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Chapter 4 Developing your Research Question Zina OLeary.

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1 Chapter 4 Developing your Research Question Zina OLeary

2 The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions. Claude Lévi-Strauss Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

3 The Importance of Research Questions Developing a well-articulated research question is an important part of the process because: it defines the investigation sets boundaries provides direction acts as a frame of reference for assessing your work. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

4 Defining Your Topic If you are finding it a challenge to generate a research topic you can: hone in on your passions use your curiosity look for inspiration from the creative arts develop right brain skills such as concept mapping. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

5 Concept Map of Potential Research Topics Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

6 From Interesting Topics to Researchable Questions An angle for your research can come from insights stemming from: personal experience theory observations contemporary issues engagement with the literature. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

7 Minding Practicalities Research directions are not always at the full discretion of the researcher. Practicalities include: appropriateness of the topic your ability to get supervisory support funding opportunities and commitments. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

8 Cycles of Research Question Development Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

9 The Hypothesis Dilemma Hypotheses are designed to express relationships between variables. If this is the nature of your question, a hypothesis can add to your research. If your question is more descriptive or explorative, generating a hypothesis may not be appropriate. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

10 The Hypothesis Dilemma A hypothesis may not be appropriate if: you do not have a hunch or educated guess about a particular situation you do not have a set of defined variables your question centres on phenomenological description your question centres on an ethnographic study of a cultural group your aim is to engage in, and research, the process of collaborative change. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

11 Narrowing and Clarifying Narrowing, clarifying, and even redefining your questions is essential to the research process. Forming the right questions should be seen as an iterative process that is informed by reading and doing at all stages. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage

12 Assessing your Question In order to assess your question you will need to explore whether your question: is right for you is right for the field is well articulated is doable will get the tick of approval from those in the know. Zina OLeary (2009) The Essential Guide to Doing Your Research Project. London: Sage


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