AWEJ Volume.4 Number.2, 2013                                                       Pp.4-13
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Research Paradigms: The Novice Researcher’s Nightmare

Marwa Elshafie
Training and Development Section
Ministry of Interior, Qatar

 

Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present an overview of three major research paradigms (positivist, interpretivist and critical) and the philosophy underpinning them. It also present a simple explanation to some of the most used terms in educational research: epistemology, ontology, methodology, and methods.  Understanding research paradigms is extremely crucial to any novice researchers who embark on the journey of researching for the first time and to any language teachers who are interested in reading research articles.
Keywords: critical paradigm, epistemology, interpretive paradigm, methodology, ontology, positivist paradigm

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Marwa Elshafie is currently doing her doctorate degree in education at Exeter University in the
UK. She has taught ESL , ESP and IELTS preparation in Azerbaijan, India, Oman, and United
Arab Emirates . Her research interests include L2 reading, assessment and motivation.