Basis of Academic Project Preparation 2018 – SOLVED QUESTION PAPER – DIBRUGARH UNIVERSITY – Semester 6 – B.Com

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Basis for Academic Project Preparation – Dibrugarh University

6th Semester – SOLVED PAPER – 2018(May)

1.(a) Fill up the blanks: 1×4=4

1) Research helps to find answers for research questions.

2)Interview Method can be used if the respondents are illiterate.

3) Questionnaire means a set of question written for a respondent

4) Presentation of data in the tabular form is one of the techniques of data processing.

(b) Write true and false: 1×4=4

1) Quantitative research is variable based. True

2) The main role of interview is to maintain privacy of respondent. False

3) Quantitative contains indefinite questions. False

4) A bibliography contains the sources of inspiration taken and consulted. True

2. Write short notes on (any four) 4X4=16

a) Hypothesis

For a researcher hypothesis is a formal question that he intends to resolve. Thus a hypothesis may be defined as a proposition or a set of propositions set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide some investigation or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.

1) Hypothesis should be clear and precise.

2) Hypothesis should be capable of being tested.

3) Hypothesis should state the relationship between variables.

4) Hypothesis should be limited is scope and must be specific.

5) Hypothesis should be stated as far as possible in most simple terms so that the same is easily understood by all concerned.

6) Hypothesis should be amenable to testing within a reasonable time.

7) Hypothesis must explain the facts that gave rise to the need for explanation.

b) Research Project

A research project requires to spend more time on the collection of materials and to develop their sense of purpose, audience and structure as their growing knowledge about the subject becomes more complex.

The most important thing for completing a research project is that, in the end, it’s all about how we can use outside sources personal insights about the topic. It should not be a regurgitation of facts and ideas from other sources. It should be the careful integration of those sources with the ideas students have developed as a result of their reading and thinking.

Researchers certainly do need to use skills of summary and synthesis as they share with their audience the various ideas they have learned about in their research, but merely summarizing and synthesizing material from others is not research. Instead, the research project should represent a higher level of abstract thinking, one that illustrates an ability to summarize, connect, find patterns, critique, and ultimately take a carefully considered position.

c) Check list

The purpose of this checklist is to assist with the research process. For any logistical requirements or deadlines pertaining to the conference, contact your mentor or the HTCC director, Professor Adams. Checklist:

Identify a topic of research.

Choose something both original and interesting to you. You may find that many interesting topics are too broad to research and present. Narrow it down. Try to be more specific about what aspect of your topic you want to research.

Choose a Mentor.

Approach a professor or other faculty mentor that you feel has a good understanding of your topic. He or she will be able to guide you as you conduct your research and point out ways in which to strengthen your research quality.

Study Existing Materials.

Most likely someone else has had the same questions you have about a specific topic. Try to find their materials and what answers they found. Even if your question has already been answered, you may find that the answers lead to more questions that you could research.

Choose a Method of Research.

Which subject you choose will determine the method of research you can perform. Regardless of topic, you will probably be able to review any existing literature on your topic that could help to give you more insight into the best way to conduct your research. Methods of research could include scientific experiments, sociological surveys, analysis of existing data, and even interviews.

d)Random Sampling

Same as 2017, 2(d)

e)Requisites of good statistical table

Suit the purpose

Scientifically prepared


Manageable size

Columns and rows should be numbered

Suitably approximated

Attractive getupq

Units should be mentioned

Averages & totals should be given

Logically arranged

Proper lettering

3.(a) What do you mean by ‘Research’ ? What are its characteristics? Explain the most common problems faced by researchers in India? 2+4+8=14

Research may be very broadly defined as systematic gathering of data and information and its analysis for advancement of knowledge in any subject. Research attempts to find answers to intellectual and practical questions through application of systematic methods. Some people consider research as a movement, a movement from the known to the unknown.

Characteristics of Research

1.      Empirical. Research is based on direct experience or observation by the researcher.

2.      Logical. Research is based on valid procedures and principles.

3.      Cyclical. Research is a cyclical process because it starts with a problem and ends with a problem.

4.      Analytical. Research utilizes proven analytical procedures in gathering the data, whether historical, descriptive, experimental and case study.

5.      Critical. Research exhibits careful and precise judgment.

6.      Methodical. Research is conducted in a methodical manner without bias using systematic method and procedures.

7.      Replicability. The research design and procedures are replicated or repeated to enable the researcher to arrive at valid and conclusive results

Problem faced by researchers in India

The lack of a scientific training in the methodological of research is a great impediment for research in our country. Most of the work, which goes in the name of research, is not methodologically sound. Research to many researchers and even to their guides, is mostly a scission and paste job without any in sight shed on the collated materials.

