information in the said studies, the procedure to be used must be carefully planned. The research design must make enough provision for protection against bias and must maximise reliability, with due concern for the economical completion of the research study. The design in such studies must be rigid and not flexible and must focus attention on the following:
(a) Formulating the objective of the study (what the study is about and why is it being made?)
(b) Designing the methods of data collection (what techniques of gathering data will be adopted?)
(c) Selecting the sample (how much material will be needed?)
(d) Collecting the data (where can the required data be found and with what time period should the data be related?)
(e) Processing and analysing the data.
(f) Reporting the findings.
3. Research design in case of hypothesis-testing research studies: Hypothesis-testing research studies (generally known as experimental studies) are those where the researcher tests the hypotheses of causal relationships between variables. Such studies require procedures that will not only reduce bias and increase reliability, but will permit drawing inferences about causality. Usually experiments meet this requirement. Hence, when we talk of research design in such studies, we often mean the design of experiments.
Professor R.A. Fisher’s name is associated with experimental designs. Beginning of such designs was made by him when he was working at Rothamsted Experimental Station (Centre for Agricultural Research in England). As such the study of experimental designs has its origin in agricultural research. Professor Fisher found that by dividing agricultural fields or plots into different blocks and then by conducting experiments in each of these blocks, whatever information is collected and inferences drawn from them, happens to be more reliable. This fact inspired him to develop certain experimental designs for testing hypotheses concerning scientific investigations. Today, the experimental designs are being used in researches relating to phenomena of several disciplines. Since experimental designs originated in the context of agricultural operations, we still use, though in a technical sense, several terms of agriculture (such as treatment, yield, plot, block etc.) in experimental designs.
4. (a) What is secondary data? Mention the various sources from where one can obtain secondary data. Discuss the essential characteristics of secondary data.  2+6+6=14
Ans: Secondary Data: Secondary data are the data collected by a party not related to the research study but collected these data for some other purpose and at different time in the past. If the researcher uses these data then these become secondary data for the current users. These may be available in written, typed or in electronic forms. A variety of secondary information sources is available to the researcher gathering data on an industry, potential product applications and the market place. Secondary data is also used to gain initial insight into the research problem. Secondary data is classified in terms of its source – either internal or external. Internal, or in-house data, is secondary information acquired within the organization where research is being carried out. External secondary data is obtained from outside sources.
Collection/Sources of Secondary Data
Secondary data means data that are already available i.e. they refer to the data which have already been collected and analyzed by someone else. Secondary data may either be:
a)      Published Data.
b)      Unpublished Data.
Published data: Statistical data can be collected from various published sources. Some of the important published sources from which secondary data can be collected are:
a)      Various publications of the central, state or local governments.
b)      Various publications of foreign governments.
c)       Technical and trade journals.
d)      Books, magazines and newspapers.
e)      Reports and publications of various associations connected with business and industry, banks, stock exchanges etc.
f)       Reports prepared by research scholars, universities etc. in different fields.
g)      Public records and statistics, historical documents etc.
Unpublished Sources: Statistical data can also be collected from various unpublished sources. Some of the important unpublished sources from which secondary data can be collected are:
a)      The research works carried out by scholars, teachers and professionals.
b)      The records maintained by private firms and business enterprises. They may not like to publish the information considering them as business secret.
c)       Records and statistics maintained by various departments and offices of the Central and State Governments, Corporations, Undertakings etc.
Essential Characteristics of Secondary Data (Precautions)
A researcher must see that the secondary data posses following characteristic:
1. Reliability of data: The reliability can be tested by finding out such things about the said data:
(a) Who collected the data?
(b) What were the sources of data?
(c) Were they collected by using proper methods
(d) At what time were they collected?
(e) Was there any bias of the compiler?
(f) What level of accuracy was desired? Was it achieved ?
