Supervising and Writing a Good Undergraduate Dissertation

The considerable increase in numbers of students required to complete undergraduate dissertations as part of their curricula demonstrates a clear need for supporting academic staff from a wide ...
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A Framework and Processes for Conceptualizing and Designing a New Research Project

Pp. 19-49 (31)

Neil Haigh

Abstract

This chapter outlines a framework and processes that students as well as experienced researchers can draw on when setting out to conceptualize a research project. The framework, which identifies key aspects of a research project that need to be attended to, also represents an agenda for the activities of supervisors of student research projects. The content of the chapter is intended to provide ideas, information and guidance for both students and their supervisors that will help ensure that they can work together effectively on the basis of a common understanding of what is involved in this task. An emphasis is placed on the aspects of the research and the researcher’s own ‘position’ that need to be thought about and decided on before decisions about data, data sources, methodology, data-gathering methods, and data analysis procedures can be made. These interrelated aspects include the research topic, thesis and question; the case for undertaking the research; and the researcher’s paradigm, values, theory and ethics positions. Accompanying the framework are observations and suggestions about the nature of the thinking that competent researchers need to engage in as well as commentary about students’ understanding of the nature and purposes of research.

Keywords:

Research, framework, conceptualization, design, project, rigour, open-minded, student, undergraduate, dissertation, topic, thesis, question, paradigm, values, theory, ethics, data, methodology, methods.

Affiliation:

Center of Learning and Teaching, AUT University, New Zealand.