Instruments and Data
The instruments for this study include a Web-based survey,
telephone interviews, e-mail statements, referrals and written
feedback. The staff at TPS Enterprises collected data as a component
of their customer support process, and noted referrals from other
customers when they occurred. Documentation included notes regarding
the positive aspects of customer support, second purchases (including
additional research on the same subject) and the response of customers
regarding their own thesis or dissertation writing successes.
The primary sample population in this study consisted of
subjects who were directed to a Web-based survey after having
purchased a sample thesis, dissertation or research example paper. In
order to effectively delineate the subjects based on possible gender,
age or racial biases, demographic considerations for this study
included both for the primary subjects, broken down by age,
gender, race, & educational level.
The data collection process occurred over the course of 6 years
between May of 1994 - May of 2000. The data collection process
continued until enough subjects were evaluated to provide a solid
subject population for the study based on a response-based criteria. A
total of 60,000 subjects was attained to provide a substantial base
for the assertions and to increase the applicability of the findings.
The researcher then discussed the findings with a statistician and
created a document representing the data in a quantitative format.