Keyword-Suggestions (No Date) ‘Primary and Secondary Research’

Primary Research is basically a name for ‘personal research.’ In other words, primary research is research that you have done yourself. Some examples of methods of Primary Research include:

  • going to a location and taking photos to relate to your research.
  • Personally interviewing someone. For example if you were making a short film about teachers working at a college, you could interview a headmaster of a college to find out more about their perception on college life. You could also collect information by interviewing a member of your target audience to find out what they are interested in and what the already watch. I think it is really important to try to interview or at least talk to a variety of people from your target audience as, after all, they are the people that will be viewing your short film or creation so they are one of the most, if not the most, important people involved.
  • Primary research can also involve researching whether or not things are possible. For example ‘do we have enough money to hire’ or ‘is there a sunset on this beach’ or even ‘are we allowed to film on this location.’ You can find this out by calling the council or location in question.

Secondary Research means ‘someone else’s work.’ So this could mean collection and summarising someone else’s research. Some examples of secondary research includes:

  • interviews already completed by someone else. For example if you were making a film about London and Queen Elizabeth 2nd, clearly as a student it would be extremely unlikely that you would be able to interview the Queen of England. This is why secondary research can often be extremely useful when doing research.
  • Watching similar shows relating to your subject, location or era. This can help for a variety of reasons. You can see what sort of things are already on the market so you can ensure you are not making a replica of something else. It can also helps you to find what competition is already out there, and what you will be up against. Another reason watching similar movies or shows is useful is because it helps to educate you even more on your chosen subject. This can be really helpful when trying to achieve the best outcome possible.

Overall, there are so many methods of research:

  • taking photos
  • surveys
  • questionnaires
  • interviews
  • consume media

When doing research, it is extremely important to find reliable sources. In 2016, it has become so easy to access information, but it is also now easier than ever to find inaccurate information, so in some ways this makes research even harder. But then again there are such a variety of ways to find information, research has become more readily available. Some examples of sources of research include:

  • magazines: For example interviews from magazines can be extremely important when doing secondary research.
  • books
  • journals
  • diaries
  • photos

It is really important to find reliable sources. On example of an unreliable source is Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, which means there is a chance of there being inaccurate information present on the site. This would mean that it is an unreliable resource, and shouldn’t be used when researching.


Planning Research:

A Research Plan is simply a draft that you put together to confirm what you are going to be researching. It helps you to think about what you need to research in order to be educated enough to make accurate decisions when concerning your short film or other creative piece.

There are a variety of different steps to make sure that you are collecting enough worthwhile research. Here are the steps of a research plan:

Step 1: What am I trying to find out?

for example, if I was researching lighting I would want to research things such as;

  • how to use lighting effectively
  • famous scenes with effective lighting and how the lighting is effective
  • the equipment used and the history of lighting
  • the technical aspects of lighting
  • how lighting works

Step 2: how?

  • online
  • primary and secondary research

Step 3: Locate sources

  • read it
  • analyse it
  • highlight
  • summarise it ( for example “this article has taught me” or quoting different parts of the article.)

Step 4: Apply it

This step is using your research and applying it. You must remember to Harvard Reference.


Here is a demonstration of a research plan:

If I wanted to make a documentary about ‘the creation of the world’ I would first have to do a lot of research. This is an example of a research plan for this scenario:

Step 1: What am I trying to find out/ what do I need to research?

  • different opinions on how the world came to be.
  • other famous documentaries or movies that bring up the topic of the creation of the world.
  • watch a variety of documentaries. Doing this will allow me find out what makes a good documentary and how documentaries differ depending on target audience.
  • I would need to research and try to find some experts in certain topics. One example could be someone with a lot of knowledge of the theory of ‘The Big Bang.’
  • I would need to research different faiths and religions so I could see different types of viewpoints on where the world has come from.
  • the competition: when researching other famous documentaries, this would be finding out what else is already on the market.
  • sets and location. Where is it possible to film from.
  •  how much money will this production cost overall and do we have to budget for it?
  • what props could we use to make the production more worthwhile and information filled?

Step 2: How?

  • online
  • primary and secondary research

Step 3: Locate sources

  • Once I have decided everything I need to research, I would need to locate my sources and find all of the information that I need. I can do this by using all of the things listen in step 2.

Step 4: Apply it

Once I have got all of my information together I would then be able to apply it. I can read and summarise the information and I would be able to use my knowledge to create a well thought out, accurate documentary with examples and evidence. I must remember to reference and credit everything I use.


Harvard Referencing:

Keyword-Suggestions (No Date) ‘Primary and Secondary Research’ Available at: http://www.keyword-suggestions.com/cHJpbWFyeSBhbmQgc2Vjb25kYXJ5IHJlc2VhcmNo/ (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)