Ompare and contrast the ways in which Takei and Coates approach observation in their research.

THE QUESTION

Compare and contrast the ways in which Takei and Coates approach observation in their research.


You must use the following sources of material for this essay


Coates (Chapter 2) and Takei (Chapter 3) in Reader A.


· Answer the exact question  every part of it. For example, if you have to compare (say where there are similarities) and contrast (say where there are differences) then do both
· Include examples in your essay for each point you make. For example, if you are talking about Takei using observations, then use the example of him setting up video cameras  explain each point fully.
· Avoid asking questions in an essay. For example, do not write  why did Takei choose the observational method? or  why did Takei (2001) use interviews as well as observations? Write instead  It is interesting to explore Takei s (2001) reasons for choosing the observational method or  Takei (2001) used interviews as well as observations because& 
· Provide a short introduction (maximum 200 words?) that outlines what each paragraph will be about so that the introduction gives the plan for the essay
· Use a paragraph for each point you want to make or for each study you will use, for example. Make sure the plan is clear.
· Give a clear conclusion as separate paragraph, drawing together all or some of your main points.
· Make sure you give full referencing  for each name mentioned.
· Have confidence and send the essay when you have had enough of it  I don t think it is possible to get it  right  there is really no such thing. At some stage stop worrying and send it.

The question
Compare and contrast the ways in which Takei and Coates approach observation in their research
· The introduction should show how you will tackle this title  200 words is worth aiming at give a paragraph showing what each of the paragraphs in the essay will cover
· The second paragraph is useful for defining the terms. In this case briefly mention Takei s (2001) research and Coates s (2002) research (just briefly what they are about such as deaf infants learning to sign and how children develop, considering their drawings). Explain what  compare is (look at similarities) and  contrast (look at differences). Consider what  approach means with regard to observation  this is not just about using observations but how they set up the observation and the opportunity (e.g. using a video camera). Define  observation as a research method (use Punch to do that). And consider what  research means (doing a study to gather information about a topic for a specific purpose& ?).
· I would probably then take a paragraph to explain how Takei used observation in the study and a paragraph to explain how Coates used observation in her study.
· And I would continue by looking at similarities and differences between the two researchers in how they approached using observation in their research.
· You could consider why they chose observation as a research method (there could be similarities or differences in their reasons).
· You could consider how they did the observations (and look at similarities and differences  e.g the age groups?)
· You could consider what they themselves said about using observation and compare or contrast what they felt about the method
· You could ask questions such as whether the two researchers used sufficiently different ways of doing observations that their methods were in fact quite different (or look at how they were similar)
· Is  observation as a method just one method? It might be interesting to ask such a question.
· Remember I am not writing the essay as I come up with these examples  these are just ideas for you to consider and you can choose what to include. My ideas may not be suitable.
· Include a clear conclusion
· And give full references at the end along with the word count

§ Always give an introduction  which should be a list of what you will include in the essay, in order, but written as a paragraph. For example:  This essay starts by looking at what observation is as a research method. Then Takei s (2001) way of using observation is explained, followed by Coates s (2002) use of observation. Then there the two ways of using observation are compared& 
§ The essay must then follow the plan that you will have outlined in the introduction  this helps the reader follow the flow of the essay
§ A second paragraph can usefully define terms. For example, if you are talking about the observational method, then say clearly what that is. Define all the terms in the title so that you show clearly how you are interpreting the title.
§ Aim for a few quotes in an essay, but not too many. And don t use them without leading into them and then explaining what has been said, using your own words. For example:  Takei s (2001) study shows how hard it is to analysed observational data as there is so much to be transcribed. He says  I watched the video data over and over again (p42) and this shows how he had to keep stopping the tape to note what was happening. Qualitative data are gathered using observations and there is a great deal of depth, which is a strength, however, analysis is time consuming and pains taking too, which can be a weakness.
§ Always give a conclusion, which summarises your main points (perhaps in this example summarise some comparison and contrasting points).
§ Finally give the word count exactly
Note that both description and evaluation are to be aimed at in most essays. I have given an example when talking about Takei. Description is saying that the tape had to be stopped often and evaluation is saying that qualitative data give depth, which is good, but are time consuming, which is not so good.

The question asks you to consider the similarities and differences between the approaches taken in two different research projects; you are asked to compare and contrast the observational methods used by Takei and Coates. Takei carried out quantitative studies, while the project undertaken by Coates used qualitative approaches. To answer the question effectively, you will need to do more than simply describe the ways in which these two projects differed from and were similar to each other; you will need to consider how the differences and similarities in the technique used were related to the nature of the research project itself. Because quantitative and qualitative research projects have different kinds of aims and ask different kinds of questions, they must employ distinctive methods. Even where they share the same methods  -as they do in the case of observational techniques and interviews  -they use those methods in markedly different ways.
In Chapters 2 and 9 of the Set Book, Punch discusses the different ways in which both observational and interview methods can be employed in a research project, and how this relates to the quantitative or qualitative structure of the research. It might be useful to look over these materials and to make notes about how observation or interviews are used in different kinds of research. Once you have identified the ways in which observation is employed in different types of research, you will be able to read the chapters in Reader A by Coates (Chapter 2) and Takei (Chapter 3) (if you have chosen to attempt Option 1) You should take notes about how the techniques used by each researcher, or group of researchers, (observation in Coates and Takei.) were characteristic of quantitative (the chapters by Takei) or qualitative (the chapters by Coates) research.

Suggested structure for Options 1 and 2
In your introduction you could briefly introduce the relevant research tool
(observation in Option 1 and interviews in Option 2) in order to situate the
topic for your reader. However, it is important that you don t dwell too long
on this background material and that anything you include is effectively
linked to your subsequent discussion. You could then introduce the papers by
Coates and Takei (Option 1) or Aldgate a