2. Suitability of data: The data that are suitable for one enquiry may not necessarily be found suitable in another enquiry. Hence, if the available data are found to be unsuitable, they should not be used by the researcher. In this context, the researcher must very carefully scrutinise the definition of various terms and units of collection used at the time of collecting the data from the primary source originally. Similarly, the object, scope and nature of the original enquiry must also be studied. If the researcher finds differences in these, the data will remain unsuitable for the present enquiry and should not be used.
3. Adequacy of data: If the level of accuracy achieved in data is found inadequate for the purpose of the present enquiry, they will be considered as inadequate and should not be used by the researcher. The data will also be considered inadequate, if they are related to an area which may be either narrower or wider than the area of the present enquiry. From all this we can say that it is very risky to use the already available data. The already available data should be used by the researcher only when he finds them reliable, suitable and adequate. But he should not blindly discard the use of such data if they are readily available from authentic sources and are also suitable and adequate for in that case it will not be economical to spend time and energy in field surveys for collecting information. At times, there may be wealth of usable information in the already available data which must be used by an intelligent researcher but with due precaution.
Or
(b) Discuss the role of interview in data collection. What are the merits and demerits of interview method? 4+6+4=14
Ans: Role of Interview in Data collection
Data collection is an essential component to conducting a research/ an evaluation. In order to collect data, the researcher should be able to access the data that needs to be collected for the study. The nature of the data for collection determines the method to be employed in collecting this data. Towards this end, various methodologies qualitative and quantitative are available for data collection, of which interviewing is a part of.  It is this paper’s purpose to discuss interviewing as a data collection method, particularly focusing on its value, strengths and weaknesses. For purposes of this discussion, interviews shall be defined as controlled conversations that the interviewer uses to obtain data required from the respondent by means of asking serious questions verbally. The essay will not delve into the different interviewing techniques, but tackle interviewing in the collective.
Interviews are a key qualitative data collection method for social research. There are many reasons to use interviews for collecting data and using it as a research instrument. They are mainly useful in cases where there is need to attain highly personalized data, as well as in cases where there are opportunities for probing to get underlying factors. They also become a viable option where there are limited respondents and a good return rate is important, and also where respondents are not fluent in the native language of a country, or where they have difficulties with written language.
The main advantage of interviews stems from their capability to offer a complete description and analysis of a research subject, without limiting the scope of the research and the nature of participant’s responses (Collis & Hussey, 2003). Interviews are thus useful for gaining insight and context into a topic. They can provide information to which the interviewee was previously privy to, unlike other data collection methods such as questionnaires may act as blinkers to the responses required. They thus become critical for discovery oriented researches where the researcher is, in advance, only roughly aware in of what they are looking for. In an interview, there is leeway for a respondent to describe what is important to them, and from their responses useful quotes and stories can also be collected.
In response to the need to seek complete description and analysis of subject matter, interviews from the onset, facilitate for the accurate screening for the right interviewee. Due to the nature of information sought, which has to be in depth, accurate, and reliable, the interviewer has to find the right individual who has the desired information. If the assessment is around certain work processes, then individuals directly involved in the work, or those directly affected by the work are purposefully sampled. In line with the above, face to face interviews will go further in making screening more accurate, as an individual being interviewed is unable to provide false information during screening questions such as gender, age, or race.
When conducted face to face, another key advantage of using interviews as a data collection method surfaces. This one stems from their ability to capture verbal and non-verbal questions in the data collection process. One is able to pay attention to body language and expressions which may indicate levels of excitement or discomfort brought about by certain questions. Such question can highlight where there is a chance of information being falsified, where there is dissonance between what is being said and what one strongly feels about the matter, or even to validate a point being emphasized. An example may be the signal brought about by someone claiming to enjoy their work, whilst showing signs of distress as they do so. A skilled interviewer is then supposed to capture such, and use it to probe and find the underlying reasons behind the action. The observation can also be used probe subsequent interviewees and solicit for the right answers.