This is insufficient interaction between the university research department on one side and a business establishment, government department and research station on the other side. Effects should be made to develop satisfactory liaison among all concerned for better and realistic research.

Most of the business units in our country do not have the confidence that the material supplied by them to researchers will not be misused and as such they are often reluctant in supplying the needed information to researchers.

Research studies overlapping one another are undertaken quite often for want of adequate information. This results in duplication and fritters away resources. This problem can be solved by proper completion and revision, at regular intervals, of a list of subjects on revision, at regular intervals, of a list of subjects on which and the places where the research is going on .

There does not exist a code for researchers and inter-university and inter-departmental rivalries are also quite common.

Many researchers in our country also face the difficulty of adequate and timely secretariat assistance, including computer assistance. This causes unnecessary delays in the completion of research studies.


(b)What is ‘Research Design’? What is function? Discuss the essential features of a good research design? 2+6+6=14

Ans:A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collecting and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. In fact, the research design is the conceptual structure within which research in conducted ; it constitutes the blueprint for the collection, measurement and analysis of data.

Functions of Research Design

1. To develop an operational plan to undertake various steps of the research .

2. To ensure validity , reliability and authenticity in each step of the research .

1. The operating plan of the research is an overall, detailed answer to the steps that are taken in the research question. This plain helps the research and the readers get to know about the sampling process, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation.

2. Validity and reliability of the research design.

The other important function of the research is to maintain validity, reliability, accuracy and authenticity of the research by using effective research by using effective research tools.


Reliability is an important factor in any research study in order for a study to be valid it should first be reliable.


Validity means that the research design you have devised should measure what needs to be measure in your research. The construct should measure the variable that need to be measured.

A good research design should satisfy the following four conditions namely objectivity , reliability and generation of the findings.


It refers to the findings related to the method of data collection and scoring of the responses. The research design should permit the measuring instrument which are fairly objective in which every observer or judge scoring the performance must precisely give the same report.

2. Reliability:

Reliability refers to consistency through out a series of measurements. For eg: if a respondent gives out a response to a particular item, he is expected to give the same response to that item even if he is asked repeatedly. If he is changing his response to the same item, the consistency will be lost. So the researcher should frame the items in a questionnaire in such a way that it provide consistency or reliability.


Any measuring device or instrument is said to be valid when it measures what it is expected to measure.

4.Generalizability :

It means how best the data collected from the samples can be utilized for drawing certain generations’ application to a large group from which the sample is drawn. Thus a research design helps an investigation to generalized design helps the investigator to generalize his findings provided he has taken due care in defining appropriate statistical analysis etc. while preparing the research design. Thus a good research design is one which is methodologically prepared and should ensure that:

The measuring instrument can yield objective, reliable and valid data.

The population is clearly defined.

Most appropriate techniques of sample selection is used to form an appropriate sample.

Appropriate statical analysis has been carried out, and

The finding of the study is capable of generalisations.

4.(a) What do you mean by ‘Primary Data’ ? Explain the various method of collecting primary data? 2+12=14

Ans: The primary data are those data which are collected fresh and for the first time and thus happen to be original in character.

The various method of collecting primary data are as follow:

(1)Observation method :

The observation method is the most commonly specially in studies relating to behavioural science. Observation becomes a scientific tool and method of data collection for a researcher, when it serves a formulation research purpose, is systematically planned and recorded and is subjected to cheek and control on validity and reliability. Under this, the information is instance , in a study relating to consumer behaviour, the investigator instead of asking the brand of wrist watch used by responding may himself look at the watch.

(2)Interview Method

The interview method of collecting data involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. This method can be used through personal interview and if possible, through telephone interview.

(a)Personal interview:

Personal interview method requires a person known as the interviewer asking questions generally in a face-to-face contact to the other person or person.

Before the personal interview resumes have been fetched from job sites or consultants as per job requirements finalized by the organization .From the database of resumes, relevant candidates and the company HR. These candidates are selected based on initial telephonic interview after judging their qualification, experience and relevant job skills. Each of the candidates will be provided different timings for the personal interviews.

Following criteria are being evaluated by one or more interviewer.

Past experience of the candidate.

Technical or professional skills.

Balance between professional and personal lives.

Candidate is initiator or follower which will judge leadership skills.

Evaluation of attitude based on his/her approach under different circumstances.

Body language.

(b)Telephone Interview:

This method of collecting information consists in contracting respondents or telephone itself. It is not widely used method but plays important part in industrial surveys, particularly is developed regions

Merits are:

(1)It is more flexible in comparison to the mailing method .

(2)It is faster than other methods, i.e. a quick way of obtaining information .

(3)It is cheaper than a personal interview method.

(4)Recall is easy as callbacks are simple and economical.

(5)There is a higher rate of response than mail methods.


