With these ideas in mind, go forth and research. Welcome to the scholarly conversation! Share Flipboard Email. Olivia Valdes is a college admissions consultant and the founder of Zen Admissions. Updated October 01, During the research and writing process, you'll learn how to document your research, cite sources appropriately, format an academic paper, maintain an academic tone, and more. Organizing Information: In a way, research is nothing more than a massive organizational project. The information available to you is near-infinite, and it's your job to review that information, narrow it down, categorize it, and present it in a clear, relevant format.
This process requires attention to detail and major brainpower.
By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. Compelling topic Simple curiosity is not a good enough reason to pursue a research study. The problem that you choose to explore must be important to you and to a larger community you share. The problem chosen must be one that motivates you to address it. Supports multiple perspectives The problem most be phrased in a way that avoids dichotomies and instead supports the generation and exploration of multiple perspectives. A general rule of thumb is that a good research problem is one that would generate a variety of viewpoints from a composite audience made up of reasonable people.
Choose research problems that can be supported by the resources available to you. Not sure? A topic is something to read and obtain information about whereas a problem is something to solve or framed as a question that must be answered. Mistakes to Avoid. Beware of circular reasoning.
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For example, if you propose, "The problem in this community is that it has no hospital. This only leads to a research problem where:. This is an example of a research problem that fails the "so what?
The Importance of Research - Research Methodology Course
Choosing and Refining Topics. Writing CSU. Purdue University; Procter, Margaret. Using Thesis Statements. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Trochim, William M. Problem Formulation. Research Methods Knowledge Base. Toggle navigation. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition A research problem is a statement about an area of concern, a condition to be improved, a difficulty to be eliminated, or a troubling question that exists in scholarly literature, in theory, or in practice that points to the need for meaningful understanding and deliberate investigation.
Importance of The purpose of a problem statement is to: Introduce the reader to the importance of the topic being studied. Spend time reflecting on the implications that your pilot study might have for your research project, and make the necessary adjustment to your plan. Even if you do not have the time or opportunity to run a formal pilot study, you should try and reflect on your methods after you have started to generate some data.
Once you start to generate data you may find that the research project is not developing as you had hoped. Do not be upset that you have encountered a problem. Research is, by its nature, unpredictable. Analyse the situation. Think about what the problem is and how it arose. Is it possible that going back a few steps may resolve it? Or is it something more fundamental? If so, estimate how significant the problem is to answering your research question, and try to calculate what it will take to resolve the situation.
Changing the title is not normally the answer, although modification of some kind may be useful. If a problem is intractable you should arrange to meet your supervisor as soon as possible. Give him or her a detailed analysis of the problem, and always value their recommendations. The chances are they have been through a similar experience and can give you valuable advice. Never try to ignore a problem, or hope that it will go away. Finally, it is worth remembering that every problem you encounter, and successfully solve, is potentially useful information in writing up your research.
Rather, flag up these problems and show your examiners how you overcame them. As you conduct research, you are likely to realise that the topic that you have focused on is more complex than you realised when you first defined your research question. The research is still valid even though you are now aware of the greater size and complexity of the problem.
A crucial skill of the researcher is to define clearly the boundaries of their research and to stick to them. You may need to refer to wider concerns; to a related field of literature; or to alternative methodology; but you must not be diverted into spending too much time investigating relevant, related, but distinctly separate fields.
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Starting to write up your research can be intimidating, but it is essential that you ensure that you have enough time not only to write up your research, but also to review it critically, then spend time editing and improving it. The following tips should help you to make the transition from research to writing:. Remember that you can not achieve everything in your dissertation. The companion study guide Writing a Dissertation focuses on the process of writing up the research from your research project.
Email: studyhelp if you are a University of Leicester student please use your University email address Keep in touch via:. Personal tools Web Editor Log in. Search Site only in current section. Advanced Search…. Search Site. What is a dissertation? Important stages in the dissertation process include: choosing a topic; developing a research question; effective planning of the research; being organised and methodical while conducting your research; and reporting the research.
Choosing a topic While some students come to their research project with a clear research question to address, many others arrive at this point with several ideas, but with no specific research question. Does this spark an interest? Look at other writing: set aside some time to spend in the library, skimming through the titles of research papers in your field over the past five years, and reading the abstracts of those you find most interesting.
What Is a Research Paper?
Look through the dissertations of previous students in your department: the topics may give you inspiration, and they may have useful suggestions for further research. Think about your own interests: which topic have you found most interesting, and is there an element that could be developed into a research project?
Is there a related topic of interest to you that has not been covered in the syllabus, but would fit with the theory or methodology you have been working with? Be extra critical: is there something in your course so far that you have been sceptical about, or which you think needs further study?
This could include your research plan, early results of your data collection or draft chapters;. Do not assume that your supervisor is available at all times to see you;. In your research plan you need to specify a time when you are going to stop researching and start writing. You should aim to stick to this plan unless you have a very clear reason why you need to continue your research longer.
Take a break from your project. Speak to your supervisor about your progress. Ask them whether you still need to collect more data. Be organised and take detailed notes when you are undertaking your literature survey and data collection. Remember that you cannot achieve everything in your dissertation, but you can critically appraise what you have done, and outline ideas for further, relevant research.
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