Research Skills: Developing Your Own Research Design
Full course description
In this skills course the main aim is not to analyse other scholars’ work and identify how they conducted their research, but to develop your own research design. The design you will develop is linked to the content course you are taking simultaneously: International Relations or Placing Europe. In your research design, you will particularly concentrate on the crucial steps that are relevant for the most commonly used types of research in the field of European Studies, be they historical, political, economic or sociological in nature. These crucial steps are how to develop a good research question, how to identify the relevant theoretical or conceptual approach to help answer that question, and how to operationalize your approach.
The main objective of Developing Your Own Research Design is to equip you with the skills you need to develop a research design for writing an academic paper.
At the end of this skills course, you understand:
• the differences between various types of research questions
• the different roles theories and concepts can play in research
• the importance of operationalisation
At the end of this skills course, you can:
• formulate a relevant research question for the broader research problem at hand;
• select a theoretical or conceptual framework that is relevant to the research question;
• develop an operationalisation of your theoretical or conceptual framework;
• explain and justify the various choices you make in your research design.
Gustafsson, K. and Hagström, L. (2018). What is the Point? Teaching Graduate Students How to Construct Political Science Research Puzzles, European Political Science, 17, 634-648.
Luker, K. (2008). Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut. Cambridge (Massachusetts): Harvard University Press. [chapter 6, p. 113-124]
Toshkov, D. (2016) Research Design in Political Science, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Weaver-Hightower, M. (2018). How to Write Qualitative Research. Abingdon: Routledge. [chapter 8]