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Formulating and clarifying the research topic. How to find a question. ...how the process of generating research topic which is waterproof intriguing exiting manageable feasible ...should go? ...what are the parameters of a good question? ...why was Einstein brilliant?

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Presentation Transcript
how to find a question
How to find a question
  • ...how the process of generating research topic which is
  • waterproof
  • intriguing
  • exiting
  • manageable
  • feasible

...should go?

  • ...what are the parameters of a good question?
  • ...why was Einstein brilliant?
  • ... process with occasional dead ends, time consuming and stressful  Have fun!
attributes of a good research topic
Attributes of a good research topic
  • practical considerations - requirements of your uni
  • your capability – have/develop the skills and competencies to manage the research
  • excitement - your genuine interest
  • resources – money, equipment, expert knowledge, time
  • accessibility of data – especially when sensitive topics
  • linkage to the theory - previous theories give a context to your topic; avoid you to “discover” well-known things
  • clarity of research questions and objectives – will there be new insights or not
  • practical considerations AGAIN - Congruence with your career goals – in the end, you will be, want it or not, kind of an expert in the specific area you studied
generating and refining research ideas
Generating and refining research ideas
  • Generating research ideas: range of tips and techniques

rationalANDcreative techniques

  • Using these techniques usually may have two outcomes:

one or more possible project idea VERSUS absolute panic

rational techniques
Rational techniques
  • examine your own strengths and interests– look back and look into the future
  • look at past project titles – let your imagination and attention to guide you; note down
  • discussion– colleagues; friends; university supervisors, tutors; practitioners; proffesionals
  • searching the literature– academic and professional journals; review articles
creative techniques
Creative techniques
  • keep a notebook of ideas– short-time memory is a ... (you fill the gap)
  • explore your personal preferences using past projects –
  • what appeals me about the project?
  • what is good about this project?
  • Why is the project good?

Find out aspects in projects you consider as excellent and important to you

  • relevance trees or mind mapping
  • Brainstorming – not only for solving, but also for generating problems!
for refining research ideas
For refining research ideas...
  • ... conduct a preliminary study– literature, experts, research context (e.g., organisation)
  • ... topic from your organisation – how to do two things out of one?
turning research ideas into research projects
Turning research ideas into research projects
  • Good research question:
  • sufficient to generate a project accepted by your institution
  • not too difficult – you can’t solve all the problems in the world
  • not “too big” – demanding significant funding
  • not “too small” – irrelevant; not enough substance
  • not “too hot” – sensitive topics – no one wants to talk to you
  • will generate new insights
phrasing a good research question
Phrasing a good research question
  • General focus research question:

I’m interested in sustainable worldview of companies

  • Following more detailed questions/ research objectives:

I want to know, how the environmentally sensitive or green image of a company affects their profit?

Going from more general level to the more specific focus

phrasing a good research question1
...phrasing a good research question
  • Implications for future studies in scientific articles and publications – need only to rephrase as a research question 
writing research objectives
Writing research objectives
  • General focus research question ->research objectives
  • ...lead you to greater specifity than research questions;
  • are more precise;
  • require more rigorous thinking

RQ: “how the environmentally sensitive image affects the profit of a company?”

->

RO: “To determine the role that the environmental-friendly image plays in customers’ decisions when choosing between different products/companies”

  • Research objectives ->

- what to you want to know;

- specify, where is the end point of your work;

- help you to understand that your question is answered

the importance of theory in writing research questions and objectives
The importance of theory in writing research questions and objectives
  • theory - a formulation regarding the cause and effect relationships between two or more variables, which may or may not been tested
  • - ...explain and predict
  • Often, researchers do not ask those questions that allow to meaningfully conclude why the state of affair is as it is

– in order to understand the mechanism of change, you have to ask questions about this mechanism of change

- most studies stop where the starting point should be

  • Gathering of facts versus intelligence gathering
  • Why-questions go beyond description and require analysis
i f you want to do a research you need to answer four very simple p questions
If you want to do a research, you need to answer four very simple :P questions:

1. What do I want to find out?

2. Why I want to find it out? (Why is it interesting?)

3. How will I found it out? (Maybe it is already known?)

4. Are the answers to the three previous questions in accord with each other?

homework
Homework

Generate a research topic that is interesting to you:

- phrase your central research question;

- phrase your research objective(s).

NB – it is also ok if you follow the 4 questions on the previous page!

  • length: 0,5-1 A4 pages
  • send it by email at least 2 workdays before our next lecture: [email protected]
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