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How to Write the Rationale of the Study in Research (Examples)

how to write need for study in research

What is the Rationale of the Study?

The rationale of the study is the justification for taking on a given study. It explains the reason the study was conducted or should be conducted. This means the study rationale should explain to the reader or examiner why the study is/was necessary. It is also sometimes called the “purpose” or “justification” of a study. While this is not difficult to grasp in itself, you might wonder how the rationale of the study is different from your research question or from the statement of the problem of your study, and how it fits into the rest of your thesis or research paper. 

The rationale of the study links the background of the study to your specific research question and justifies the need for the latter on the basis of the former. In brief, you first provide and discuss existing data on the topic, and then you tell the reader, based on the background evidence you just presented, where you identified gaps or issues and why you think it is important to address those. The problem statement, lastly, is the formulation of the specific research question you choose to investigate, following logically from your rationale, and the approach you are planning to use to do that.

Table of Contents:

How to write a rationale for a research paper , how do you justify the need for a research study.

  • Study Rationale Example: Where Does It Go In Your Paper?

The basis for writing a research rationale is preliminary data or a clear description of an observation. If you are doing basic/theoretical research, then a literature review will help you identify gaps in current knowledge. In applied/practical research, you base your rationale on an existing issue with a certain process (e.g., vaccine proof registration) or practice (e.g., patient treatment) that is well documented and needs to be addressed. By presenting the reader with earlier evidence or observations, you can (and have to) convince them that you are not just repeating what other people have already done or said and that your ideas are not coming out of thin air. 

Once you have explained where you are coming from, you should justify the need for doing additional research–this is essentially the rationale of your study. Finally, when you have convinced the reader of the purpose of your work, you can end your introduction section with the statement of the problem of your research that contains clear aims and objectives and also briefly describes (and justifies) your methodological approach. 

When is the Rationale for Research Written?

The author can present the study rationale both before and after the research is conducted. 

  • Before conducting research : The study rationale is a central component of the research proposal . It represents the plan of your work, constructed before the study is actually executed.
  • Once research has been conducted : After the study is completed, the rationale is presented in a research article or  PhD dissertation  to explain why you focused on this specific research question. When writing the study rationale for this purpose, the author should link the rationale of the research to the aims and outcomes of the study.

What to Include in the Study Rationale

Although every study rationale is different and discusses different specific elements of a study’s method or approach, there are some elements that should be included to write a good rationale. Make sure to touch on the following:

  • A summary of conclusions from your review of the relevant literature
  • What is currently unknown (gaps in knowledge)
  • Inconclusive or contested results  from previous studies on the same or similar topic
  • The necessity to improve or build on previous research, such as to improve methodology or utilize newer techniques and/or technologies

There are different types of limitations that you can use to justify the need for your study. In applied/practical research, the justification for investigating something is always that an existing process/practice has a problem or is not satisfactory. Let’s say, for example, that people in a certain country/city/community commonly complain about hospital care on weekends (not enough staff, not enough attention, no decisions being made), but you looked into it and realized that nobody ever investigated whether these perceived problems are actually based on objective shortages/non-availabilities of care or whether the lower numbers of patients who are treated during weekends are commensurate with the provided services.

In this case, “lack of data” is your justification for digging deeper into the problem. Or, if it is obvious that there is a shortage of staff and provided services on weekends, you could decide to investigate which of the usual procedures are skipped during weekends as a result and what the negative consequences are. 

In basic/theoretical research, lack of knowledge is of course a common and accepted justification for additional research—but make sure that it is not your only motivation. “Nobody has ever done this” is only a convincing reason for a study if you explain to the reader why you think we should know more about this specific phenomenon. If there is earlier research but you think it has limitations, then those can usually be classified into “methodological”, “contextual”, and “conceptual” limitations. To identify such limitations, you can ask specific questions and let those questions guide you when you explain to the reader why your study was necessary:

Methodological limitations

  • Did earlier studies try but failed to measure/identify a specific phenomenon?
  • Was earlier research based on incorrect conceptualizations of variables?
  • Were earlier studies based on questionable operationalizations of key concepts?
  • Did earlier studies use questionable or inappropriate research designs?

Contextual limitations

  • Have recent changes in the studied problem made previous studies irrelevant?
  • Are you studying a new/particular context that previous findings do not apply to?

Conceptual limitations

  • Do previous findings only make sense within a specific framework or ideology?

Study Rationale Examples

Let’s look at an example from one of our earlier articles on the statement of the problem to clarify how your rationale fits into your introduction section. This is a very short introduction for a practical research study on the challenges of online learning. Your introduction might be much longer (especially the context/background section), and this example does not contain any sources (which you will have to provide for all claims you make and all earlier studies you cite)—but please pay attention to how the background presentation , rationale, and problem statement blend into each other in a logical way so that the reader can follow and has no reason to question your motivation or the foundation of your research.

Background presentation

Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, most educational institutions around the world have transitioned to a fully online study model, at least during peak times of infections and social distancing measures. This transition has not been easy and even two years into the pandemic, problems with online teaching and studying persist (reference needed) . 

While the increasing gap between those with access to technology and equipment and those without access has been determined to be one of the main challenges (reference needed) , others claim that online learning offers more opportunities for many students by breaking down barriers of location and distance (reference needed) .  

Rationale of the study

Since teachers and students cannot wait for circumstances to go back to normal, the measures that schools and universities have implemented during the last two years, their advantages and disadvantages, and the impact of those measures on students’ progress, satisfaction, and well-being need to be understood so that improvements can be made and demographics that have been left behind can receive the support they need as soon as possible.

Statement of the problem

To identify what changes in the learning environment were considered the most challenging and how those changes relate to a variety of student outcome measures, we conducted surveys and interviews among teachers and students at ten institutions of higher education in four different major cities, two in the US (New York and Chicago), one in South Korea (Seoul), and one in the UK (London). Responses were analyzed with a focus on different student demographics and how they might have been affected differently by the current situation.

How long is a study rationale?

In a research article bound for journal publication, your rationale should not be longer than a few sentences (no longer than one brief paragraph). A  dissertation or thesis  usually allows for a longer description; depending on the length and nature of your document, this could be up to a couple of paragraphs in length. A completely novel or unconventional approach might warrant a longer and more detailed justification than an approach that slightly deviates from well-established methods and approaches.

Consider Using Professional Academic Editing Services

Now that you know how to write the rationale of the study for a research proposal or paper, you should make use of our free AI grammar checker , Wordvice AI, or receive professional academic proofreading services from Wordvice, including research paper editing services and manuscript editing services to polish your submitted research documents.

You can also find many more articles, for example on writing the other parts of your research paper , on choosing a title , or on making sure you understand and adhere to the author instructions before you submit to a journal, on the Wordvice academic resources pages.

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  • v.37(16); 2022 Apr 25

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A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions and Hypotheses in Scholarly Articles

Edward barroga.

1 Department of General Education, Graduate School of Nursing Science, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo, Japan.

Glafera Janet Matanguihan

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Messiah University, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA.

The development of research questions and the subsequent hypotheses are prerequisites to defining the main research purpose and specific objectives of a study. Consequently, these objectives determine the study design and research outcome. The development of research questions is a process based on knowledge of current trends, cutting-edge studies, and technological advances in the research field. Excellent research questions are focused and require a comprehensive literature search and in-depth understanding of the problem being investigated. Initially, research questions may be written as descriptive questions which could be developed into inferential questions. These questions must be specific and concise to provide a clear foundation for developing hypotheses. Hypotheses are more formal predictions about the research outcomes. These specify the possible results that may or may not be expected regarding the relationship between groups. Thus, research questions and hypotheses clarify the main purpose and specific objectives of the study, which in turn dictate the design of the study, its direction, and outcome. Studies developed from good research questions and hypotheses will have trustworthy outcomes with wide-ranging social and health implications.


Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses. 1 , 2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results. 3 , 4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the inception of novel studies and the ethical testing of ideas. 5 , 6

It is crucial to have knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research 2 as both types of research involve writing research questions and hypotheses. 7 However, these crucial elements of research are sometimes overlooked; if not overlooked, then framed without the forethought and meticulous attention it needs. Planning and careful consideration are needed when developing quantitative or qualitative research, particularly when conceptualizing research questions and hypotheses. 4

There is a continuing need to support researchers in the creation of innovative research questions and hypotheses, as well as for journal articles that carefully review these elements. 1 When research questions and hypotheses are not carefully thought of, unethical studies and poor outcomes usually ensue. Carefully formulated research questions and hypotheses define well-founded objectives, which in turn determine the appropriate design, course, and outcome of the study. This article then aims to discuss in detail the various aspects of crafting research questions and hypotheses, with the goal of guiding researchers as they develop their own. Examples from the authors and peer-reviewed scientific articles in the healthcare field are provided to illustrate key points.


A research question is what a study aims to answer after data analysis and interpretation. The answer is written in length in the discussion section of the paper. Thus, the research question gives a preview of the different parts and variables of the study meant to address the problem posed in the research question. 1 An excellent research question clarifies the research writing while facilitating understanding of the research topic, objective, scope, and limitations of the study. 5

On the other hand, a research hypothesis is an educated statement of an expected outcome. This statement is based on background research and current knowledge. 8 , 9 The research hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a new phenomenon 10 or a formal statement on the expected relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. 3 , 11 It provides a tentative answer to the research question to be tested or explored. 4

Hypotheses employ reasoning to predict a theory-based outcome. 10 These can also be developed from theories by focusing on components of theories that have not yet been observed. 10 The validity of hypotheses is often based on the testability of the prediction made in a reproducible experiment. 8

Conversely, hypotheses can also be rephrased as research questions. Several hypotheses based on existing theories and knowledge may be needed to answer a research question. Developing ethical research questions and hypotheses creates a research design that has logical relationships among variables. These relationships serve as a solid foundation for the conduct of the study. 4 , 11 Haphazardly constructed research questions can result in poorly formulated hypotheses and improper study designs, leading to unreliable results. Thus, the formulations of relevant research questions and verifiable hypotheses are crucial when beginning research. 12


Excellent research questions are specific and focused. These integrate collective data and observations to confirm or refute the subsequent hypotheses. Well-constructed hypotheses are based on previous reports and verify the research context. These are realistic, in-depth, sufficiently complex, and reproducible. More importantly, these hypotheses can be addressed and tested. 13

There are several characteristics of well-developed hypotheses. Good hypotheses are 1) empirically testable 7 , 10 , 11 , 13 ; 2) backed by preliminary evidence 9 ; 3) testable by ethical research 7 , 9 ; 4) based on original ideas 9 ; 5) have evidenced-based logical reasoning 10 ; and 6) can be predicted. 11 Good hypotheses can infer ethical and positive implications, indicating the presence of a relationship or effect relevant to the research theme. 7 , 11 These are initially developed from a general theory and branch into specific hypotheses by deductive reasoning. In the absence of a theory to base the hypotheses, inductive reasoning based on specific observations or findings form more general hypotheses. 10


Research questions and hypotheses are developed according to the type of research, which can be broadly classified into quantitative and qualitative research. We provide a summary of the types of research questions and hypotheses under quantitative and qualitative research categories in Table 1 .

Research questions in quantitative research

In quantitative research, research questions inquire about the relationships among variables being investigated and are usually framed at the start of the study. These are precise and typically linked to the subject population, dependent and independent variables, and research design. 1 Research questions may also attempt to describe the behavior of a population in relation to one or more variables, or describe the characteristics of variables to be measured ( descriptive research questions ). 1 , 5 , 14 These questions may also aim to discover differences between groups within the context of an outcome variable ( comparative research questions ), 1 , 5 , 14 or elucidate trends and interactions among variables ( relationship research questions ). 1 , 5 We provide examples of descriptive, comparative, and relationship research questions in quantitative research in Table 2 .

Hypotheses in quantitative research

In quantitative research, hypotheses predict the expected relationships among variables. 15 Relationships among variables that can be predicted include 1) between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable ( simple hypothesis ) or 2) between two or more independent and dependent variables ( complex hypothesis ). 4 , 11 Hypotheses may also specify the expected direction to be followed and imply an intellectual commitment to a particular outcome ( directional hypothesis ) 4 . On the other hand, hypotheses may not predict the exact direction and are used in the absence of a theory, or when findings contradict previous studies ( non-directional hypothesis ). 4 In addition, hypotheses can 1) define interdependency between variables ( associative hypothesis ), 4 2) propose an effect on the dependent variable from manipulation of the independent variable ( causal hypothesis ), 4 3) state a negative relationship between two variables ( null hypothesis ), 4 , 11 , 15 4) replace the working hypothesis if rejected ( alternative hypothesis ), 15 explain the relationship of phenomena to possibly generate a theory ( working hypothesis ), 11 5) involve quantifiable variables that can be tested statistically ( statistical hypothesis ), 11 6) or express a relationship whose interlinks can be verified logically ( logical hypothesis ). 11 We provide examples of simple, complex, directional, non-directional, associative, causal, null, alternative, working, statistical, and logical hypotheses in quantitative research, as well as the definition of quantitative hypothesis-testing research in Table 3 .

