Sunday, April 12, 2020

How to Write the Research Gap

The research gap is the area of the study which has insufficient information. This is the problem that has not been answered properly in previous studies. The research gap is very important in a study because it is in the gap where a researcher is compelled to write.   The gap in literature will set your study in the right direction. Oftentimes, it is even difficult to find the gap in research unless you have read a large number of studies, therefore, having the gap shows that you have a deeper understanding of your research.

Why is the research gap important?

1.     It sets the starting point of your research because your current study aims to fill in the gap in the literature.
2.     This makes your study original and it prevents you from duplication studies.
3.     This makes your study more credible and substantial because having read a large number of studies, you have gained a deeper understanding of your research.
4.     This gives your paper a higher opportunity for publication.

How do we find the gap in research?

In writing a thesis or dissertation, it is often difficult to look for the gap. Sometimes, you don’t even know what you are looking for. The key is to read a large number of studies related to your research and look more closely at the objectives, results, and limitations or recommendations. You may place them on a table and evaluate and cross-reference on what has been done and what we're not done and see how you can start your research. Another approach is to look for systematic reviews or meta-analysis studies because these papers delve deep into the literature and examine the trends and changes of a specific study.

What are several ways to write the research gap?

Below are some examples of how to write the research gap:

1.    Understudied research

A recent meta-analysis of public perceptions of nuclear energy found that most studies were conducted in North America and Europe, while limited studies were conducted in Southeast Asian nations (Ho et al., 2018). As such, this study seeks to address the research gap by exploring public perceptions in SEA countries, particularly, Singapore. Additionally, this study contributes to the literature by exploring an under-studied cultural context, which differs from North America, Europe, and East Asia in terms of culture, language, and religion (Vinayak et al., 2014).

An excerpt from Ho, S., Looi, J., Chuah, A., Leong, A., Pang, N. (2018) “I can live with nuclear energy if…”: Exploring public perceptions of nuclear energy in Singapore

2.    Combination of two-studies

While Psychometric Model perceives control overexposure to risk, it may need a dimension reflecting the probability of harm to provide a better fit with risk takings (Slovic, 1982). Moreover, the Simplified Conjoint Expected Risk (CER) Model may not be robust to the source of model-variable information. This study aims to address the gap of the previous theories and provide a new version of risk perception in the modern era…..

3.    Evaluating opposing or contradicting studies

Several researchers (San Miguel, 2009; Choney 2010; & Enriquez, 2010) stated that students’ use of social media sites revealed negative effect on the use of social media sites on students’ academic performance. The American Educational Research Association conducted research and declared at its annual conference in San Diego California (2009), that social media users study less and generate lower grades (Abaleta et al, 2014). However, studies of Harrath and Alobaidy (2016) revealed that there ispositive impact of this technology at their academic level through the useful and optimal use of social networking sites. Besides, social networks have helped students to join educational networks, interact with colleagues and access e-learning resources (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010 & Zabarath, 2017). With the contradicting results, this study seeks to address the gap in the impact of the use of social media sites on academic performance.

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