Merits and demerits of interview method
This method involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. There are two types of interview method:
(i) Personal Interview:  In this method of data collection, there is a face-to-face contact with persons from whom the information is to be obtained.  The interviewer asks them questions pertaining to the survey and collects the desired information. The information thus obtained is original in character.
Techniques:  There are various techniques of personal interviews:
Structured and unstructured: this interview involves the use of a set of predetermined questions and of highly standardized techniques of recording.  The interviewer follows a rigid procedure laid down, asking questions in a form and prescribed order. It is used in descriptive studies. Unstructured interviews are characterized by a flexibility of approach of questioning. It don’t follow a system of predetermined questions and standardized techniques of recording. The interviewer has greater freedom. This method is used in exploratory or formulative studies. 
Focused Interview: It is to focus attention on the given experience of the respondents and its effects.  The interviewer has freedom to decide the manner and sequence of the questions.  These are generally used in the development of hypothesis and constitute a major type of unstructured interviews.
Clinical Interviews:  It is concerned with broad underlying feelings or motivation or with the course of individual’s life experience.
Non-directive interviews:  In this the interviewer’s function is simply to encourage the respondent to talk about the given topic with a bare minimum of direct questioning.
Advantage:  The advantages of personal interview method are as follows:
c)       More information and too in greater depth can be obtained.
d)      Interviewer by his own skill can overcome the resistance, if any, of the respondents.
e)      There is a greater flexibility under this method as the opportunity to restructure questions is always there, especially in the case of unstructured interviews.
f)       Observation method can also be applied to recording verbal answers to various questions.
g)      Personal information can as be obtained easily under this method.
h)      Sample can be controlled more effectively as there arises no difficulty of missing return, non-response generally remains very low.
i)        The interviewer can usually control which person will answer the question.
j)        The interviewer may catch the informant off-guard and thus may secure the most spontaneous reaction.
k)      The language of interview can be adapted to the ability or educational level of the person interviewed.
l)        The interviewer can collect supplementary information about the respondent’s personal character and environment which is often of great value in interpreting results.
Disadvantages:  There are certain weaknesses of interview method:
c)       It is very expensive method, especially when large and wide spread geographical sample is taken.
d)      There remains the possibility of the bias of interviewer as well as that of the respondents.
e)      Certain types of respondents such as important officials or executives may not be easily approached under this method and to that extant the data may prove inadequate.
f)       This method is more time consuming, especially when the sample is large and recalls upon the respondents are necessary.
g)      The presence of the interviewer on the spot may over-stimulate the respondent, sometimes even to the extent that he may give imaginary information just to make the interview interesting.
h)      Under the interview method the organization required for selecting, training, and supervising the field staff is more complex with formidable problem.
i)        Interview at times may also introduce systemic errors.
j)        Effective interviews pre-suppose proper rapport with respondents that would facilitate free and frank response.
(ii) Telephone Interview: This method of collecting information consists in contacting respondents on telephone itself. It is not a very widely used method, but plays important part in industrial surveys, particularly in developed regions.
Merits:  The chief merits of such systems are:
a)      It is more flexible in comparison to mailing method.
b)      It is faster than other methods.
c)       It is cheaper than personal interviewing method.
d)      Recall is easy, callback are simple and economical.
e)      There is a higher rate of response than what we have in mailing method.
f)       Replies can be recorded without causing embarrassment to the respondents.
g)      Interviewer can explain requirements more easily.
h)      No field staff is required.
i)        Representative and wider distribution of sample is possible.
j)        At times access can be gained to respondents who otherwise cannot be contacted.
Demerits:  It is not free from demerits:
a)      Little time is given to respondents for considered answers; interview period is not likely to exceed five minutes in most cases.
b)      Surveys are restricted to respondents who have telephone facilities.
c)       Extensive geographical coverage may get restricted by cost consideration.
d)      It is not suitable for intensive surveys where comprehensive answers are required to various questions.
e)      Possibility of bias of the interviewer is relatively more.
f)       Questions have to be short and to the point, probes are difficult to handle.