Research questions in qualitative research

Unlike research questions in quantitative research, research questions in qualitative research are usually continuously reviewed and reformulated. The central question and associated subquestions are stated more than the hypotheses. 15 The central question broadly explores a complex set of factors surrounding the central phenomenon, aiming to present the varied perspectives of participants. 15

There are varied goals for which qualitative research questions are developed. These questions can function in several ways, such as to 1) identify and describe existing conditions ( contextual research question s); 2) describe a phenomenon ( descriptive research questions ); 3) assess the effectiveness of existing methods, protocols, theories, or procedures ( evaluation research questions ); 4) examine a phenomenon or analyze the reasons or relationships between subjects or phenomena ( explanatory research questions ); or 5) focus on unknown aspects of a particular topic ( exploratory research questions ). 5 In addition, some qualitative research questions provide new ideas for the development of theories and actions ( generative research questions ) or advance specific ideologies of a position ( ideological research questions ). 1 Other qualitative research questions may build on a body of existing literature and become working guidelines ( ethnographic research questions ). Research questions may also be broadly stated without specific reference to the existing literature or a typology of questions ( phenomenological research questions ), may be directed towards generating a theory of some process ( grounded theory questions ), or may address a description of the case and the emerging themes ( qualitative case study questions ). 15 We provide examples of contextual, descriptive, evaluation, explanatory, exploratory, generative, ideological, ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, and qualitative case study research questions in qualitative research in Table 4 , and the definition of qualitative hypothesis-generating research in Table 5 .

Qualitative studies usually pose at least one central research question and several subquestions starting with How or What . These research questions use exploratory verbs such as explore or describe . These also focus on one central phenomenon of interest, and may mention the participants and research site. 15

Hypotheses in qualitative research

Hypotheses in qualitative research are stated in the form of a clear statement concerning the problem to be investigated. Unlike in quantitative research where hypotheses are usually developed to be tested, qualitative research can lead to both hypothesis-testing and hypothesis-generating outcomes. 2 When studies require both quantitative and qualitative research questions, this suggests an integrative process between both research methods wherein a single mixed-methods research question can be developed. 1


Research questions followed by hypotheses should be developed before the start of the study. 1 , 12 , 14 It is crucial to develop feasible research questions on a topic that is interesting to both the researcher and the scientific community. This can be achieved by a meticulous review of previous and current studies to establish a novel topic. Specific areas are subsequently focused on to generate ethical research questions. The relevance of the research questions is evaluated in terms of clarity of the resulting data, specificity of the methodology, objectivity of the outcome, depth of the research, and impact of the study. 1 , 5 These aspects constitute the FINER criteria (i.e., Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant). 1 Clarity and effectiveness are achieved if research questions meet the FINER criteria. In addition to the FINER criteria, Ratan et al. described focus, complexity, novelty, feasibility, and measurability for evaluating the effectiveness of research questions. 14

The PICOT and PEO frameworks are also used when developing research questions. 1 The following elements are addressed in these frameworks, PICOT: P-population/patients/problem, I-intervention or indicator being studied, C-comparison group, O-outcome of interest, and T-timeframe of the study; PEO: P-population being studied, E-exposure to preexisting conditions, and O-outcome of interest. 1 Research questions are also considered good if these meet the “FINERMAPS” framework: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant, Manageable, Appropriate, Potential value/publishable, and Systematic. 14

As we indicated earlier, research questions and hypotheses that are not carefully formulated result in unethical studies or poor outcomes. To illustrate this, we provide some examples of ambiguous research question and hypotheses that result in unclear and weak research objectives in quantitative research ( Table 6 ) 16 and qualitative research ( Table 7 ) 17 , and how to transform these ambiguous research question(s) and hypothesis(es) into clear and good statements.

a These statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.

b These statements are direct quotes from Higashihara and Horiuchi. 16

a This statement is a direct quote from Shimoda et al. 17

The other statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.


To construct effective research questions and hypotheses, it is very important to 1) clarify the background and 2) identify the research problem at the outset of the research, within a specific timeframe. 9 Then, 3) review or conduct preliminary research to collect all available knowledge about the possible research questions by studying theories and previous studies. 18 Afterwards, 4) construct research questions to investigate the research problem. Identify variables to be accessed from the research questions 4 and make operational definitions of constructs from the research problem and questions. Thereafter, 5) construct specific deductive or inductive predictions in the form of hypotheses. 4 Finally, 6) state the study aims . This general flow for constructing effective research questions and hypotheses prior to conducting research is shown in Fig. 1 .

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Research questions are used more frequently in qualitative research than objectives or hypotheses. 3 These questions seek to discover, understand, explore or describe experiences by asking “What” or “How.” The questions are open-ended to elicit a description rather than to relate variables or compare groups. The questions are continually reviewed, reformulated, and changed during the qualitative study. 3 Research questions are also used more frequently in survey projects than hypotheses in experiments in quantitative research to compare variables and their relationships.

Hypotheses are constructed based on the variables identified and as an if-then statement, following the template, ‘If a specific action is taken, then a certain outcome is expected.’ At this stage, some ideas regarding expectations from the research to be conducted must be drawn. 18 Then, the variables to be manipulated (independent) and influenced (dependent) are defined. 4 Thereafter, the hypothesis is stated and refined, and reproducible data tailored to the hypothesis are identified, collected, and analyzed. 4 The hypotheses must be testable and specific, 18 and should describe the variables and their relationships, the specific group being studied, and the predicted research outcome. 18 Hypotheses construction involves a testable proposition to be deduced from theory, and independent and dependent variables to be separated and measured separately. 3 Therefore, good hypotheses must be based on good research questions constructed at the start of a study or trial. 12

In summary, research questions are constructed after establishing the background of the study. Hypotheses are then developed based on the research questions. Thus, it is crucial to have excellent research questions to generate superior hypotheses. In turn, these would determine the research objectives and the design of the study, and ultimately, the outcome of the research. 12 Algorithms for building research questions and hypotheses are shown in Fig. 2 for quantitative research and in Fig. 3 for qualitative research.

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  • EXAMPLE 1. Descriptive research question (quantitative research)
  • - Presents research variables to be assessed (distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes)
  • “BACKGROUND: Since COVID-19 was identified, its clinical and biological heterogeneity has been recognized. Identifying COVID-19 phenotypes might help guide basic, clinical, and translational research efforts.
  • RESEARCH QUESTION: Does the clinical spectrum of patients with COVID-19 contain distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes? ” 19
  • EXAMPLE 2. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
  • - Shows interactions between dependent variable (static postural control) and independent variable (peripheral visual field loss)
  • “Background: Integration of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensations contributes to postural control. People with peripheral visual field loss have serious postural instability. However, the directional specificity of postural stability and sensory reweighting caused by gradual peripheral visual field loss remain unclear.
  • Research question: What are the effects of peripheral visual field loss on static postural control ?” 20
  • EXAMPLE 3. Comparative research question (quantitative research)
  • - Clarifies the difference among groups with an outcome variable (patients enrolled in COMPERA with moderate PH or severe PH in COPD) and another group without the outcome variable (patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH))
  • “BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD is a poorly investigated clinical condition.
  • RESEARCH QUESTION: Which factors determine the outcome of PH in COPD?
  • STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of patients enrolled in the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA) with moderate or severe PH in COPD as defined during the 6th PH World Symposium who received medical therapy for PH and compared them with patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) .” 21
  • EXAMPLE 4. Exploratory research question (qualitative research)
  • - Explores areas that have not been fully investigated (perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment) to have a deeper understanding of the research problem
  • “Problem: Interventions for children with obesity lead to only modest improvements in BMI and long-term outcomes, and data are limited on the perspectives of families of children with obesity in clinic-based treatment. This scoping review seeks to answer the question: What is known about the perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment? This review aims to explore the scope of perspectives reported by families of children with obesity who have received individualized outpatient clinic-based obesity treatment.” 22
  • EXAMPLE 5. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
  • - Defines interactions between dependent variable (use of ankle strategies) and independent variable (changes in muscle tone)
  • “Background: To maintain an upright standing posture against external disturbances, the human body mainly employs two types of postural control strategies: “ankle strategy” and “hip strategy.” While it has been reported that the magnitude of the disturbance alters the use of postural control strategies, it has not been elucidated how the level of muscle tone, one of the crucial parameters of bodily function, determines the use of each strategy. We have previously confirmed using forward dynamics simulations of human musculoskeletal models that an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. The objective of the present study was to experimentally evaluate a hypothesis: an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. Research question: Do changes in the muscle tone affect the use of ankle strategies ?” 23


  • EXAMPLE 1. Working hypothesis (quantitative research)
  • - A hypothesis that is initially accepted for further research to produce a feasible theory
  • “As fever may have benefit in shortening the duration of viral illness, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response when taken during the early stages of COVID-19 illness .” 24
  • “In conclusion, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response . The difference in perceived safety of these agents in COVID-19 illness could be related to the more potent efficacy to reduce fever with ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen. Compelling data on the benefit of fever warrant further research and review to determine when to treat or withhold ibuprofen for early stage fever for COVID-19 and other related viral illnesses .” 24
  • EXAMPLE 2. Exploratory hypothesis (qualitative research)
  • - Explores particular areas deeper to clarify subjective experience and develop a formal hypothesis potentially testable in a future quantitative approach
  • “We hypothesized that when thinking about a past experience of help-seeking, a self distancing prompt would cause increased help-seeking intentions and more favorable help-seeking outcome expectations .” 25
  • “Conclusion
  • Although a priori hypotheses were not supported, further research is warranted as results indicate the potential for using self-distancing approaches to increasing help-seeking among some people with depressive symptomatology.” 25
  • EXAMPLE 3. Hypothesis-generating research to establish a framework for hypothesis testing (qualitative research)
  • “We hypothesize that compassionate care is beneficial for patients (better outcomes), healthcare systems and payers (lower costs), and healthcare providers (lower burnout). ” 26
  • Compassionomics is the branch of knowledge and scientific study of the effects of compassionate healthcare. Our main hypotheses are that compassionate healthcare is beneficial for (1) patients, by improving clinical outcomes, (2) healthcare systems and payers, by supporting financial sustainability, and (3) HCPs, by lowering burnout and promoting resilience and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to establish a scientific framework for testing the hypotheses above . If these hypotheses are confirmed through rigorous research, compassionomics will belong in the science of evidence-based medicine, with major implications for all healthcare domains.” 26
  • EXAMPLE 4. Statistical hypothesis (quantitative research)
  • - An assumption is made about the relationship among several population characteristics ( gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD ). Validity is tested by statistical experiment or analysis ( chi-square test, Students t-test, and logistic regression analysis)
  • “Our research investigated gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD in a Japanese clinical sample. Due to unique Japanese cultural ideals and expectations of women's behavior that are in opposition to ADHD symptoms, we hypothesized that women with ADHD experience more difficulties and present more dysfunctions than men . We tested the following hypotheses: first, women with ADHD have more comorbidities than men with ADHD; second, women with ADHD experience more social hardships than men, such as having less full-time employment and being more likely to be divorced.” 27
  • “Statistical Analysis
  • ( text omitted ) Between-gender comparisons were made using the chi-squared test for categorical variables and Students t-test for continuous variables…( text omitted ). A logistic regression analysis was performed for employment status, marital status, and comorbidity to evaluate the independent effects of gender on these dependent variables.” 27


