Notes and techniques for better systematic inquiry

Elements of a research project

Topic selection

Keep an idea journal

Start some form of note taking to jot down ideas and questions you come across. You will find your own way for generating ideas. the important thing is to start. As with so many other aspects of independent scholarship, it is the doing that teaches us how.

Examples of "intellectual journals" you can look to for inspiration: source: The Independent Scholar

Recon new realms of knowledge

Do recon on a new source of knowledge. Browse a local library and online on the topic. Keep moving, and keep a list. You are compiling your "little black book" of intellectual attractions - books, ideas, authors, points of view, realms of fact or imagination with which you want to make a date sometime, get to know better, and perhaps fall in love with.

Start browsing books, magazines, and other media sources to get a sense of the subject. Find places to hang out with people.

Writing good research questions

Below are templates to get you started, try to think of questions that make sense in the context of your project.

Research question templates

Developing a research project

The important part of the first project is not that it succeeds but that it is yours. Because it is your first piece of original research, you do not have to worry about whether or not it succeeds. One of the purposes of the first project is for you to decide what success means to you in this kind of activity.

  1. Write up a project plan (~1 page) it should include a 1-2 sentence brief, your plan for research, projected outcomes with a timeline, how to get feedback, who would be interested, and how they can be reached.
  2. Before reading, come up with some theories of your own. It helps you think for yourself instead of following what other people think.
  3. Start forming questions and a research plan
  4. Begin drafting as findings begin to emerge
  5. complete the work
  6. distribute as needed

Writing a research project description

  1. Describe the project - list objectives in order of their performance Why did you select it? What was the original impuse?
  2. What are the anticipated major problems?
  3. What form is the project going to take?
  4. What people are going to help on this project?
  5. What is the budget for costs, materials, books, equipment, fees, etc.
  6. List of books
  7. When will your project be completed and presented?
  8. What other projects do you have going on? How much time per week can you give to the project?
  9. Could you teach someone about this topic later?
  10. How is this project valuable to you?
  11. Who will critique your project?

"Imaginative conjectures are often exciting, harmless, and occasionally rewarding" - Ronald Glass

Resarch tactics

Data collection methods

How to read a research paper

from How to read a research paper quickly & effectively Read the title, it should explain the method and result

Pitfalls of research

Types of research

There are different ways to think about research, most of which I've had some interest in. Some of these might be the same, but aim to give me an idea of where to start looking.

Research classes

Suggested reading