Course: Educational Research (837)


Semester: Spring, 2021 Level: M.Ed./M.A


Assignment No. 2


Q.1 Define different forms of hypothesis and also discuss the characteristics of hypothesis


Hypothesis is an assumption that is made on the basis of some evidence. This is the initial point of any investigation that translates the research questions into a prediction. It includes components like variables, population and the relation between the variables. A research hypothesis is a hypothesis that is used to test the relationship between two or more variables.

Characteristics of Hypothesis

Following are the characteristics of hypothesis:

  • The hypothesis should be clear and precise to consider it to be reliable.
  • If the hypothesis is a relational hypothesis, then it should be stating the relationship between variables.
  • The hypothesis must be specific and should have scope for conducting more tests.
  • The way of explanation of the hypothesis must be very simple and it should also be understood that the simplicity of the hypothesis is not related to its significance.

Sources of Hypothesis

Following are the sources of hypothesis:

  • The resemblance between the phenomenon.
  • Observations from past studies, present-day experiences and from the competitors.
  • Scientific theories.
  • General patterns that influence the thinking process of people.

Types of Hypothesis

There are six forms of hypothesis and they are:

  • Simple hypothesis
  • Complex hypothesis
  • Directional hypothesis
  • Non-directional hypothesis
  • Null hypothesis
  • Associative and casual hypothesis

Simple Hypothesis

It shows a relationship between one dependent variable and a single independent variable. For example – If you eat more vegetables, you will lose weight faster. Here, eating more vegetables is an independent variable, while losing weight is the dependent variable.

Complex Hypothesis

It shows the relationship between two or more dependent variables and two or more independent variables. Eating more vegetables and fruits leads to weight loss, glowing skin, reduces the risk of many diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Directional Hypothesis

It shows how a researcher is intellectual and committed to a particular outcome. The relationship between the variables can also predict its nature. For example- children aged four years eating proper food over a five-year period are having higher IQ levels than children not having a proper meal. This shows the effect and direction of effect.

Non-directional Hypothesis

It is used when there is no theory involved. It is a statement that a relationship exists between two variables, without predicting the exact nature (direction) of the relationship.

Null Hypothesis

It provides the statement which is contrary to the hypothesis. It’s a negative statement, and there is no relationship between independent and dependent variables. The symbol is denoted by “HO”.

Associative and Causal Hypothesis

Associative hypothesis occurs when there is a change in one variable resulting in a change in the other variable. Whereas, causal hypothesis proposes a cause and effect interaction between two or more variables.

Examples of Hypothesis

Following are the examples of hypothesis based on their types:

  • Consumption of sugary drinks every day leads to obesity is an example of a simple hypothesis.
  • All lilies have the same number of petals is an example of a null hypothesis.
  • If a person gets 7 hours of sleep, then he will feel less fatigue than if he sleeps less.

Functions of Hypothesis

Following are the functions performed by the hypothesis:

  • Hypothesis helps in making an observation and experiments possible.
  • It becomes the start point for the investigation.
  • Hypothesis helps in verifying the observations.
  • It helps in directing the inquiries in the right directions.

Q.2 Development a sample research proposal of your own.

The goal of a research proposal is twofold: to present and justify the need to study a research problem and to present the practical ways in which the proposed study should be conducted. The design elements and procedures for conducting research are governed by standards of the predominant discipline in which the problem resides, therefore, the guidelines for research proposals are more exacting and less formal than a general project proposal. Research proposals contain extensive literature reviews. They must provide persuasive evidence that a need exists for the proposed study. In addition to providing a rationale, a proposal describes detailed methodology for conducting the research consistent with requirements of the professional or academic field and a statement on anticipated outcomes and/or benefits derived from the study's completion.

  • Develop your skills in thinking about and designing a comprehensive research study;
  • Learn how to conduct a comprehensive review of the literature to determine that a research problem has not been adequately addressed or has been answered ineffectively and, in so doing, become better at locating pertinent scholarship related to your topic;
  • Improve your general research and writing skills;
  • Practice identifying the logical steps that must be taken to accomplish one's research goals;
  • Critically review, examine, and consider the use of different methods for gathering and analyzing data related to the research problem; and,
  • Nurture a sense of inquisitiveness within yourself and to help see yourself as an active participant in the process of doing scholarly research.

