BBI 3417Writing Research Report LECTURE 2 ASSOC.PROF.DR.SHAMALA PARAMASIVAM
Selecting a Research Topic • How do you select a research topic? - Instructor assigns a topic for you - Instructor provides some guidelines for choosing a topic - Instructor gives you complete freedom to choose whatever topic you want
Example • Topic : Language Policy in Malaysia
Why do an overview? • To get general understanding of your topic • To know what kinds of subtopic are within the general topic • To ask some questions that you will answer later in the research process • To focus you topic into one you can handle in your project
How do I find sources for an overview? • Encyclopedias • Websites • Books • Journals
What do I look for in an overview? • Notice the way the information has been organized within the overview. • Take notes on the headings and subheadings that are used to subdivide the information. These can give you some possible ways to help focus the topic of your research to look at the table of contents for possible subtopics • From an overview, select a subtopic that interest you. • Once you have and understanding of the general subject and particular subtopic, you will be able to narrow your topic.
Making Source Cards • Source cards are index cards- to put all the information you will need about all the sources you use • Why will I need them ? - identify the sources or quotations and ideas for citing your sources later ( giving credit to your sources) - find sources again if you need them - make your works cited (list of the sources you have used in your research)
Focusing a research topic • Narrowing your topic, to demonstrate a good understanding of it by including enough examples and important details,. • If the topic is too broad, there will trouble selecting what to include from a huge selection of material and leaving out critical information • If the topic is too narrow, there will not be enough to write about and you might end up repeating yourself • Remember the research process is a recursive one which means that you may try to revisit your topic choice more than once if you find it doesn’t work out.
Example • Topic: How children learn English grammar. • Try to find a subtopic that connect s your interests. • If you like children, try comparing Malay children and Chinese children • If you like grammar, look at how children learn grammar and how their learning can be influenced by teachers or find out what elements of grammar young children learn first
Statement of Purpose • It is a sentence that states ,in some detail what you want to learn about in your research project. • The statement guides you as you work so that you will read and take notes only on what’s needed for your project • Writing a statement of purpose will help you: - be more interested in your project - keep you from getting overwhelmed and panicky at all the information you may find - help you develop a Thesis Statement
Example • A student was very concerned about the declining proficiency in English among secondary school students and wanted to know if the government is doing anything to arrest it • Statement of Purpose: I want to learn about what is being done by our government to arrest the declining proficiency in English among secondary school students
Thesis Statement 1. In Malaysia, government language planning plays an important role in arresting the declining proficiency in English among secondary school students. 2. The Malaysian government language planning and policy has little effect in the fight against declining English language proficiency among secondary students
Writing a Thesis Statement • A statement you can prove with evidence • It is the main idea of your entire research project • Can also be thought of as the angle or point of view from which you present your material
How to write a Thesis Statement? • Look at your statement of purpose and the kinds of information you have been finding while taking notes. • Decide ‘what kind of statement you have enough evidence to prove’ • Write that as your thesis statement
Arrange the definitions from shortest to longest and see whether it helps you to find anything of interest How would you define research? • Finding the source or cause of something. • It is peeling away the layers of onion so as to see how and why something works or doesn’t work or where it fits in the grander scheme with increased understanding • Investigation into how and why things work or don’t work. • Finding answers to questions • Exploring the mundane to find new depths and connections
Discovery of new knowledge • Controlled investigation of a theory • Careful, thorough study • Rigorous inquiry into theoretical or practical issues • The necessary underpinnings to advancement of the profession- without it, we are in danger of uttering unsubstantiated jabberwocky and not doing our student’s justice • The search for the truth • Use of scientific method to test a theory • Working consciously and critically ( but not necessarily objectively) at important problems in human endeavor.