Readers Habits And Interests In Bangalore English Language Essay

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Q3. You are engaged to carry out a market survey on behalf of a leading Newspaper that is keen to increase its circulation in Bangalore City, in order to ascertain reader habits and interests. Develop a title for the study; define the research problem and the objectives or questions to be answered by the study. What type of research report would be most appropriate? Develop an outline of the research report with the main sections.

Ans.:

Reader's habits and interests in Bangalore

Research Problem:

To ascertain the reader habits and interests and to increase newspaper circulation in Bangalore City.

There are four major interlinking processes in the presentation of a literature review:

Critiquing rather than merely listing each item a good literature review is led by your own critical thought processes - it is not simply a catalogue of what has been written.

Once you have established which authors and ideas are linked, take each group in turn and really think about what you want to achieve in presenting them this way. This is your opportunity for showing that you did not take all your reading at face value, but that you have the knowledge and skills to interpret the authors' meanings and intentions in relation to each other, particularly if there are conflicting views or incompatible findings in a particular area.

Rest assured that developing a sense of critical judgment in the literature surrounding a topic is a gradual process of gaining familiarity with the concepts, language, terminology and conventions in the field. In the early stages of your research you cannot be expected to have a fully developed appreciation of the implications of all findings.

As you get used to reading at this level of intensity within your field you will find it easier and more purposeful to ask questions as you read:

What is this all about?

Who is saying it and what authorities do they have?

Why is it significant?

What is its context?

How was it reached?

How valid is it?

How reliable is the evidence?

What has been gained?

What do other authors say?

How does it contribute?

So what?

Structuring the fragments into a coherent body through your reading and discussions with your supervisor during the searching and organising phases of the cycle, you will eventually reach a final decision as to your own topic and research design.

As you begin to group together the items you read, the direction of your literature review will emerge with greater clarity. This is a good time to finalise your concept map, grouping linked items, ideas and authors into firm categories as they relate more obviously to your own study.

Now you can plan the structure of your written literature review, with your own intentions and conceptual framework in mind. Knowing what you want to convey will help you decide the most appropriate structure.

A review can take many forms; for example:

An historical survey of theory and research in your field

A synthesis of several paradigms

A process of narrowing down to your own topic

It is likely that your literature review will contain elements of all of these.

As with all academic writing, a literature review needs:

An introduction

A body

A conclusion

The introduction sets the scene and lays out the various elements that are to be explored.

The body takes each element in turn, usually as a series of headed sections and subsections. The first paragraph or two of each section mentions the major authors in association with their main ideas and areas of debate. The section then expands on these ideas and authors, showing how each relates to the others, and how the debate informs your understanding of the topic. A short conclusion at the end of each section presents a synthesis of these linked ideas.

The final conclusion of the literature review ties together the main points from each of your sections and this is then used to build the framework for your own study. Later, when you come to write the discussion chapter of your thesis, you should be able to relate your findings in one-to-one correspondence with many of the concepts or questions that were firmed up in the conclusion of your literature review.

Controlling the 'voice' of your citations in the text (by selective use of direct quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing)

You can treat published literature like any other data, but the difference is that it is not data you generated yourself.

When you report on your own findings, you are likely to present the results with reference to their source, for example:

'Table 2 shows that sixteen of the twenty subjects responded positively.'

When using published data, you would say:

'Positive responses were recorded for 80 per cent of the subjects (see table 2).'

'From the results shown in table 2, it appears that the majority of subjects responded positively.'

In these examples your source of information is table 2. Had you found the same results on page 17 of a text by Smith published in 1988, you would naturally substitute the name, date and page number for 'table 2'. In each case it would be your voice introducing a fact or statement that had been generated somewhere else.

You could see this process as building a wall: you select and place the 'bricks' and your 'voice' provides the 'mortar', which determines how strong the wall will be. In turn, this is significant in the assessment of the merit and rigor of your work.

There are three ways to combine an idea and its source with your own voice:

Direct quote

Paraphrase

Summary

In each method, the author's name and publication details must be associated with the words in the text, using an approved referencing system. If you don't do this you would be in severe breach of academic convention, and might be penalized. Your field of study has its own referencing conventions you should investigate before writing up your results.