(b) What is ‘Interview Skill’? Why is it so important in conducting an interview? of Discuss in brief any four main area interview skill. 2+4+8=14

Ans: The Interview Skill of collecting data involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. This skill can be used through personal interviews and , if possible through telephone interviews.

It is so important in conducting an interview are as follow:-

More information and that too in greater depth can be obtained.

Interviewer by his own skill can overcome the resistance, if any , of the respondents; the interview skill can be made to yield an almost perfect sample of the great population.

There is greater flexibility under this skill as the opportunity to restructure questions is always there, specially in case of unstructured interviews.

Observation method can as well be applied to recording verbal answers to various question.

Personal information can as well be obtained easily under this method.

Sample can be controlled more effectively as there arises no difficulty of the missing returns; non- response generally remains very low.

The interviewer can usually control which person(s) will answer the question. This is not possible in a mailed questionnaire approach. If so desired, group discussions may also be held.

The interviewer may catch the information off-guard and thus may secure the most spontaneous reactions than would be the case if a mailed questionnaire is used.

The language of the interview can be adopted to the ability or educational level of the person interviewed and as such misinterpretations concerning questions can be avoided.

The interviewer can collect supplementary information about the respondent’s personal characteristics and environment which is often of great value in interpreting results.

5(a) What is ‘Data collection’? Explain the various tools used in data collection in any research survey. 2+12=14

Data collection is a process of collecting information from all the relevant sources to find answers to the research problem, test the hypothesis and evaluate the outcomes. Data collection methods can be divided into two categories: secondary methods of data collection and primary methods of data collection.

Data collection methods/Tools

Data collection can be done with the help of the following main tools:

1. Primary Data

2. Secondary Data

1. Primary Data – refers to the data that the investigator collects for the very first time. This type of data has not been collected either by this or any other investigator before. Primary data will provide the investigator with the most reliable first-hand information about the respondents. The investigator would have a clear idea about the terminologies uses, the statistical units employed, the research methodology and the size of the sample. Primary data may either be internal or external to the organization.

Discussed below are 4 broad classifications of the methods of collecting primary data.

Direct Personal Investigation

It consists of the collection of data by the investigator in a direct manner. The investigator (or researcher) is responsible for personally approaching a respondent and investigating the research and gather appropriate information. In other words, the researcher himself enters the field and solicits data that he requires to take the research forward. Thus, this method of data collection ensures first-hand information.

Indirect Oral Interview

It means collection of data by the investigator in an indirect manner. The investigator (or enumerator) approaches (either by telephonic interviews) an indirect respondent who possesses the appropriate information for the research. Thus, this method of data collection ensures first-hand information because the interviewers can cross-question for the right and appropriate information.

Mailed Questionnaire

Consists of mailing a set or series of questions related to the research. The respondent answers the questionnaire and forwards it back to the investigator after marking his/her responses. This method of collection of data has proven to be time-saving. It is also a very cost-efficient manner of collecting the required data. An investigator who has the access to the internet and an email account can undertake this method of data collection. The researcher can only investigate those respondents who also have access to the internet and an email account. This remains the only major restriction of this method.


Scheduling involves a face to face situation with the respondents. In this method of collecting data, the interviewer questions the respondent according to the questions mentioned in a form. This form is known as a schedule. This is different from a questionnaire. A questionnaire is personally filled by the respondents and the interviewer may or may not be physically present. Whereas, the schedule is filled by the enumerator or interviewer after asking the respondent his/her answer to a specific question. And in the scheduling method of collecting data, the interviewer or enumerator is physically present.

Secondary data means data that are already available i.e., they refer to the data which have already been collected and analysed by someone else. When the researcher utilises secondary data, then he has to look into various sources from where he can obtain them. In this case he is certainly not confronted with the problems that are usually associated with the collection of original data.

The various sources from where one can obtain secondary data are:

Various publications of the central states are local governments.

Various publications of foreign governments or of international bodies and their subsidiary organisation.

Technical and trade journals.

Books, magazines and newspapers.

Reports and publications of various associations connected with business and industry, banks, stock exchanges, etc.;

Reports prepared by research scholars, universities, economists, etc. in different fields.

Public records and statistics, historical documents, and other sources of published information.

The essential characteristics of secondary data are:

Reliability of data:

The reliability can be tested by finding out such things about the said data:

Who collected the data?

What were the sources of data?

Were they collected by using proper methods

At what time were they collected?

Was there any bias of the compiler?

What level of accuracy was desired?

Was it achieved?

Suitability of data: The data that are suitable for one enquiry. Hence, if the available data are found to be unsuitable, they should not be used by the researcher.

Adequacy of data: If the level of accuracy achieved in data is found inadequate for the purpose of the present enquiry, they will be considered as inadequate and should not be used by the researcher.