  • EXAMPLE 1. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
  • “Pregnant women need skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth, but that skilled care is often delayed in some countries …( text omitted ). The focused antenatal care (FANC) model of WHO recommends that nurses provide information or counseling to all pregnant women …( text omitted ). Job aids are visual support materials that provide the right kind of information using graphics and words in a simple and yet effective manner. When nurses are not highly trained or have many work details to attend to, these job aids can serve as a content reminder for the nurses and can be used for educating their patients (Jennings, Yebadokpo, Affo, & Agbogbe, 2010) ( text omitted ). Importantly, additional evidence is needed to confirm how job aids can further improve the quality of ANC counseling by health workers in maternal care …( text omitted )” 28
  • “ This has led us to hypothesize that the quality of ANC counseling would be better if supported by job aids. Consequently, a better quality of ANC counseling is expected to produce higher levels of awareness concerning the danger signs of pregnancy and a more favorable impression of the caring behavior of nurses .” 28
  • “This study aimed to examine the differences in the responses of pregnant women to a job aid-supported intervention during ANC visit in terms of 1) their understanding of the danger signs of pregnancy and 2) their impression of the caring behaviors of nurses to pregnant women in rural Tanzania.” 28
  • EXAMPLE 2. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
  • “We conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate and compare changes in salivary cortisol and oxytocin levels of first-time pregnant women between experimental and control groups. The women in the experimental group touched and held an infant for 30 min (experimental intervention protocol), whereas those in the control group watched a DVD movie of an infant (control intervention protocol). The primary outcome was salivary cortisol level and the secondary outcome was salivary oxytocin level.” 29
  • “ We hypothesize that at 30 min after touching and holding an infant, the salivary cortisol level will significantly decrease and the salivary oxytocin level will increase in the experimental group compared with the control group .” 29
  • EXAMPLE 3. Background, aim, and hypothesis are provided
  • “In countries where the maternal mortality ratio remains high, antenatal education to increase Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) is considered one of the top priorities [1]. BPCR includes birth plans during the antenatal period, such as the birthplace, birth attendant, transportation, health facility for complications, expenses, and birth materials, as well as family coordination to achieve such birth plans. In Tanzania, although increasing, only about half of all pregnant women attend an antenatal clinic more than four times [4]. Moreover, the information provided during antenatal care (ANC) is insufficient. In the resource-poor settings, antenatal group education is a potential approach because of the limited time for individual counseling at antenatal clinics.” 30
  • “This study aimed to evaluate an antenatal group education program among pregnant women and their families with respect to birth-preparedness and maternal and infant outcomes in rural villages of Tanzania.” 30
  • “ The study hypothesis was if Tanzanian pregnant women and their families received a family-oriented antenatal group education, they would (1) have a higher level of BPCR, (2) attend antenatal clinic four or more times, (3) give birth in a health facility, (4) have less complications of women at birth, and (5) have less complications and deaths of infants than those who did not receive the education .” 30

Research questions and hypotheses are crucial components to any type of research, whether quantitative or qualitative. These questions should be developed at the very beginning of the study. Excellent research questions lead to superior hypotheses, which, like a compass, set the direction of research, and can often determine the successful conduct of the study. Many research studies have floundered because the development of research questions and subsequent hypotheses was not given the thought and meticulous attention needed. The development of research questions and hypotheses is an iterative process based on extensive knowledge of the literature and insightful grasp of the knowledge gap. Focused, concise, and specific research questions provide a strong foundation for constructing hypotheses which serve as formal predictions about the research outcomes. Research questions and hypotheses are crucial elements of research that should not be overlooked. They should be carefully thought of and constructed when planning research. This avoids unethical studies and poor outcomes by defining well-founded objectives that determine the design, course, and outcome of the study.

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Author Contributions:

  • Conceptualization: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Methodology: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Writing - original draft: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Writing - review & editing: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
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Article Contents

Introduction, contents of a research study protocol, conflict of interest statement, how to write a research study protocol.

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Julien Al Shakarchi, How to write a research study protocol, Journal of Surgical Protocols and Research Methodologies , Volume 2022, Issue 1, January 2022, snab008, https://doi.org/10.1093/jsprm/snab008

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A study protocol is an important document that specifies the research plan for a clinical study. Many funders such as the NHS Health Research Authority encourage researchers to publish their study protocols to create a record of the methodology and reduce duplication of research effort. In this paper, we will describe how to write a research study protocol.

A study protocol is an essential part of a research project. It describes the study in detail to allow all members of the team to know and adhere to the steps of the methodology. Most funders, such as the NHS Health Research Authority in the United Kingdom, encourage researchers to publish their study protocols to create a record of the methodology, help with publication of the study and reduce duplication of research effort. In this paper, we will explain how to write a research protocol by describing what should be included.


The introduction is vital in setting the need for the planned research and the context of the current evidence. It should be supported by a background to the topic with appropriate references to the literature. A thorough review of the available evidence is expected to document the need for the planned research. This should be followed by a brief description of the study and the target population. A clear explanation for the rationale of the project is also expected to describe the research question and justify the need of the study.

Methods and analysis

A suitable study design and methodology should be chosen to reflect the aims of the research. This section should explain the study design: single centre or multicentre, retrospective or prospective, controlled or uncontrolled, randomised or not, and observational or experimental. Efforts should be made to explain why that particular design has been chosen. The studied population should be clearly defined with inclusion and exclusion criteria. These criteria will define the characteristics of the population the study is proposing to investigate and therefore outline the applicability to the reader. The size of the sample should be calculated with a power calculation if possible.

The protocol should describe the screening process about how, when and where patients will be recruited in the process. In the setting of a multicentre study, each participating unit should adhere to the same recruiting model or the differences should be described in the protocol. Informed consent must be obtained prior to any individual participating in the study. The protocol should fully describe the process of gaining informed consent that should include a patient information sheet and assessment of his or her capacity.

The intervention should be described in sufficient detail to allow an external individual or group to replicate the study. The differences in any changes of routine care should be explained. The primary and secondary outcomes should be clearly defined and an explanation of their clinical relevance is recommended. Data collection methods should be described in detail as well as where the data will be kept secured. Analysis of the data should be explained with clear statistical methods. There should also be plans on how any reported adverse events and other unintended effects of trial interventions or trial conduct will be reported, collected and managed.

Ethics and dissemination

A clear explanation of the risk and benefits to the participants should be included as well as addressing any specific ethical considerations. The protocol should clearly state the approvals the research has gained and the minimum expected would be ethical and local research approvals. For multicentre studies, the protocol should also include a statement of how the protocol is in line with requirements to gain approval to conduct the study at each proposed sites.

It is essential to comment on how personal information about potential and enrolled participants will be collected, shared and maintained in order to protect confidentiality. This part of the protocol should also state who owns the data arising from the study and for how long the data will be stored. It should explain that on completion of the study, the data will be analysed and a final study report will be written. We would advise to explain if there are any plans to notify the participants of the outcome of the study, either by provision of the publication or via another form of communication.

The authorship of any publication should have transparent and fair criteria, which should be described in this section of the protocol. By doing so, it will resolve any issues arising at the publication stage.

Funding statement

It is important to explain who are the sponsors and funders of the study. It should clarify the involvement and potential influence of any party. The sponsor is defined as the institution or organisation assuming overall responsibility for the study. Identification of the study sponsor provides transparency and accountability. The protocol should explicitly outline the roles and responsibilities of any funder(s) in study design, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing and dissemination of results. Any competing interests of the investigators should also be stated in this section.

A study protocol is an important document that specifies the research plan for a clinical study. It should be written in detail and researchers should aim to publish their study protocols as it is encouraged by many funders. The spirit 2013 statement provides a useful checklist on what should be included in a research protocol [ 1 ]. In this paper, we have explained a straightforward approach to writing a research study protocol.

None declared.

Chan   A-W , Tetzlaff   JM , Gøtzsche   PC , Altman   DG , Mann   H , Berlin   J , et al.    SPIRIT 2013 explanation and elaboration: guidance for protocols of clinical trials . BMJ   2013 ; 346 : e7586 .

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Research Design | Step-by-Step Guide with Examples

Published on 5 May 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 20 March 2023.

A research design is a strategy for answering your research question  using empirical data. Creating a research design means making decisions about:

  • Your overall aims and approach
  • The type of research design you’ll use
  • Your sampling methods or criteria for selecting subjects
  • Your data collection methods
  • The procedures you’ll follow to collect data
  • Your data analysis methods

A well-planned research design helps ensure that your methods match your research aims and that you use the right kind of analysis for your data.

Table of contents

Step 1: consider your aims and approach, step 2: choose a type of research design, step 3: identify your population and sampling method, step 4: choose your data collection methods, step 5: plan your data collection procedures, step 6: decide on your data analysis strategies, frequently asked questions.

  • Introduction

Before you can start designing your research, you should already have a clear idea of the research question you want to investigate.

There are many different ways you could go about answering this question. Your research design choices should be driven by your aims and priorities – start by thinking carefully about what you want to achieve.

The first choice you need to make is whether you’ll take a qualitative or quantitative approach.

Qualitative research designs tend to be more flexible and inductive , allowing you to adjust your approach based on what you find throughout the research process.

Quantitative research designs tend to be more fixed and deductive , with variables and hypotheses clearly defined in advance of data collection.

It’s also possible to use a mixed methods design that integrates aspects of both approaches. By combining qualitative and quantitative insights, you can gain a more complete picture of the problem you’re studying and strengthen the credibility of your conclusions.

Practical and ethical considerations when designing research

As well as scientific considerations, you need to think practically when designing your research. If your research involves people or animals, you also need to consider research ethics .

  • How much time do you have to collect data and write up the research?
  • Will you be able to gain access to the data you need (e.g., by travelling to a specific location or contacting specific people)?
  • Do you have the necessary research skills (e.g., statistical analysis or interview techniques)?
  • Will you need ethical approval ?

At each stage of the research design process, make sure that your choices are practically feasible.

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Within both qualitative and quantitative approaches, there are several types of research design to choose from. Each type provides a framework for the overall shape of your research.

Types of quantitative research designs

Quantitative designs can be split into four main types. Experimental and   quasi-experimental designs allow you to test cause-and-effect relationships, while descriptive and correlational designs allow you to measure variables and describe relationships between them.

With descriptive and correlational designs, you can get a clear picture of characteristics, trends, and relationships as they exist in the real world. However, you can’t draw conclusions about cause and effect (because correlation doesn’t imply causation ).

Experiments are the strongest way to test cause-and-effect relationships without the risk of other variables influencing the results. However, their controlled conditions may not always reflect how things work in the real world. They’re often also more difficult and expensive to implement.

Types of qualitative research designs

Qualitative designs are less strictly defined. This approach is about gaining a rich, detailed understanding of a specific context or phenomenon, and you can often be more creative and flexible in designing your research.

The table below shows some common types of qualitative design. They often have similar approaches in terms of data collection, but focus on different aspects when analysing the data.

Your research design should clearly define who or what your research will focus on, and how you’ll go about choosing your participants or subjects.

In research, a population is the entire group that you want to draw conclusions about, while a sample is the smaller group of individuals you’ll actually collect data from.

Defining the population

A population can be made up of anything you want to study – plants, animals, organisations, texts, countries, etc. In the social sciences, it most often refers to a group of people.

For example, will you focus on people from a specific demographic, region, or background? Are you interested in people with a certain job or medical condition, or users of a particular product?

The more precisely you define your population, the easier it will be to gather a representative sample.

Sampling methods

Even with a narrowly defined population, it’s rarely possible to collect data from every individual. Instead, you’ll collect data from a sample.

To select a sample, there are two main approaches: probability sampling and non-probability sampling . The sampling method you use affects how confidently you can generalise your results to the population as a whole.

Probability sampling is the most statistically valid option, but it’s often difficult to achieve unless you’re dealing with a very small and accessible population.

For practical reasons, many studies use non-probability sampling, but it’s important to be aware of the limitations and carefully consider potential biases. You should always make an effort to gather a sample that’s as representative as possible of the population.

Case selection in qualitative research

In some types of qualitative designs, sampling may not be relevant.

For example, in an ethnography or a case study, your aim is to deeply understand a specific context, not to generalise to a population. Instead of sampling, you may simply aim to collect as much data as possible about the context you are studying.

In these types of design, you still have to carefully consider your choice of case or community. You should have a clear rationale for why this particular case is suitable for answering your research question.

For example, you might choose a case study that reveals an unusual or neglected aspect of your research problem, or you might choose several very similar or very different cases in order to compare them.

Data collection methods are ways of directly measuring variables and gathering information. They allow you to gain first-hand knowledge and original insights into your research problem.

You can choose just one data collection method, or use several methods in the same study.

Survey methods

Surveys allow you to collect data about opinions, behaviours, experiences, and characteristics by asking people directly. There are two main survey methods to choose from: questionnaires and interviews.

Observation methods

Observations allow you to collect data unobtrusively, observing characteristics, behaviours, or social interactions without relying on self-reporting.

Observations may be conducted in real time, taking notes as you observe, or you might make audiovisual recordings for later analysis. They can be qualitative or quantitative.

Other methods of data collection

There are many other ways you might collect data depending on your field and topic.

If you’re not sure which methods will work best for your research design, try reading some papers in your field to see what data collection methods they used.

Secondary data

If you don’t have the time or resources to collect data from the population you’re interested in, you can also choose to use secondary data that other researchers already collected – for example, datasets from government surveys or previous studies on your topic.

With this raw data, you can do your own analysis to answer new research questions that weren’t addressed by the original study.

Using secondary data can expand the scope of your research, as you may be able to access much larger and more varied samples than you could collect yourself.

