Information Gathering Skills

Table of Content

In conducting a research, the first step one has to go through is by identifying the problem or topic and this can be carried out through observation, investigations and undertaking surveys to ascertain or find out the cause of a situation or phenomenon of interest. Afterwards, a specific or particular topic is singled out of a broader range and tackled or elaborated. And in this regard, the identified problem in my research is the “Prevalence of Homosexuality in Africa” particularly Ghana and also why there has been so much sensationalism over it.

Homosexuality comes from the word “Homo” which means Equal and can be defined as having a preference for sexual relation with and feeling attracted to persons of the same sex. Investigations are undertaken to find out the real causes of the situation and the impact it has had on the individuals involved and the country as a whole. Consequently, literature review on existing research is conducted on the said topic, which in my case is homosexuality. It is essential in my research in order to acquaint myself with the available body of knowledge in the interest area.

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Also it forms an integral part of the entire research process and makes valuable contributions to the subsequent steps. To effectively research on my write-up, it becomes imperative for me to have in mind broad areas I wish to investigate in order to set parameters for my research. Reviewing is primarily done to help build up on what has already been researched. It enables one to avoid replicating already researched areas of a topic and in the same way it provides substantive background information about the research to be conducted.

In as much as it is undertaken to avoid repetition or summarize a researchers work, critiquing the loop holes in the study conducted is allowed and are usually done in a very chronological or orderly manner. Literatures such as articles, magazines, journals, and newspapers are reviewed. Focusing on my research, facts pertaining to it are done by reading on articles, watching documentaries by gay activist, anti-gay activist, experts and journalist who have comprehensive details and interest on the subject.

After reviewing on existing theories, I go further in developing hypotheses on the reviewed literature. Hypothesis is a hunch, assumption or an idea about a phenomenon, relationships or situations of which you don’t know the truth or reality. According to Kerlinger, hypothesis is a conjectural statement expressing a relationship among and between variables and it can be in the form of a question or idea. It can also be a tentative idea or question that is awaiting evidence to support or refute it. Hypothesis is stated in such a way that it can be tested or examined through research.

Relating it to my research on homosexuality, in the 19th century, medics attributed homosexuality to moral decadence and mental illness. Also in the 20th century, it is attributed to hormonal imbalance and some associated biological factors. I can therefore assume that if homosexuality is a disease then it behooves on scientists and doctors to find a cure for it and since it hasn’t been conclusively proven to be a biological or genetic defect, then it stands to reason that it’s a personal choice and a preferred sexual orientation.

In this analysis, I reckon it to be a null hypothesis in that there is the assertion that the variables being considered are not related and the result are the product of a random chance event. For a person to find out whether a hypothesis is true or not, researches are carried out to see if it can be backed up with concrete evidence. For this reason, I move on to the next step which is the methodology or research design to use, and in achieving this I must determine whether the research seeks out to prove or disprove a theory be it qualitative, quantitative, basic, inductive, deductive or applied.

The methodology is generally a guideline for solving problems with specific components such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools. Under my research, the methodology or research design is a hybrid of qualitative and quantitative research. This is in view of the fact that I gave a verbal and eye witness account of happenings as well as explanations or behavior and mannerism which is associated with homosexuality.

It is also quantitative because my observations and that of others will be converted into data, numbers, and figures analyzed with statistical tools to give a broader overview on the number of people engaged in homosexuality. In describing the next step which is the collection and gathering of data, my first objective is conducting interviews on a personal or one on one level by interacting with people concerned with the subject (Homosexuality). The next step is putting calls through to experts to inquire about their take on the research being done and find out their objective and comprehensive take on the topic.

Likewise, I could send emails, correspondents and questionnaires (be it structured in the form of descriptive or unstructured in the form of exploratory) are sent out to people in different locations to verify or deny the survey being conducted. Experiments are also undertaken and observations made. After collection of data, there is the commencement of analysis and presentation of data. In this discipline, statistical tools are used in analyzing data to produce a result and eventually interpret the relationship between the figures.

According to a survey conducted to ascertain the number of people engaged in homosexuality, precisely in Accra and Kumasi, 5% of Men are gays and 2% are Women. Also 1. 5% is Women and 0. 5% is Men respectively. This shows that homosexuality is quite prevalent in Accra as compared to Kumasi as a result of the condensed population in Accra and peoples exposure to “Western Values”. Finally, there is the presentation of findings or results in appropriate forms. Layouts are followed in the presentation of reports. Also, communication and channeling of results are done in the form of essays, thesis, or presentations.

It could also be published in journals, newspapers, magazines or presented at workshops or seminars, but my preferred presentation is by publishing it in newspapers, articles and magazines for a much wider readership for mass consumption. In conclusion, the steps or procedures intended to be systematically followed has been thoroughly adhered to by prioritizing the evidences, reviewing literature works, developing hypotheses, collection and gathering of data, research designing and the presentation of findings in appropriate form. These steps consolidate the research on homosexuality to make it more detailed and executed.

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