Scientific Methods of Research Inquiry

ScientificMethods of Research Inquiry

Scientificmethods of research inquiry and their application to a researchproject

Practitioners(like administrators, students, and instructors) use research inquiryto conduct field-based, intentional, and systematic inquiry in theirdaily practices. Methods of research inquiry are often interpretativeor qualitative since this kind of research is always field-based.


Thismethod involves an interaction between a researcher and a respondent.Quantitative interviews incorporate an interview schedule to guide aresearcher as he pose questions as well as answer options to arespondent or respondents. Interviews may sometimes incorporateeither open-ended or closed questionnaires (Graziano &amp Raulin2007). The interviews may be recorded however, most researchersprefer taking notes to recording since most of the questions tend tobe closed ended. Sometimes telephone interviewing is used to minimizethe amount of labor involved in collecting data via interviewshowever, this kind of interview come along with some challenges likeobtaining inadequate representative samples of the generalpopulation.


Thismethod involves several strategies in data gathering. A researcherobserves a group by taking part in some of the activities carried outby a particular group. Such a researcher may choose to be anobserver-as-participant, complete participant, complete observer, orparticipant-as-observer. Participant observation method is used bymost researchers since it help them develop several ways on checkingfor non verbal expression of participants’ feelings as well asdetermine how much time is spent on various activities (Graziano etal., 2007). This method can be used to gather information from activedrug dealers with the aim of gaining a better understanding of howthe actual operation of the crack business is on the streets

Collectingand analyzing survey data

Thismethod incorporates the implementation of a program of ongoingsurveys in order to track changes in opinions and needs. Changes overtime can be measured by implementing either multiple survey or singlesurvey method. According to Graziano et al. (2007) multiple surveymethod is best used when one want to incorporate different sets ofevent-specific or time-sensitive questions. Nevertheless, if onewants to do a thorough comparison of results from various surveys,then he or she would be required to keep the same core questions aswell as formatting between questionnaires. Single survey method isbest applicable when a researcher wants to gather and compare dataover a length of time. This method can be used to gather informationon the characteristics of criminal victimization, types and number ofcrimes not reported to law enforcement authorities for a period oftime.Casestudy

Thismethod help researchers understand complex issue it helpsstrengthens previous research. Most cases studies put much weight oncontextual analysis of particular number of conditions or events aswell as their relationships. They further help researchers examinecontemporary real-life situations as well as equip such researcherswith the basis for the application of ideas and extension of methods.Graziano et al. (2007) argue that case studies play a key role incriminology since they contribute vital attitudinal and behavioralqualities to the criminal justice practitioners through the provisionof realistic learning. It helps practitioners familiarize themselveswith practical problem situations while at the same time attending torelevant theoretical concepts.

Conductingliterature review

Literaturereviews help researchers limit the scope of their inquiry theyexamine existing research that is significant to their projects. Ithelps researchers evaluate what has already been done and show aclear relationship between different works of different authors. Thismethod can be used to conduct a comprehensive search of globalliterature on agricultural crime, including various existing sourcesof unpublished materials.

Hypothesisbased on the professional practices of criminal justice practitioners

Mostlaw enforcement agencies and authorities apply death penalty to blackcriminals in a disproportionate manner

Twomethods of inquiries and how you would apply them to your hypothesisto reach a conclusion

Oneof the methods of inquiry that I would apply in order to eithervalidate or nullify my hypothesis would be case studies. I wouldexamine various case studies on death penalties that have beenapplied to several criminals. I would seek to investigate how thesedeath penalties have been used on both white and black criminals. Ifthey number of death penalties imposed on black criminals outweighthose imposed on white criminals by an extremely high number, then Iwould conclude my research by validating the aforementionedhypothesis.

Iwould also make use of quantitative interview to test whether thehypothesis is true or not. I would make use of closed endedquestionnaires to interview a specific number of prisoners (bothblack and white) who have been sentenced to death penalties. Thequestionnaires would contain a range of question types like ‘why doyou feel you deserved or did not deserve a death penalty?’ and ‘whydo you feel law authority disproportionate either black or whitecriminals in their application of death penalty. I would then examinethe interviews’ responses and draw a conclusion on whether or notthe law enforcement agencies disproportionate black criminals in theapplication of death penalties.


Graziano,A.M &amp Raulin, M.L. (2007). ResearchMethods: A Process of Inquiry.Glenview:HarperCollins College Publishers.