Craft of Research - 0.0 - A brief introduction
Terms in this set (20)
Finds, evaluates, accurately and clearly reports, information.
Three questions when starting a research project.
How do I find a topic?
Where do I find information on it?
What do I do when I find it?
How to find a topic in an interest? (chapter 3)
"In the air"
In the library
On the internet
Question vs. Problem. What is the difference? (according to the text)
A question raises a problem if not answering it has consequences. (Points to relevance)
What is a three-step formula for developing a research question? (Chapter 3)
1. Topic: I am studying _________.
2. Question: Because I want to find out what / why / how _________,
3. Significance: in order to help my reader understand
How to focus and question a topic? (chapter 4)
1. Your research answer should lead to a practical answer.
2. Your research answer should help resolve a conceptual or practical problem beyond the scope of your research.
What is an example of focusing and questioning a topic?
1. Topic: I am studying differences among nineteenth- century versions
of the Alamo story
2. Research Question: because I want to find out how politicians
used stories of such events to shape public opinion,
3. Potential Practical Significance: in order to protect ourselves
from unscrupulous politicians.
How to transform questions into a research problem? (chapter 5)
1. Review the last few pages you just wrote.
2. Catalog research problems found in secondary sources (by definition, these use primary data to solve research problems)
3. Fact-check your sources looking for discrepancies.
How to engage sources in ways that encourage your own best thinking? (chapter 6)
Write notes as you read, reflect on your reading in writing, summarize your notes and then summarize the summaries. Get involved.
What is a research argument? (Chapter 7)
A collection of claims based on reasons because of evidence which taken together form an argument which strongly persuades the reader to take a new position. In other words, change, modify or reverse their opinion.
It is an attempt to convince the reader to accept our point of view on a debatable topic. We should make claims that we find important and new so that they can change the reader's mind and we have to support those claims with proper evidence, so that the reader won't doubt our assertions. The researcher should anticipate questions the readers may have and try to answer them. The explanation should persuade the researcher first and they should present it in a way that will convince the readers of the value of his or her work.
How to evaluate your claim for its significance? (chapter 8)
Is it relevant, interesting, and raising either a novel or known problem? Alternatively, is it a known fact, mere speculation or a dead end?
How to judge what counts as a good reasons and sound evidence? (chapter 9)
Readers look first for the core of an argument, a claim and its support.
They look particularly at its set of reasons to judge its plausibility
and their order to judge its logic. If they think those reasons
make consecutive sense, they will look for the evidence they rest
on, the bedrock of every argument. If they don't believe the evidence,
they'll reject the reasons, and with them the claim.
How to acknowledge and respond to questions, objections, and alternative views? (Chapter 10)
Raise them yourself in advance or in peer-review exchanges.
How to make clear the logic of your argument? (Chapter 11)
Reaching logical conclusions depends on the proper analysis of premises.
How to plan a first draft? (Chapter 12)
Various methods. In summary: gather your materials, organize them in several different ways including by topic, relevance, significance, utility, controversy and look for patterns which suggest questions that raise problems you can research.
How to draft it quickly and efficiently? (Chapter 13)
Researchers who write in short but regular sessions are
typically more productive (and successful) than those who
write in longer, sporadic bursts.
Researchers who regularly record and report their
progress to someone (often, not their supervisor) are
typically more productive than those who do not.
How to test and revise your draft? (Chapter 14)
Write your paper three times: 1. draft, 2. refine, 3. optimize. (also known as 2 drafts and a polish)
How to present complex quantitative evidence clearly and
pointedly? (Chapter 15)
Most readers grasp quantitative evidence more easily in tables, charts,
and graphs than they do in words.
How to write an introduction and conclusion that convince readers your report is worth their time (Chapter 16)
Consider how your paper solves a problem significant to your audience. Also write your final introduction only after you have completed your paper.
How to edit your style to make it clear, direct, and readable
Take the time to read your own work and simplify your sentence structure and word choice whenever it's appropriate. For most of us most of the time, our dense writing indicates not the irreducible difficulty of a work of genius, but the sloppy thinking of a writer indifferent to his readers.
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