Free Foundations of Conducting Research Essay Sample

Dear Police Captains,

In a continuing effort to create effective deterrents to crime, the development of a new citywide crime prevention strategy is essential to the intellectual growth of the organization.  In order to be successful the application of a theoretical premise must be taken into account.  Exceptional reasoning skills will be the difference between success and failure.  Thereby, the use of the four identified theories, based on scientific reasoning will provide the knowledge base needed in creating a foundation for continued growth of all strategic efforts.

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The four identified theories are axiomatic approach, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, and an hypothesis, which will lay a path in creating the ability to think beyond a situation.  To do so is to receive an invitation into the scientific method of research to explore what works, what does not work, and why.  Being armed with such concrete measures will leave little room for error.  And the use of these reasoning skills will empower ideas to transition into techniques for investigative purposes. 

The benefits reaped from using theoretical reasoning skills include increased knowledge which is necessary to assess that while something may be working, it can always be improved upon to work even better.  This train of thought would be the use of axiomatic reasoning. The axiomatic approach is the thought process that leads to a proposed theory in correlation of using deductive reasoning “deductive reasoning is an axiomatic approach to thinking about things” (Phatak, 2011).

Whereby inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning form a hypothesis or hypothetical question. When an experiment is conducted that upholds the hypothesis, the hypothesis then becomes the theory.  If the hypothesis proves wrong it may be rejected in leading  to a discovery of a new field to explore, or it may be modified (Edmund, 2011).

Thereby, the scientific method allows for selective inquiry into seeking and finding answers in order to prove or disprove a theory.  One can find reason in an explanation  by proposition of an hypothesis. The hypothesis is conceived upon using either deductive reasoning by logical assessment of a situation minus actual facts. Deductive reasoning moves from general to specific and is also known as a top down approach.  Or, by using inductive reasoning by gathering the facts and laying them out by logical design.  Inductive reasoning moves from specifics to broader generalizations and theories, and is also known as the “bottom up" approach (Trochim, 2008). 

When the hypothesis has been established, this scientific inquiry will be tested to determine its relative nature.  For example, in thinking about a strategy to change or reduce the opportunity of an environmental crime to be committed, to think strategically would be to focus more on the setting of a crime versus the reasoning of the person who may commit such a crime.  Let’s say that a particular area was known for high rape incidents.  The hypothetical question could be: Better street lighting including the lighting of alleys will reduce or stop local area rapes?  A study that could be conducted in proving the hypothesis would be to take half of the local area and improve the quality of the street lights and install lighting in the alleys. 

This is where independent variables, dependent variables, controlled variables, and extraneous variables comes into play.  By conducting a controlled study wherein the independent variable is manipulated will show if manipulation of the independent variable effects a change in the dependent variable. In this study the independent variable is the area that is controlled by the improvement of lighting, and the dependent variable will be the area that was not improved.  A timetable is set, such as monthly for a period of six months, in which to monitor to evaluate if the region of the area not improved shows a change in the number of rape incidents as compared to the area wherein the lighting was improved. The constant or controlled variable in this instance is the lighting itself. 

The goal is to see if the independent variable of improving the lighting in half of the area has any correlation with the dependent variable, being the area wherein the lighting was not improved. If a correlation exists, the number of rapes has not influenced the area of improved lighting, but the area of improved lighting may have influenced the number of rapes in the area not improved.  The scientific formula would be expressed as y =  f(x). This shows a function or map that indicates there is a relationship between x and y, with y being the dependent variable and x being the independent variable.   Also,  outside of the equation there are extraneous variables for this study such as the age of the rape victims.  Although this has no direct implication to do with lighting this information would be helpful in ascertaining a relationship between the rapes and victims ages which could lead to further studies altogether.

In clarification, theories are the foundations upon which strategies are based.  A theory sets the stage of inquiry in defining an assumption by proposing an explanation and predicting the outcome of a study as true or false in proving the theory to be correct.  Elaboration on each variable will help to increase understanding of its concept and the role each plays in the development of a strategy.  Here is how a theory works in answer to a hypothetical question or educated guess.

Hypothetical Question

A hypothetical question is based on an assumption in attempting an explanation to something that is not known.  Once the hypothetical question has been proposed, an argument has been created which offers many possibilities, yet, a study is in order to either prove or disprove the assumptions on the basis of finding fact.

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Independent variables indicate what is to be changed:

Independent Variable

The independent variable can be applied in either of two ways.  As a mathematical premise, the independent variable is the variable that determines the other variables values. Statistically, the independent variable is manipulated in a scientific study to see if any changes will occur to the dependent variable. The independent variable stands on its own, and because of this it is more valid than the other variables.  It cannot be changed by other variables. For example, take your height as an independent variable.  What size of clothes you wear, who your friends are,  or your food preferences will not change how short or tall you are. 

Dependent variables indicate what should be studied:

Dependent Variable

A dependent variable is dependent on various factors. These factors can change the dependent variable. An example would be the preparation of a recipe. The finished dish in accordance with the recipe is dependent on the ingredients the recipe calls for.  Should these ingredients be missing or substituted, it will result in changing the recipe and how the dish tastes.  The recipe in this example is the dependent variable, and the ingredients are factors that can change the dependent variable.

Controlled variables indicate what should remain constant:

Controlled Variable

Controlled variables are constant and do not change in a study.  This factor has a strong influence on the values and its constant nature helps to test the impact of an independent variable, and it affects the outcome of the study.  An example would be to do an experiment on two kinds of mascara.  The controlled variables in this study would be the eye and eyelashes.

Extraneous variables indicate variables outside the scope of the study that may affect an impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable:

Extraneous Variables

Have three classifications.  These are the subject variables which measures characteristics of individuals who are being studied; experimental variables which measures characteristics of individuals conducting the study that may influence the actions of individuals being studied; and situational variables which measure the environment factors that can impact the study negatively.

An effective crime prevention strategy is one that takes a proactive Vs. reactive approach.  It enables police to focus their efforts on areas of need “Quite clearly if we can target our resources and people into the areas that need it  that has that flow-on effect of stopping those crimes in the first place” (Dixon, 2012). 

The establishment of a theory to develop a strategy will provide the most effective results by the preponderance of the evidence as it speaks for itself.  The police force is committed to winning the war against crime. And the development of a new citywide crime prevention strategy will enhance these efforts.  Continued creation of theories and testing will provide the knowledge necessary to establish the strategies that will make a difference for communities in reducing crime and ultimately making crime a thing of the past.

In closing, proposals on a premise for effective change in the development of new strategies against crime are successful endeavors with the use of theoretical reasoning skills.


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