5. (a) What is ‘Questionnaire”? What are the guiding considerations in the construction of a questionnaire? Also distinguish between a questionnaire and a schedule.                                   2+4+8=14
Ans: In this method a list of questions pertaining to the survey is prepared and sent to the various informants by post. The questionnaire contains questions and provides space for answers.  A request is made to the informants through a covering letter to fill up the questionnaire and send it back within a specified time.  This method is adapted by private individuals, research workers, private and public organisations and even by govt.
Merits:  This method is most extensively employed in various economic and business surveys. The main merits are as follows:
a)      There is low cost even when the universe is large and is widely spread geographically.
b)      It is free from the bias of the interviewer; answers are in respondent’s own words.
c)       Respondents have adequate time to give well out answers.
d)      Respondents who are not easily approachable can also be reached conveniently.
e)      Large sample can be made use of and thus the results can be more dependable and reliable.
Requirement of good Questionnaire: The following general principle/requirements are useful in framing questionnaire:
a)      Covering Letter: The person conducting the survey must introduce himself and state objective of the survey.  A short letter stating the purpose of survey should be enclosed along with the questionnaire.
b)      Number of questions: The number of questions to be included in the questionnaire would strictly depend upon the object and the scope of the investigation and number of the questions should be as small as possible.  Because if the questionnaire is lengthy, the rate of response will be lower.
c)       Should be Arranged Logically: The question should be arranged logically so that a natural and spontaneous reply to each is induced. For example it is illogical to ask a person about his income before asking him whether he is employed or not.
d)      Short and Simple: The question should be short and simple to understand and technical terms should be avoided.
e)      Personal Question:  Personal question should be avoided such as income, income tax is paid etc.
f)       Necessary Instructions: The instructions about the unit of measurement or the time within which questionnaire should be sent back etc should be provided.
g)      Objective Answers: The descriptive questions should be avoided while framing the questionnaire.  As far as the question should be of such nature that can be answered easily in ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
h)      Calculation: Question requiring calculation should be avoided. If calculus is included, informant may not answer the questions.
i)        Attractive: The quality of paper used and printing should be of high quality. Sufficient space should be given for answering.
(d) Schedule Method: This method of data collection is very much like questionnaire method, with a little difference which lies in the fact that schedules are being filled in by the numerators who are specially appointed for this purpose.  These numerators along with schedules go to respondents put to them the questions from the Performa in the order questions are listed and record the replies in the space provided. Numerators explains them the object of the investigation and also removes the difficulties felt by the respondents.  The numerators should train to perform their job well and the nature and scope of the investigation should be explained to them thoroughly.  The numerators should be intelligent and must possess the capacity of cross examination in order to find out the truth.  This method of data collection is very useful in extensive enquiries and can lead to fairly reliable results.  It is, however very expensive and is usually adopted in investigations conducted by governmental agencies or by some big organisations.  Population census all over the world is conducted through this method.
Difference between Questionnaire and Schedule: 
1.       Mode of Sending:  The questionnaire generally sent through mail to informants to be answered as specified in a covering letter without further assistant from the sender.  The schedule is generally filled out by the research worker or the numerator.
2.       Cost Effective:  To collect data through questionnaire is relatively cheap and economical since we have to spend money only on preparing the questionnaire and in mailing to the respondents.  Schedule is relatively more expensive since considerable amount of money has to be spent in appointing numerators.
3.       Rate of Response:  Non-response is usually high in case of questionnaire as many people do not respond and return the question without answering.  It is very low in case of schedule method.
4.       Identity:  In case of questionnaire it is not always clear who replies, but in schedule the identity of respondent is known.
5.       Collection Time:  The questionnaire method is likely to be very slow, but in case of schedules the information is collected well in time as these are filled by numerators.
6.       Contacts: Personal contact is generally not possible in case of questionnaire, but in case of schedules direct personal contacts are established with respondents.
