QUESTION 1 [25 MARKS]
Content analysis is a commonly used system of analysis of qualitative data. Outline advantages of content analysis. (8)
Discuss practical applications of content analysis. (6)
Outline three possible problems with using content analysis. (6)
For content analysis to be rich and meaningful, it relies on coding. Explain the difference between emergent coding and a priori coding. (5)
QUESTION 2 [75 MARKS]
You are required to draw up a research proposal, based on the topic or research problem that you have chosen for your final mini dissertation. This proposal will form the basis of your mini dissertation. The cover page of your proposal should contain the proposed topic of research, your name, surname and student number. Follow the following outline when writing your proposal.
1. Background to the proposed research:
• Provide an adequate background to the proposed research making use of preliminary literature to show that there is a gap to be filled by the study;
• The background lays the foundation to the identification of the problem statement;
• Define, explain and articulate basic terms and concepts – either under a separate heading, or as suitable subheadings to ensure that the reader has a solid understanding of these terms and concepts; and
• Have a research title (which expands on the research topic) briefly describing key variables in the study and dovetailing into problem identification section. (10)
2. Problem identification:
• Given the background in 1, clearly state and define the problem or line of enquiry of the proposed research;
• Clearly formulate the basic research problem or problem statement. The proposed research problem should be concise;
• Flowing from the crisp research problem or problem statement, state the research question(s) and study’s objectives or hypotheses; and
• Avoid indulging in jargon, which obscure rather than articulate what the research problem is. (10)
3. Preliminary literature review:
• Articulate the study’s conceptual framework and theoretical assumptions. Make use of separate headings or sub-headings. The scope of the study should be explained;
• Although the literature review is preliminary at this stage, there has to be substantial evidence of solid review of the literature that inform the proposed research;
• Theoretical engagement with the relevant literature is needed. Do not regurgitate the literature reviewed. It has to be analysed and relevantly applied or related to the topic being research;
• Appropriate literature must be examined in order to augment what is discussed in the problem statement section and bring out the gap to be filled by the proposed research;
• Relevant sources must be used, especially seminal researchers in the field the proposed research falls in;
• The literature review should correspond with the research questions and objectives or hypotheses of the research; and
• Cited references must be acceptable. (20)
4. Research design and methodology:
• The proposed research topic and the research design should be well structured and outlined;
• Articulate the research methodology;
• The alignment between research questions and objectives or hypotheses of the research should be clear;
• Clearly explain the sampling methodology, data collection methods, type of data, sources, etc. These need justification with regards to appropriateness to the research topic, questions and objectives or hypotheses; and
• Discuss ethical considerations in data collection, storage, usage, and analysis. (20)
5. Significance of the proposed research:
• Address why it is important to undertake this research? Whom will it benefit or to whom will it be important?
• Will the proposed research promote further investigation within and/or across disciplines and fields? Will it bring innovations in the current work environment or industry? Will the proposed research influence policy and explain how it achieves that?
• Clearly identify expected outcome(s) of the proposed research. (5)
6. Feasibility of the proposed research:
• Consider is the problem researchable and is it feasible given submission timelines?
• Is preliminary data available?
• Availability of resources like funding to collect data, support from assistant data collectors, etc. (5)
. Technical aspects:
• Correct referencing (APA 7 style);
• Use of headings and subheadings; and
• Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and general presentation. (5)
Answers to Above Questions on Content Analysis
Answer 1: Content analysis is an important technique that is utilised with the objective of determining meanings and relationships within words and it is generally applied to themes or concepts within qualitative data. There are several advantages possible from the application of content analysis and the major one includes the attainment of objectivity through systematic analysis of the data. It is also advantageous to apply content analysis in analysing large scale data, and it is also quite useful in allowing researchers to understand the themes, patterns and relationships that exist within the data.
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