Master: Good Research Topic

Topics: Research, Scientific method, Basic research Pages: 90 (24711 words) Published: February 11, 2013
Question One
How do you choose a good research topic? Give 5 examples of a good research topic and justify why you choose them, ie. problem issues in each topic and why they must be researched upon. (Not less than 2000 words).


The field of all human endeavors is a dynamic one which keeps evolving as a result of new ideas and knowledge to solve existing problems, add onto existing knowledge or challenge the status quo. This evolution comes about as a result of a well thought through Research over a period of time. Definition of Research

There are various definitions depending on the approach of research. Some definitions are:

The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. (Concise Oxford English Dictionary)

Scientific investigation that is performed in order to discover new information or to develop or improve products and technology (Academic Press Dictionary of Science Technology)

Scientific or scholarly inquiry or investigation and the proper communication of the findings.

The process of searching for, in a broader sense, generally answers in any field of study or, in a limited fashion, a solution to just one particular problem.

A systematic, controlled, empirical, rigorous, and precise method used to obtain solutions or to discover and interpret new information

A careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles.

A structured inquiry that utilizes acceptable scientific methodology to solve problems, and creates new knowledge that is generally acceptable.

A systematic investigation to find answers to a problem.

George Springer, chairman of the aeronautics and astronautics department at Stanford University Is this a reference? If it is then it should not be here! This particular one is also incomplete (25/6/12, 04:25) Is this a reference? If it is then it should not be here!

In summary, I define as the scientific investigation of phenomena which includes collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of facts that lines an individual’s speculation with reality.

Discuss some of the definitions you have quoted before you make a summary. Look at the similarities in those definitions and possibly differences.

"It is really important to do the right research as well as to do the research right. You need to do 'wow' research, research that is compelling, not just interesting." - Richard M. Reis

Of all the decisions you'll make as an emerging scientist, none is more important than identifying the right research area, and in particular, the right research topic. Your career success will be determined by those two choices. – George Springer, chairman of the aeronautics department at Stanford University.

From the above, it can be inferred that finding the ideal research problem does not mean simply selecting a topic from possibilities presented by ones adviser or having such a topic assigned to the researcher, attractive as this may first appear. It means going through the process of discovering and then developing a topic with all the initial anxiety and uncertainty such a choice entails. This is how one develops his/her capacity for independent thought.

This therefore means that there are a number of factors to consider when selecting a research area. Some of them have to do with ones particular interests, capabilities, and motivations. Others center on areas that will be of greatest interest to both the academic and private sectors.

The chemistry professor and author, Robert Smith, in his book Graduate Research: A Guide for Students in the Sciences (ISI Press, 1984), lists 11 points to consider in finding and developing a research topic: 1. Can it be enthusiastically pursued?

2. Can interest be...
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