Concept Paper Help

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WRITING A RESEARCH CONCEPT PAPER
An interactive continuous professional development course

instructions
• This is an interactive tutorial by the end of which you should have a basic research concept paper • This can work in a team or individually team work and group discussions are best. • Have a plain sheet of paper, pen and open mind • Write as instructed in this tutorial on this separate piece of paper that you have prepared as shown in the next slide

Idea

Why this idea

Question

Plan to discover

What needs to be done

Question (general idea)
• For example • Idea: all fish from lake Victoria are poisoned: • Question “is fish from lake Victoria safe?” On your paper: • State your idea (12 words) • Write you idea above as a question.

Why this idea?
• Why is your idea important? • In our example on fish I am concerned about sources of animal protein, smuggling, pollution, and over fishing On your paper: • Write give two reasons explaining why your idea is important? (use what you know now!)

What do you plan to discover
• Here we capture a few ideas/questions we have in mind as a plan to answer our question. In our example I could say – Where do the fishing communities around lake Victoria get their fish from? [we need to determine the sources of fish for the fishing communities around lake Victoria]

…ideas/questions …
– How do these communities obtain their fish? [to describe the methods used to obtain fish by the fishing communities around lake Victoria] – Does the lake have any safe fish? [to determine the quality of fish caught by fishermen from lake Victoria] Note the format; question? Then [what you plan to do]. Now make a similar scheme for your idea. Maximum three (3)!

What needs to be done
• Next we look at what needs to be done. In our example above looking through the plan we have to do: – A questionnaire based survey of the fishing communities will help determine where and how they get their fish. – I may also add a focus group discussion – An experimental Lab based analysis on fish to determine safety

What needs to be done
• Looking at what you plan to find out briefly write down what needs to be done. [give activity, study design, population, for each]

What we have so far
Idea All fish in lake are poisoned Question Is fish from lake Victoria safe? Plan to discover[ ideas/questions]
Where do the fishing communities around lake Victoria get their fish from? [we need to determine the sources of fish for the fishing communities around lake Victoria]

Why this idea sources of animal protein, smuggling, pollution, and over fishing What needs to be done (to get answers)
A questionnaire based survey of the fishing communities will help determine where and how they get their fish. I may also add a focus group discussion An experimental Lab based analysis on fish to determine safety

How do these communities obtain their fish? [to describe the methods used to obtain fish by the fishing communities around lake Victoria] Does the lake have any safe fish? [to determine the quality of safe fish caught by fishermen from lake Victoria]

The research concept paper
• The research concept paper must have:
– A title – Background – Research question – Objectives – Significance – Methodology In the above order.

Putting it together
Title • Look at your question. • Write a statement that answers the question. • To the above statement add a location, design and study population • E.g. Question “is fish from lake Victoria safe?” • Title “Survey to determine the quality of fish caught by fishing communities around lake Victoria” [not more than 20 words]

objectives
• Look at what you planned to discover. For each statement you had an idea/question [what you planned to do] • Extract the [what you plan to do]: these are your objectives See the next slide for an example from our study on the safety of fish in lake Victoria

Example of objectives
• For example
–...
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