A proposal should contain all the key elements involved in designing a completed research study, with sufficient information that allows readers to assess the validity and usefulness of your proposed study. The only elements missing from a research proposal are the findings of the study and your analysis of those findings. Finally, an effective proposal is judged on the quality of your writing and, therefore, it is important that your proposal is coherent, clear, and compelling.

Regardless of the research problem you are investigating and the methodology you choose, all research proposals must address the following questions:

  1. What do you plan to accomplish?Be clear and succinct in defining the research problem and what it is you are proposing to research.
  2. Why do you want to do the research? In addition to detailing your research design, you also must conduct a thorough review of the literature and provide convincing evidence that it is a topic worthy of in-depth investigation. Be sure to answer the "So What?" question.
  3. How are you going to conduct the research?Be sure that what you propose is doable. If you're having difficulty formulating a research problem to propose investigating

Proposal Process

As with writing most college-level academic papers, research proposals are generally organized the same way throughout most social science disciplines. The text of proposals generally vary in length between ten and thirty-five pages, followed by the list of references. However, before you begin, read the assignment carefully and, if anything seems unclear, ask your professor whether there are any specific requirements for organizing and writing the proposal.

A good place to begin is to ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What do I want to study?
  • Why is the topic important?
  • How is it significant within the subject areas covered in my class?
  • What problems will it help solve?
  • How does it build upon [and hopefully go beyond] research already conducted on the topic?
  • What exactly should I plan to do, and can I get it done in the time available?

In general, a compelling research proposal should document your knowledge of the topic and demonstrate your enthusiasm for conducting the study. Approach it with the intention of leaving your readers feeling like, "Wow, that's an exciting idea and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!"

Q.3 Discuss the significance of sources of information in research.

Importance of Information Sources 

Information about regulatory issues, industry trends and your competition is crucial to the development of your small business. Begin by identifying your business's information needs. Then, seek out good information sources. By using them properly, you can prevent legal problems and identify new opportunities for your small business.

Information Issues

Your small business can miss opportunities and even find itself in regulatory trouble if you don't monitor information about your industry. Missing opportunities and running afoul of regulators can cost you time and money that you cannot afford to lose. Yet, the challenge for a small business owner is that you don't have the funds to hire a corporate librarian or competitive intelligence specialist to seek out and maintain this information. It's important to develop cost-effective ways to keep abreast of legal and industry changes that have a significant impact on your business.

Information Needs

Before searching for information sources, identify the information that you need. During your workday, keep a record of the types of information you use to perform your job and the topics of any Internet searches that you perform. Survey your employees about their information needs, and ask them how they find their information. You will likely identify several areas in which your business relies on your ability to develop accurate sources of information.

Information Sources

There are numerous online and print information sources that are very accessible to businesses of any size. Government agencies often sponsor websites that contain a great deal of information for non-legal professionals. These sites are usually very reliable and up-to-date. Industry and trade organizations may also sponsor websites and print publications that contain industry news and comprehensive information about regulatory changes.

Proprietary database companies sell online access to multiple information sources, including legislative and regulatory information as well as industry guides that contain information about companies and their leadership. Database companies offer subscription packages that include access to data sources that are important to your business and industry.

Maintaining Information

A good way to ensure that information remains up-to-date and accessible is to develop a shared spreadsheet for the different information categories pertinent to your business. Assign responsibility for maintaining these spreadsheets to one or more employees, or take on the responsibility yourself. To address the problem of making business decisions and assumptions based on outdated information, specify the date when information is entered and updated in each cell or section of the spreadsheet. Other good policies for maintaining information spreadsheets include identifying information sources in the form of comments on spreadsheet cells and assigning someone to review all of the spreadsheet's information on an annual basis.

