Research principles module

Research principles presents practical guidance, which enables students to get to grips with managing and understanding academic information. It also outlines the different methods of researching a topic as part of academic study, depending on the subject discipline, level of study, source materials and the assignment.

Sample activity: Examine how you will reach your project goals and tackle the questions that matter most

The design includes aspects such as:

Sketches of design layout: brainstorm, flowchart, page
  • Your methodology: the principles that inform the way you make choices and decisions in designing, undertaking and writing up your research
  • Your choice of raw material, whether it be documents, data, or the characteristics you look for when selecting participants
  • Your chosen methods for collecting data, including any conditions you create for undertaking research
  • Any materials you develop, such as information provided to participants
  • How you record information at each stage of your research
  • Analytical methods you employ, such as the statistical approaches, formulae or analytical techniques that you apply to your raw data or source materials

The good and the bad

Click the arrow to review good and bad aspects of research design.

Your research design is the way that you set up and conduct your research to find out the answer to the question implicit in your research title - or to test your research hypothesis.

Select the tabs below too see indicators for good and bad research design.

A well designed project brings together all of the above aspects so that they are mutually supporting.

Ensure the techniques you use for gathering information and the way you use and interpret these are consistent and congruent.

  • The thinking is inconsistent or incoherent
  • Separate aspects pull in different directions or undermine each other

For example, the methods might not match the philosophy that the research purports to espouse, or are unlikely to provide the kinds of information needed to answer the research question.

My Journal

Think back to research projects you've undertaken in the past. In what ways might they have been better designed? Could you have been expected to know this at the start of the project?

Module content

Referencing and understanding plagiarism features the following:

  • Diagnostic test
  • Section 1: Managing information for study
  • Section 2: Principles of good research
  • Module assessment

See what’s in each section below:

  • The purpose and challenge of research
  • Defining your research task
  • Finding information: getting started
  • Conducting an online search
  • Identifying and selecting relevant information
  • Research design
  • The different approaches to research
  • Consideration of fitness for purpose and validity
  • Point of learning from other students
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Skills self-assessment

Examine how you will reach your project goals and tackle the questions that matter most

Your research design is the way that you set up and conduct your research to find out the answer to the question implicit in your research title - or to test your research hypothesis.

The design includes aspects such as:

  • Your methodology: the principles that inform the way you make choices and decisions in designing, undertaking and writing up your research
  • Your choice of raw material, whether it be documents, data, or the characteristics you look for when selecting participants
  • Your chosen methods for collecting data, including any conditions you create for undertaking research
  • Any materials you develop, such as information provided to participants
  • How you record information at each stage of your research
  • Analytical methods you employ, such as the statistical approaches, formulae or analytical techniques that you apply to your raw data or source materials


Good research design

A well designed project brings together all of these aspects so that they are mutually supporting. Ensure the techniques you use for gathering information and the way you use and interpret these are consistent and congruent.

 

Poor research design

In a poorly designed project, the thinking is inconsistent or incoherent. Separate aspects pull in different directions or undermine each other. For example, the methods might not match the philosophy that the research purports to espouse, or are unlikely to provide the kinds of information needed to answer the research question.

 

My journal

Think back to research projects you've undertaken in the past. In what ways might they have been better designed? Could you have been expected to know this at the start of the project?