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TCH600 - Royce

Prof. Royce: Elements of Research

Getting Started

Typically when you start a research project you have a general idea about what you want to study.  Here are some ideas for turning your idea into a researchable thesis.

  1. Remember that you are not inventing something; instead you are reviewing the literature about a topic to see how other scholars have treated your topic
  2. Before you finalize your thesis statment, research the literature on your topic.  Find several good articles which come close to your topic and read them before you go on.  You need to become familiar with the scholarly treatment and vocabulary of your topic
  3. You need to find Scholarly articles.  Most of our databases have an option to limit your search to Scholarly Journals.  Sometimes adding the word "study" to your search will also help.
  4. Start searching the databases with general terms.  Get more specific after you see what has been published.
  5. Read three of your good articles and decide if your topic is researchable.  Some topics are not easily researchable.  For example, trying to find scholary articles on a particular curriculum (such as "Math your Way") is difficult.  What have other scholars done to research your topic?
  6. When you begin to settle on your methodology - how you will test your thesis - you need to think in terms of the following:
    • Participants - whom will you test
    • Variables - what MEASURABLE results will you be looking for
    • Treatment - what will you do to obtain your results
  7. Your final paper will include the following:  (Notice how your Scholarly articles have done these things and emulate them.)
    • Introduction
      • Importance of your topic
      • Thesis/hypothesis
      • Context of your specific study
    • Review of the Literature
    • Description of your Study
      • Participants
      • Variables
      • Methodology


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