Q.4 Define checklist and explain its uses. What points one should keep in mind while developing a checklist?

A checklist is a type of job aid used to reduce failure by compensating for potential limits of human memory and attention. It helps to ensure consistency and completeness in carrying out a task. A basic example is the "to do list". A more advanced checklist would be a schedule, which lays out tasks to be done according to time of day or other factors. A primary task in checklist is documentation of the task and auditing against the documentation.


  • Pre-flight checklistsaid in aviation safety to ensure that critical items are not overlooked.
  • Used in quality assurance of software engineering, to check process compliance, code standardization and error prevention, and others.
  • Often used in industryin operations procedures
  • In civil litigationto deal with the complexity of discovery and motions practice. An example is the open-source litigation checklist.
  • Can aid in mitigating claims of negligence in public liabilityclaims by providing evidence of a risk management system being in place
  • Used by some investors as a critical part of their investment process
  • An ornithological checklist (Category:Ornithological checklists), a list of birds with standardized names that helps ornithologists communicate with the public without the use of scientific namesin Latin
  • A popular tool for tracking sports card collections. Randomly inserted in packs, checklist cards provide information on the contents of sports card set.
  • The creation of emergency survival kits
  • In professional diving, checklists are used in the preparation of equipment for a dive, and to ensure that the diver and life support systems are fully prepared before they enter the water. To a lesser extent, checklists are used by a minority of recreational divers, and by a larger proportion of technical diversduring pre-dive checks. Studies have shown checklists to be effective at reducing the number of errors and consequent incidents.

Health care use

Checklists have been used in healthcare practice to ensure that clinical practice guidelines are followed. An example is the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist developed for the World Health Organization and found to have a large effect on improving patient safety and subsequently found to have a nil effect in a cohort of hospitals in the Province of Ontario in Canada. According to a meta-analysis after introduction of the checklist mortality dropped by 23% and all complications by 40%, higher-quality studies are required to make the meta-analysis more robust. However, checklist use in healthcare has not always met with success and the transferability between settings has been questioned. In the UK, a study on the implementation of a checklist for provision of medical care to elderly patients admitting to hospital found that the checklist highlighted limitations with frailty assessment in acute care and motivated teams to review routine practices, but that work is needed to understand whether and how checklists can be embedded in complex multidisciplinary care.


Checklists are often presented as lists with small checkboxes down the left hand side of the page. A small tick or checkmark is drawn in the box after the item has been completed.

Other formats are also sometimes used. Aviation checklists generally consist of a system and an action divided by a dashed line, and lack a checkbox as they are often read aloud and are usually intended to be reused.


Excessive dependence of checklists may hinder performance when dealing with a time-critical situation, for example a medical emergency or an in-flight emergency. Checklists should not be used as a replacement for common sense. Intensive training including rote-learning of checklists can help integrate use of checklists with more adaptive and flexible problem solving techniques.

Steps for Creating a Checklist the Right Way:

A checklist can be in 3 forms- a classic list with checkboxes, in a table format, or a color-coded checklist. A typical checklist should have the following items:

Step 1. Give a name to your checklist 

The name of the checklist represents the purpose and use of creating it.

Step 2. Date / Date range

This section can be created in the form of a column to determine the date or date range of each task completed or to be completed.

Step 3. Add tasks in your checklist

Add a brief description of tasks with the following details:

  • Add Subtasks: (Optional)
  • Status: Include the status of whether the task was completed, in progress, or not started.
  • Date Due: Add the date the task should be completed by.
  • Date Completed: Add the date of completion next to each task.

Step 4. Continue repeating for every task

Keep repeating these steps for each task that you have to complete.

Most people create a checklist in physical notebooks or notepads. Using notepads or any paper document is not very scalable as there are high chances of misplacing the information and is there no sense of collaboration in case you want to share tasks with your team members.

Using a checklist tool can do wonders for your checklists and the tasks can easily be shared amongst your team members. 

One of the best parts is that all the digital assets you need to get work done can be included seamlessly (files, images, editable visual web links, rich embeds, etc.)

