Writing Research Projects.
Learn to improve your project writing skills for work or study purposes.
Duration: 100 hours
Prerequisites: Research Projects I & II or equivalent
There are five lessons in this module as follows:
1. Determining Research Priorities.
- Beginning your research
- How to brainstorm
- Basic steps for brainstorming
2. Planning Research Improvement
- Mind maps
- How to mind map
- Concept mapping
- Flow diagrams
- Analytical procedures
3. Testing the Viability of Alternative Approaches
- Research design
- Major types of research design
- Action research
- Fishbone diagrams
- Lateral thinking
- Lateral thinking techniqies
- Pareto analysis
- When and where to use pareto analysis
- Root cause analysis
- Finding the root cause
- Null and alternate hypothesis
4. Conducting Detailed Research into Commercial Work Procedures
- Log books
- Collecting and logging data
- Checking data for accurtacy
- Developing a base structure
- Data transformations
- Analysing your data
- What shape is data in
- Analyzing documents
- Analyzing interviews
- Analyzing observations
- Analyzing questionnaires
- The results
- Writing up your report
- Report structure
5. Developing an Improved Approach to a Workplace Procedure
A major research project undertaken at the end of this course will involve at least half of the total duration.
- Analyse current industry procedures to determine possible areas for improvement or innovation.
- Plan research on the development of innovative approaches for improving a commercial work procedure.
- Conduct detailed research into the viability of alternative innovative approaches to a commercial work procedure.
- Conduct detailed research into the viability of alternative, innovative approaches to a commercial work procedures.
- Develop an improved approach to a workplace procedure based on results of research.
Writing Better Reports
Report writing is not fictional. It needs to be precise, concise, and appropriate to the thing that you are reporting on.
To be a good report writer you must have the skills to simplify difficult tasks and to concisely and clearly explain complex pieces of information. Some reports may be short; and others may be long; but all should be concise.
It is a mistake to think reports are better just because they are bigger. Quantity is not the same as quality!
Some people may become good at conducting research, but remain poor at communicating it.
A good report writer should:
- Know their subject - base what is written on accurate knowledge and extensive research. Material should come from a range of sources and the accuracy of the information gathered should have been double checked.
- Know their audience - ensure that writing has the appropriate breadth and depth; use a writing style relevant to your reader: use technical language and abbreviations etc when your writing is pitched at knowledgeable experts; explain these if you are pitching your writing at an uninformed reader.
- Good writing must be understood quickly and easily by a wide audience with different abilities of comprehension. If you are writing an academic textbook on nuclear fission, your readers will expect a certain level of technical difficulty. But if you are writing a book on nuclear fission for the general public to read, you will have to explain it in a clearer way. Look at scientific writers such as Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox. Both are able to work in a scientific, academic way, but both are able to present their knowledge in a way that is accessible to the lay person in an interesting and informative way.
- Write in a concise, clear, accurate and non-personal style i.e. using the third person perspective e.g. he, she, it, they, him, her, them, his, her, hers, its, their, and theirs are all third person pronouns. Do not include personal opinions. Keep the writing simple and to the point. Make sure your descriptions are detailed but use economy or words, so you don’t lose your reader.
Tips for Research Writers:
- Stay abreast of new trends – read from a broad range of material e.g. papers, internet, books any new material in the areas you are concentrating on. Don't conduct abd report on subjects within a vacuum.
- Build your knowledge and skills to suit the job: writing and communications skills, technical experience and your industry knowledge.
- Always proof read your writing – this allows you to alter mistakes or introduce new ideas to improve your writing.
- Always customise content to suit the audience.
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