7.       Literacy:  Questionnaire method can be used only when respondents are literate and cooperative.  But in schedules information can be gathered even when the respondents happen to be illiterate.
8.       Area:  Wider and more representative distribution of sample is possible under questionnaire method, but in schedules there are usually remains the difficulty in sending numerators over a relatively wide area.
9.       Accuracy:  Risk of collecting incomplete and wrong information is relatively more under the questionnaire method, but in schedules, information collected are complete and correct.
10.   Results:  The success of questionnaire method depends upon the quality of questionnaires itself but in schedules it depends upon the honesty and competence of numerators.
11.   Attraction:  In order to attract the attention of respondents, the physical appearance of questionnaire must be quite attractive but this may not be so in case of schedules.
12.   Other Methods:  Along with schedules, observation method can also be used but such things are not possible in questionnaire method while collecting data.
Or
(b) What is ‘Sampling’? State the reasons why sampling is used in the context of research studies. Discuss the following methods of sampling:                                   2+6+(3x2)=14
a)      Stratified sampling.
b)      Systematic sampling.
Ans: Sampling: Sampling may be defined as the selection of some part of an aggregate or totality on the basis of which a judgement or inference about the aggregate or totality is made. In other words, it is the process of obtaining information about an entire population by examining only a part of it. In most of the research work and surveys, the usual approach happens to be to make generalisations or to draw inferences based on samples about the parameters of population from which the samples are taken. The researcher quite often selects only a few items from the universe for his study purposes. All this is done on the assumption that the sample data will enable him to estimate the population parameters. The items so selected constitute what is technically called a sample, their selection process or technique is called sample design and the survey conducted on the basis of sample is described as sample survey. Sample should be truly representative of population characteristics without any bias so that it may result in valid and reliable conclusions.
According to Goode and Hatt, “A sample as the name applies, is a smaller representative of a large whole”.
According to Pauline V Young, “A statistical sample is a miniature of cross selection of the entire group or aggregate from which the sample is taken”.
According to Bogrdus, “Sampling is the selection of certain percentage of a group of items according to a predetermined plan”.
NEED FOR SAMPLING
Sampling is used in practice for a variety of reasons such as:
1. Sampling can save time and money. A sample study is usually less expensive than a census study and produces results at a relatively faster speed.
2. Sampling may enable more accurate measurements for a sample study is generally conducted by trained and experienced investigators.
3. Sampling remains the only way when population contains infinitely many members.
4. Sampling remains the only choice when a test involves the destruction of the item under study.
5. Sampling usually enables to estimate the sampling errors and, thus, assists in obtaining information concerning some characteristic of the population.
Systematic or Random Sampling: Off all the methods of selecting sample, random sampling technique is made maximum use of and it is considered as the best method of sample selection.  Random sampling is made in following ways:
(i) Lottery Method: In this the number of data are written on sheet of paper and they are thrown into a box.  Now a casual observer selects the number of item required in the sample.  For this method it is necessary that sheet of paper should be of equal dimensions.
(ii) By Rotating the Drum:  In this method, piece of wood, tin or cardboard of equal length and breadth, with number 0,1 or 2 printed on them, are used. The pieces are rotated in a drum and then requisite numbers are drawn by an impartial person. 
(iii) Selecting from Sequential List:  In this procedure units are broken up in numerical, alphabetical or geography sequence.  Now we may decide to choose 1, 5, 10 and so on , if the division is alphabetical order we decide to choose every item starting from a, b, c and so on.
(iv) Tippet’s Number:  On the basis of population statistics, Tippet has constructed a random list of four digits each of 10, 400 institutions.  These numbers are the result of combining 41,600 population statistics reports.
