Selecting Your Research Topic, Research Question and Type of Research Methods Design
Your first goal is to select a research topic that interests you that will help you learn and apply research methods. We encourage you to have an interest in the topic since you will be doing a bit of reading and writing on your topic during this course. Take some time to consider a topic carefully. You must then conceive of research question(s) that you would be interested in studying. To help you get started, consider your interests (e.g., sports, consumer behavior, driving, relationships, etc.). You might choose a question related to your interests by asking yourself:
- “Who am I as a [your discipline] researcher and what kinds of questions do I want to answer?”
- “What do I want to describe in the world?”
- “What would I like to learn about that [area, phenomenon]?”
From the broad, general purpose statement, you narrow the focus to specific questions to be answered. Use ‘what’ ’how’ or ‘do’ questions. (‘Why’ suggests cause and effect, -> quantitative).
Expect research questions to evolve and change during your work.
Question should be SPECIFIC, a few examples help illustrate this:
- How can City Tech redesign the plaza in front of Tillary Street to create a vibrant public space where students and community members gather and interact with each other?
- What are effective techniques in lighting that can be used to generate an emotional response?
- What structures should be implemented in a nursing home to improve their well-being?
- How can nurses teach parents to develop greater attachment with their children?
- What motivates young adolescents into vaping?
- Do men and women tend to describe themselves differently on Tinder?
- What are elements in a game design that help promote social connection?
- How should NYC revise its waste and management plan to reduce littering in the borough?
- Does virtual reality elicit the same physiological response as in the real world?
- What colors do make people hungry? aroused?