The process described here simplifies choosing a topic for a research paper and narrowing it down. Those who go through the steps outlined by this process will be able to identify their topics more precisely while making their research efforts more efficient.
It is natural to stand at the beginning of a research project and feel overwhelmed by the amount of published research that exists in databases, literature reviews, and reference pages. At the same time, each new research project brings the hope of discovering something new. Overwhelming though a project may be, starting at the foothills of a new thread of research is a great privilege, and is best approached as an opportunity to learn rather than a drudgery. As a researcher/writer, you have the chance to dive more deeply into less frequently encountered pools of knowledge.
Background Knowledge: By this point, a student should have been exposed to basic research techniques and have a minimum of 3-5 sources to begin to write from.
New Terms: A few terms that may be new are:
Theses which address research questions that can be answeredby making plan-able observations (and applying hypothesis testing or model selection techniques)are preferred and perhaps the easiest to write.
Gantt chart template Research | Gantt Chart example DissertationWriting and planning a research project such as a dissertation paper, especially for a first-timer can be a real pain in Dissertation Research Project the neck to get started with.
Depending on the topic or scope of your research, it is also natural to spend many days and weeks - and in some cases months and years - searching. No matter how great or small the scope of research is, the serious researcher needs to reserve adequate time to perform a thorough survey of published articles. For an undergraduate course project, finding five or six sources might seem like plenty of material to review, but graduate-level writing projects typically involve up to 20 sources minimum.
Please note that the main point here is not to say that it is only the number of research articles matters most, but rather that having a broad spectrum of papers to choose from helps you choose your topic for at least the following two reasons: 1) a larger pool of sources provides you with a broader perspective of the topics within your scope of research and 2) along the way you will find many topics within your field that you DO NOT want to write about! So, one particularly effective way of viewing research is not finding the absolute minimum sources to "get by", but rather to find a variety of sources that you can use...like an artist uses negative space to "carve" shapes out of a dark background...to guide you toward topics that are more directly relevant to your topic.
(Of course you will have to write the thesis in acceptable form,and you probably will discover things in the course of your researchthat were not anticipated but which should be addressed in your thesis,but the minimum core intellectual contribution of your thesis willbe set by the proposal.)Both parties benefit from an agreed upon plan.
During the first three steps, you chose a topic. For some, this topic may seem like it's ready to be written about, but the level of precision required in the context of academic writing requires writer-researcher to go through a few additional steps.
Dissertation Manual | CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODSThe typical dissertation project at most other graduate schools is experimental in format and IUPS does not favor one research format over another.
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