Bit has an amazing UI that’s easy to understand by a new user, making onboarding easier. The user experience is phenomenal too as things flow from documents to workspaces swiftly.

No matter if you want to create a checklist for personal use or professional use, Bit’s amazing organizational capabilities help arrange your information easily.

Create Interactive Checklist: You can add content from over 100+ various applications that will live inside of your checklists. Add Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, Google Forms, Gantt charts, Maps, YouTube videos- basically anything on the internet with a link and Bit will automatically convert that into live content living inside your document!

Collaborate in real-time: Multiple people can simultaneously collaborate on a Bit smart document in real-time. It’s a great way for employees to assign to-dos, discuss project details, work on spreadsheets, brainstorm ideas, collaborate on documents, share assets, and more. Bit’s sleek, minimal and distraction-free editor makes a great tool for documentation.

Avoid Confusion: With the ability to tag co-workers, chat, and collaborate on a document in real-time, teams (especially if you have remote workers) can stay on the same page and avoid confusion and chaos.


Q.5 Write short notes on:

  1. Summary and conclusion
  2. Tables
  3. Figures


Knowing when and how to end your paper can be difficult. Writing a strong conclusion is like tying a ribbon around a gift package. It's the last thing you do, but it also gives your paper a finishing touch. If the ending is powerful and effective, your reader will feel satisfied.

What to avoid

Before you can write a strong conclusion, you should know what to avoid. Here are some common errors.

  • Don't introduce a new topic that has not been discussed in your paper. For example, if your essay has been about the loss of forests and possible solutions for the high consumption of wood products, don't end with a paragraph about a different environmental issue, such as the disappearance of the California condor.
  • Don't trail off with a weak statement or a statement that leaves your reader up in the air.

The Internet, free of regulation, has opened a world of information and ideas to everyone. Children enjoy learning on the computer.

  • Don't simply repeat your thesis or main idea in the same words.

As stated earlier, clothing imagery shows the changes in King Lear throughout the play.

  • Don't apologize for or suggest doubts about your thesis.

For a variety of reasons, middle‐class expectations today differ from those in the 1980s. It is possible, however, that the difference is not particularly illuminating about life in the United States.

In a short paper (less than five pages, for example), you may use a brief concluding sentence instead of a formal conclusion. Formal conclusions can sometimes be superfluous, particularly if the conclusion is a long summary of what he or she just read. Instead, end your paper with a strong final sentence.

Suggestions for conclusions

A strong conclusion should tie up the loose ends of your essay, refer to the central theme (thesis), give your readers a sense of completion, and leave them with a strong impression. You can do this with a single statement or with a paragraph. If you write a concluding paragraph, consider the following possibilities.

  • End with an appropriate quotation. Notice in the following example how the writer also pulls together loose ends and briefly refers to the thesis.

Throughout the novel the characters suffer both from their isolation and from their attempts to end it. Kerewin burns her tower, Joe beats his son and goes to prison, and Simon who barely survives the beating must painfully find his way back to those he loves. Recurring images dramatize their journeys, which end in a reconciliation between being alone and being part of a community. Kerewin describes the home that will now take the place of her lonely tower: “I decided on a shell‐shape, a regular spiral of rooms expanding around the decapitated Tower …privacy, apartness, but all connected and all part of the whole.”

  • Without repeating your thesis word for word, you can unify your essay by relating the final paragraph to a point in the introduction.

Preserving old‐growth forests and finding substitutes for wood should concern everyone who cares about the environment. The days when Americans could view this country as an unlimited provider of resources are as gone as roaming herds of buffalo and pioneers in covered wagons.

  • End with a story related to your thesis.

On a recent trip to the airport, I stood at the ticket counter behind an angry woman. It seems she'd forgotten her photo ID, and the attendant told her she couldn't fly without it. After calling the clerk a storm trooper and threatening to sue the airline, the woman turned to me and said, “You tell me. Do I look like the kind of person who would blow up a plane?” I didn't answer, but I wondered how in the future this woman would react to a fifteen‐minute interview about herself or to a uniformed attendant patting her down.

