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Essay Example: Investigation Design

4 pages
830 words
University of Richmond
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After the formulation of a hypothesis, a researcher must design the procedure to test the theories. A well-designed investigation entails procedures that consider all the factors that can affect the outcome of the investigation. These factors are referred to as variables and are classified into three categories. They include the independent variable, controlled variable, and the dependent variable. The independent variable can be changed by the researcher while the controlled variable is kept constant throughout the investigation. On the other hand, the dependent variable changes with changes in the independent variable.

When designing an investigation, I did not brainstorm with my classmates. That is because I felt confident that I had sufficient knowledge to design an effective investigation. In particular, the research will focus on answering the question, why does (or doesnt) the frequency of a physical trait change in a rabbit population in different environments? This question is an important subject because it will help to provide insights into how different environments affect the growth and health of a rabbit.

There are many approaches to this subject by focusing on rabbit traits such as length of the tail, color of fur, and length if the teeth and testing them against different environments such as those with limited food, with predators, and without predators. The frequency of change of a trait in a population will be determined by counting the number of rabbits with no changes in the trait as well as the number of rabbits with changes in the trait. Then, the length of the generation (in months) will be determined. Assuming the number of rabbits of the total population remains constant, the frequency of change of the trait will be given by the number of rabbits with changes in trait divided by the length of the duration. This does not have to be done mathematically but should be used as an expression to show the rate at which the trait changes in a given number of rabbits within a given period. In this research, the length of the teeth will be investigated. This trait was chosen because it is easy to monitor changes physically without necessarily carrying out complex processes. In addition, the length of the teeth of a rabbit is an indicator of the health status and feeding. The trait will be investigated against an environment of limited food. This environment was chosen because well fed rabbits have the ideal length of teeth. However, rabbits fed on poor diet have overgrown teeth. Thus, an environment with limited food will be easier to monitor changes because the indicators are already known and easy to notice.

In an investigation, there are dependent and independent variables. In this research, the independent variable will be food while the dependent variable will be teeth. Although the length of the teeth is an inherent characteristic, changes in independent variable will stimulate changes. The rabbits to be used for the trials will be living in a controlled environment to ensure that the conditions are as stipulated in the design. In this research, there will be no need for selection pressure because the variable tested is affected by environmental conditions and genetic conditions do not have any effect. To ensure that the results are reliable and valid, three trials will be conducted. The average of the results from the three trials will be used as the final results. The three trials will be carried out in three generations. Three generations will be used to determine whether the biological changes are transmitted to the next generation.

Data collection will begin when the first rabbit starts showing changes in the dependent variable. At the beginning of the experiment, all the rabbits will have their teeth measured and length recorded. Then, measurements will be taken at intervals of one week after introduction of changes to the dependent variable. For each generation, there will be a specific period within which the trial will be conducted. At the end of the period, the number of rabbits which will have shown changes will be recorded, the length of their teeth, and the number of rabbits that will not have shown any changes. Throughout the experiment, data will be recorded and stored safely. To ensure safety, data will be stored both on paper and electronically.

During data analysis, the researcher will aim at proving or disproving the hypothesis. The hypothesis is that altering the diet of a rabbit to exclude roughages results in increase in the length of their teeth. Typically, rabbits should be fed on roughages to keep their teeth healthy and prevent overgrown teeth. Therefore, it is expected that instituting changes that do not favor this condition will result in overgrown teeth. After data collection, regression analysis will be carried out to show changes at different instances of time. Then, linear graphs will be drawn to show the rate of change of length of teeth for each generation. Since the trials will involve three generations, three graphs will be drawn.

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