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How to plan a research project

How to plan a research project

Planning research projects requires creativity and sharp analytical skills.

Any research planning uses the same four steps:

  1. Orienting yourself to knowledge-creation
  2. Formulating your research question.
  3. Reviewing previous research on your question.
  4. Selecting the information needed to answer your question.

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Orienting yourself for research planning requires you to stop thinking like a student, which treats knowledge as something created by other people.

  • Instead of consuming information, adjust your thinking to a producer of information.
  • Question previous...

Your background information should come from scholarly books and journals, or reputable mass media sources. Use search engines such as JSTOR and Google Scholar.

Create an annotated bibliography by providing at least ten sources relevant to your topic.

  • Name of author(s).

A systematic approach will establish the building blocks of your research project.

  • Clearly describe the question you've chosen to study.
  • Summarise the state of the art in knowledge about the question, and where your project could provide novel insight.
  • Identify the ...

At some point, you'll need to consider which data source and analytical strategy are most likely to give the answers you need.

  • Consider whether your question would be best addressed by qualitative data (interviews, observations, or historical re...

The 'literature review' section in academic research demonstrated that researchers have thoroughly and systematically reviewed relevant findings of previous studies on the topic.

  • Your research project should include something similar to a 'literature review.'
  • Wr...

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