  • Another way to conclude a paper is to summarize the main points. But because summaries aren't particularly interesting conclusions, consider using this technique only if your paper is fairly long and if a summary would be helpful to your reader. Keep the summary brief, and avoid indecisive or overly general final sentences, such as For all these reasons, the Internet should not be regulated.


A summary is a record in a reader's own words that gives the main points of a piece of writing such as a newspaper article, the chapter of a book, or even a whole book. It is also possible to summarize something that you have heard, such as a lecture, or something that you have seen and heard, such as a movie. A summary omits details, and does not include the reader's interpretation of the original.

You may be used to reading English in order to answer questions set by someone else. In that case, you probably read the questions first and then read the passage in order to find the correct answer. However, when you read in order to write a summary, you must read in order to decide for yourself what the main points are. This involves reading to understand the message that the writer has for the reader, rather than reading in order to get the correct answer to someone else's questions. Since people have different backgrounds and read for different purposes, it is possible that different readers will interpret a writer's message in different ways. Even if they agree, they will probably write their summaries in different ways. In other words, there is unlikely to be only one "correct" summary. On the other hand, to write a summary it is necessary to understand a passage as a whole, and therefore at a deeper level, than when one's purpose is just to answer questions.

When are summaries used
1. In general terms, writing summaries is a good way of improving one's ability to read because it forces the reader to focus on understanding the whole of something rather than on just following each word or sentence.

2. In academic terms:
a) If you are reading something that is very important for your studies and/or difficult to understand, writing a summary helps you to make sure that you have understood it. You can also refer to it later to refresh your memory, for example when you are revising for an exam, or when you are talking about it in class. (It is also a good idea to turn lecture notes into summaries.)
b) When writing academic papers people often need to insert summaries of something that they have read or heard. For example, you might want to summarize the the main points of a book that is relevant to your topic. In such cases, it is extremely important to use your own words, or quotation marks if you are actually quoting, in order to avoid plagiarism. (We will talk more about plagiarism later in the course.)

First steps to writing a summary

1. As you read, underline all the important points and and all the important evidence. For example, you could look for all the topic sentences. Words that are repeated several times are likely to be keywords. Transition words can help understanding of the overall structure of a passage.

2. List or cluster the main idea of the whole piece, the main supporting ideas, and the main evidence for each idea. Use of the same keywords or technical expressions is probably unavoidable. However, be careful to express the ideas in your own way, using your own vocabulary and expressions as much as possible, rather than copying or just rearranging. Do not include too much detail.

What is a good summary

1. A good summary should give an objective outline of the whole piece of writing. It should answer basic questions about the original text such as "Who did what, where, and when?", or "What is the main idea of the text?", "What are the main supporting points?", "What are the major pieces of evidence?". It should not be a paraphrase of the whole text using your own words. A reference should be made to the original piece either in the title ("A Summary of..."), in the first sentence, or in a footnote or endnote.

2. You should not give your own ideas or criticisms as part of the summary. However, if you want to comment on a piece of writing it is usual to begin by summarizing it as objectively as possible.

3. A good summary should not include selected examples, details, or information which are not relevant to the piece of writing taken as a whole.

4. A good summary of an essay should probably include the main idea of each paragraph, and the main evidence supporting that idea, unless it is not relevant to the article or essay as a whole. A summary does not need a conclusion, but if the original ends with a message to the reader this should not be left out. (A good summary of a chapter should probably include the main idea of each group of paragraphs or each section; a good summary of a book should probably include the main idea of each chapter, or perhaps the main idea of each section of each chapter.)

5. A good summary may use key words from the original text but should not contain whole phrases or sentences from the original unless quotation marks are used. Quotations should only be made if there is a reason for using the original words, for example because the choice of words is significant, or because the original is so well expressed.

6. Rearranging the words used in the original, or keeping the same structure but just substituting different words is not enough. You must express the sense of the original using your own words and structures.

