Dr. Ray L. Winstead
IUP Professor of Biology

Outline of Research Procedure

  1. General statement of research objectives. This should be clear, precise, concise, and only one or two sentences long.

  2. Write down specific questions you want answered. Each question must relate back to the main objective and each question will have its own testable hypothesis. After these questions have been answered the main objective should be met.

  3. Literature Review. See what others have done and know about the subject. This step may have to come even earlier.

  4. What data are necessary to answer each of the specific questions in step 2. above?

  5. What design and corresponding analysis of data are appropriate for the type of data and type of questions? Write down your answer for each of the specific questions in step 2. above.

  6. Take appropriate data in an appropriate way for the specified analysis. Especially note that this step does not come before any of the previous steps.

  7. Analyze the data. A computer will probably be helpful at this stage.

  8. Represent the results clearly. Graphs and charts will be helpful.

  9. Draw logical, biological conclusions or interpretations directly from the results.

10. Report the study. Be sure to compare your results with the results of others in the discussion section.

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Dr. Ray L. Winstead
Direct e-mail Link: RWinstea@iup.edu