Research Methods Essay

15467 Words Mar 4th, 2015 62 Pages
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Finding and formulating your topic

CHAPTER CONCEPTS
● MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TOPICS ● WHAT IS A TOPIC? ● TOPICS AS PUZZLES ● PUZZLES AS RIDDLES TO BE UNRIDDLED ● BASIC ADVICE ON RESEARCH TOPICS ● THE EARLIER THE BETTER ● GO FROM THE GENERAL TO THE PARTICULAR ● AVOID POLITICIZED TOPICS ● BE CAREFUL WITH PERSONAL ISSUES ● FIND THE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE BETWEEN A AND B ● AIRING YOUR TOPIC ● SOURCES FOR GENERATING IDEAS ● ANALYSING THE POSSIBILITIES OF A TOPIC ● THE INITIAL SEARCH AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ● TOPIC QUESTIONS ● METHODOLOGY AND DATA QUESTIONS ● VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY QUESTIONS ● WHERE YOU SHOULD NOW BE ● USE REFERENCE AIDS ● RISKING A POOR CHOICE OF TOPIC ●
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• Current professional issues? • Historical debates? • Work-based problem?

Collect anything that looks interesting or useful

Do a reconnaissance of the available literature

List and define key concepts and terms

• What research has been done on the topic? • What research questions have been asked? • What methods have been used to conduct research on the topic?

What kinds of research puzzle exist in the literature?

Suggest possible puzzles and questions for your research

Evaluate topics against criteria

• Is the necessary and sufficient data available? • Can you get access to the data? • Have you the skills to analyse the data? • Have you the time?

Talk to your tutor about your topic analysis

You should now have a research topic for your masters that can be focused and formulated more clearly as aims and objectives, questions or a hypothesis

FIGURE 3.1

FINDING A PROPER TOPIC

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F I N D I N G A N D F O R M U L AT I N G Y O U R T O P I C /

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1 What kinds of topic are suitable for masters level research? 2 What are research aims and objectives? How should they be written? 3 What is a hypothesis and proposition? Does all

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