Research Topic and Preliminary Questions
Since you devote a lot of time to your research it is important to select a topic of such personal interest that you will really enjoy working on it. However choosing a topic is not that simple.
Supplemental handouts are provided in Doc Sharing for M1 A1 with ideas about research topics and research questions. Each provides a different perspective that may be useful in addition to the assigned reading in your texts. As Fink (2010) has suggested thinking of potential research questions around your research topic very early gives you the opportunity to focus on the key words generated the questions you frame. These can help as you begin your database search in M2.A1. In addition focusing your research topic area around potential questions may help you better understand possible relationships among variables where you might focus your research interest. As you begin to think more this way consider wording your questions within a context like the following example: What are the potential relationships between—- and —-? The idea of framing questions in this relational scientific way is highlighted especially in the Doc Sharing article Generating and Developing Research Questions.
The following are additional guidingideas for you to consider:
Potential relational questionsto help you focus your topic and enhance your preliminary keyword search: Think of your topic in terms of preliminary questions that you want answered about the topic.
Educational significance of your topic: Examine the expected impact or significance of your study in your field of study or the potential significance of what you hope to add to the scholarly literature. [Note: you should use conditional verb formsThe results may lead to a better understanding of the adolescent learner.] Background / Need for the Study: The background is the context of the problem that you have chosen to study and is one way to demonstrate that your study has attracted/will attract the attention of the educational research community. State the background of your topic in one or two paragraphs.Reason forinterest in this topic. Specific aspects of the topicyou would like to pursue: In what ways could this topic be limited so it would be a manageable topic to research? For example it would be too broad to explore the leadership styles of all high school principals whose high schools had graduates who entered colleges or universities.