Empirical Research: Definition, Writing and Examples

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Empirical research is a kind of experiment, the result of which is based on the sensual experience. The indispensable part is interaction with the object of study when we directly affect it, interact with it, process the results and conclude. However, the receipt of specific empirical facts and laws still does not allow building a system of laws. To know the essence, one must necessarily move to the theoretical level of scientific knowledge.

The distinctive feature the writer of empirical research should be familiar with is a fact that the researching process revolves around a question formulated by the researcher. The writer has to describe the whole process in details. Therefore, it will allow duplicating the research or verifying it at any time.

Empirical Research Definition

Writing the Empirical Research paper is a serious issue demanding responsibility and scrupulous attitude from a writer. The research process includes two necessary levels – empirical and theoretical. At the experiential level of research prevail sensual experience, rational thinking and its form (judgment, notion, etc.); however, they are of low value.

The gathering of the facts, their initial generalization, the description of the observed and experimental data, their systematization, classification and other fact-fixing activity are characteristics of empirical researching process. Sometimes the empirical cognition reflects only external properties and the relation of objects and methods. However, this is not true, because then we will never discover their internal ties, essential, regular relationships.

An empirical research study is directly related (without intermediate links) to its object. It develops it using such techniques and means as description, comparison, measurement, observation, experiment, analysis, induction, and its most important element is the fact (from the Latin factum – made, completed).

Empirical Research Cycle

Writing of empirical research presupposes performance of specific steps, guiding the writer. Sticking to standards of empirical research is obligatory. The whole process begins with observation. In the process of viewing, one notices something and starts watching it. It evokes interest and, as a result, certain questions arise. This question becomes a basis for the investigation.

The following stage of the algorithm is entitled induction. It presupposes formulation of the hypothesis by the author. Next phase is called testing or deduction. The author predicts the possible consequences and makes prognoses.

After that, writer approaches the experimental stage. It speaks for itself – author tries his hypothesis on practice and checks the level of its validity. An evaluative stage is the finishing one. During this phase, the author once again refers to the hypothesis and delivers the conclusions to the reader.

Writing the Empirical Research Paper

Writing of the empirical research paper is mainly focused on the gathering of certain facts and data for the research using observation. These materials become a data for the researcher based on which he conducts his main work.

The type of current research belongs to the evaluative category. It allows estimating the effectiveness of certain hypothesis and checking it by experiment. The task of the researcher is to apply the variety of techniques, allowing getting the clarification or breaking down of the hypothesis.

It is impossible to deliver empirical research paper without using empirical research methods. The list of main methods comprises the following:

  1. Observation – a systematic specially organized perception of objects and phenomena of objective reality, serving as objects of research.
  2. Measurement is a procedure for determining the numerical value of a particular value using a unit of measurement.
  3. A comparison is a process of comparing objects or phenomena of reality to establish similarities or differences between them, as well as finding a common, inherent, which may be inherent in two or more objects of study.
  4. Experiment – approbation of knowledge of the studied phenomena in controlled or artificially created conditions.

Empirical Research Examples

Empirical research is aimed at studying phenomena and identifying the interdependencies in the process of scientific experiments using the other methods of empirical knowledge: observation, measurement. At this level (due to its capabilities and its methodological equipment), the nature of the objects being studied and the intrinsic connections between the objects cannot be detected. Here the manifestation of the essence is investigated, but not the very essence of things.

Empirical research can be based on various methods of research and can be related to various branches of science. The bright examples are “material point”, “solid”, “ideal gas” (in physics), “biocoenosis” (in ecology), and “commodity” (in the economic theory in the formula “goods – money – goods”).

Objectives of Empirical Research

Empirical investigations are mainly based on the methods of observations and testing. Empirical type is characterized by the gathering of facts, the first generalization, and the description of experimental data, systematization, and classification. An empirical study is aimed directly at the object of the study, based on the methods of comparison, measurement, observation, experiment, analysis, etc.

An empirical study is a special type of practical activity that exists, as an activity, requiring the availability of specific abilities: the art of the experimenter, the observation of the field researcher, the personal contact, and tact of psychologists and sociologists engaged in conducting research, etc.

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