SIS Project Week 3In this resource you will learn:
how to approach your research project
how to focus your topic
language to describe research methods
some basic concepts in research methods.
O. Campbell-Thomson & R. Elmslie 2016
Caption: : "Cloisters Glasgow University" (CC BY-ND 2.0) by windy_
How will using this resource help me?
If you use the concepts and processes from this resource, they should help you with your project.They will help you to choose a topic and method, and focus your research on a limited number of goals. They should also help you to show your audience what you've done, how, and why, when you present your findings in Week 10.As you do the steps in this resource, write notes of your ideas and answers. Bring them to the next SIS class.
Step 1: what am I investigating?
1. Think about your reasons for researching this SIS topic. You have to research something that is interesting for you or other people.
What do you want to know? For example: I want to know...what do people think about public art?
What will other people be interested in? For example, the University might want to know whether it should spend money on public art.
What possible problems are there, either now or in the future, that you could study, ? For example: the University might spend invest in buildings which don't meet student needs.
What ideas do you have? Make a note.
2. What do we not know about the topic, that you could investigate? This is the gap in the knowledge. For example:
explain an aspect of the topic: eg what local people's views are about whether old buildings should be replaced
understand how or why something happens: eg why buildings need to be future-proofed
identify categories eg types of study space students like or dislike
evaluate something eg how effective a planning consultation process has been
find out how to solve a problem eg how can many devices be connected to the Internet a building, without affecting download speeds?
(adapted from Walliman, 2011)What ideas do you havefor your project? Make a note.
In the introduction to your final presentation, you will have a purpose
statement. This shows the general direction of the study: what you're
doing and how. How will it help me?Writing a purpose statement for your SIS project will help you
focus on what you're doing and how. Once you have
decided this, planning your project will be much easier: what to
investigate, how, where, who, and when etc.How will it help your readers / listeners? It
will also help your audience (the people who read / listen to your
presentation) quickly understand what you did for your SIS project, and
how you did it.
Look at this purpose statement:This article describes a survey of the career development of 18 women in the United States. Our aim was to explore influences on their career development. (Adapted from Creswell, 2003: 91)
What are the researchers studying? Why? How? Who? Where?
The purpose statement is the most important statement in a research study. It helps the reader understand the main idea of the study and all other aspects of the research follow it. (Creswell, 2003: 87).
This article (how the researchers are presenting their findings: in a written article in a journal)
describes a survey (how they did it = the methodology) of the career development (what they studied: main idea)
of 18 women (who) in the United States (where / context).
Our aim (main goal of the study)
was to explore (action verb about the way they studied) influences on their career development.
(Adapted from Creswell, 2003: 91)
Purpose statement structure + language
Write a purpose statement
Try writing a purpose statement for the project described below. Identify the main idea and the specific focus, the participants (who), where it takes place, and the methodolgy used (how). Then try to make it more formal. Use some of the vocabulary from the examples to help. International students have to learn a lot of Academic English vocabulary. However, this can be difficult. You want to know why it's difficult. You think it's probably related to the way they study outside class time. You've decided to do a case study of a student from Thailand who's studying on YRPS at the University of Glasgow. You got him to keep a diary of how he studied vocabulary for 4 weeks, then you analysed it.Write your purpose statement. After you have finished, you could compare it to the example on slide 9 of this resource. Did you record the same main ideas?
Review your notes for this resource. Bring to the next SIS project class:
your topic - the main idea of what you what to investigate for the SIS project
a note of your reasons for studying that topic
what you want to find out
your purpose statement for your SIS project. This can be difficult but do your best. A draft is OK and your tutor and classmates will help you to develop it in class.
Example purpose statement:
"We wanted to find out how international students study vocabulary. We did a case study of a student from Thailand. He was studying on YRPS at the University of Glasgow. We looked at how he studied academic vocabulary in his spare time, not in class."One possible purpose statement:
This case study explores how a Thai student in English for Academic Study at the University of Glasgow studies vocabulary independently. We wanted to understand how students can learn large amounts of academic vocabulary.
Creswell, J. (2003). Research
design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. London:
Sage.Walliman, N. (2011). Your Research Project: Designing And Planning Your
Work (Sage Study Skills Series). London: Sage.