Geographical Research: Research Methods and Steps

Geographical research – Geography is one of the important fields of science that humans are involved in. Geography is very important because it studies aspects related to the earth, such as layers of soil, layers of rock, minerals, and so on. The existence of this knowledge is certainly very important because humans live on Earth. With this, humans need to know the state of the Earth.

In addition to studying the Earth, geography studies climate, weather, and everything related to the heavens and outer space. So, there are many aspects of geography, and geography is divided into many branches of geography.

All aspects of the earth will not be easily obtained by everyone. Some people who have knowledge of geography will conduct geographic research to discover all aspects that exist on Earth and even outer space. Therefore, geographic research is very important to know more about the Earth we live in today.

For this reason, this article was created to explain to Sinaumed’s about geographic research including the steps that must be taken when conducting geographic research. In order to find out more about how geographic research goes according to the steps, let’s look at the following review.

Geography Research

In geography also conducted research. These studies are called “geographical research”. Geographic research is a study conducted in the field of geography. Geography Research is a logical and scientific study. Therefore, geographic research is carried out systematically. Geographic research is carried out to achieve goals in the form of results or solutions to geographic problems.

Therefore, it goes without saying that there are problems that are mainly faced in the field of geography before starting geographic research. On this occasion, we will learn about the steps of the geographic research method. Of course, this can be used as a guideline for those who want to do research in geography.

Unlike other research, the research phase in geography focuses on natural phenomena. In other words, the formulation of the problem in the study of geography contains geographical phenomena. In general, this geographical research has 3 characteristics, namely the making and use of maps, field observations, and identification of models from the results of research analysis.

Phenomenon is an observed fact, event, or state of nature. In general, there are two main questions about a phenomenon, namely what or why it occurs and where it occurs.

So, the phenomena studied in geography are geosphere phenomena. The phenomenon of the geosphere consists of humans, nature, and their interrelationships on the earth’s surface. The geosphere is the hydrosphere (water layer), lithosphere (rock layer), atmosphere (air layer), biosphere (life layer including plants and animals), and the human environment (population dynamics).

Geographical Research Methods

Geographical research has many types depending on the method, form, and purpose. Based on the objectives, the methods used to obtain research data are exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory research methods. The following is an explanation of the method.

Explorative Research

Exploratory research is research by collecting data through interviews, observation, and literature review. The aim of this research is to develop a basis for topics that are new or unknown to people. This study examines the relationship between social and physical symptoms to obtain a quality hypothesis.

Descriptive Research

Descriptive research is further research according to exploratory research. The purpose of this study is to reveal cases of the geosphere that are in accordance with the facts. The results of descriptive research are in the form of schematic descriptions or systematic flow in solving research cases.

Explanative Research

The last is explanatory research, namely research that aims to reveal the problems of the geosphere that occur on Earth.

Geographical Research Implementation Methods

After identifying the right type of method, the next step in geographic research is broken down based on the method taken. Based on the method used, geographic research is divided into 3, namely case studies, surveys and empirical studies.

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Case studies were conducted through field work and interviews. Investigations are carried out to test the truth of hypotheses or temporary conclusions. The survey results depend on the sample or samples and information from the respondent. While experiments were conducted to find out what effect a variable has on other variables. This experiment is carried out in the field or in the laboratory.

Geography Research Steps

It should be, wherever there is research, carried out with a scientific and systematic approach. Even not only in geography, but also in science or the like, research needs to be guided in scientific and systematic steps. For those of you who want to do geographic research, there are several steps that must be taken to get the results you want. Geography research steps are as follows.

1. Defining the Problem

In conducting a research, the first step that must be done is to choose a case. Problems occur when there is a gap or imbalance between the actual requirements and the actual conditions. Problems can also occur due to gaps between theory and practice, or between plans and implementation.

In a geographical study, there are 4 origins of cases, it could be based on the results of other people’s research, literature, field conditions, or availability of data, maps and graphs. Geographical problems must contain at least three main issues, namely what is the problem, where did the case occur, and why did the case occur.

For example, the first point is about erosion incidents. Then in the second point, where the case occurred, for example, the location is Kali Wangan, Kedungupit, Sragen Kota District. On the third point, why did the problem occur, for example erosion was caused due to flash floods near the location area.

