Conducting a Research Project Essay

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LECTURE 7

Conducting a Research Project

Recommended Readings

Nunan. D. 1992. Research Methods in Language Learning. Cambridge: CUP. (Chapter 10)
Brown, J.D. & Rodgers, T.S., 2002, Doing Second Language Research, Oxford: OUP
Gibaldi, J. 2003, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, The Modern Language Association of America
Hart, C. 1998, Doing a Literature Review, Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, Sage Publication
Locke, L.F. et al., 2000, Proposals that Work, Sage Publication
Munger, D. et al., 1998, Researching on Line, London: Longman
Walker, R. 1985. Doing Research: a Handbook for Teachers. London: Methuen
Wiersma, W. 1985. Research Methods in Education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon
Wisker, G. 2001, The Postgraduate Handbook, New York: Palgrave
http://www.meaning.ca/articles/writing_research_proposal_may02.htm

The research cycle
General research process
Identifying a research area
Developing a research question
Preparing a research proposal
Conducting a literature review
Determining data collection methods
Collecting data
Analysing data
Drawing conclusions
Writing up research

Developing a research question
Determining the general topic area for research
  - from one’s own interest
  - from one’s experience   in the field
  - reading widely
Formulating a question: a balance between the value of the question and the researcher’s ability to answer it
    - Defining a research problem
    - Considering the construct validity

Doing a research project: How to find a research topic
Solution 1: Libraries
Skimming over papers in professional journals
Focusing on the data and problems addressed in the papers – other better solution? Better approach?
Solution 2: Course readings
Reading again critically for inconsistent arguments, flaws in argumentation, ad hoc solutions, contradictory data to the claims in the papers
Solution 3: Starting from data, not theory
  New data for a little-studied topic...

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