Direct quoting repeats exact wording and thus directly represents the author:

'Rain is likely when the sky becomes overcast' (Smith 1988, page 27).

If the quotation is run in with your text, single quotation marks are used to enclose it, and it must be an identical copy of the original in every respect.

Overuse or simple 'listing' of quotes can substantially weaken your own argument by silencing your critical view or voice.

Paraphrasing is repeating an idea in your own words, with no loss of the author's intended meaning:

As Smith (1988) pointed out in the late eighties, rain may well be indicated by the presence of cloud in the sky.

Paraphrasing allows you to organize the ideas expressed by the authors without being rigidly constrained by the grammar, tense and vocabulary of the original. You retain a degree of flexibility as to whose voice comes through most strongly.

Summarizing means to shorten or crystallize a detailed piece of writing by restating the main points in your own words and in the order in which you found them. The original writing is 'described' as if from the outside, and it is your own voice that is predominant:

Referring to the possible effects of cloudy weather, Smith (1988) predicted the likelihood of rain.

Smith (1988) claims that some degree of precipitation could be expected as the result of clouds in the sky: he has clearly discounted the findings of Jones (1986).

Using appropriate language

Your writing style represents you as a researcher, and reflects how you are dealing with the subtleties and complexities inherent in the literature.

Once you have established a good structure with appropriate headings for your literature review, and once you are confident in controlling the voice in your citations, you should find that your writing becomes more lucid and fluent because you know what you want to say and how to say it.

The good use of language depends on the quality of the thinking behind the writing, and on the context of the writing. You need to conform to discipline-specific requirements. However, there may still be some points of grammar and vocabulary you would like to improve. If you have doubts about your confidence to use the English language well, you can help yourself in several ways:

Ask for feedback on your writing from friends, colleagues and academics

Look for specific language information in reference materials

Access programs or self-paced learning resources which may be available on your campus

Grammar tips - practical and helpful

The following guidance on tenses and other language tips may be useful.

Which tense should I use?

Use present tense:

For generalizations and claims:

The sky is blue.

To convey ideas, especially theories, which exist for the reader at the time of reading:

I think therefore I am.

For authors' statements of a theoretical nature, which can then be compared on equal terms with others:

Smith (1988) suggests that...

In referring to components of your own document:

Table 2 shows...

Use present perfect tense for:

Recent events or actions that are still linked in an unresolved way to the present:

Several studies have attempted to...

Use simple past tense for:

Completed events or actions:

Smith (1988) discovered that...

Use past perfect tense for:

Events which occurred before a specified past time:

Prior to these findings, it had been thought that...

Use modals (may, might, could, would, should) to:

Convey degrees of doubt

This may indicate that ... this would imply that...

Other language tips

Convey your meaning in the simplest possible way. Don't try to use an intellectual tone for the sake of it, and do not rely on your reader to read your mind!

Keep sentences short and simple when you wish to emphasise a point.

Use compound (joined simple) sentences to write about two or more ideas which may be linked with 'and', 'but', 'because', 'whereas' etc.

Use complex sentences when you are dealing with embedded ideas or those that show the interaction of two or more complex elements.

Verbs are more dynamic than nouns, and nouns carry information more densely than verbs.

Select active or passive verbs according to whether you are highlighting the 'doer' or the 'done to' of the action.

Keep punctuation to a minimum. Use it to separate the elements of complex sentences in order to keep subject, verb and object in clear view.

Avoid densely packed strings of words, particularly nouns.

The total process

The story of a research study

Introduction

I looked at the situation and found that I had a question to ask about it. I wanted to investigate something in particular.

Review of literature

So I read everything I could find on the topic - what was already known and said and what had previously been found. I established exactly where my investigation would fit into the big picture, and began to realize at this stage how my study would be different from anything done previously.