However, it also means you don’t have any control over which variables to measure or how to measure them, so the conclusions you can draw may be limited.

As well as deciding on your methods, you need to plan exactly how you’ll use these methods to collect data that’s consistent, accurate, and unbiased.

Planning systematic procedures is especially important in quantitative research, where you need to precisely define your variables and ensure your measurements are reliable and valid.


Some variables, like height or age, are easily measured. But often you’ll be dealing with more abstract concepts, like satisfaction, anxiety, or competence. Operationalisation means turning these fuzzy ideas into measurable indicators.

If you’re using observations , which events or actions will you count?

If you’re using surveys , which questions will you ask and what range of responses will be offered?

You may also choose to use or adapt existing materials designed to measure the concept you’re interested in – for example, questionnaires or inventories whose reliability and validity has already been established.

Reliability and validity

Reliability means your results can be consistently reproduced , while validity means that you’re actually measuring the concept you’re interested in.

For valid and reliable results, your measurement materials should be thoroughly researched and carefully designed. Plan your procedures to make sure you carry out the same steps in the same way for each participant.

If you’re developing a new questionnaire or other instrument to measure a specific concept, running a pilot study allows you to check its validity and reliability in advance.

Sampling procedures

As well as choosing an appropriate sampling method, you need a concrete plan for how you’ll actually contact and recruit your selected sample.

That means making decisions about things like:

  • How many participants do you need for an adequate sample size?
  • What inclusion and exclusion criteria will you use to identify eligible participants?
  • How will you contact your sample – by mail, online, by phone, or in person?

If you’re using a probability sampling method, it’s important that everyone who is randomly selected actually participates in the study. How will you ensure a high response rate?

If you’re using a non-probability method, how will you avoid bias and ensure a representative sample?

Data management

It’s also important to create a data management plan for organising and storing your data.

Will you need to transcribe interviews or perform data entry for observations? You should anonymise and safeguard any sensitive data, and make sure it’s backed up regularly.

Keeping your data well organised will save time when it comes to analysing them. It can also help other researchers validate and add to your findings.

On their own, raw data can’t answer your research question. The last step of designing your research is planning how you’ll analyse the data.

Quantitative data analysis

In quantitative research, you’ll most likely use some form of statistical analysis . With statistics, you can summarise your sample data, make estimates, and test hypotheses.

Using descriptive statistics , you can summarise your sample data in terms of:

  • The distribution of the data (e.g., the frequency of each score on a test)
  • The central tendency of the data (e.g., the mean to describe the average score)
  • The variability of the data (e.g., the standard deviation to describe how spread out the scores are)

The specific calculations you can do depend on the level of measurement of your variables.

Using inferential statistics , you can:

  • Make estimates about the population based on your sample data.
  • Test hypotheses about a relationship between variables.

Regression and correlation tests look for associations between two or more variables, while comparison tests (such as t tests and ANOVAs ) look for differences in the outcomes of different groups.

Your choice of statistical test depends on various aspects of your research design, including the types of variables you’re dealing with and the distribution of your data.

Qualitative data analysis

In qualitative research, your data will usually be very dense with information and ideas. Instead of summing it up in numbers, you’ll need to comb through the data in detail, interpret its meanings, identify patterns, and extract the parts that are most relevant to your research question.

Two of the most common approaches to doing this are thematic analysis and discourse analysis .

There are many other ways of analysing qualitative data depending on the aims of your research. To get a sense of potential approaches, try reading some qualitative research papers in your field.

A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population. Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research.

For example, if you are researching the opinions of students in your university, you could survey a sample of 100 students.

Statistical sampling allows you to test a hypothesis about the characteristics of a population. There are various sampling methods you can use to ensure that your sample is representative of the population as a whole.

Operationalisation means turning abstract conceptual ideas into measurable observations.

For example, the concept of social anxiety isn’t directly observable, but it can be operationally defined in terms of self-rating scores, behavioural avoidance of crowded places, or physical anxiety symptoms in social situations.

Before collecting data , it’s important to consider how you will operationalise the variables that you want to measure.

The research methods you use depend on the type of data you need to answer your research question .

  • If you want to measure something or test a hypothesis , use quantitative methods . If you want to explore ideas, thoughts, and meanings, use qualitative methods .
  • If you want to analyse a large amount of readily available data, use secondary data. If you want data specific to your purposes with control over how they are generated, collect primary data.
  • If you want to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables , use experimental methods. If you want to understand the characteristics of a research subject, use descriptive methods.

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Building On The Past: How To Write Previous Studies In Research

Crafting an effective previous study is a foundation for your research. Learn how to write previous studies in research through this guide.

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Have you ever wondered how research builds upon itself, creating a foundation for discoveries and insights? Is it wrong if you indulge in working on previous studies in research and get a new idea out of it?

The significance of previous studies in research cannot be underestimated. Every piece of scholarly work, from groundbreaking research to humble literature reviews , contributes to the ever-expanding area of knowledge. 

In this article, we explore the importance of delving into the archives of research, identifying opportunities for further investigation, and ultimately advancing our understanding of the world around us. Let’s get started and understand how to write previous studies in research . 

Purpose And Scope Of Previous Study In Research

The purpose of previous studies in research is to provide a foundation for new investigations. It helps researchers understand what has already been studied, what knowledge gaps exist, and what questions need further exploration. By looking at what others have done, researchers can build on existing knowledge, avoid repeating the same work, and ensure their study contributes something valuable to the field. It also helps validate their research design and methods, making their findings more credible.

The scope of previous studies in research refers to the range of literature and sources that researchers consider relevant to their own study. It involves selecting and reviewing studies that directly relate to their research topic and objectives. Researchers should focus on recent and up-to-date works, including both influential studies and the latest advancements in the field. By being selective and inclusive, they can gain a well-rounded understanding of what has been done before, guiding them to ask meaningful research questions and making their study more impactful.

How To Write Previous Studies In Research

To write the previous studies, you first need to understand the steps in crafting a literature review and the limitations involved. So firstly, let’s understand what is a literature review:

What Is Literature Review?

A literature review is a critical and comprehensive evaluation of existing published research, scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular topic or research question. It serves as a crucial component of academic research and helps to establish the context, identify gaps in knowledge, and provide the theoretical framework for the new study. A well-conducted literature review demonstrates the researcher’s familiarity with the existing literature and provides the basis for formulating research objectives and hypotheses.

Also read: What Is A Literature Review? Get The Concept And Start Using It

Literature Review Process

The literature review process typically involves the following steps:

Defining The Research Question

The process starts by clearly defining the research question or topic that the literature review aims to address. A well-defined question helps in narrowing down the search for relevant literature.

Conducting A Comprehensive Search

Researchers then conduct a systematic search for existing literature using academic databases, libraries, online journals, and other reputable sources. Keywords and search terms related to the research question are used to identify relevant studies.

Evaluating The Quality Of Sources

The selected sources are critically evaluated for their quality, credibility, and relevance to the research topic. Researchers consider factors such as the reputation of the authors, the rigor of the research methodology, and the publication venue.

Summarizing And Synthesizing

Researchers summarize the key findings and main points from each selected source. They also identify common themes, trends, and conflicting viewpoints across the literature.

Organizing The Literature

The information gathered from the literature review is organized in a structured manner. Researchers may use themes, categories, or chronological order to present the findings effectively.

Writing The Literature Review

The literature review is then written, incorporating the synthesized information into a coherent narrative. The review should highlight the significance of previous studies, their limitations, and their implications for the new research.

Citing And Referencing

Proper citations and references are provided for all the sources included in the literature review. This ensures academic integrity and acknowledges the work of other researchers.

Also read: Literature Mapping in Scientific Research: A Comprehensive Review

How To Organize And Evaluate Your Literature Review?

Organizing and evaluating sources for your literature review is a crucial process that involves systematically gathering relevant academic materials and assessing their credibility and relevance to your research topic. 

Begin by clearly defining your research question or focus, which will guide your search for appropriate sources. Utilize academic databases, journals, books, and reputable online platforms to gather a diverse range of scholarly materials. 

As you collect sources, categorize them based on their themes, methodologies, or key arguments to facilitate a coherent and logical structure for your literature review. Additionally, critically evaluate each source’s authority, currency, objectivity, and reliability to ensure you include high-quality and trustworthy information in your review. 

By employing a rigorous approach to organizing and evaluating your sources, you will enhance the academic rigor and impact of your literature review.

Limitations Of Previous Studies In Research

The limitations of previous studies are common aspects that researchers should consider while conducting a literature review or developing their own research. These limitations may include:

Sample Size And Representativeness

Some studies may have small sample sizes, which can limit the generalizability of their findings to larger populations or diverse groups. Non-representative samples may also introduce bias into the results .

Research Design And Methodology

Previous studies may have used different research designs or methodologies that could impact the reliability and validity of their results. Flaws in the study design or data collection methods may affect the accuracy of the findings.

Data Quality And Availability

Studies may rely on secondary data sources or data with inherent limitations, potentially affecting the accuracy and completeness of the information used for analysis.

Scope And Generalizability

The scope of a study might be narrow, focusing on a specific population, region, or time period, making it challenging to apply the findings to broader contexts.

Publication Bias

Studies that show statistically significant or positive results may be more likely to get published, while studies with null or non-significant results might go unpublished, leading to a biased representation of the literature.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical issues in data collection or research conduct, such as inadequate informed consent or potential harm to participants, could limit the usefulness or ethical soundness of previous studies.

Related article: What Are The Limitations In Research And How To Write Them?

Identifying Opportunities For Future Research Based On Previous Studies

Identifying opportunities for future research based on previous studies is an essential aspect of conducting a literature review and advancing knowledge in a particular field. Here are some strategies to identify such opportunities:

Unanswered Questions

Look for gaps in the existing literature where important questions remain unanswered or areas where conflicting or inconclusive results have been reported. These gaps represent opportunities for future research to delve deeper into the topic and provide more comprehensive insights.

Emerging Trends

Identify emerging trends or new developments within the field. These can indicate areas that are gaining significance but may not yet have been extensively studied. Exploring these emerging trends can contribute to the cutting edge of research.

Limitations Of Previous Studies

As mentioned earlier, assess the limitations of previous studies. These limitations can point to areas that need further investigation, using improved methodologies or data sources to overcome the shortcomings of earlier research.

Replication Studies

Consider replicating studies that have produced significant findings but have not been replicated by other researchers. Replication studies help validate and strengthen the robustness of existing findings.

Cross-Disciplinary Research

Look for opportunities to integrate knowledge and methodologies from different disciplines. Combining insights from diverse fields can lead to innovative research and fresh perspectives on existing problems.

The Bottom Line

The role of previous studies in research and literature review is crucial in shaping knowledge within any field. Through a comprehensive and critical examination of existing literature, researchers can identify gaps, trends, limitations, and unanswered questions that provide valuable opportunities for future investigation. 

Previous studies serve as a foundation upon which new research can build, validate, and extend existing findings, or challenge established paradigms. By acknowledging and understanding the contributions and limitations of past research, scholars can design more robust studies, explore emerging trends, and engage in cross-disciplinary collaborations to further enrich our understanding of complex phenomena.

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About Sowjanya Pedada

Sowjanya is a passionate writer and an avid reader. She holds MBA in Agribusiness Management and now is working as a content writer. She loves to play with words and hopes to make a difference in the world through her writings. Apart from writing, she is interested in reading fiction novels and doing craftwork. She also loves to travel and explore different cuisines and spend time with her family and friends.

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About 1 in 5 U.S. teens who’ve heard of ChatGPT have used it for schoolwork

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Roughly one-in-five teenagers who have heard of ChatGPT say they have used it to help them do their schoolwork, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. With a majority of teens having heard of ChatGPT, that amounts to 13% of all U.S. teens who have used the generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in their schoolwork.

A bar chart showing that, among teens who know of ChatGPT, 19% say they’ve used it for schoolwork.

Teens in higher grade levels are particularly likely to have used the chatbot to help them with schoolwork. About one-quarter of 11th and 12th graders who have heard of ChatGPT say they have done this. This share drops to 17% among 9th and 10th graders and 12% among 7th and 8th graders.

There is no significant difference between teen boys and girls who have used ChatGPT in this way.

The introduction of ChatGPT last year has led to much discussion about its role in schools , especially whether schools should integrate the new technology into the classroom or ban it .

Pew Research Center conducted this analysis to understand American teens’ use and understanding of ChatGPT in the school setting.

The Center conducted an online survey of 1,453 U.S. teens from Sept. 26 to Oct. 23, 2023, via Ipsos. Ipsos recruited the teens via their parents, who were part of its KnowledgePanel . The KnowledgePanel is a probability-based web panel recruited primarily through national, random sampling of residential addresses. The survey was weighted to be representative of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17 who live with their parents by age, gender, race and ethnicity, household income, and other categories.

