Learning outcomes | My Assignment Tutor

•-• ZM c-.11ab,Learning outcomesBy the end of this chapter you should be able to: • generate ideas that will help in the choice of a suitable research topic; • identify the attributes of a good research topic; • turn research ideas into a research project that has clear research question(s) and objectives; • draft a research proposal.2.1 IntroductionMany students think that choosing their research topic is the most exciting part of their course. After all, this is something that they get to decide for themselves rather than having to com-plete a task decided by their tutors. We will stress in this chapter that it is important to choose something that will sustain your interest throughout the months that you will need to complete it. You may even decide to do some research that is something that forms part of your leisure activities! Before you start your research you need to have at least some idea of what you want to do. This is probably the most difficult, and yet the most important, part of your research project. Up until now most of your studies have been concerned with answering questions that other people have set. This chapter is concerned with how to formulate and clarify your research topic and your research question. Without being clear about what you are going to research it is difficult to plan how you are going to research it. This reminds us of a favourite quote in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This is part of Alice’s conversation with the Cheshire Cat. In this Alice asks the Cat (Carroll 1989:63-4):Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?’That depends a good deal on where you want to get to’, said the Cat. I don’t much care where’, said Alice.Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk’, said the Cat.Formulating and clarifying the research topic is the starting point of your research project (Ghauri and Gronhaug 2005; Smith and Dainty 1991). Once you are clear about this, you will

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