A research project is a form of study where one undertakes a series of examinations to find or revise theories, information, principles, applications, etc. to seek the facts or truth about a certain subject or topic.
Research is a process that entails a set of steps to be followed by the researcher in order for it to be complete.
The topic is the headline of your research and under no circumstances; research will be done without a topic. So, the topic is very important in your research paper. Your topic should be brief and should correspond with the entire information that you have written in your research paper.
In simple terms, your research topic is a brief statement or sentence that gives complete and essential information so that the reader is able to know what your research is all about at a glance.
Identifying a topic on which you want to base your research, is the first step in writing your research paper. Your topic should be relevant and within your study area under your university guidelines.
Narrow down your topic by doing more research on the topic (LITERATURE) about it. Find out what is required to undertake the research and how people have done it before.
Find people to review your topic. You can ask your professor or supervisor for more advice or opinion on what they think about the topic that you just came up with.
Identify a problem in your selected topic. What is missing in your topic of study that you want to research and come up with answers, by trying to solve this problem? This is called the literature gap. In your studies, it is important to note that one crucial criterion of your thesis is that your case study should be something completely new or less researched. It should be something new that you have discovered and want to do research on it.
Your topic should be original, even if you are trying to compare two scenarios together to come up with your own original findings.
The Research questions
These questions act like your guide to finding the answers to your research problems and are based on your entire research process. They can be a maximum of three and in form of hypotheses or just stand-alone questions. These hypotheses should be specific and not generalized.
The Research design
This is the way in which you are going to undertake your research. It is a framework that will guide you in your research study. Below are the key elements that you should consider while coming up with a research design.
How you are going to conduct the research
The main subjects involved i.e., humans, animals, and non-living objects.
Other factors to consider, such as foreseen challenges.
The location of the research: This can either be the lab, field, or both.
The research team or participants involved.
This is a separate document that you create after you have the topic of your study. It gives details of your research study and gives your supervisor the reason this research topic is good and why you should go ahead and do it.
The proposal is a comprehensive document that you write to convince your institution, supervisor, or professor that you are capable of undertaking research on your chosen topic. This will also help the institution to provide funding support in terms of research grants and other materials required during your research.
In most cases, most institutions can cover financial needs towards your research and will expect your final presentation of the project report. These institutions can either be government, non-profit or private institutions.
In some cases, you will have to apply for grants and some other institutions such as learning institutions can request students to write proposals under their own guidelines in order to be awarded the funding.
This majorly depends on the institution’s setup. For instance, there are university departments that award their students to undertake a certain research topic and there are some that will award students if they select a convincing research topic.
The funding bodies could be departments, colleges, schools within the university or outside sources collaborating with the university.
I created a complete guide on how to write a strong proposal for your research project.
Under the proposal, the supervisor, or the institution you are presenting it to, will find every detail of your research project. In the proposal, details like the research topic, abstract, background, design, timeline, location, and budget are crucial information that will help them determine the fate of your research.
It is important to take your time while writing your proposal, but still, be within the application timeline. A strong proposal should have all the required sections and is relevant to the topic.
While citing your work, you are required to choose the most relevant research papers that align with the information that you want to include in your work. Do not give false citing or citing that does not exist.
These details are essential to complete the criteria.
Once you have selected a topic, written a proposal and presented it to your supervisor or the institution for review, they are going to review it and give you feedback on whether you should go ahead or not.
If accepted, you can now start putting everything in order and getting ready to do your research. This will depend on the timeline of your research.
It is also important to read the acceptance letter carefully to note down whatever is still required from you by the awarding body. Some will require other documents such as a good conduct certificate, medical records if you are travelling abroad, confirmation of attendance to a certain training or conference, etc.
To ensure that your research is conducted systematically, create a checklist of the requirements to make sure you do not miss anything. Also, have a timetable of events to enable the research team and other participants to be aware of their responsibilities and the time that they should avail themselves.