Important Tip for preparation of Research and Analysis Project (RAP) – Demystifying Research
A good first step is the demystification of the research process, as it is essential to the preparation of the RAP.
A simple definition of research means to investigate, enquire, look into, explore and find out. If considering as an investigation, then a simple example: people conduct research when looking to buy a car. Certain decisions need to be made: size, economy, reliability, price range… A person will study all the reviews of the selected models in order to get in-depth help in evaluation of the possibilities. After a suitable test-drive, the person is able to make a selection of a car that best meets their specifications and by their judgment is the best “deal” for a car.
There are a lot of similarities in this sample and the general view of the research seen as an investigative process that involves many stages and phases, and it is necessary for preparing the RAP.
The research for the RAP is an example of an applied business research that focuses in the business problems and issues that are set in a context of a single company. The applied business research has a purpose of contributing to the solution of the issues or even increasing the understanding of its significance. It may result in some recommendations that can be made to a concerned individual or the studied company. It brings a very practical aspect in problem solving, and in some ways can be similar to consultancy work.
There is also academic purpose that underlines the design of the RAP project, and this is in ensuring that the student masters some important transferable or graduate skills, that the student can show by passing the RAP.
These skills include the following:
- Completing an independent research based project;
- Information gathering and referencing appropriately;
- Effective written and oral presentation;
- Using information technology;
- Problem solving, analysis and evaluation; and
- Self-managed learning.
All of these are subjected to assessment in the Research Report, and the reflection on the learning experience achieved during the preparation of the project is assessed by completing the Skills and Learning Statement, both of these are parts of the RAP.
The applied business research requires the student uses a systematic investigative process.
The most important part is the word “systematic”, meaning that the research is planned, methodical and in compliance to the already established research methods, and also this takes account of the other published work by other authors in the relevant field.
There are some practical suggestions that the student should partake a systematic approach to the following:
- Information gathering;
- Interpretation and analysis of gathered information; and
- An overall evaluation that provides answers to, or allows understanding of the original problem or studied issue.
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