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IA 494 - GRADUATION THESIS Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz HASIRCI Asst. Prof. Dr.Zeynep TUNA ULTAV 1.

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Presentation on theme: "IA 494 - GRADUATION THESIS Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz HASIRCI Asst. Prof. Dr.Zeynep TUNA ULTAV 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 IA 494 - GRADUATION THESIS Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz HASIRCI Asst. Prof. Dr.Zeynep TUNA ULTAV 1

2 What is research? We ask questions all the time Research is a formal way of going about asking questions Uses methodologies Many different kinds (e.g. market research, media research and social research) Basic research methods can be learned easily 2

3 The Research Cycle 3

4 Basic steps of a research project Find a topic  What, When Formulate questions  What, Why (Research Question) Assumptions, hunches (Hypotheses) Define population  Who, When (Sample group) Select design & measurement  How (Instruments) Gather evidence  How Interpret evidence  Why Tell about what you did and found out 4

5 Ask yourself these questions about your problem Is it of sufficient interest that I will continue to be motivated through to its completion? Is it embedded in theory so that it is part of a network of propositions and explanations? Will it have some impact on the field? Has it an element of originality and creativity about it? Is it feasible in terms of my acquired or acquirable knowledge and skills, as well as being within my social, ethical, institutional, and resource limitations? 5

6 Twelve issues to bear in mind when choosing a research topic 1. How much choice you have. 2. Your motivation. 3. Regulations and expectations. 4. Your subject or field of study. 5. Previous examples of research projects. 6. The size of your topic. 7. The time you have available. 8. The cost of research. 9. The resources you have available. 10. Your need for support. 11. Access issues. 12. Methods for researching. 6

7 Step 4: Why? Getting the answer Collect your data Keep returning to your research question Organize your research results to answer the question Keep in mind who you are doing the research for Focus on what research results do tell you Be creative, methodical and meticulous 7

8 How to Write a Hypothesis/Research Questions? After having thoroughly researched your question, you should have some educated guess about how things work. This educated guess about the answer to your question is called the hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. 8

9 Planning your research: Key questions What? Who? When? Why? And How? 9

10 Step 1: What? What do I want to know? When developing your research question, keep in mind: Who your research is for; What decisions your research will inform; What kind of information is needed to inform those decisions. Conduct a local information scan Take another look at your research question 10

11 Step 2: How? Where? Who? How do I find out what I want to know? Where can I get the information I need? Who do I need to ask? Choose your methodology quantitative or numbers information qualitative in-depth explanatory information case studies site visits or observation participatory research 11

12 Step 3: When? When do all the different parts of the research need to be done? List all your research work areas Map them against a timeline Develop a work plan 12

13 Basic research methods Quantitative research (e.g. survey) Qualitative research (e.g. face-to-face interviews; focus groups; site visits) 13

14 Quantitative research Involves information or data in the form of numbers Allows us to measure or to quantify things Respondents don’t necessarily give numbers as answers - answers are analyzed as numbers Good example of quantitative research is the survey 14

15 Qualitative research Helps us flesh out the story and develop a deeper understanding of a topic Often contrasted to quantitative research Together they give us the ‘bigger picture’ Good examples of qualitative research are face-to- face interviews, focus groups and site visits 15

16 Surveys Think clearly about questions (need to constrain answers as much as possible) Make sure results will answer your research question Can use Internet for conducting surveys if need to cover wide geographic reach 16

17 Face-to-face interviews Must prepare questions Good idea to record your interviews Interviews take up time, so plan for an hour or less (roughly 10 questions) Stick to your questions, but be flexible if relevant or interesting issues arise during the interview 17

18 Focus groups Take time to arrange, so prepare in advance (use an intermediary to help you if you can) Who will be in your focus group? (e.g. age, gender) Size of focus group (8-10 is typical) Consider whether or not to have separate focus groups for different ages or genders (e.g. discussing sex and sexuality) 18

19 Site visits and observation Site visits involve visiting an organization, community project etc. Consider using a guide Observation is when you visit a location and observe what is going on, drawing your own conclusions Both facilitate making your research more relevant and concrete 19

20 Documents During the process of research, the qualitative investigator may collect documents. These may be public documents (e.g., newspapers, minutes of meetings, official reports) or private documents (e.g., personal journals and diaries, letters, e-mails). 20

21 Audio and visual material This data may take the form of photographs, art objects, videotapes, or any forms of sound. 21

22 Case studies Method of capturing and presenting concrete details of real or fictional situations in a structured way Good for comparative analysis 22

23 Getting Started Finding a topic needn’t be traumatic Work projects  Research studies Media Trends Technology Physical, Social Environment 23

24 Data collection involves agreement & consent Forge partnerships At some point you will need to leave the comfort zone of reading and literature gathering. Data Collection 24

25 Getting Started Read to learn; read to analyze About research methodology Studies on similar topics Interesting studies Non-library studies 25

