Writing a Research Question and Outline
Full course description
The outline written during the current module is the outline for the research protocol that is to be written later on this year (EPI4927 in period 4) and will guide you during your thesis period. Essentially, therefore, you start working on your thesis from the current module onwards. The knowledge gained in the master program so far should enable you to formulate a clear research question, write an introduction on your study topic that logically leads up to the research question, and give an outline for the methodology needed to investigate the research question. The reason for starting with this early on in the program and separating this from the module ‘Writing a Research Protocol’ (EPI4927 in period 4) is that it takes time to formulate a good research question and to familiarize yourself with the research setting within which your internship will take place. The research protocol will be worked out in full using this outline during the module ‘Writing a Research Protocol’.
Note: for HSRM students, this module is linked to the module RHS4020 ‘Acquiring advanced professional skills’ which also includes the part of ‘Writing a Research Protocol’ as a preparation for the thesis period. The part ‘Writing a Research Protocol’ will be offered to Health Sciences Research master students from periods 4 through 6.
By the end of this module, you should have attained the following learning goals:
Knowledge and understanding:
knowledge on and insight into how to formulate a research question; and basic knowledge of and insight into the outline of a(n epidemiological) research protocol.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
ability to formulate a research question; and ability to understand the basic principles of writing an outline for a research protocol
ability to form a balanced judgement on the quality of a research question
Campbell JD. Formulating the research question. Dept. Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri, 2004. Creswell JW. Research design. Los Angeles: Sage, 2009; Ch7: Research Questions and Hypothesis. Dos Santos Silva I. Cancer Epidemiology: Principles and Methods. Lyon: IARC publications, 1999. Ch18: Designing, planning and conducting epidemiological research. Haynes RB (2006). Forming research questions. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 59, 881-886. Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing research; principles and methods; 7th ed. Part 6: Communicating research. Chapter 25: Writing a research proposal; pp. 629-650. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams Wilkins, 2004. In addition, you will find the literature covered in the modules so far relevant to this module. You are also encouraged to find other general literature on protocol writing and will need to find literature relevant to your specific thesis subject.