Methodology

I decided on the number and description of my subjects, and with my research question clearly in mind, designed my own investigation process, using certain known research methods (and perhaps some that are not so common). I began with the broad decision about which research paradigm I would work within (that is, qualitative/quantitative, critical/interpretive/ empiricist). Then I devised my research instrument to get the best out of what I was investigating. I knew I would have to analyze the raw data, so I made sure that the instrument and my proposed method(s) of analysis were compatible right from the start. Then I carried out the research study and recorded all the data in a methodical way according to my intended methods of analysis. As part of the analysis, I reduced the data (by means of my preferred form of classification) to manageable thematic representation (tables, graphs, categories, etc). It was then that I began to realize what I had found.

Findings/results

What had I found? What did the tables/graphs/categories etc. have to say that could be pinned down? It was easy enough for me to see the salient points at a glance from these records, but in writing my report, I also spelled out what I had found truly significant to make sure my readers did not miss it. For each display of results, I wrote a corresponding summary of important observations relating only elements within my own set of results and comparing only like with like. I was careful not to let my own interpretations intrude or voice my excitement just yet. I wanted to state the facts - just the facts. I dealt correctly with all inferential statistical procedures, applying tests of significance where appropriate to ensure both reliability and validity. I knew that I wanted my results to be as watertight and squeaky clean as possible. They would carry a great deal more credibility, strength and thereby academic 'clout' if I took no shortcuts and remained both rigorous and scholarly.

Discussion

Now I was free to let the world know the significance of my findings. What did I find in the results that answered my original research question? Why was I so sure I had some answers? What about the unexplained or unexpected findings? Had I interpreted the results correctly? Could there have been any other factors involved? Were my findings supported or contested by the results of similar studies? Where did that leave mine in terms of contribution to my field? Can I actually generalize from my findings in a breakthrough of some kind, or do I simply see myself as reinforcing existing knowledge? And so what, after all? There were some obvious limitations to my study, which, even so, I'll defend to the hilt. But I won't become over-apologetic about the things left undone, or the abandoned analyses, the fascinating byways sadly left behind. I have my memories...

Conclusion

We'll take a long hard look at this study from a broad perspective. How does it rate? How did I end up answering the question I first thought of? The conclusion needs to be a few clear, succinct sentences. That way, I'll know that I know what I'm talking about. I'll wrap up with whatever generalizations I can make, and whatever implications have arisen in my mind as a result of doing this thing at all. The more you find out, the more questions arise. How I wonder what you are ... how I speculate. OK, so where do we all go from here?

Three stages of research

Reading

Research design and implementation

Writing up the research report or thesis

Use an active, cyclical writing process: draft, check, reflect, revise, redraft.

Establishing good practice

Keep your research question always in mind.

Read widely to establish a context for your research.

Read widely to collect information, which may relate to your topic, particularly to your hypothesis or research question.

Be systematic with your reading, note-taking and referencing records.

Train yourself to select what you do need and reject what you don't need.

Keep a research journal to reflect on your processes, decisions, state of mind, changes of mind, reactions to experimental outcomes etc.

Discuss your ideas with your supervisor and interested others.

Keep a systematic log of technical records of your experimental and other research data, remembering to date each entry, and noting any discrepancies or unexpected occurrences at the time you notice them.

Design your research approaches in detail in the early stages so that you have frameworks to fit findings into straightaway.

Know how you will analyze data so that your formats correspond from the start.

Keep going back to the whole picture. Be thoughtful and think ahead about the way you will consider and store new information as it comes to light.

Questions to be answered:

1. Have you read an entire book in the last 12 months?

a. Yes.

b. No.

2. How much time do you spend reading web pages each day?

a. I don't read web pages.

b. Less than two hours.

c. Two to four hours.

d. Five or more hours.

3. Where do you read? Check all that apply.

a. In school.

b. On the bus.

c. In a car or truck.

d. In bed.

e. At the computer.

f. In the bathroom.

g. In the kitchen or family room.

h. At the library.

4. Have you ever pretended that you read a book when you hadn't?

a. Yes.

b. No.

5. Why do you usually read a book?

a. Because I think I should.

b. Because it was assigned to me.

c. Because I am interested in the topic or author.

d. I don't read books.

6. Have you ever pretended that you read a web page when you hadn't?

a. Yes.

b. No.

7. What is the last book that you read? If you haven't read a book, write "Not Applicable."

8. Is being able to read is important?

a. Yes.

b. No.

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