Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Choose a Solvable and Manageable Research Problem

It is important to select a problem that is narrow enough that you can address it or solve it in a reasonable period of time. You should select a topic that can be completed within a two-year time frame.

A longer time frame could allow many unexpected and competing events to occur. If you find yourself spending an exorbitant amount of time pursuing and identifying a research problem, it is possible that the problem is not solvable.

With a longer time frame, you also run the risk of someone else identifying and solving the problem before you do. Hence, the concept of “original” contribution to the field is lost and you might have to start over. Moreover, you run the risk of your enthusiasm diminishing.

The Research Problem Must Be Worthy Of Your Time

Finding a topic that is compelling enough to sustain further research is critical. Employers evaluate potential employees based on the student’s ability to not only finish the dissertation but also make future contributions to the field.

choosing dissertation topic. Make Your Research Topic Is Original - Has It Been Done Before?

The prerequisite for finding a new research topic is to be informed because most things have been studied before. Staying on top of the current debates in your academic field puts you in a position to identify the gaps in knowledge. After identifying the gaps, all you need to figure out is what kinds of information will fill these gaps.

Hone Your Research Skills

One way to evaluate your research skills and make sure they are up to par is to pursue a potential topic in your Research Methods or Statistics courses where you can get immediate feedback from an instructor. You can use these courses to work out potential problems in your methodology or your review of the literature; thus allowing you to work out any kinks earlier in your academic career rather than later.

As You Read — Ask the Following Questions.

· What is the Research Question in the Study?

Did the Researcher Focus on the Wrong Group/subjects?

· Did the Research Leave Some Group/Something Out?

· Is the Methodology Faulty?

· Were the Findings Faulty?

· Can I Pursue the Author’s Recommendation for Future Research?

· What Are the Limitations of the Study? Dissertation Topic


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