26 Who is the author? What is their position? What are their biases? Where and when was the document produced? Why was the document produced? How was it produced and for whom? In what context was the document produced? What are its underlying assumptions? What does the document say, and not say? How is the argument presented? How well supported and convincing is its argument? How does this document relate to previous ones? How does this document relate to later ones? What do other sources have to say about it? Documentary analysis 26

27 Keep a log of your ideas and review it from time to time to refresh the best of the log's possibilities in your mind. Old ideas may have new meaning in the light of something you have read since. New techniques, instruments, and models often suggest possibilities and extensions of past research. Other languages and cultures often hold possibilities that await discovery and development. 27

28 Read Actively; Anticipate the Author. Active reading is one of the most important skills to develop. Anticipate where the material is going; project the argument that is being fashioned instead of passively following it. We process what we read more thoroughly if we underline or make marginal comments. This practice reduces reading speed and allows time to think ahead to where the argument is going. 28

29 Reread Material. The mind can focus on only a few things at a time. Put aside those authors who seem to have the best grasp of your area and let them grow "cold." Then read them after they are again fresh to you, focusing on different things than when you read them the first time, looking for things you missed. Actively Search for Inconsistencies in the Argument. Look for gaps where existing ideas do not adequately account for the phenomena. This step may call for revision of existing explanations or even for new ones. 29

30 Organize the Material You Have Read. processing results in "chunking" material into meaningful collections. The networking of these chunks makes connections that bring to mind new material. 30

31 Organize Material into Suggestive Patterns. There are many arbitrary ways of organizing material into suggestive patterns; First, you put all the material onto small cards, spreading them out without order and reading them to transfer the material to your unconscious mind. Next, you work on something else for awhile. Then you organize the cards into groups and organize the groups into mega- groups, each with a title, continuing until you have seven or fewer mega-groups. Finally, you examine the interrelations of these groups and their components. 31

32 Try Your Ideas in Simple Form Before Starting a Complex Investigation. 32

33 Formulate the Problem as a Written Statement. Setting down your thoughts is clarifying and organizing. 33

34 Trim Away Your Entry to a Problem as Soon as It No Longer Fits. 34

35 Be Critical About Numbers “Every statistic is a way of summarizing complex information into relatively simple numbers” (Best). How did the researchers arrive at these numbers? Who produced the numbers and what is their bias? How can key terms be defined & in how many different ways? 35

36 Be Critical About Numbers How was the choice for the measurement made? What type of sample was gathered & how does that affect result? Is the statistical result interpreted correctly? If comparisons are made, are they appropriate? Are there competing statistics? 36

37 Writing Up 37

38 Table of Contents Stocktaking begins with a draft table of contents. It is a table that commits you to nothing: you may alter, add and subtract, and it would be surprising if you did not do all those things before you are finished. 38

39 INTRODUCTION: 1 st Chapter Aim, Objectives, Research Question Literature Review Methodology: describes the exact steps that will be undertaken to address your hypotheses and/or research questions. For this reason the Method section follows logically from the statement of the problem in much the same way as research questions follow from the review of the literature. The goal of this part is to provide a clear and complete description of the specific steps to be followed. 39

40 Development Chapters Data collection Analysis Findings 40

41 Collect and present your ideas in an orderly and interesting way. Add figures, tables to enhance to clarify ideas and to enhance the reading experience. Finishing Up 41

42 Be very careful about spelling, rules & regulations, and references. Make someone else to check the report for you. Make sure your report is neat and tidy. Timing is everything. Do and submit everything on time. Finishing Up 42

43 TO SUM UP… REVIEW OF PREVIOUS RESEARCH. How closely is the literature cited in the study related to previous literature? Is the review recent? Are there any seminal or outstanding references you now of that were left out? 43

44 TO SUM UP… THE PROBLEM AND PURPOSE Can you understand the statement of the problem? Is the purpose of the study clearly stated? Does the purpose seem to be tied to the literature that is reviewed? Is the objective of the study clearly stated? Is there a conceptual rationale to which the hypotheses are grounded? Is there a rationale for why the study is an important one to do? 44

45 TO SUM UP… THE HYPOTHESIS. Are the research hypotheses clearly stated? Are the research hypotheses explicitly stated? Do the hypotheses state a clear association between variables? Are the hypotheses grounded in theory or in a review and presentation of relevant literature? Are the hypotheses testable? 45

46 TO SUM UP… THE METHOD Are both the independent and dependent variables clearly defined? Are the definition and description of the variables complete? Is it clear how the study was conducted? What type of study/research design was this? 46

47 TO SUM UP… THE SAMPLE Was the sample selected in such a way that you think it is representative of the population? Is it clear where the sample comes from and how it was selected? How similar are the participants in the study to those that have been used in similar studies? 47

48 TO SUM UP… RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Does the author relate the results to the review of literature? Are the results related to the hypothesis? Is the discussion of the results consistent with the results? Does the discussion provide closure to the initial hypothesis that the author presents? 48

49 TO SUM UP… REFERENCES Is the list of references current? Are they consistent in their format? Are the references complete? Does the list of references reflect some of the most important reference sources in the field? 49

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