Resource 3: Writing a research question
Once you have a dissertation topic in mind the next step is to try and articulate the topic succinctly and clearly, in a way that expresses the purpose and rationale of your project.
Work through the following sentences in respect of your project idea. Try to explain your research in just one sentence. This might mean writing, editing and re-writing your responses more than once. It is rare to write your research question on the first attempt. Rather, research questions require careful honing to convey exactly what you mean, and what you intend to examine. So be prepared to scribble down your answers and then revise them until the project and its intent is briefly and clearly explained.
- My research will contribute to debates that consider…
- My project will investigate…
- As such, my dissertations asks…
In light of question 3, it is useful to use to think of the particular descriptor that will be useful for outlining what your project seeks to achieve. For example, does your question ask ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’ or ‘what’? Using these prefixes helps to frame your question.
Resource 4: Project information sheet template
You can find a link here to an example of an information sheet you might provide when gaining access or recruiting participants for your research. This provides an excellent example which you can use as a template in respect of your own project. That said, be sure to check your own institutional guidelines on preparing one of these.
Resource 5: Research budget planner
Complete the following chart. You may have to go online to check approximate prices. This is helpful in providing a realistic gauge of the costs you will likely pay for different elements of your research. It therefore helps to assess if the project is affordable and if you will be able to do it. You can estimate costs at various points in the design stage. For example, if you dissertation requires overseas travel, you can adjust your costs more precisely once you have mapped out exact dates for your trip.
Resource 6: Consent form template
You can find a link here to an example of a form you might use to gain written consent. This provides an excellent example which you can use as a template in respect of your own project. That said, be sure to check your own institutional guidelines on preparing one of these.