This research was reviewed and approved by an external institutional review board (IRB), Advarra, an independent committee of experts specializing in helping to protect the rights of research participants.

Here are the  questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and its  methodology .

Teens’ awareness of ChatGPT

Overall, two-thirds of U.S. teens say they have heard of ChatGPT, including 23% who have heard a lot about it. But awareness varies by race and ethnicity, as well as by household income:

A horizontal stacked bar chart showing that most teens have heard of ChatGPT, but awareness varies by race and ethnicity, household income.

  • 72% of White teens say they’ve heard at least a little about ChatGPT, compared with 63% of Hispanic teens and 56% of Black teens.
  • 75% of teens living in households that make $75,000 or more annually have heard of ChatGPT. Much smaller shares in households with incomes between $30,000 and $74,999 (58%) and less than $30,000 (41%) say the same.

Teens who are more aware of ChatGPT are more likely to use it for schoolwork. Roughly a third of teens who have heard a lot about ChatGPT (36%) have used it for schoolwork, far higher than the 10% among those who have heard a little about it.

When do teens think it’s OK for students to use ChatGPT?

For teens, whether it is – or is not – acceptable for students to use ChatGPT depends on what it is being used for.

There is a fair amount of support for using the chatbot to explore a topic. Roughly seven-in-ten teens who have heard of ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use when they are researching something new, while 13% say it is not acceptable.

A diverging bar chart showing that many teens say it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT for research; few say it’s OK to use it for writing essays.

However, there is much less support for using ChatGPT to do the work itself. Just one-in-five teens who have heard of ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use it to write essays, while 57% say it is not acceptable. And 39% say it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT to solve math problems, while a similar share of teens (36%) say it’s not acceptable.

Some teens are uncertain about whether it’s acceptable to use ChatGPT for these tasks. Between 18% and 24% say they aren’t sure whether these are acceptable use cases for ChatGPT.

Those who have heard a lot about ChatGPT are more likely than those who have only heard a little about it to say it’s acceptable to use the chatbot to research topics, solve math problems and write essays. For instance, 54% of teens who have heard a lot about ChatGPT say it’s acceptable to use it to solve math problems, compared with 32% among those who have heard a little about it.

Note: Here are the  questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and its  methodology .

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Planet versus Plastics

Plastic waste has infiltrated every corner of our planet, from oceans and waterways to the food chain and even our bodies. Only 9% of plastic is recycled due to factors including poor infrastructure, technical challenges, lack of incentives, and low market demand.   

“We need legislation that disincentivizes big oil from producing plastic in the first place, coupled with enforced single use plastic taxes and fines,” says Desiree LaBeaud , professor of pediatric infectious diseases and senior fellow at   Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment . “We also need truly compostable alternatives that maintain the convenient lifestyle that plastic allows us now."

Plastic presents a problem like no other. Stanford scholars are approaching it from many angles: exploring the connection between plastic and disease, rethinking how plastic could be reused, and uncovering new ways of breaking down waste. In honor of Earth Day and this year’s theme – Planet vs. Plastics – we’ve highlighted stories about promising solutions to the plastics challenge. 

Environmental changes are altering the risk for mosquito-borne diseases

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Our changing climate is dramatically altering the landscape for mosquito-borne diseases, but other changes to the physical environment - like the proliferation of plastic trash - also make an impact, as mosquitos can breed in the plastic waste we discard. 

Since this study published, HERI-Kenya , a nonprofit started by Stanford infectious disease physician Desiree LaBeaud , has launched HERI Hub , a brick and mortar education hub that educates, empowers and inspires community members to improve the local environment to promote health.

Using plastic waste to build roads, buildings, and more

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Stanford engineers  Michael Lepech  and  Zhiye Li  have a unique vision of the future: buildings and roads made from plastic waste. In this story, they discuss obstacles, opportunities, and other aspects of transforming or upcycling plastic waste into valuable materials. 

Since this white paper was published, students in Lepech's  life cycle assessment course  have explored the environmental and economic impacts of waste management, emissions, and energy efficiency of building materials for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts. In addition to recycled plastic, they proposed a photovoltaic system and conducted comparison studies to maximize the system’s life cycle. This work is being translated into an upcoming publication.

Stanford researchers show that mealworms can safely consume toxic additive-containing plastic

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Mealworms are not only able to eat various forms of plastic, as previous research has shown, they can also consume potentially toxic plastic additives in polystyrene with no ill effects. The worms can then be used as a safe, protein-rich feed supplement.

Since this study published, it has inspired students across the world to learn about and experiment with mealworms and plastic waste. Stanford researchers involved with this and related studies have been inundated with requests for more information and guidance from people inspired by the potential solution.

Grants tackle the plastics problem

Stanford Woods Institute has awarded more than $23 million in funding to research projects that seek to identify solutions to pressing environment and sustainability challenges, including new approaches to plastic waste management. 

Converting polyethylene into palm oil

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This project is developing a new technology to convert polyethylene — by far the most discarded plastic — into palm oil. The approach could add value to the plastic waste management chain while sourcing palm oil through a less destructive route.

Improving plastic waste management

Plastic bottles in a trash pile

This project aims to radically change the way plastic waste is processed via a new biotechnology paradigm: engineering highly active enzymes and microbes capable of breaking down polyesters in a decentralized network of “living” waste receptacles. 

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Cakes, sweets and chocolate

Artificial sweetener could harm your gut and the microbes that live there – new study

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Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University

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Havovi Chichger does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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An artificial sweetener called neotame can cause significant harm to the gut, my colleagues and I discovered . It does this harm in two ways. One, by breaking down the layer of cells that line the intestine. And, two, by causing previously healthy gut bacteria to become diseased, resulting in them invading the gut wall.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, is the first to show this double-hit negative effect of neotame on the gut, resulting in damage similar to that seen in inflammatory bowel disease and sepsis.

To reduce childhood obesity, six years ago this month, the UK government introduced a soft drinks industry levy. This “sugar tax” required a levy to be paid for any soft drink – equivalent to manufacturers adding 72p for a three-litre bottle of soft drink.

Since the levy was introduced, there has been a nearly 50% decrease in the average sugar content of soft drinks. While reducing sugar content certainly addresses childhood obesity, it does not give the same sweet taste perception that consumers are used to experiencing in their diet. That’s where artificial sweeteners can make a real difference.

A supermarket aisle selling soft drinks.

Artificial sweeteners are chemical compounds are up to 600 times sweeter than sugar with very few (if any) calories, and are cheap and easy for manufacturers to use.

Traditional artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K) have been found in a wide range of foods and drinks for many years as a way to increase the sweet taste without adding significant calories or costs.

However, in the last few years, there has been controversy in the field. Several studies have suggested potential health harms associated with consuming these sweeteners, ranging from gastrointestinal disease to dementia .

Although none of these harms have been proved, it has paved the way for new sweeteners to be developed to try to avoid any possible health issues. These next-generation sweeteners are up to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar , have no calories and no aftertaste (a common complaint with traditional sweeteners). An example of this new type of sweetener is neotame.

Neotame was developed as an alternative to aspartame with the aim of being a more stable and sweet version of the traditional sweetener. It is very stable at high temperatures, which means it is a good additive to use in baked goods. It is also used in soft drinks and chewing gum.

Neotame has been approved for use in more than 35 countries, including the UK, although the European Food Safety Agency is currently reviewing the sweetener as part of a series of evidence‐based risk assessments of certain sweeteners.

While neotame has been shown to change the profile of gut bacteria, very little research has investigated the effect of neotame at the cellular level.

Kills the cells that line the gut wall

The new study my colleagues and I conducted aimed to fill that gap in our knowledge. We used a cell model of the human intestine and model bacteria from the human gut microbiota to study how neotame consumed in the diet could affect gut health.

We found that, at higher concentrations, neotame can kill the cells that line the gut wall and, at lower concentrations, the sweetener can cause the gut to become more susceptible to leaks. Both these effects could result in inflammation of the intestine, which is linked to inflammatory bowel disease and sepsis.

We found that exposure of human gut cells to the acceptable daily intake, as decided by food safety agencies, of neotame causes cells to die. However, it is worth noting that, because neotame is so intensely sweet, it is unlikely that a person would consume enough sweetener in their daily diet to achieve this amount.

At lower concentrations of neotame, which could be seen in the diet, we still found a breakdown of the gut barrier was sufficient to be associated with an increased chance of infection in the body.

In the gut bacteria models, a type of E coli and E faecalis , neotame did not kill the bacteria but instead increased their ability to form “biofilms”. When bacteria form a biofilm, they cluster together as a protective mechanism which makes them more resistant to antibiotics. Our study also shows that neotame increases the ability of the E coli to invade and kill human gut cells.

These findings are very similar to those with traditional sweeteners, such as sucralose and aspartame, in terms of their effect on gut bacteria and human gut cells .

This suggests that the next-generation sweeteners may not be the solution that had been hoped for. So we are still stuck with the vexing question: how do we enjoy a sweet taste in our diet without the health harms that sugars, and now sweeteners, seem to give?

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Helping women get better sleep by calming the relentless 'to-do lists' in their heads

Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi

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Katie Krimitsos is among the majority of American women who have trouble getting healthy sleep, according to a new Gallup survey. Krimitsos launched a podcast called Sleep Meditation for Women to offer some help. Natalie Champa Jennings/Natalie Jennings, courtesy of Katie Krimitsos hide caption

Katie Krimitsos is among the majority of American women who have trouble getting healthy sleep, according to a new Gallup survey. Krimitsos launched a podcast called Sleep Meditation for Women to offer some help.

When Katie Krimitsos lies awake watching sleepless hours tick by, it's almost always because her mind is wrestling with a mental checklist of things she has to do. In high school, that was made up of homework, tests or a big upcoming sports game.

"I would be wide awake, just my brain completely spinning in chaos until two in the morning," says Krimitsos.

There were periods in adulthood, too, when sleep wouldn't come easily, like when she started a podcasting company in Tampa, or nursed her first daughter eight years ago. "I was already very used to the grainy eyes," she says.

Now 43, Krimitsos says in recent years she found that mounting worries brought those sleepless spells more often. Her mind would spin through "a million, gazillion" details of running a company and a family: paying the electric bill, making dinner and dentist appointments, monitoring the pets' food supply or her parents' health checkups. This checklist never, ever shrank, despite her best efforts, and perpetually chased away her sleep.

"So we feel like there are these enormous boulders that we are carrying on our shoulders that we walk into the bedroom with," she says. "And that's what we're laying down with."

By "we," Krimitsos means herself and the many other women she talks to or works with who complain of fatigue.

Women are one of the most sleep-troubled demographics, according to a recent Gallup survey that found sleep patterns of Americans deteriorating rapidly over the past decade.

"When you look in particular at adult women under the age of 50, that's the group where we're seeing the most steep movement in terms of their rate of sleeping less or feeling less satisfied with their sleep and also their rate of stress," says Gallup senior researcher Sarah Fioroni.

Overall, Americans' sleep is at an all time low, in terms of both quantity and quality.

A majority – 57% – now say they could use more sleep, which is a big jump from a decade ago. It's an acceleration of an ongoing trend, according to the survey. In 1942, 59% of Americans said that they slept 8 hours or more; today, that applies to only 26% of Americans. One in five people, also an all-time high, now sleep fewer than 5 hours a day.

Popular myths about sleep, debunked

Popular myths about sleep, debunked

"If you have poor sleep, then it's all things bad," says Gina Marie Mathew, a post-doctoral sleep researcher at Stony Brook Medicine in New York. The Gallup survey did not cite reasons for the rapid decline, but Mathew says her research shows that smartphones keep us — and especially teenagers — up later.

She says sleep, as well as diet and exercise, is considered one of the three pillars of health. Yet American culture devalues rest.

"In terms of structural and policy change, we need to recognize that a lot of these systems that are in place are not conducive to women in particular getting enough sleep or getting the sleep that they need," she says, arguing things like paid family leave and flexible work hours might help women sleep more, and better.

No one person can change a culture that discourages sleep. But when faced with her own sleeplessness, Tampa mom Katie Krimitsos started a podcast called Sleep Meditation for Women , a soothing series of episodes in which she acknowledges and tries to calm the stresses typical of many women.

Many Grouchy, Error-Prone Workers Just Need More Sleep

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Many grouchy, error-prone workers just need more sleep.

That podcast alone averages about a million unique listeners a month, and is one of 20 podcasts produced by Krimitsos's firm, Women's Meditation Network.

"Seven of those 20 podcasts are dedicated to sleep in some way, and they make up for 50% of my listenership," Krimitsos notes. "So yeah, it's the biggest pain point."