Advantages; 
6.       Due to impartiality, there is possibility of selecting any unit as sample.
7.       Units have the characteristic of universe, hence units are more representative.
8.       Simplicity of method makes no possibility of error.
9.       Error can be known easily
10.   It saves money, time and labour.
Disadvantages: 
5.       The selector has no control over the selection of units. The researcher can not contact the far situated units.
6.       He can not prepare the whole field when the universe is vast.
7.       If units have no homogeneity, the method is not appropriate.
8.       There is no question of alternatives.  The selected units can not be replaced or changed.
Stratified Sampling:  This method of selecting samples is a mixture of both purposive and random sampling techniques. In this all the data in a domain is spilt into various classes on the basis of their characteristics and immediately thereafter certain items are selected from these classes by the random sampling technique.  This technique is suitable in those cases in which the data has sub data and having special characteristics. For example if we wish to collect information regarding income expenditure of the male population strata on the basis of shopkeeper, workers, etc.  From these we shall select randomly some units for study of income-expenditure statistics.
Process of Stratifying:   The stratification of domain or data should be with great care, because the success of the technique depends upon successful stratification.  Following points should be born in mind:
1.       We should process extensive information of all items including in a domain and should know which item make a coherent whole on the basis of similar traits and which others re different from them and why?
2.       The size of each stratum should be large to enable use of random sampling technique.
3.       In stratifying it must be kept in mind that various strata should have similar relation to the domain and should be themselves homogeneous.
4.       The various strata should differ from each other should be the same as the proportion of stratum from the domain.  Suppose a domain has four strata, accordingly the proportion of each stratum of domain is ¼.  Now if the number of total items of the sample is 64, we shall select 16 items from each stratum and thus the proportion of selected items from each stratum will be ¼.
Advantage:
1.       Neither group nor class of importance is totally neglected as units of each are represented in the sample.
2.       If different classes are divided properly, selection of few units represents the whole group.
3.       On the classification of regional basis, units are not in contact easily. This leads to economy of time and money.
4.       There is a facility in substitution of units. If someone is not contacted easily, the other person of the same class can be substituted for him.  Such inclusion result will not show any contradicting.
Disadvantages: 
1.       The sample does not become representative if selected sample has more or less units of a class.
2.       If the sizes of different group are different, no equal proportional quality can be viewed.
3.       Non-proportional selection leads to more emphasis in the end.  During such time researcher ca be biased, hence samples will not representate.
4.       If group is not expressed properly, the difficulty is seen about the unit to be kept under which group or class.
6. (a) What is ‘Interpretation’? Why is interpretation called as a fundamental component of research process? Also discuss about the steps involved in the techniques of interpretation.                                   2+8+4=14
Ans: Meaning of Interpretation
The task of drawing inferences from the collected facts after an analysis and or experimental study is called interpretation. Interpretation is the device through which the factors that seems to explain what has been observed by researcher in the course of the study can be better understood. Interpretation provides a theoretical conception which can serve as a guide for further researches. It has two major aspects viz,
(i) The efforts to establish continuity in research through linking the results of a given study with those of another,
(ii) The establishment of some explanatory concepts.
Why interpretation is called fundamental component of research process?
Interpretation is essential for the simple reason that the usefulness and utility of research findings lie in proper interpretation. It is being considered a basic component of research process because of the following reasons:
(i) It is through interpretation that the researcher can well understand the abstract principle that works beneath his findings. Through this he can link up his findings with those of other studies, having the same abstract principle, and thereby can predict about the concrete world of events. Fresh inquiries can test these predictions later on. This way the continuity in research can be maintained.
(ii) Interpretation leads to the establishment of explanatory concepts that can serve as a guide for future research studies; it opens new avenues of intellectual adventure and stimulates the quest for more knowledge.
(iii) Researcher can better appreciate only through interpretation why his findings are what they are and can make others to understand the real significance of his research findings.
(iv) The interpretation of the findings of exploratory research study often results into hypotheses for experimental research and as such interpretation is involved in the transition from exploratory to experimental research. Since an exploratory study does not have a hypothesis to start with, the findings of such a study have to be interpreted on a post-factum basis in which case the interpretation is technically described as ‘post factum’ interpretation.