How to write a summary of a short piece of writing:

1. As you read, underline all the important points and and all the important evidence. For example, you could look for all the topic sentences. If there is a word or words that are repeated throughout the passage, this is likely to be related to the topic.
Transition words and phrases should help you to understand how the piece is joined together. The main idea should be in the first or second paragraph, probably in a thesis statement at the end of the paragraph, or in the concluding paragraph. (You could look out for the 5Ws - What?, Which?, Who?, Where?, When?, Why? - and the 1H - How?)

2. List or cluster the main idea of the whole piece, the main supporting ideas, and the main evidence for each idea. Be careful to use your own words rather than copying or just rearranging. In other words, try to find your own way of expressing the writer's ideas. Of course, you can use key words or phrases. (For example, if the piece of writing is about digital technology, it is fine to use key technical words that are in the original, such as "digital technology", "binary digit" or "analog".) Do not include too much detail.

3. Change the order if necessary, so that the main idea comes first and is followed by the supporting ideas and evidence in a logical sequence. Omit any repetitions.

4. If the original uses 'I' replace this with the writer's actual surname, "the writer", or "s/he". If the original uses 'you', substitute "people" or "they".

5. You should now be ready to write the summary. Start with a sentence that a) identifies the writer and the piece of writing, for example by giving the writer's name, the title of the piece and where/when it appeared, and b) gives the main idea. Use transition words to join everything together.

  1. Tables


table is an arrangement of data in rows and columns, or possibly in a more complex structure. Tables are widely used in communication, research, and data analysis. Tables appear in print media, handwritten notes, computer software, architectural ornamentation, traffic signs, and many other places. The precise conventions and terminology for describing tables vary depending on the context. Further, tables differ significantly in variety, structure, flexibility, notation, representation and use. In books and technical articles, tables are typically presented apart from the main text in numbered and captioned floating blocks.

Basic description

A table consists of an ordered arrangement of rows and columns. This is a simplified description of the most basic kind of table. Certain considerations follow from this simplified description:

  • the term rowhas several common synonyms (e.g., record, k-tuple, n-tuple, vector);
  • the term columnhas several common synonyms (e.g., field, parameter, property, attribute, stanchion);
  • a column is usually identified by a name;
  • a column name can consist of a word, phrase or a numerical index;
  • the intersection of a row and a column is called a cell.

The elements of a table may be grouped, segmented, or arranged in many different ways, and even nested recursively. Additionally, a table may include metadata, annotations, a header, a footer or other ancillary features.

Multi-dimensional table

The concept of dimension is also a part of basic terminology. Any "simple" table can be represented as a "multi-dimensional" table by normalizing the data values into ordered hierarchies. A common example of such a table is a multiplication table.

Multiplication table

















In multi-dimensional tables, each cell in the body of the table (and the value of that cell) relates to the values at the beginnings of the column (i.e. the header), the row, and other structures in more complex tables. This is an injective relation: each combination of the values of the headers row (row 0, for lack of a better term) and the headers column (column 0 for lack of a better term) is related to a unique cell in the table:

  • Column 1 and row 1 will only correspond to cell (1,1);
  • Column 1 and row 2 will only correspond to cell (2,1) etc.

The first column often presents information dimension description by which the rest of the table is navigated. This column is called "stub column". Tables may contain three or multiple dimensions and can be classified by the number of dimensions. Multi-dimensional tables may have super-rows - rows that describe additional dimensions for the rows that are presented below that row and are usually grouped in a tree-like structure. This structure is typically visually presented with an appropriate number of white spaces in front of each stub's label

In literature tables often present numerical values, cumulative statistics, categorical values, and at times parallel descriptions in form of text.They can condense large amount of information to a limited space and therefore they are popular in scientific literature in many fields of study.

Generic representation

As a communication tool, a table allows a form of generalization of information from an unlimited number of different social or scientific contexts. It provides a familiar way to convey information that might otherwise not be obvious or readily understood.