2. Make a problem statement

The second step in geographic research is to formulate the problem. The formulation of this problem is not aligned with the actual problem. The formulation of the problem is in the form of more specific questions that will be sought for answers and the truth through data collection and research that will be carried out. However, the problem and the formulation of the problem have a close interaction, because the problem is the basis for making the problem statement.

As explained in the initial paragraph, the formulation of the problem in geographic research contains facts about the scope of the geosphere. An example of a problem formulation in geographic research is “Why do urban residents tend to experience cultural changes?” or “What factors have the most influence on the quality of Ciliwung river water?”. The answers to these questions will be sought through research.

3. Determining the Research Title

The third step that must be done is to choose a research title. The title of geographic research must describe the object and subject to be studied, the location, purpose and target of the researcher. A research title must be crucial to research, the data is available, and the researcher’s abilities must be affordable.

4. Research Objectives

After determining the problem, formulation, problem, and research title, the next step is to determine the research objectives. The purpose of this research must be consistent with the problem you create. There are two types of research objectives, namely specific objectives and general objectives. Specific objectives are formulated in several questions in the formulation of the problem, while general objectives briefly explain what you want to achieve in the research.

5. Determining Research Variables

The next step is to determine the research variables. Variables are factors or items that researchers decide to investigate and draw conclusions. There are three types of variables, including independent variables, dependent variables, and moderate variables.

Independent variables are variables that affect or trigger the next variable. The dependent variable, on the other hand, is the variable that is affected by or is the result of the independent variable. Then, moderate variables are variables that strengthen or weaken the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.

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In order to better understand what was conveyed above, two examples will be given below.

The first example is a physical geographical study of the distribution of landslide-prone areas, as follows.

Landslides can occur due to rainfall, vegetation cover, slope, soil type, and morphology. All of these conditions will differ in each region.

There are areas whose morphology is in the form of hills, steep slopes, and high rainfall. However, there are also areas that have conditions that are reversed from the previous area. Well, it is these conditions that can cause the area to be prone to landslides or not.

From this first study, it can be concluded that the dependent variable is a landslide event, because the landslide event was an impact or determined by other variables. While the independent variables are rainfall, vegetation cover, soil slope, soil type, and morphology.

Well, if the second example, will be taken from examples according to social-based geographic research, for example regarding the effects of the development of tourist areas on the community’s economy, as follows.

The easiest research to do generally discusses the development of tourist areas on the community’s economy.

From this research, you will find several supporting factors. The first factor is transportation access to the location, such as road network and conditions. The second factor relates to the distance from the tourism location, strategic location or not. The last or third factor is the distribution of tourism spots.

In this second study, the dependent variable is people’s income in the tourism sector. Why? Because this variable is influenced or caused by the three factors mentioned above. These three factors became independent variables in the second study, because they influenced or became the cause of other variables.

6. Determine the theoretical basis

Before submitting research, the next steps in geographic research that you must pay attention to are choosing a theoretical basis. The goal is of course to be able to strengthen your research using theories, concepts and definitions systematically to carry out research. All scientific research must have a theoretical basis, it is not permissible to just make it. This theory has 3 functions, namely explaining, predicting, and controlling.

7. Develop a Research Framework

The next step is to develop a research framework. The framework begins with the formulation of the problem and then explains the variables in the theoretical framework. The researcher will then analyze and compare the relationship between the two variables in his research, so that a frame of mind can be provided. Based on this research framework, the researcher will propose a hypothesis.

8. Research Hypothesis

After doing the seven steps above, the next step is a hypothesis. The hypothesis is a temporary statement or answer to the problem that has been formulated. However, this hypothesis may change after data collection.

9. Determine the population and research sample

After preparing the hypothesis, we then enter into the research process, namely determining the population and also the sample to be studied. why do you need a sample? This is necessary to represent the population. The use of this sample will make the research simpler.

10. Sampling Techniques

Sampling certainly cannot be done haphazardly. There needs to be a certain technique in taking research samples.

11. Data Collection Techniques

You also have to determine the data processing techniques that will be used in the research. There are a lot of data processing techniques. This is done so that research is more accurate.

12. Data Processing

After the samples and data are obtained, the next process is data processing. Research data processing can use a particular software or use other supporting tools.