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Engineering Research Practice: Literature Review Exercise- Research Report Assignment

Internal Code: MAS1693

Research Report Assignment:

Task:

1.Literature review exercise

In the first part of the assignment you will briefly review some scientific literature that relates to the research question you identified in your first assignment. Your goal in reviewing the literature about your topic is to answer the question – “What is known about my chosen research problem?”
1.1. Some important tips

1. As mentioned before, please provide your research question or updated research question (If your research question is different to that of the first assignment.) at the beginning of the second assignment. This is very
important. Please do not forget!
2. START EARLY! Even writing a brief literature review section takes time!
3. Understand your topic BEFORE you start reviewing the literature, it is important for you to have a clear idea
about the problem that you are trying to solve and it is useful to find some basic information about it.
4. Please do not copy paste from the papers or books! Rephrase or reword your sentences.
5. Don’t just report what other people have done! Instead try to evaluate, organise and synthesise.
6. Begin your discussion from a general perspective (but not too general!).
7. As you proceed, deal with more specific but important studies.
8. Because this is a short literature review (compared to a thesis for example), you do not need to have an advance organizer (preview of the topic that you will talk about in your literature review), or summary section. You may have some headings or subheadings if you want, but if you don’t think it is necessary, forget about it!
9. For more detailed description about writing a cohesive and clear literature review, look at the slides of Workshop 1-5.

2. Selecting quantitative and/or qualitative approach(s)

In the second part of your second assignment, you select a quantitative and/or qualitative approach(s) for your research problem chosen in assignment 1. Rather than forming a preconception of the type of research methodology required for the problem, we consider the broadest range of options for the problem. Note that your specific research question may be only quantitative or qualitative or it may have both quantitative and qualitative components.

2.1. Selecting a quantitative approach
Based on the problem statement developed in assignment 1, develop a brief written answer. These questions are all relate to characteristics typical of a problem requiring a quantitative methodology.
1. Define an objective reality that can be measured for your problem.
2. Describe the quantitative source(s) of data that you need for your research.
3. Describe factors that indicate you do not need to work with people directly as subjects to gather qualitative data.
4. Describe factors that might dictate a high level of structure in this research.

2.2. Selecting a qualitative approach
For each of the following questions, based on the problem statement developed in tutorial 1, write a brief answer. These questions are all relate to characteristics typical of a problem requiring a qualitative methodology.
1. Define multiple possible realities that might be constructed by different individuals for your problem.
2. Describe the qualitative source(s) of data that you need for your research that cannot easily be converted to quantitative information.
3. Describe factors that indicate you need to work with people directly as subjects to gather qualitative data.
4. Describe factors that might dictate a low level of structure in this research. Considering your answers given to the questions in the subsection 2.1 and 2.2, do you think your research topic requires a quantitative or qualitative methodology or both?

 

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