(b) What is ‘Questionnaire’? Explain the various steps of designing a good questionnaire . 2+12=14

Ans: Same as 2017 question no. 5(a)

6(a) What is ‘Data processing’? Discuss the various steps involved in processing of data.


Ans: The plan of data analysis is decided in advance before collecting the data . Data preparation process is guided by that plan of data analysis. Important steps of data preparation process are as follow:

Questionnaire checking





Graphical representation

Data cleaning

Data adjusting

1)Questionnaire checking

When the data is collected through questionnaires, the first steps of data preparation process is to check the questionnaires if they are acceptable or not. This involves the examination of all questionnaires for their completeness and interviewing quality.


Editing of data is a process of examining the collected raw data (specially in surveys) to detect errors and omissions and to correct these when possible. As a matter of fact, editing involves a careful scrutiny of the completed questionnaires and/or schedules. Editing is done to assure that the data are accurate, consistent with other facts gathered, uniformly entered, as completed as possible and have been well arranged to facilitate coding and tabulation.

3) Coding

Coding refers to the process of assigning numerals or other symbols to answers so that responses can be put into a limited number of categories or classes. Such classes should be appropriate to the research problem under consideration.

Coding is necessary for efficient analysis and through it the several replies may be reduced to a small number of class which contain the certain information required for analysis. Coding decision should usually be taken at the designing stage of the questionnaires.


Most research studies result in a large volume of raw data which must be reduced into homogeneous groups if we are to get meaningful relationships. This fact necessitates classification of data which happens to be the process of arranging data in groups of classes on the basis of common characteristics. Data having a common characteristic are placed in one class and in the way the entire data get divided into the nature of groups or classes.


When a mass of data has been assembled, it becomes necessary for the researcher to arrange the same in some kind of concise and logical order. This procedure is referred to as tabulation. Thus, tabulation is the process of summarising raw data and displaying the same in compact from for further analysis.

Tabulation can be done by hand or by mechanical or electronic devices. The choice depends on the size and types of study, cost considerations, time pressures and the availability of tabulation machines or computers. In relatively large inquiries, we may use mechanical or computer tabulation if other factors are favourable and necessary facilities are available.

6)Graphical Representation

Graphs help to understand the data easily. All statistical packages, All statistical packages, MS excel, and offer a wide range of graphs. In case of qualitative data, most common graphs are bar charts and pie charts.

7)Data Cleaning

This includes checking the data for consistency and treatment for missing value. Preliminary consistency checks are made in editing. Here we check the consistency in an extensive manner.

Consistency checks look for the data which are not consistent or outlines. Such data may either be discarded or replaced by the mean value. However, the researcher should be careful while doing this. Extreme value or outlines are not always erroneous.

8)Data adjustment

Data adjusting is not always necessary but it may improve the quality of analysis sometimes. This consists of the following method.


Variable Re-specification

Scale Transformations


(b)What is a ‘Report’? What are the characteristics of a good report? Briefly describe the structure of a report. 2+4+8=14

Ans: Research report is considered a major component of the research study for the research study for the research task remains incomplete till the report has been presented and for written. As a matter of fact even most brilliant hypotheses are highly well designed and conducted research study, and the most striking generalisation and are effectively communicated to others. The purpose of research is not well served unless the finding are known to others. Research result must invariably enter the general store of knowledge.

Characteristics of a good Research Report:

Clarity of thought

Conceptual clarity

Explicit Statement of Research problem

Simple and appropriate language

Detailed and orderly presentation

Quotation and footnotes



Structure of a good Research Report are as follow:

1)Size and physical design:-

The manuscript should be written on unruled paper 8 1/2”*11” in size. If it is to be written by hand, then black or blue-black ink should be used. A margin of at least one and one-half includes should be allowed at the left hand and of at least half an inch at the right hand of the paper.


Various steps in writing the report should be strictly adhered (All such steps have already been explained earlier in this chapter).


Keeping in the objectives and nature of the problem, the layout of the reports should be thought of and decided and according adopted.

4)Treatments of quotations:-

Quotations should be placed in quotation marks and double spaced, forming an immediate part of the text. But if a quotation is of a considerable length then it should be single-spaced and indented at least half an inch to the right of the normal text margin.

5)The footnotes:-

Regarding footnotes one should keep in view the followings:

a)The footnotes serve two purpose viz., the identification of materials used in quotations in the report and the notice of materials not immediately necessary to the body of the research text but still of supplemental value.

b)Footnotes should be numbered consecutively, usually beginning with 1 in each chapter separately. The number should be put slightly above the line, say at the end of a quotation.

6)Documentation style:-

Regarding documentation, the first footnote reference to any given work should be complete in its documentation, giving all the essential facts about the editing used. Such documentary footnotes follow a general sequence.



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