Scientific Research Methods

Scientific research is of great importance in people's lives because it is the foundation that elevates them intellectually, culturally, socially and scientifically and their efficient tool for fact-finding to overcome difficulties and to provide access to solutions in many aspects of life. The scientific research is not intellectual or academic luxury, which people enjoy apart from their worries, hopes and aspirations. It is a window through which they look over the fields of knowledge, innovation and excellence, especially that we are in the era of speed, which only recognizes the nations that are armed with knowledge and modern technology. Scientific research has general elements to be followed by the researcher and they can be summarized as follows:

First: Structure of the Scientific Research and its Elements

The research paper has a general structure that can be divided into three parts containing multiple elements; preliminary pages, main text and supplementary materials as follows:

A) The Preliminary Pages include:

1)  The outer title page, which consists of:

  • The research title, which must be clear, specific and concise, and covers the research topic, scope and period. . 
  • The researcher’s name.
  • The year of the research.

2) The inner title page, which is a duplicate of the outer title page.

3) Dedication page, which includes a brief dedication to those whom the researcher wishes to dedicate his/her scientific effort.

4) Table of Contents, which sets out the elements of the research paper from the beginning to the end with their corresponding page numbers for ease of reference.

5) Acknowledgment page, in which the researcher can thank and give credit to those people who contribute in the supervision, presentation and production of the research.

B) The Main Text of the Research Paper

This is the most important part of the research paper as it contains the key issue addressed in the research. It includes the main body of the research, its depth, basis, topic, data, facts and occurrences.  It must be written, examined and laid out in accordance with the scientific research principles of quotations, sources, references and footnotes. It includes the following:

1) Research Introduction: a brief and concentrated summary of what will be covered in the research paper.
2) Research Chapters.  The main research topics.
3) Epilogue: which includes: 

•    The findings of the researcher.
•    The recommendations proposed by the researcher.

c) The Supplementary Materials include: 

1) Research appendices: include any documents, maps, tables, images, etc. used by the researcher to support his/her research.
2) A list of sources and references including any documents, books, researches, periodical, newspapers, etc. that were used by the researcher in the preparation of his research. It includes: 

•    Arabic sources and references.
•    Foreign sources and references.

Second: Research Preparation Stages

The scientific research has several stages including the selection of the research topic, development of the plan, collection and review of the scientific material, selection and analysis of the appropriate material, and the conclusions.  This must then be set out in its final form to make a logical, creative and readable research.  These stages can be summarized as follows:

Stage 1: Selecting the research topic and its title
The researcher should select an innovative topic that lies within the interests of the community in which he/she lives or of the institution to which he/she belongs. The researcher should choose a title that precisely matches the content of the paper in general.

Stage 2: Developing a suitable plan for the research
This stage requires the researcher to break down his/her research into chapters, sections, subjects and claims as to make writing easier for the researcher, enable him/she to maintain a logical flow of ideas to write down his/her data in a scientific manner. The researcher must comply with the plan and shall not divert from it under any circumstances.

Stage 3: Collecting information, and previous data, documents and studies on the research topic
This is the most important and difficult stage of the research as the researcher has to select from a large number of documents, books, periodicals, newspapers and other references to determine the useful information for his/her research or to cite or quote them in full bibliographic references. These information should be accurate and taken from reliable sources and references.

Stage 4: Reviewing the scientific material and preparing them for the final draft
During the stage of information collection, the researcher may gather many references, which he thinks that they may serve his/her research, but later he/she finds out that some references are duplicates or similar to other references,  or discovers that some of the sources are old and new editions are available. This is in addition to other issues, which require the researcher to review and select the materials properly as the research may require.

Stage 5: Writing and analyzing the research material and drawing conclusions
The researcher should avoid redundancy and unnecessary details while writing the research and should pay attention to put forward his/her views by deducing and analyzing the research facts. He/she should also comply with the scientific integrity upon using sources and references throughout the research.

Stage 6: Final review of the research
The researcher should review the research form and subject by checking that the data, information, statistics and texts in the main body or in the footnotes or endnotes - are couched in standard Arabic. He/she should also check the use of punctuation marks and that the paragraphs are well constructed and organized since mistakes are not acceptable in academic writing as they reduce its value and show the weakness of the writer.
Stage 7: The research paper format and layout
The researcher strives to produce a well-balanced research paper, which is consistent in its sections and subjects and must take care of its appearance in terms of colors and technical design to attract the reader.