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Title: Answering your significant research questions with the aid of a research matrix
Contributor(s): Maxwell, Thomas W (author); Smyth, Robyn (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: There are two parts to this chapter: the first contains some ideas about identifying significant research questions and how to structure the argument leading to their identification. On the way, we point out some useful tools to assist you in your study. The second part introduces you to our research matrix as a device to facilitate your work. The matrix is a table or spreadsheet that uses the significant questions as the organising feature (left-hand column) guiding the research design and the methodological decisions of the study (headings of the first row). Many of our candidates have found using the research matrix has repaid their efforts for a number of reasons. For some it is a tool that allows them to see the study as it develops, and eventually the whole study is apparent in the one place. For others it keeps them on track because it provides a vehicle for discussion with supervisors. In its simplest relatively complete form, the research matrix looks like Table 10.1 for a primary research question and three sub-questions. For a matrix like this to work effectively the research questions have to be largely established beforehand. There is little point in working out the matrix until the key concepts have been identified and established by identifying what they are in the research questions and, if required, their sub-questions. Put another way, the research design and methodology follow the articulation of the research questions. However, getting the research questions right is not straightforward. Let's begin with this issue.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Doctorates Downunder: Keys to successful doctoral study in Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand, p. 82-90
Publisher: ACER Press
Place of Publication: Camberwell, Australia
ISBN: 9781742860244
Field of Research (FOR): 130103 Higher Education
HERDC Category Description: B3 Chapter in a Revision/New Edition of a Book
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Series Name: Doctorates Downunder Series
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education
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