Wednesday, 23 October 2013


doing your research project
Approaches to research: make sure all the research/reading benefit the outcome of your project, no pointless research.  What are you going to research and how? what methodology?
quantitative vs qualitative 

quantitative - statistical data, numerical results, how audience react to it 
qualitative - theory, philosophical
what sort of data do you want to get?

action research - reflective practice 
planning the project:
organised, clear and detailed project plan
  • write down all questions that you want to investigate
  • consider each on their merits and focus on two (primary and secondary) one question or theme, one secondary theme or question if research doesn't yield the research you want
  • write an A4 'first thoughts' sheet for each
  • what is the purpose of the study? is your question researchable? 
  • decide on a working title
project outline:
  • consider timing
  • deadline - 12 weeks today
  • consider holidays / work / life
  • week by week plan!
  • think about your working title and the different component parts that needed researching
  • allocate timings to each
  • draw up a project outline based on the above
  • allow generous time for initial reading and writing up
  • factor in tutorials
literature search and review 
  • reading takes more time than you think
  • how much can you actually read in 100 hours?
  • start by trying to find out all key texts on your chosen topic
  • focus your reading based on an initial assessment of this survey
  • find key texts and plan time to read these
  • find secondary sources / criticisms of key texts (triangulation) using sources to cross references and critique each other 
  • use journals (
grid: organise research, harvard reference from the start
harvard reference/key concepts/comments/applications and questions 


  • reference properly and digitally straight away, start compiling a bibliography
  • include all details  (name, forename, date, place, publisher, page)


  • is a questionnaire the best way of investigating your topic? if so, begin to word questions and discuss with your supervisor
  • avoid ambiguity, imprecision or assumption
  • also avoid double, leading, presuming or offensive questions - don't ask questions that lead to other questions
  • question type? structure 
  • think about format/appearance 
  • always pilot your questionnaire 
  • decide on sample size
  • specify a return deadline (factor this into your project outline)
  • record responses as soon as complete 
  • is an interview the best way of investigating your topic?
  • if so, begin to word questions and discuss with your supervisor 
  • structured or unstructured interview?
  • how will you analyse questions?
  • watch for bias
  • plan the interview / prepare the room
  • introduce yourself
  • tape record the interview (permission required)
  • agree the accuracy of notes with the interviewee 
  • is observing the best way of investigating your topic?
  • decide exactly what you want to know
  • participant/non-participant observation
  • request permission to observe 
  • prepare and plan observation carefully
  • devise a suitable grid, checklist or chart
critical diaries / reflective logs
  • make sure you are clear about the purpose 
  • be disciplined - regularly update a personal diary or offer clear guideline / deadlines for second party diaries
  • dont procrastinate 
  • plan research methods carefully
  • select the most appropriate research methods for the project
  • complete an ethics self assessment 
  • complete an extensive literature review 
  • document all stages of the process carefully 
  • produce a detailed project outline, with timings and stick to it
  • get the most from your supervision

No comments:

Post a Comment