For example, in the following diagram, two alternate representations of the same information are presented side by side. On the left is the NFPA 704 standard "fire diamond" with example values indicated and on the right is a simple table displaying the same values, along with additional information. Both representations convey essentially the same information, but the tabular representation is arguably more comprehensible to someone who is not familiar with the NFPA 704 standard. The tabular representation may not, however, be ideal for every circumstance (for example because of space limitations, or safety reasons).

Specific uses

There are several specific situations in which tables are routinely used as a matter of custom or formal convention.

Information technology

Software applications

Modern software applications give users the ability to generate, format, and edit tables and tabular data for a wide variety of uses, for example:

  • word processingapplications;
  • spreadsheetapplications;
  • presentation software;
  • tables specified in HTMLor another markup language

Software development

Tables have uses in software development for both high-level specification and low-level implementation. Usage in software specification can encompass ad hoc inclusion of simple decision tables in textual documents through to the use of tabular specification methodologies, examples of which include SCR and Statestep. Proponents of tabular techniques, among whom David Parnas is prominent, emphasize their understandability, as well as the quality and cost advantages of a format allowing systematic inspection, while corresponding shortcomings experienced with a graphical notation were cited in motivating the development of at least two tabular approaches.

At a programming level, software may be implemented using constructs generally represented or understood as tabular, whether to store data (perhaps to memoize earlier results), for example, in arrays or hash tables, or control tables determining the flow of program execution in response to various events or inputs.


Database systems often store data in structures called tables; in which columns are data fields and rows represent data records.

Historical relationship to furniture

In medieval counting houses, the tables were covered with a piece of checkered cloth, to count money. Exchequer is an archaic term for the English institution which accounted for money owed to the monarch. Thus the checkerboard tables of stacks of coins are a concrete realization of this information.

musical figure or figuration is the shortest phrase in music; a short succession of notes, often recurring. It may have melodic pitch, harmonic progression, and rhythmic meter. The 1964 Grove's Dictionary defines the figure as "the exact counterpart of the German 'motiv' and the French 'motif'": it produces a "single complete and distinct impression". To the self-taught Roger Scruton however, a figure is distinguished from a motif in that a figure is background while a motif is foreground:

A figure resembles a moulding in architecture: it is 'open at both ends', so as to be endlessly repeatable. In hearing a phrase as a figure, rather than a motif, we are at the same time placing it in the background, even if it is ... strong and melodiou

Allen Forte describes the term figuration as being applied to two distinct things:

If the term is used alone it usually refers to instrumental figurations such as [Alberti bass and a measured trill]... The term figuration is also used to describe the general process of melodic embellishment. Thus, we often read of "figurated" melody or of chorale "figuration." ... Figuration has nothing to do with figured bass, except insofar as numerals often designate embellishing notes.

A phrase originally presented or heard as a motif may become a figure that accompanies another melody, such as in the second movement of Claude Debussy's String Quartet. It is perhaps best to view a figure as a motif when it has special importance in a piece. According to White, motives are, "significant in the structure of the work," while figures or figurations are not and, "may often occur in accompaniment passages or in transitional or connective material designed to link two sections together," with the former being more common.

Minimalist music may be constructed entirely from figures. Scruton describes music by Philip Glass such as Akhnaten as "nothing but figures...endless daisy-chains".

A basic figure is known as a riff in American popular music.

Importance of Figures

Figures play a most important part in instrumental music, in which it is necessary that a strong and definite impression should be produced to answer the purpose of words, and convey the sense of vitality to the otherwise incoherent succession of sounds. In pure vocal music this is not the case, as on the one hand the words assist the audience to follow and understand what they hear, and on the other the quality of voices in combination is such as to render strong characteristic features somewhat inappropriate. But without strongly marked figures the very reason of existence of instrumental movements can hardly be perceived, and the success of a movement of any dimensions must ultimately depend, to a very large extent, on the appropriate development of the figures which are contained in the chief subjects. The common expression that a subject is very 'workable,' merely means that it contains well-marked figures; though it must be observed on the other hand, that there are not a few instances in which masterly treatment has invested with powerful interest a figure which at first sight would seem altogether deficient in character.