How to Ethically Conduct a Research in the Humanities

When we are talking about ethics, we are thinking about values, mainly moral values. Ethics makes reference to the study of moral values that show whether our actions are right or wrong and results are good or bad. Concerning  researchers, their  moral integrity is important and they need to respect some ethical requirements.

Research is a part of the modern educational system. In all fields of study, research papers are the best way for students to demonstrate their ability to write scientifically on a topic of interest.

In my experience, once I have decided to write a methodological and scientific paperwork for the first teaching degree, I have also decided on the research topic. I followed some specific guideliness provided by my scientific coordinator and I also took into account some steps for writing a research paper.

Generally, a typical research paper structure includes an introduction or forward, a theoretical or methodology section, practical part, conclusion and bibliography.

First of all, when we choose a topic in order to write a research paper, we should choose a callenging topic we are extremely interested in. If we really want our research paper to be successful, we should choose a topic that is not very broad, it should be focused on a certain concept and our purpose is to produce a new or substantialy improved material not to reproduce a previous one.

After we have chosen the topic, we should find reliable sources of information on the subject of our research paper and start reading them carefully. We should read various sources in order to gather much more information about the topic we are interested in. While reading we should write down any relevant information to support our thesis. It is ethically to cite all sources that we make use for quoting, paraphrasing in order to avoid plagiarism.

Moreover, plagiarism acts against the originality. It is unethical for a researcher to take something from someone else and presenting it as one’s own work without any forms of referencing. Everyone must give the most accurate references to the sources they use. Research should be an original, independent investigation that has the purpose to contribute to knowledge and inovation.

On the other hand, it is extremely important the accuracy of the information and the correctness of the language used. Researchers should undertake all their activities carefully and behave with honesty and professionalism when they conduct research.

In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, research involving human participants should be conducted only with their consent. When we do a case study, compile a questionnaire or create an interview and people are involved, they must give their consent. Our research should not harm participants, they should be informed of the purpose of the research and any potential benefits or risks associated with the research. Furthermore, we must protect the anonymity and confidentiality of participants. We must respect the right of privacy.

To sum up, scientific reasearch is governed by a set of ethical codes that must be respected by every researcher.


prof. Ana-Maria Chirilă

Școala Gimnazială Iustin Pîrvu, Poiana Teiului (Neamţ) , România
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