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Section 2 Becoming a Researcher/Scholar / Chapter 5 The Nature of Inquiry

5. Conclusion


Ordinary inquiry and science intersect with discovery. Although science is systematic, uses different tools, and has different levels of analysis, it has continuity with ordinary inquiry. As explained in this chapter, the philosophical commitments of the researcher, methods employed, and techniques utilized determine the research focus and analysis of data. All three of the predominant scientific research methods, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method, can be employed to obtain knowledge, but in choosing a method, the researcher needs to be aware of inherent epistemological and ontological commitments. As a doctoral learner studying to become a social science researcher, awareness of the formal traditions of inquiry is a necessary component for producing coherent and relevant dissertation research. The choices made as a social scientist affect not only the kind of research topic chosen but also the value or usefulness of the results obtained.