Krimitsos says she thinks women bear the burdens of a pace of life that keeps accelerating. "Our interpretation of how fast life should be and what we should 'accomplish' or have or do has exponentially increased," she says.

She only started sleeping better, she says, when she deliberately cut back on activities and commitments, both for herself and her two kids. "I feel more satisfied at the end of the day. I feel more fulfilled and I feel more willing to allow things that are not complete to let go."

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  • Published: 25 April 2024

Assessing the preparedness and future-readiness of Malaysian community pharmacists in Klang Valley regarding the use of medical marijuana

  • Fu Wai Kuang 1 &
  • Muhammad Junaid Farrukh 1  

BMC Health Services Research volume  24 , Article number:  524 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

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Metrics details

This study investigated community pharmacists' level of knowledge and attitude towards medical marijuana and its association with sociodemographic characteristics.

A cross-sectional study was conducted from 21 February 2022 to 15 November 2022. Community pharmacists working in Klang Valley were given a self-administered questionnaire. This survey instrument facilitated the collection of information about their sociodemographic attributes, training background, and knowledge and attitude concerning medical marijuana. Through rigorous analysis of the accumulated data, discernible factors correlating with the levels of knowledge and attitudes surrounding medical marijuana were identified.

The majority ( n =149, 53.8%) of participants had low knowledge of medical marijuana. Participants with lower knowledge of medical marijuana tend to have a negative attitude toward medical marijuana. Besides that, male participants showed higher knowledge of medical marijuana than female participants. Furthermore, it was found that atheists had the most negative attitude among other religions toward medical marijuana.

Most community pharmacists in Malaysia lack sufficient knowledge about medical marijuana. This indicates that Malaysian pharmacists are not future-ready and need to equip themselves with adequate knowledge of the indications and adverse effects of medical marijuana if it is to be legalised one day. Thus, there is a need for improved training and education of pharmacists around cannabis-based medicines.

Peer Review reports


Marijuana is one of the most extensively utilised psychoactive substances. Nowadays, the use of marijuana is seen as it is associated with crime, recreational use and social problems [ 1 ]. Marijuana is used regularly by as many as 20 million individuals in the United States and Europe and millions more in other parts of the world, even though it is banned in most nations [ 2 ].

Similar to various other illicit substances, marijuana exerts an influence on dopamine (DA) transmission within the nucleus accumbent of the brain. This mechanism is hypothesised to underlie the pleasurable outcomes associated with drug use and the consequent neuroadaptive alterations contributing to addictive behaviour. Notably, investigations involving human subjects through neuroimaging techniques have revealed that illicit drug consumption induces an augmentation in dopamine (DA) release within the striatal region. These heightened dopaminergic responses have been associated with the subjective perception of reward [ 3 ].

These signs and symptoms might vary from person to person and can be moderate to severe. Although they might not be severe or hazardous, these symptoms can be uncomfortable. You were more likely to have withdrawal symptoms the longer you consumed marijuana [ 4 ].

Marijuana intoxication may cause many side effects. Many users say they have an insatiable hunger. Marijuana has a sedative, euphoric, and mildly relaxing impact on users. Marijuana smoking causes quick and predictable signs and symptoms. Effects from ingesting marijuana can be more gradual and occasionally unpredictable. These side effects were reduced short-term memory, dry mouth, diminished perception and motor skills, and red eyes [ 5 ]. Despite their bad reputation, if used appropriately, marijuana brings many benefits; these include lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, preventing relapse in drug and alcohol addiction, treating anxiety disorders, fighting cancer, preventing seizures and more [ 6 ].

More than 40 countries have legalised consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes. There have been discussions about decriminalising marijuana in Malaysia. Decriminalising drugs does not mean that the drug will be legalised to use. Instead, it entails the retention of the drug's illegal status, albeit with a modification in the enforcement approach. Specifically, individuals found in possession of or engaged in the administration of the drug would not be subjected to the stringent legal repercussions that were previously enforced. Instead, alternate punitive measures such as fines, community service, or participation in drug treatment programs would be instituted. Consequently, the resultant punitive actions would be of a lesser severity than those stipulated by the preceding legal framework [ 7 ].

The Malaysian government had previously considered decriminalisation as a dual-policy approach. However, decriminalisation was more focused on drugs such as heroin and morphine, in which the primary administration method is through intravenous injection; this method of administration comes with high risks of transmitting HIV. In this case, people who inject these types of drugs were given free syringes through the National Syringe Exchange Programme (NSEP) or enrolment in the Methadone Replacement Therapy Programme (MRT) [ 8 ].

In Malaysia, marijuana consumption is regulated under the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) of 1952. Recent events like the push for the legalisation of medical marijuana in Thailand, which would be the first Asian country to legalise it [ 9 ], have added pressure on Malaysia to revisit its marijuana laws. Former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin asserted that the utilisation of cannabis-based medical products is authorised following compliance with prevailing laws, including the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Poisons Act 1952, and Sale of Drugs Act 1952 [ 10 ].

According to a systematic review on studies conducted in USA and Australia, it was found that pharmacists has low knowledge on medical marijuana and they perceived that they were underprepared when engaging with patients about medicinal cannabis [ 11 ]. Similar results were reported in studies done in Jordan where pharmacists had low knowledge of medical marijuana [ 12 ]. However, a study done in Thailand reported that most health care providers revealed that they had low to very low self-perceived knowledge about medical cannabis use (60–70%). However, for Item 6, adverse effects and warning signs and caution for patients in medical cannabis use, most had moderate self-perceived knowledge about medical cannabis use [ 13 ].

Little to no studies about marijuana have been done in Malaysia, especially among community pharmacists in Malaysia. Therefore, This study aimed to estimate the knowledge and attitude towards medical marijuana among community pharmacists in Klang Valley.

Materials and Methods

Study design.

The study was a cross-sectional study conducted among community pharmacists in Klang Valley using a self-administered questionnaire.

Study population

Registered community pharmacists here refer to pharmacists with Type A licenses from the Division of Pharmaceutical Service, Ministry of Health Malaysia, where a Type A license was defined as the license issued to a pharmacist to import, store, and deal with wholesale and retail.

Sampling method and sample size

The complete sampling list was obtained from the list of registered Type A licenses from the Division of Pharmaceutical Service, Ministry of Health Malaysia [ 14 ], where a Type A license is defined as the license issued to a pharmacist to import, store and deal by wholesale and retail. 920 community pharmacists were working full-time in a community pharmacy within the Klang Valley [ 15 , 16 ].

The sample size is calculated using Raosoft software by keeping a confidence interval of 95%, a margin of error of 5% and 50% of the response rate. A minimum of 277 respondents were required in this study. A stratified sampling approach was utilised, where community pharmacies were allocated to one of nine strata based on the districts in the Klang Valley. A proportionate number of community pharmacists within each stratum were recruited using simple random sampling.

Inclusion criteria

Community pharmacists working full-time in a community pharmacy within the Klang Valley.

Exclusion Criteria

Locum pharmacists, provisionally registered pharmacists (i.e. interns), pharmacists with “wholesale only” licenses, veterinary pharmacists, and those unwilling to complete the questionnaire.

Study Tool (Questionnaire)

The questionnaire is pre-validated and adopted from a previous study and literature review [ 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 ] and consists of 3 domains: demographics, knowledge of medical marijuana, and attitude towards medical marijuana. There were nine questions on demographics and personal factors, 20 questions on knowledge regarding the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana, 20 questions on knowledge regarding the adverse effects of medical marijuana and 24 questions on Attitude about medical marijuana.

Scoring criteria

Each selection answered correctly was given 1 mark and 0 marks for every wrong answer (Min 0 and Max 20 marks). The total marks were classified into 2 categories. The mean of the total scores of knowledge was used to determine the midpoint of ‘good knowledge’ [ 22 ].

The FDA-approved analogs of marijuana include cannabidiol, dronabinol, and nabilone [ 23 ]. The assessment of the participant's knowledge of medical marijuana was based on its approved indications and adverse effects. The majority of states in the U.S. now allow for some form of medical marijuana. Each state has different regulations for medical marijuana and its availability to patients [ 24 ]. The approved indications were cancer, migraines, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Muscle spasms, Crohn's disease, epilepsy, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, PTSD and Hepatitis C. The non-approved indications include sleep apnea, Parkinson's disease, cystic fibrosis, vertigo, Tourette's disease, depression, hypertension and schizophrenia.

The correct adverse effects were memory impairment, hallucinations, worsening asthma, dizziness, blurred vision, anxiety, tachycardia, depression, nausea, birth defects, insomnia, seizures and stroke. The wrong adverse effects were water retention, muscle aches, constipation, cataracts, increased bleeding, anemia, and diabetes.

This study used the Likert Scale to determine the attitude toward medical marijuana. 1 = Strongly Disagree, 2 = Disagree, 3 = Neutral, 4 = Agree, 5 = Strongly Agree. The total score was calculated, with a minimum score of 24 and a maximum score of 120. The higher score indicates a more positive attitude, and the lower score indicates a negative attitude toward medical marijuana. The mean of the total attitude scores was used to determine the midpoint of ‘positive attitude’ [ 22 ].

Validation of questionnaire and pilot study

Content validity was done by five experts (physicians, academicians, and pharmacists). A pilot study was first carried out on 30 participants to ensure the reliability of the questionnaire formulated. Data collection was done using online mode with Google Forms. Internal consistency was calculated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, which was 0.71.

The validated questionnaire is attached as a supplementary file .

Data collection

Selected pharmacists were conveniently approached at their respective community pharmacies. Respondents were informed about the purpose of our research and invited to participate in this study. Before filling out the questionnaire, a written consent form and patient information sheet were attached to the questionnaire and distributed to the respondents.

Data analysis

Statistical analyses were performed using the IBM SPSS Statistics Version 26. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential analysis. For descriptive analysis, such as percentages, mean, and standard deviation were used to report demographic characteristics. Level of knowledge and attitude was presented as percentage, mean and SD. The mean difference in knowledge and attitude scores between sociodemographic characteristics was reported using the T-test and the ANOVA test based on the variables. The categorical association of knowledge and attitude was reported using the Chi-Square test.

A total of 277 respondents have agreed to participate in this survey. All the respondents were working as community pharmacists in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The majority of the participants (87.4%, n =242) hold a degree certificate while the rest (12.6%, n =35) have a Masters certificate. 65.7% ( n =182) worked at a chain pharmacy, 20.6% ( n =57) worked at a multi-outlet, and 13.7% ( n =38) worked at a single outlet. 62.5% ( n =173) of the participants had five or less working experience, while 37.5% ( n =104) had more than five years of working experience.

The knowledge score ranged between 15 and 34 with a mean score of 24.24. Overall, 128 (46.2%) of participants have high knowledge and 149 (53.8%) of participants have low knowledge about medical marijuana. There was a significant difference ( p <0.01) in mean knowledge scores between the two genders, where male participants had higher knowledge of medical marijuana than female participants. Moreover, The mean knowledge score was higher for those who graduated from public school than those who graduated from private school ( p <0.01).

The knowledge of marijuana among individuals with less than five years of professional experience differed significantly ( p <0.01) compared to those with more than five years of working experience.

Nearly half ( n =130, 46.9%) of participants had a negative attitude towards medical marijuana. There was a significant difference in mean attitude scores between religion ( p <0.01) and race ( p =0.005). The post hoc test revealed that this difference was larger between atheists and Hindu religions. Regarding race, the most significant difference was between the Chinese and Indian races. The details of Sociodemographic characteristics concerning Knowledge and Attitude are shown in Table 1 .

The participants' responses regarding their knowledge of the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana can be found in Fig.  1 .

figure 1

Knowledge of therapeutic effects regarding medical marijuana of respondent

Overall, 157 (56.7%) of the participants showed good knowledge about the adverse effects of medical marijuana while 120 (43.3%) of participants showed poor knowledge about the adverse effects of medical marijuana. Most participants (93.5%, n =259) chose hallucination as an adverse effect of using medical marijuana while only 9.7% ( n =27) chose diabetes as a side effect, which was a wrong answer. Participant’s response to knowledge regarding the adverse effects of medical marijuana is shown in Fig.  2 .

figure 2

Knowledge of adverse effects regarding medical marijuana of respondent

It was found that nearly half ( n =130, 46.9%) of the participants had a negative attitude towards medical marijuana. 45.1% ( n =125) of participants chose neutral when asked whether medical marijuana should be legalised for medicinal use. Regarding the safety of medical marijuana, 67.5% ( n =182) agreed that it was safe as long as it was used responsibly for therapeutic use. However, the results also showed some concern over medical marijuana. 57% ( n =158) chose to agree about the safety of medical marijuana, and 55.6% ( n =154) of participants were concerned about the consistency in the quality of medical marijuana. Overall, none of the participants chose strongly to disagree regarding whether they were comfortable talking about medical marijuana. More details can be found in Table 2 .

