01 April 2016

...Your Education Research Project

This brief post is based on support provided for trainee teachers at UEL, to help them complete a research project assignment.  It lists a range of self-support approaches to help students write and edit education research reports.  Some of the following tips would apply whatever the discipline being studied.

- Literature on completing education research projects. There are many books on the subject. For example, Research in the Early Years by Pam Jarvis et al., Doing Your Education Research Project by Neil Burton et al. are useful texts.
- Research methods texts. Peter Newby's Research Methods in Education is an example of an accessible yet comprehensive guide to education research.
- The Library.  If you're struggling to find literature to support your writing, approach a librarian.  They are generally very knowledgeable about the resources available and how to access them.  (Don't leave this to the last minute.)
- Sample assignments. Seek good examples of previously written assignments which should demonstrate different approaches to completing project reports in different subjects.
- Frequently Asked Questions. Often 'FAQs' have been compiled, which aim to address broad questions about your approach to your work.
- Taught session slides and resources. Return to the slides and accompanying resources from classes, workshops and lectures.  These will have been designed to provide you with input in the aspects of ed research necessary to complete your assignment.
- Assessment Rubric.  The mark scheme - in whatever form it takes - will be used by tutors when they marking your work, so keep it to hand and use it to inform decisions you make when writing up your research project.  
- Assignment Brief.  The assignment question, title or brief is crucial and should inform decisions about content, structure, and breadth and depth of your research. 
- TurnItIn. When you upload your work turn it in will produce an originality report for you, and highlight quotes and references. This allows you to check a. that you've quoted sources accurately, b. that your reference list is complete and accurate and c. that your sources are credited fully and accurately. 
- Cite Them Right. This is a referencing support guide, available in print and electronically via the internet homepage: http://www.citethemrightonline.com/Home
- Previous feedback. Take time to review previous feedback you've received on your academic work, and use it to inform your writing for your current assignment.  Act on markers' advice where possible.
- Writing Support Resources. The internet is full of academic support materials on all aspects and areas of writing.  For example, here's an excellent 'academic phrasebank' form the University of Manchester: http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/ Use it to enhance the clarity of your ideas and arguments.
- One another.  Finally, remember that talking through your ideas and articulating arguments with someone else can help to clarify and develop your thinking. Use your networks.

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Regards, DJA