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Steps to do your secondary dissertation research

Secondary research is the easiest when it comes to types of research. It involves data that has been previously collected by another person. You can find the data in government sources, past researchers' work, and online and offline platforms.

Advantages of secondary research

  • It is cheap
  • It saves you time
  • Data is easily accessible
  • There is a large amount of data
  • You have access to professionally collected information


  • It is inappropriate for your purposes of research
  • It could have a different format than the one you want
  • The data may fail to answer your own set of research questions
  • You have no control over the data quality
  • The past researches may not provide enough information

Types of secondary data

The most common types are quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research is more common than qualitative. It gets used when you want the previous data to be informative on your current research.

Steps of secondary research

  1. Develop your research questions

Specify the area of research where your research will fall. Read through existing papers to try and find gaps in the written work that you can fill. Afterward, develop your research question.

  1. Look for a secondary data set.

Do this by looking through the literature on your subject. You will find other researchers, agencies, research centers, and organizations that have done the same topic. By getting the right data set, contact, and ask for permission from authors to use their data.

  1. Evaluate the data set

You need to identify the purpose of the original text. You should pay attention to the differences in research purposes between the original post and your own. Ask yourself who has done the collection of the data, their institutions of affiliation, their professionalism, etc. Lastly, know what type of data was collected together with the measures applied and whether or not they were reliable. You should also note when the data was collected since you can mark out outdated data. Be sure to understand the methodology used to package the data. It involves knowing the samples used and how they got obtained. You also need to evaluate both the validity and reliability of the measures employed in the collection of data.

  1. Prepare and analyze secondary data.

During this process, you will have to get familiar with the original research project. You will then have to outline all the available variables to get used in the study. After this, address the missing data by identifying them and making labels then record the variables.

You may then need to compute your final scores. The last step consists of making analyses of the data. You will have to choose the best and suitable technique for your data set. There is a difference when it comes to preparing and analyzing qualitative data. You will need a questionnaire that sheds light on the reasons for the general public.

In the final step, you will analyze the data. You will do this by applying statistical analyses. In this very last point, you will need to have a recording of the interviews. Once you have the data, you can transcribe them to get to the nitty-gritty of the conversations for a better understanding. There and then, you will do a thematic analysis of the topic to finalize your research and answer the research questions.