There was no significant association between knowledge and attitude. However, Participants with low knowledge were more likely to have a negative attitude, as shown in Table 3

This study aimed to estimate the knowledge and attitude towards medical marijuana among community pharmacists in Klang Valley.

Most of the participants in this survey had poor knowledge of medical marijuana. Although there no such study done among pharmacists in Malaysia, however, A similar study in Melaka targeting medical students showed that the participants had a low knowledge of medical marijuana [ 25 ]. Another study reported that pharmacists from Minnesota, United States, had a low level of knowledge regarding medical marijuana [ 26 ]. One plausible explanation could be rooted in the limited inclusion of medical marijuana within the Malaysian pharmacy curriculum. Consequently, pharmacists may lack comprehensive education on this subject. Additionally, reliance on online resources for learning about medical cannabis may contribute to potential inaccuracies or gaps in knowledge acquisition [ 24 ].

An observed correlation was established between participant gender and their level of comprehension regarding medical marijuana, wherein male participants exhibited a higher degree of knowledge concerning medical marijuana in comparison to their female counterparts. The same conclusion was drawn from a study in Australia with university students, which found that males were more confident concerning their knowledge of cannabis than females [ 27 ]. This could be because males tend to interact more with such substances or have friends or relatives who know about marijuana [ 28 ].

The data analysis shows that different ages have different attitudes towards medical marijuana. Another study in Michigan done with healthcare-related workers observed that younger participants were more likely to accept the decriminalisation of medical marijuana [ 29 ]. The older population were found to be unsure about the legalisation of medical marijuana. This result, however, contradicts our findings, which suggested that age was not a significant factor in the acceptance towards the decriminalisation of medical marijuana.

Religion and race were also found to have a significant association with the attitude toward medical marijuana. The research revealed that Hindus/Indians exhibit the highest level of acceptance towards medical marijuana in comparison to followers of other religions. The outcome aligns with expectations, given the association of marijuana with Shiva, a prominent Hindu deity. According to religious rites, cannabis is believed to cleanse sins, unite one with Shiva and avoid the miseries of hell in the future life [ 30 ].


Data was collected using convenience sampling methodology, a sort of non-probability sampling approach in which the samples were chosen from a group of people who are accessible or easy to come into touch with [ 31 ].

Furthermore, the study was conducted in Klang Valley areas as more pharmacies are available. As a result, our study did not reach the outskirts of this area. Less populated areas were also excluded as the area was too far to be conducted. To mitigate potential biases, the study should be conducted comprehensively throughout Malaysia.

Community pharmacists in Klang Valley were mainly observed to have low knowledge of medical marijuana. This may be due to a lack of education regarding medical marijuana. This indicates that Malaysian pharmacists need to equip themselves with more knowledge of medical marijuana if medical marijuana were to be legalised in the future.

Availability of data and materials

Data will be available upon request.

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Besides, the authors acknowledge the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of UCSI University for sanctioning this study. The researchers also genuinely thank the public of Malaysia for expanding their valuable time by partaking in the survey.

The authors did not accept any financial support for this project.

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Fu Wai Kuang & Muhammad Junaid Farrukh

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MJF conceptualized the study and FWK collected the data, performed the analysis and interpretation of the data.  MJF helped in creating the methodology and assisted in manuscript writing. FWK assisted in the literature review. MJF reviewed the manuscript and assisted in the discussion section. All authors have made an intellectual contribution to the work and have approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Junaid Farrukh .

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Kuang, F.W., Farrukh, M.J. Assessing the preparedness and future-readiness of Malaysian community pharmacists in Klang Valley regarding the use of medical marijuana. BMC Health Serv Res 24 , 524 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-024-11008-w

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More than a third of large organizations have some type of transformation program underway at any given time, and many launch one major change initiative after another. Though they kick off with a lot of fanfare, most of these efforts fail to deliver. Only 12% produce lasting results, and that figure hasn’t budged in the past two decades, despite everything we’ve learned over the years about how to lead change.

Clearly, businesses need a new model for transformation. In this article the authors present one based on research with dozens of leading companies that have defied the odds, such as Ford, Dell, Amgen, T-Mobile, Adobe, and Virgin Australia. The successful programs, the authors found, employed six critical practices: treating transformation as a continuous process; building it into the company’s operating rhythm; explicitly managing organizational energy; using aspirations, not benchmarks, to set goals; driving change from the middle of the organization out; and tapping significant external capital to fund the effort from the start.

Lessons from companies that are defying the odds

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The problem.

Although companies frequently engage in transformation initiatives, few are actually transformative. Research indicates that only 12% of major change programs produce lasting results.

Why It Happens

Leaders are increasingly content with incremental improvements. As a result, they experience fewer outright failures but equally fewer real transformations.

The Solution

To deliver, change programs must treat transformation as a continuous process, build it into the company’s operating rhythm, explicitly manage organizational energy, state aspirations rather than set targets, drive change from the middle out, and be funded by serious capital investments.

Nearly every major corporation has embarked on some sort of transformation in recent years. By our estimates, at any given time more than a third of large organizations have a transformation program underway. When asked, roughly 50% of CEOs we’ve interviewed report that their company has undertaken two or more major change efforts within the past five years, with nearly 20% reporting three or more.

  • Michael Mankins is a leader in Bain’s Organization and Strategy practices and is a partner based in Austin, Texas. He is a coauthor of Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag and Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power (Harvard Business Review Press, 2017).
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Home » Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

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Research Paper

Research Paper


Research Paper is a written document that presents the author’s original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue.

It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new knowledge or insights to a particular field of study, and to demonstrate the author’s understanding of the existing literature and theories related to the topic.

Structure of Research Paper

The structure of a research paper typically follows a standard format, consisting of several sections that convey specific information about the research study. The following is a detailed explanation of the structure of a research paper:

The title page contains the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s), and the affiliation(s) of the author(s). It also includes the date of submission and possibly, the name of the journal or conference where the paper is to be published.

The abstract is a brief summary of the research paper, typically ranging from 100 to 250 words. It should include the research question, the methods used, the key findings, and the implications of the results. The abstract should be written in a concise and clear manner to allow readers to quickly grasp the essence of the research.


The introduction section of a research paper provides background information about the research problem, the research question, and the research objectives. It also outlines the significance of the research, the research gap that it aims to fill, and the approach taken to address the research question. Finally, the introduction section ends with a clear statement of the research hypothesis or research question.

Literature Review

The literature review section of a research paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the topic of study. It includes a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature, highlighting the key concepts, themes, and debates. The literature review should also demonstrate the research gap and how the current study seeks to address it.

The methods section of a research paper describes the research design, the sample selection, the data collection and analysis procedures, and the statistical methods used to analyze the data. This section should provide sufficient detail for other researchers to replicate the study.

The results section presents the findings of the research, using tables, graphs, and figures to illustrate the data. The findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with reference to the research question and hypothesis.

The discussion section of a research paper interprets the findings and discusses their implications for the research question, the literature review, and the field of study. It should also address the limitations of the study and suggest future research directions.

The conclusion section summarizes the main findings of the study, restates the research question and hypothesis, and provides a final reflection on the significance of the research.

The references section provides a list of all the sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style such as APA, MLA or Chicago.

How to Write Research Paper

You can write Research Paper by the following guide:

  • Choose a Topic: The first step is to select a topic that interests you and is relevant to your field of study. Brainstorm ideas and narrow down to a research question that is specific and researchable.
  • Conduct a Literature Review: The literature review helps you identify the gap in the existing research and provides a basis for your research question. It also helps you to develop a theoretical framework and research hypothesis.
  • Develop a Thesis Statement : The thesis statement is the main argument of your research paper. It should be clear, concise and specific to your research question.
  • Plan your Research: Develop a research plan that outlines the methods, data sources, and data analysis procedures. This will help you to collect and analyze data effectively.
  • Collect and Analyze Data: Collect data using various methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments. Analyze data using statistical tools or other qualitative methods.
  • Organize your Paper : Organize your paper into sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Ensure that each section is coherent and follows a logical flow.
  • Write your Paper : Start by writing the introduction, followed by the literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and follows the required formatting and citation styles.
  • Edit and Proofread your Paper: Review your paper for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure that it is well-structured and easy to read. Ask someone else to review your paper to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Cite your Sources: Ensure that you properly cite all sources used in your research paper. This is essential for giving credit to the original authors and avoiding plagiarism.

Research Paper Example

Note : The below example research paper is for illustrative purposes only and is not an actual research paper. Actual research papers may have different structures, contents, and formats depending on the field of study, research question, data collection and analysis methods, and other factors. Students should always consult with their professors or supervisors for specific guidelines and expectations for their research papers.

Research Paper Example sample for Students:

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health among Young Adults

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults. A literature review was conducted to examine the existing research on the topic. A survey was then administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Introduction: Social media has become an integral part of modern life, particularly among young adults. While social media has many benefits, including increased communication and social connectivity, it has also been associated with negative outcomes, such as addiction, cyberbullying, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults.

Literature Review: The literature review highlights the existing research on the impact of social media use on mental health. The review shows that social media use is associated with depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health problems. The review also identifies the factors that contribute to the negative impact of social media, including social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Methods : A survey was administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The survey included questions on social media use, mental health status (measured using the DASS-21), and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Results : The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Discussion : The study’s findings suggest that social media use has a negative impact on the mental health of young adults. The study highlights the need for interventions that address the factors contributing to the negative impact of social media, such as social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Conclusion : In conclusion, social media use has a significant impact on the mental health of young adults. The study’s findings underscore the need for interventions that promote healthy social media use and address the negative outcomes associated with social media use. Future research can explore the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health. Additionally, longitudinal studies can investigate the long-term effects of social media use on mental health.

Limitations : The study has some limitations, including the use of self-report measures and a cross-sectional design. The use of self-report measures may result in biased responses, and a cross-sectional design limits the ability to establish causality.

Implications: The study’s findings have implications for mental health professionals, educators, and policymakers. Mental health professionals can use the findings to develop interventions that address the negative impact of social media use on mental health. Educators can incorporate social media literacy into their curriculum to promote healthy social media use among young adults. Policymakers can use the findings to develop policies that protect young adults from the negative outcomes associated with social media use.

References :

  • Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2019). Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: Evidence from a population-based study. Preventive medicine reports, 15, 100918.
  • Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Barrett, E. L., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., … & James, A. E. (2017). Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among US young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 1-9.
  • Van der Meer, T. G., & Verhoeven, J. W. (2017). Social media and its impact on academic performance of students. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 16, 383-398.

Appendix : The survey used in this study is provided below.

Social Media and Mental Health Survey

  • How often do you use social media per day?
  • Less than 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • 2 to 4 hours
  • More than 4 hours
  • Which social media platforms do you use?
  • Others (Please specify)
  • How often do you experience the following on social media?
  • Social comparison (comparing yourself to others)
  • Cyberbullying
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
  • Have you ever experienced any of the following mental health problems in the past month?
  • Do you think social media use has a positive or negative impact on your mental health?
  • Very positive
  • Somewhat positive
  • Somewhat negative
  • Very negative
  • In your opinion, which factors contribute to the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Social comparison
  • In your opinion, what interventions could be effective in reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Education on healthy social media use
  • Counseling for mental health problems caused by social media
  • Social media detox programs
  • Regulation of social media use

Thank you for your participation!

Applications of Research Paper

Research papers have several applications in various fields, including:

  • Advancing knowledge: Research papers contribute to the advancement of knowledge by generating new insights, theories, and findings that can inform future research and practice. They help to answer important questions, clarify existing knowledge, and identify areas that require further investigation.
  • Informing policy: Research papers can inform policy decisions by providing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. They can help to identify gaps in current policies, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and inform the development of new policies and regulations.
  • Improving practice: Research papers can improve practice by providing evidence-based guidance for professionals in various fields, including medicine, education, business, and psychology. They can inform the development of best practices, guidelines, and standards of care that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • Educating students : Research papers are often used as teaching tools in universities and colleges to educate students about research methods, data analysis, and academic writing. They help students to develop critical thinking skills, research skills, and communication skills that are essential for success in many careers.
  • Fostering collaboration: Research papers can foster collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers by providing a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. They can facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that can lead to innovative solutions to complex problems.

When to Write Research Paper

Research papers are typically written when a person has completed a research project or when they have conducted a study and have obtained data or findings that they want to share with the academic or professional community. Research papers are usually written in academic settings, such as universities, but they can also be written in professional settings, such as research organizations, government agencies, or private companies.

