Doing a successful research project- by Martin Brett Davies (chapter 1)

15 Oct

10 steps to get off to a good start:

1)      You need a supervisor (in my case my lecturer)

2)      You should expect to talk things over with your peers

3)      Accept that criticism may be useful

4)      Start out with a clear understanding of resource issues

5)      Don’t firm up your project plan too soon

6)      But you do need to settle on a research topic

7)      You should pre-plan your working system

8)      Make sure you stick to the requirements of your course

9)      Stay in touch with your favourite textbooks

10)   Plan your timetable

Aim for specificity of focus:

Research is not about the totality of life. It requires you to detach one element from reality, gather evidence about it (whether scientific or reflectively) and describe what you have found. When you first identify a topic, you will find that your mind goes off in all directions. That’s entirely natural and is initially helpful, but, once you are embarking on your project, you need to aim for a clear-cut Sense of direction. In a single, time-limited project, you can’t cover all aspects of everything, Keep the focus tight. Don’t let it drift. Get a clear idea of where the evidence is leading you.

Ask a good question:

One of the best ways of achieving specificity of focus is to ask a good question.

The nature of research:

  • Research is a process of gathering data in strictly organized manner.
  • Research is a process of testing a stated idea or assertion (the hypothesis) to see if the evidence supports it or not.
  • Research is a process of engaging in planning or unplanned interaction with or interventions in parts of the real world, and reporting on what happens and what they seem to mean.
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