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Finding Your Research Project (2176)

This course helps you develop an interesting and manageable research project.

This involves:

- creating many research ideas

- getting a short introduction into the three methods of research used at the chair

- coming up with a message, method and motivation for the project and finally identifying the contribution in relation to existing research.

Generating many research ideas is very creative and often fun. One starting point is some observed behavior that seems puzzling. For example, why do people in the bus keep near the door even if the bus is very full? Another starting point are statements about behavior that may or may not be true. For example, is it true that people who grew up with a brother or sister have less conflicts in later life?

With a long list of ideas, you then find a suitable method and approach. This is partially creative but partially critical: Does my approach really answer the question? Do I have the necessary information, skills, and time? Some of your ideas will not survive this step. Sometimes you will have to become creative again to find another approach in order save an idea. The art of research is exactly this switching back and forth between being creative and still critical with the own ideas.

If someone else has already answered your question using exactly the same approach, there is nothing to learn from your research project. This is very unlikely. In fact, it gets more unlikely the clearer you are about your own approach. Then, something in your approach will be different and you will have to explain what it is and what can be learned from it. In short, you will have to explain your contribution in relation to existing research. Again, some ideas will not survive this step but typically one remains.

The last part is probably the easiest. You are already motivated to run this research project. Now, you have to convince others that they should be interested in your project.

Ideally, you should take this course three terms before you write your thesis.

Attention: the course begins before the actual start of term.

Teacher: Prof. Dr. Wendelin Schnedler
Contact person: Fabian Bopp
Level of study:
Course language: German in summer term
English in winter term
Term: Summer term (April - July) and winter term (September - January)
Link to PAUL: Link
Material: All information and material will be provided via PANDA
Link to the Course Catalog:  
Evaluation Sommersemester 2015
Wintersemester 2014/2015

Die Universität der Informationsgesellschaft