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Beginning Your Choral Research Project Brainstorming Purpose Statement Research Questions Review of Literature.

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Presentation on theme: "Beginning Your Choral Research Project Brainstorming Purpose Statement Research Questions Review of Literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beginning Your Choral Research Project Brainstorming Purpose Statement Research Questions Review of Literature

2 Parts of the Written Research Study Abstract Introduction Review of Literature –concludes with purpose statement and enumerated research questions Methods and Procedures Results Discussion Reference List Appendices words (written last) Article: a paragraph; Thesis: Chapter 1 (5-12 pages) Article: 2-5 pages; Thesis: Chapter 2 (20-30 pages minimum) Article: 2-5 pages; Thesis: Chapter 3 (whatever it takes) Article: 4-8 pages; Thesis: Chapter 4 (whatever it takes) Article: 1-3 pages; Thesis: Chapter 5 (10-15 pages)

3 The formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science. --A. Einstein and L. Infeld, The Evolution of Physics, 1938.

4 Parts of the Written Research Study Introduction Review of Literature –concludes with purpose statement and enumerated research questions Methods and Procedures Results Discussion Reference List Appendices Article: a paragraph; Thesis: Chapter 1 (5-12 pages) Article: 2-5 pages; Thesis: Chapter 2 (20-30 pages minimum) Article: 2-5 pages; Thesis: Chapter 3 (whatever it takes) Article: 4-8 pages; Thesis: Chapter 4 (whatever it takes) Article: 1-3 pages; Thesis: Chapter 5 (10-15 pages) the heart of the study

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6 Mapping Your Research Project What turns on your curiosity? Select a general topic Immediately begin your quest for bibliographic control Formulate several research problems Articulate a purpose for this particular study Design specific research questions for this particular study

7 Identify the General Topic Choose a problem/issue/question/phenomenon important to YOU Begin posing a variety of questions Rule out “yes or no” questions, and use “why, how, or what” questions Make sure questions are directly related to your chosen problem/issue Make sure your questions are answerable in some fashion Brainstorm about the larger issues to generate answerable questions

8 On what do you focus your research? A problem or opportunity A puzzle or dilemma Some broad areas of potential investigation: Choral sound/choral singing/choir acoustics Conducting Rehearsing Learning Historical roots Philosophic inquiry Sociological dimensions

9 Purpose Statement Clear development of the purpose statement provides logical structure to and a roadmap for your study: “The purpose of this study is……” Make it as specific and as de-limited as possible Lean and mean: Avoid unrelated or ornamental ideas/concepts. Revise, Revise, Revise Brainstorming, reviewing related literature, leading up to a

10 Research Questions Allow you to specifically define the problem/issue and how you will investigate it State research questions as clearly and specifically/empirically as possible What are attitudes of faculty members toward choir as a curricular class? What are faculty attitudes in my school towards choir as a curricular class? What are faculty attitudes in my school towards choir as a curricular class, as measured by a faculty attitude survey? Out of the purpose statement come enumerated

11 Research Questions Do faculty attitudes toward choir as a curricular class in my school, as measured by a faculty attitude survey, differ among those with no choral singing experience, less than two years of choral singing experience, and those with more than five years of choral singing experience? Do faculty attitudes toward choir as a curricular class in my school, as measured by a faculty attitude survey, differ among male and female teachers? Do faculty attitudes toward choir as a curricular class in my school, as measured by a faculty attitude survey, differ according to subject area taught?

12 Definition of Terms Sometimes, you will need to define certain words associated with your study. For example, if the purpose of your study is to assess the “blend” of two college choirs, you will need to define precisely what “blend” is as you are using it in your study. In a thesis or dissertation, these definitions typically come in Chapter 1, following your purpose statement and research questions. In an article, they may either precede or follow the review of literature.

13 Definition of Terms Such definitions should come where they make the most sense. They must, however, come before your methods section. It is sometimes advisable simply to cite a definition that you find in the literature. At other times, however, you may need to define the term yourself, particularly if you are the first to coin it for a particular purpose, e.g., “circumambient.”

14 Review of Literature What have others discovered or undertaken that is related to your intended research project? Provides context/background to your research problem/issue. Enables you to reflect upon and dialogue with previous approaches as you plan and design your project. Prevents you from needlessly “reinventing the wheel.” Affords you bibliographic control.

15 Review of Literature Typically constructed as an inverted pyramid: generally related to most directly related, each study cited becoming increasingly more specific to the context and conduct of your project. Generally related studies More related Directly related Very specifically related Smith (2001) investigated music Jones (1989) examined choral music Simon and Says (2003) surveyed college choirs Jeffers (1966) compared attitudes of male and female college choir members

16 Review of Literature Written in past tense Initially includes “just the facts” of each study, no overt editorializing or value judgments However, the very act of selecting some studies and not others, as well as how studies are arranged and labeled in your review of literature, obviously entails judgments of value The point is to make your review of literature an implicit, logical argument giving background/context to your proposed study, while providing factual data that point to coherent reasons why both your topic and your methodology can contribute to knowledge in the field

17 Review of Literature For an article, generally 2-5 pages in length. For a master’s thesis, a minimum of 20 pages. For a dissertation, a minimum of 30 pages. For some historical and philosophical studies, the review of literature need not be a separate section or chapter.

18 Where to Locate Literature The “usual suspects”: database and library research sources. Don’t forget about Dissertation Abstracts International. Follow up on the reference lists in studies related to your topic. Follow up, in turn, on the reference lists included in THOSE studies, etc. Keep adding to and modifying your key terms/words as you learn more about your topic.

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23 Qualitative=words Quantitative=numbers

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25 Research Planning Research Topic: What am I interested in? Purpose Statement: How am I interested in it? Research Question: What specifically do I want to find out? Research Strategy: How will I come to know and evaluate this phenomenon? Data Collection: What kinds of things will I need to collect before I begin? How will I collect the data? How often? How long? Data ARE plural. Datum is singular.

26 Collect Data Use any appropriate information that can help you answer your question Cross-sectional or longitudinal data Look for readily available data Types of data can be: tallies, surveys, demographic information, test results, observations, interviews, documents, photographs, sound recordings, concert programs, etc.

27 Replication of a Study According to the scientific method, you should be able to replicate a study/experiment and obtain the same results. Replication is an accepted purpose for a study. If you find someone else has already conducted the study you had in mind and you don’t want to replicate it, perhaps you can substitute a variable or a different procedure and thus still contribute to that line of investigation.

28 Recommendations for Further Research Do not neglect to read the recommendations for further research in studies that interest you. Often, you may find there a good research idea, or something that will prompt you to formulate one.


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