Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work

Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work

Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work – How to plan a research project Whether for a paper or a thesis, define your question, review the work of others – and leave yourself open to discovery

Is a professor of sociology at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Her research has won international awards both for the quality of the study and for the impact on public life. She has published dozens of articles and three books, most recently the bestseller Capital Without Borders (2016), already translated into five languages.

Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work

Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work

You should know “When curiosity turns into serious matters, it’s called research.” – From Aphorisms (1880-1905) by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

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Planning research projects is a time-honored intellectual exercise: one that requires both creativity and sharp analytical skills. The purpose of this guide is to make the process systematic and easy to understand. While there is a great deal of freedom and discovery involved—from the topics you choose, to the data and methods you apply—there are also certain norms and limitations that apply, regardless of your academic level or field of study. For those in high school to doctoral students, and from art history to archaeology, research planning involves broadly similar steps, including: formulating a question, developing an argument or predictions based on research previous, then selecting the information needed to answer your question.

Some of this may seem obvious, but, as you’ll discover, research requires a different way of accessing and using information than most of us are used to in everyday life. This is why I include knowledge creation orientation as an initial step in the process. This is a crucial and under-appreciated stage in education, similar to the transition from salaried employment to entrepreneurship: suddenly, you are on your own and this requires a new way of thinking about your work.

What follows is a distillation of what I have learned about this process over 27 years as a professional social scientist. It reflects the skills my professors imparted in the sociology PhD program at Harvard, as well as what I later learned as a research supervisor for PhD and MA students at the Ivy League, and then as an author of award-winning books and scholarly articles. prices. . It can be adapted to the demands of short projects (such as term papers) and long ones, such as a thesis.

At its simplest, research planning involves the four distinct steps described below: orientation toward knowledge creation; defining your research question; reviewing previous research on your question; and then select the relevant data to formulate your answers. Because the focus of this guide is on

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A research project, this section will not go into the details of data collection or analysis; these steps happen after you have planned the project. Moreover, the topic is broad: one-year PhD courses are devoted to data and analysis. Instead, the fourth part of this section will describe some basic strategies you can use in planning a process of selecting and analyzing data appropriate to your research question.

Of information. This sounds simple, but it is actually a complex task. As a practical matter, this means putting aside the mindset of a student who treats knowledge as something created by other people. As students, we are often passive

Of knowledge: we are asked to do a certain set of readings, then we are assessed on how well we reproduce what we have read.

Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work

. Doing research requires more of you than reading and absorbing what other people have written: you have to engage in a

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With him. This involves arguing with prior knowledge and perhaps trying to show that the ideas we have accepted as given are actually wrong or incomplete. For example, rather than simply taking in the claims of an author you read, you will need to extract the implications of those claims: if what the author is saying is true, what else does he suggest must be true? What predictions can you make based on the author’s claims?

In other words, instead of treating a reading as a source of truth—even if it comes from a venerable source like Plato or Marie Curie—this guiding step asks you to treat the claims you read as provisional. and subject to questioning. This is one of the greatest pieces of wisdom that science and philosophy can teach us: that the greatest advances in human understanding have been made not by being correct about trivial things, but by being

. For example, Albert Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics, but his arguments about it with fellow physicist Niels Bohr have led to some of the greatest discoveries in science, even a century later.

Students often give this step cursory attention, but experienced researchers know that formulating a good question is sometimes the most difficult part of the research planning process. This is because the exact language of the question frames the rest of the project. Therefore, it is important to ask the question carefully, in a way that is possible to answer and likely to yield interesting results. Of course, you should choose a question that interests you, but this is only the beginning of what is likely to be an iterative process: most researchers return to this step repeatedly, modifying their questions in light of the findings. previous, resource limitations and other considerations.

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Researchers face constraints in terms of time and money. They, like everyone else, must pose research questions that they can credibly answer given the constraints they face. For example, it would not be advisable to create a project around the question ‘What are the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict?’ if you only have a week to develop an answer and no background on the topic. This is not to limit your imagination: you can ask any question you want. But it usually takes some creativity to design a question that you can answer well—that is, by probing thoroughly and providing new insights—within the limits you face.

Apart from being interesting to you and feasible within your resource constraints, the third and most important characteristic of a ‘good’ research topic is whether it allows you to generate new knowledge. It may turn out that your question has already been asked and answered to your satisfaction: if so, you will find out in the next step of this process. Alternatively, you may come up with a research question that has not been addressed before. Before you get too excited about breaking into uncharted territory, consider this: many potentially researchable questions have not been studied

; they may have answers that are irrelevant or of very limited interest. This may include questions such as ‘Why is the area of ​​a circle equal to π r²?’ or ‘Did winter conditions affect Napoleon’s plans to invade Russia?’ Of course, you might be able to argue that one

Thesis And Project Management: Strategies For Your Culminating German Degree Work

The trivial question is actually very important, but you must be prepared to back it up with compelling evidence. The exercise in the Learn More section below will help you think about some of these issues.

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Finally, research questions must in some way lead to new and distinct knowledge. For example, many people have studied gender roles on sports teams; What can you ask that hasn’t been asked before? Reinventing the wheel is the number one no-no in this endeavor. That’s why the next step is so important: reviewing previous research on your topic. Depending on what you find in that step, you may need to revise your search query; iteration between your question and the existing literature is a normal process. But don’t worry: it doesn’t last forever. In fact, repetition decreases—and your research question stabilizes—as you develop a firm grasp of the current state of knowledge on your topic.

In academic research, from articles to books, it is common to find a section called “literature review”. The purpose of this section is to describe the state of knowledge on the research question that a project has posed. It indicates that the researchers have thoroughly and systematically reviewed the relevant findings of previous studies on their topic and that they have something new to contribute.

Your research project should include something like this, even if it’s a short high school paper. In the process of planning your research, you’ll want to list at least half a dozen bullet points that show key findings on your topic from other people. In relation to these findings, you should be able to specify where your project can provide new and needed knowledge. There are two basic rhetorical positions that can be taken within the novelty-plus-relevance argument required of academic research:

Your overall goal in this step of the process is to show that your research will be part of a larger conversation: that is, how your project derives from what is already known, and how it advances, extends, or challenges that existing body of knowledge. knowledge. This will be

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Two things are worth noting about your search for sources of relevant previous research. First, you shouldn’t just look at studies on your exact topic. For example, if you want to study gender identity formation in schools, you

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