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September 18, 2013 - 3N06 Lecture Slides

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Political Science
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Todd Alway

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September 18, 2013 Political Science 3N06 Political Science 3N06 2013 Lecture 3a: Designing a Research Proposal Research Proposal; Transition from derivative to original; W RITING THE R ESEARCH PROPOSAL Research for research proposal, which is just more research…  - Research proposals have a number of elements - All these elements should be included in the final product 1. RESEARCH Q UESTION o Topic or research area that you are interested in doing some kind of real research; EG. Development;  Narrow things down; for example development; • Go to academic journals associated with this issue, narrow it down by reading through some abstracts; particular topics; graduate syllabi for doing research; topics broken down into the themes that are relevant; take down various themes and take this up as tentative research question o What research question will your study be answering? o Your question must  A. Be significant • Why is this an important area for research?  B. Be researchable • It must (for this assignment at least) be capable of being answered through empirical study • It has to be possible to answer the question through empirical research; • Not political theory; such as “What is the nature of Justice”; this assignment is for gathering data.  C. Be innovative • In the sense of providing new answers to new questions • Or providing new answers to old questions 1 September 18, 2013 Political Science 3N06 • Research question for which there is not yet a definitive answer; • Come up with an approach to an old question which will expand knowledge in this topic; 2. LITERATURE REVIEW (1 STDUE ) o Summarizes trends and themes in the academic literature surrounding a research question o A good literature review is critical, selective, comprehensive, and current o Establishes where your research fits into the existing debate o What it will add o Critical discussion of academic literature related to the question; o What has been said about the certain topic; o Need to have rationale as to why these topics have been organized a specific way; the literature view has to tell why these have been analyzed;  What are the major issues where the literature agrees and disagrees?  Do not just list articles;  Requires you to think as a whole; rather than systematically o Researching the literature about the topic that has been written about what you are interested in; o What have other people said about ____________________? o Are there important issues that the literature has not addressed? o EG Interpretive approach on development; How is development viewed? Do arguments and theories only focus on one part of the world? Something might be true on one side, but not true on the other? A good literature review tells us what has been said about a certain topic; If you do not know what has already been said? How will you know whether your research proposal will add knowledge? Through literature review because it tells us where further research is required; 3. M ETHODS AND DATA GATHERING STRATEGIES o What method will be used to gather/analyse data and why? 2 September 18, 2013 Political Science 3N06 o Something original about the question; where will you get the data to get the information;  Interviewing, survey, ethnographies;  Three data gathering strategies; how will these methods be used to generate data that would help me generate an answer;  How do I ensure the validity of the data that is produced? 4. ETHICAL C ONSIDERATIONS o Will your study have an impact on those being studied? o How will you protect the rights of research participants? o Conscious discussion whether the data analysis will infringe on the rights of those that are being asked questions;  Approval from the ethics board before this is done; must demonstrate that there won’t be negative impacts; 5. EXPECTED OUTCOMES o What are you expecting to find? o Consideration of potential problems, limitations, etc; 6. LIMITATIONS AND DELIMITATIONS o What will your study do and not do? - In practice you will likely go back and forth – as each element helps
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