Techniques of interpretation
The task of interpretation requires a great skill of researcher. The art of interpretation can be achieved through practice and experience. The interpretation techniques involve the following steps:
(a) The relation that the researcher has found must be reasonably explained.  The researcher must interpret the lines of relationship in terms of the underlying process. He must also try to find out the thread of uniformity that lies under the surface layer of his concept of formulated.
(b) While interpreting the final results of research study, the extraneous information that he has collected during the study, must be considered.  This helps in understanding of the problem under consideration.
(c) Before giving final interpretation, the researcher should consult someone who is expert in the concerned study and will not hesitate in pointing out the omission and errors in logical argumentation. Such consultations will result in correct interpretation and thus will enhance the utility of research results.
(d) The false generalization of interpretation can be avoided by accomplishing the task of interpretation after considering all the relevant factors affecting the problem.  The researcher should not make hurry while interpreting the results, otherwise the interpretation may lead to inaccurate results.
Or
(b) What is ‘Research Report’? What points will you keep in mind while preparing a research report? Explain.      2+12=14
Ans: Research Report: The final step in any research is to complete the findings into a summarized format. It is often said that without a research report the research remains valueless as it cannot be communicated accurately and effectively to the persons who are responsible for policy decisions.
Meaning of Research Report: A research report is more or less an official document that presents the information for an interested reader. It involves investigation and analysis and the facts may lead to conclusions and recommendation. The facts must be accurate, complete easy to find and usually must be interpreted. They provide valuable record for the business. They can also be made use of in future.
A research Report can be Defined as: “The process of communicating the results of an investigation. It is a document which reflects the research conducted and the care that has been exercised throughout the study”.
Precautions/Points to be taken into consideration before writing a research report
Research report is a channel of communicating the research findings to the readers of the report. A good research report is one which does this task efficiently and effectively. As such it must be prepared keeping the following precautions in view:
1.       While determining the length of the report (since research reports vary greatly in length), one should keep in view the fact that it should be long enough to cover the subject but short enough to maintain interest. In fact, report-writing should not be a means to learning more and more about less and less.
2.       A research report should not, if this can be avoided, be dull; it should be such as to sustain reader’s interest.
3.       Abstract terminology and technical jargon should be avoided in a research report. The report should be able to convey the matter as simply as possible. This, in other words, means that report should be written in an objective style in simple language, avoiding expressions such as “it seems,” “there may be” and the like.
4.       Readers are often interested in acquiring a quick knowledge of the main findings and as such the report must provide a ready availability of the findings. For this purpose, charts, graphs and the statistical tables may be used for the various results in the main report in addition to the summary of important findings.
5.       The layout of the report should be well thought out and must be appropriate and in accordance with the objective of the research problem.
6.       The reports should be free from grammatical mistakes and must be prepared strictly in accordance with the techniques of composition of report-writing such as the use of quotations, footnotes, documentation, proper punctuation and use of abbreviations in footnotes and the like.
7.       The report must present the logical analysis of the subject matter. It must reflect a structure wherein the different pieces of analysis relating to the research problem fit well.
8.       A research report should show originality and should necessarily be an attempt to solve some intellectual problem. It must contribute to the solution of a problem and must add to the store of knowledge.
9.       Towards the end, the report must also state the policy implications relating to the problem under consideration. It is usually considered desirable if the report makes a forecast of the probable future of the subject concerned and indicates the kinds of research still needs to be done in that particular field.
10.   Appendices should be enlisted in respect of all the technical data in the report.
11.   Bibliography of sources consulted is a must for a good report and must necessarily be given.
12.   Index is also considered an essential part of a good report and as such must be prepared and appended at the end.
13.   Report must be attractive in appearance, neat and clean, whether typed or printed.
14.   Calculated confidence limits must be mentioned and the various constraints experienced in conducting the research study may also be stated in the report.
15.   Objective of the study, the nature of the problem, the methods employed and the analysis techniques adopted must all be clearly stated in the beginning of the report in the form of introduction.

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