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Methods of Research

Getting started
What should I research? | Where should I research? | How should I research?
Who can do Research? | Planning your research

What should I research?

The simple answer to this question is anything! For example, you could research something very specific to your own teaching; or something that is more general to your department, school, or cluster of schools.  Your initial idea can come from almost anywhere:

The most important part of your research project is to narrow down your initial area of interest. You need to ensure your topic is focused so you can develop a clear and explicit research question. The more explicit your question, the more straightforward and manageable it will be to work out how to answer it. You may choose to focus your question in three stages:

Stage 1: your research area
Start by asking yourself two questions

  • What area am I interested in?
  • Why am I interested in the area?

Stage 2: your research focus

Now ask yourself what specific aspects of your overall area you are interested in. You might find it helpful to refine your thinking by writing down what your research is about and where, when and how you are going to do it.

Stage 3: your research question
Finally, write your actual research question, or questions. Remember to be realistic about what you can achieve with your time and resources. Probably you will only have one, maybe two, questions and perhaps some sub-questions.

 

Once you have decided on your topic and have your research questions,
you can plan your research in greater detail.

 

Next: Where should I research?