Here are some common situations where a person might need to write a research paper:

  • For academic purposes: Students in universities and colleges are often required to write research papers as part of their coursework, particularly in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Writing research papers helps students to develop research skills, critical thinking skills, and academic writing skills.
  • For publication: Researchers often write research papers to publish their findings in academic journals or to present their work at academic conferences. Publishing research papers is an important way to disseminate research findings to the academic community and to establish oneself as an expert in a particular field.
  • To inform policy or practice : Researchers may write research papers to inform policy decisions or to improve practice in various fields. Research findings can be used to inform the development of policies, guidelines, and best practices that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • To share new insights or ideas: Researchers may write research papers to share new insights or ideas with the academic or professional community. They may present new theories, propose new research methods, or challenge existing paradigms in their field.

Purpose of Research Paper

The purpose of a research paper is to present the results of a study or investigation in a clear, concise, and structured manner. Research papers are written to communicate new knowledge, ideas, or findings to a specific audience, such as researchers, scholars, practitioners, or policymakers. The primary purposes of a research paper are:

  • To contribute to the body of knowledge : Research papers aim to add new knowledge or insights to a particular field or discipline. They do this by reporting the results of empirical studies, reviewing and synthesizing existing literature, proposing new theories, or providing new perspectives on a topic.
  • To inform or persuade: Research papers are written to inform or persuade the reader about a particular issue, topic, or phenomenon. They present evidence and arguments to support their claims and seek to persuade the reader of the validity of their findings or recommendations.
  • To advance the field: Research papers seek to advance the field or discipline by identifying gaps in knowledge, proposing new research questions or approaches, or challenging existing assumptions or paradigms. They aim to contribute to ongoing debates and discussions within a field and to stimulate further research and inquiry.
  • To demonstrate research skills: Research papers demonstrate the author’s research skills, including their ability to design and conduct a study, collect and analyze data, and interpret and communicate findings. They also demonstrate the author’s ability to critically evaluate existing literature, synthesize information from multiple sources, and write in a clear and structured manner.

Characteristics of Research Paper

Research papers have several characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of academic or professional writing. Here are some common characteristics of research papers:

  • Evidence-based: Research papers are based on empirical evidence, which is collected through rigorous research methods such as experiments, surveys, observations, or interviews. They rely on objective data and facts to support their claims and conclusions.
  • Structured and organized: Research papers have a clear and logical structure, with sections such as introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. They are organized in a way that helps the reader to follow the argument and understand the findings.
  • Formal and objective: Research papers are written in a formal and objective tone, with an emphasis on clarity, precision, and accuracy. They avoid subjective language or personal opinions and instead rely on objective data and analysis to support their arguments.
  • Citations and references: Research papers include citations and references to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in the paper. They use a specific citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Peer-reviewed: Research papers are often peer-reviewed, which means they are evaluated by other experts in the field before they are published. Peer-review ensures that the research is of high quality, meets ethical standards, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field.
  • Objective and unbiased: Research papers strive to be objective and unbiased in their presentation of the findings. They avoid personal biases or preconceptions and instead rely on the data and analysis to draw conclusions.

Advantages of Research Paper

Research papers have many advantages, both for the individual researcher and for the broader academic and professional community. Here are some advantages of research papers:

  • Contribution to knowledge: Research papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field or discipline. They add new information, insights, and perspectives to existing literature and help advance the understanding of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Opportunity for intellectual growth: Research papers provide an opportunity for intellectual growth for the researcher. They require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, which can help develop the researcher’s skills and knowledge.
  • Career advancement: Research papers can help advance the researcher’s career by demonstrating their expertise and contributions to the field. They can also lead to new research opportunities, collaborations, and funding.
  • Academic recognition: Research papers can lead to academic recognition in the form of awards, grants, or invitations to speak at conferences or events. They can also contribute to the researcher’s reputation and standing in the field.
  • Impact on policy and practice: Research papers can have a significant impact on policy and practice. They can inform policy decisions, guide practice, and lead to changes in laws, regulations, or procedures.
  • Advancement of society: Research papers can contribute to the advancement of society by addressing important issues, identifying solutions to problems, and promoting social justice and equality.

Limitations of Research Paper

Research papers also have some limitations that should be considered when interpreting their findings or implications. Here are some common limitations of research papers:

  • Limited generalizability: Research findings may not be generalizable to other populations, settings, or contexts. Studies often use specific samples or conditions that may not reflect the broader population or real-world situations.
  • Potential for bias : Research papers may be biased due to factors such as sample selection, measurement errors, or researcher biases. It is important to evaluate the quality of the research design and methods used to ensure that the findings are valid and reliable.
  • Ethical concerns: Research papers may raise ethical concerns, such as the use of vulnerable populations or invasive procedures. Researchers must adhere to ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants to ensure that the research is conducted in a responsible and respectful manner.
  • Limitations of methodology: Research papers may be limited by the methodology used to collect and analyze data. For example, certain research methods may not capture the complexity or nuance of a particular phenomenon, or may not be appropriate for certain research questions.
  • Publication bias: Research papers may be subject to publication bias, where positive or significant findings are more likely to be published than negative or non-significant findings. This can skew the overall findings of a particular area of research.
  • Time and resource constraints: Research papers may be limited by time and resource constraints, which can affect the quality and scope of the research. Researchers may not have access to certain data or resources, or may be unable to conduct long-term studies due to practical limitations.

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  3. How to write a research paper during bachelor’s degree?


  5. How to do research? and How to write a research paper?

  6. How to Write a Research Paper


  1. Significance of the Study

    A study might open up new areas of investigation, provide new research methodologies, or propose new hypotheses that need to be tested. How to Write Significance of the Study. Here's a guide to writing an effective "Significance of the Study" section in research paper, thesis, or dissertation:

  2. How to Write the Rationale of the Study in Research (Examples)

    The rationale of the study is the justification for taking on a given study. It explains the reason the study was conducted or should be conducted. This means the study rationale should explain to the reader or examiner why the study is/was necessary. It is also sometimes called the "purpose" or "justification" of a study.

  3. Q: How to write the rationale or justification of a study?

    1 Answer to this question. The term used to imply why the study was needed in the first place is "rationale for research" or "rationale of a study." It is also sometimes referred to as the justification of the study. I have edited your question to reflect this. The rationale of a study is a very important part of the manuscript.

  4. What Are Research Objectives and How to Write Them (with Examples)

    Formulating research objectives has the following five steps, which could help researchers develop a clear objective: 8. Identify the research problem. Review past studies on subjects similar to your problem statement, that is, studies that use similar methods, variables, etc.

  5. Background of The Study

    Here are the steps to write the background of the study in a research paper: Identify the research problem: Start by identifying the research problem that your study aims to address. This can be a particular issue, a gap in the literature, or a need for further investigation. Conduct a literature review: Conduct a thorough literature review to ...

  6. Draft your Purpose of the Study

    Generally, a component of the purpose of the study is to provide a discussion of how the various areas are interrelated as well as serve to generate research questions that arise as a result of examining the discrete areas of the literature on the problem. Specifically, a component of the purpose of the study is to introduce your Research ...

  7. Q: How do I write the significance of the study?

    Answer: The significance of the study is the importance of the study for the research area and its relevance to the target group. You need to write it in the Introduction section of the paper, once you have provided the background of the study. You need to talk about why you believe the study is necessary and how it will contribute to a better ...

  8. A Beginner's Guide to Starting the Research Process

    Step 4: Create a research design. The research design is a practical framework for answering your research questions. It involves making decisions about the type of data you need, the methods you'll use to collect and analyze it, and the location and timescale of your research. There are often many possible paths you can take to answering ...

  9. How to Write a Research Proposal

    Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We've included a few for you below. Example research proposal #1: "A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management" Example research proposal #2: "Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use" Title page

  10. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Table of contents. Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

  11. A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research

    INTRODUCTION. Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses.1,2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results.3,4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the ...

  12. How to write a research study protocol

    This should be followed by a brief description of the study and the target population. A clear explanation for the rationale of the project is also expected to describe the research question and justify the need of the study. Methods and analysis. A suitable study design and methodology should be chosen to reflect the aims of the research.

  13. Research Recommendations

    For example, recommendations from research on climate change can be used to develop policies that reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability. Program development: Research recommendations can guide the development of programs that address specific issues. For example, recommendations from research on education can be used to develop ...

  14. Research Design

    Table of contents. Step 1: Consider your aims and approach. Step 2: Choose a type of research design. Step 3: Identify your population and sampling method. Step 4: Choose your data collection methods. Step 5: Plan your data collection procedures. Step 6: Decide on your data analysis strategies.

  15. Building On The Past: How To Write Previous Studies In Research

    The purpose of previous studies in research is to provide a foundation for new investigations. It helps researchers understand what has already been studied, what knowledge gaps exist, and what questions need further exploration. By looking at what others have done, researchers can build on existing knowledge, avoid repeating the same work, and ...

  16. Structuring a qualitative findings section

    Writing Research. Andrea Bingham. Reporting the findings from a qualitative study in a way that is interesting, meaningful, and trustworthy can be a struggle. Those new to qualitative research often find themselves trying to quantify everything to make it seem more "rigorous," or asking themselves, "Do I really need this much data to ...

  17. PDF Sample Project Justification

    Justification Statement. The justification statement should include 2 to 3 paragraphs that convey the relevance of the over-arching topic in which the proposed research study is grounded. The purpose of this project is to examine the personal perceptions and safety concerns of workers in assumed low-risk. organizations.

  18. How to Write a Research Paper

    Choose a research paper topic. Conduct preliminary research. Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft.

  19. Writing Survey Questions

    Writing Survey Questions. Perhaps the most important part of the survey process is the creation of questions that accurately measure the opinions, experiences and behaviors of the public. Accurate random sampling will be wasted if the information gathered is built on a shaky foundation of ambiguous or biased questions.

  20. E10-Q4M5-Writing-a-Research-Paper (pdf)

    These aspects set research apart from other forms of writing. The following discussion will introduce to you the structure, format and style used in writing a research Structure and Style 1. In writing the title of the research, make sure to include the main topic/subject of the paper. The title should posit the specific topic and area of study ...

  21. Use of ChatGPT for schoolwork among US teens

    Roughly one-in-five teenagers who have heard of ChatGPT say they have used it to help them do their schoolwork, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. With a majority of teens having heard of ChatGPT, that amounts to 13% of all U.S. teens who have used the generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot in ...

  22. Research Methodology

    Research methodology formats can vary depending on the specific requirements of the research project, but the following is a basic example of a structure for a research methodology section: I. Introduction. Provide an overview of the research problem and the need for a research methodology section; Outline the main research questions and ...

  23. Planet versus Plastics

    Planet versus Plastics. Plastic waste has infiltrated every corner of our planet, from oceans and waterways to the food chain and even our bodies. Only 9% of plastic is recycled due to factors including poor infrastructure, technical challenges, lack of incentives, and low market demand. "We need legislation that disincentivizes big oil from ...

  24. Artificial sweetener could harm your gut and the microbes that live

    An artificial sweetener called neotame can cause significant harm to the gut, my colleagues and I discovered. It does this harm in two ways. One, by breaking down the layer of cells that line the ...

  25. Americans are getting less sleep. The biggest burden falls on ...

    A majority - 57% - now say they could use more sleep, which is a big jump from a decade ago. It's an acceleration of an ongoing trend, according to the survey. In 1942, 59% of Americans said ...

  26. Writing Strong Research Questions

    A good research question is essential to guide your research paper, dissertation, or thesis. All research questions should be: Focused on a single problem or issue. Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources. Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints. Specific enough to answer thoroughly.

  27. Assessing the preparedness and future-readiness of Malaysian community

    This study investigated community pharmacists' level of knowledge and attitude towards medical marijuana and its association with sociodemographic characteristics. A cross-sectional study was conducted from 21 February 2022 to 15 November 2022. Community pharmacists working in Klang Valley were given a self-administered questionnaire. This survey instrument facilitated the collection of ...

  28. Transformations That Work

    Mulally borrowed $24 billion to fund Ford's transformation in 2006, and Michael Dell invested more than $60 billion to turn Dell into a leader in infrastructure technology in 2017. In our study ...

  29. Research Paper

    The study highlights the need for interventions that address the factors contributing to the negative impact of social media, such as social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO. ... natural sciences, and humanities. Writing research papers helps students to develop research skills, critical thinking skills, and academic writing skills. For ...

  30. What Is a Research Design

    Step 1: Consider your aims and approach. Step 2: Choose a type of research design. Step 3: Identify your population and sampling method. Step 4: Choose your data collection methods. Step 5: Plan your data collection procedures. Step 6: Decide on your data analysis strategies. Other interesting articles.