- Learn about the type of jobs accepted in your university or institute: this will allow you to analyse the type of research that best suits your interests and possibilities. Keep in mind that the types of research are as follows:
Field research: a topic or problem is studied from the collection and analysis of direct data of reality. In these cases, it is necessary to use the statistical study, it is not necessary to be an expert in the matter, but if certain concepts and criteria must be handled for this type of work.
Documentary research: the study of a problem based on the analysis of data and theories previously published in other works. In this type of research, the author uses the sources of queries to postulate his own ideas and conclusions.
Possible project: proposal of a model that could be the solution to a certain problem. These types of projects serve to elaborate proposals of social or institutional impact.
Special project: works of creation of solutions of cultural interest, examples: educational projects, software, technologies, projects of artistic and literary creation.
- Evaluate your resources: What do I need to do my research? Where and how can I collect the data I need? How long will it take to collect this data and how long to analyse it? Do I need a collaborative team or can I do it? The research I alone? what costs should I contemplate? These questions will help you evaluate the resources you have and what you will need. This is of great influence in choosing a research topic.
- Choose a topic and delimit it: to choose the topic first you must observe a research problem, that is, a situation that must be studied to describe it, explain it and, if necessary, give it a solution. A common mistake when choosing the topic is the lack of delimitation, the more specific the topic, the better the limits and scope of the thesis will be established.
An unspecified topic results in inconsistency or too much breadth of research, which would lengthen indefinitely the completion of the thesis. If, as a matter of deciding to study the effects of chemical fertilizers on plants and the consequences for human consumption, at first glance it may seem an appropriate issue, however, the lack of specificity would cause the following problems: number, type and varieties of plants, also the type of fertilizers. The research should cover all edible plants and all chemical fertilizers. The appropriate thing, then, would be to establish the topic be as follows: The effects of “X” chemical fertilizer on plants “X” and its consequences for humans.
- Look for a tutor and consult with him your topic: a tutor is the best person to inform you about the validity or relevance of your topic, as an expert in the subject can guide you better your thesis. Sometimes a tutor can make us give up on a certain line of research and that is why it is very important, before starting, to corroborate with an expert if our object of study has value or not.
- Start in bibliographic archiving: look for the sources of inquiry for your research and prepare to read large amounts of information. It is necessary to read a lot and before writing the thesis, even read two or three times the material. The first reading will help you decide which sources are relevant. Do not discard any material without first reading it well, you can find valuable data in less thoughtful places.
- Make a second reading of your sources: this reading must be careful to fully understand the theories or data that underpin your research. Make connections between your sources and your own opinions. Set differences and opposing views, this will help you better defend your value judgments.
- Underline and make annotations of your readings: perform analysis of the pieces of information relevant to your work, mark the text that you think you can quote and keeps a record of your references. Thus, you will not have to go back several times over the same source and you can easily remember what you have read.
- Establish a schedule for each of the methodological steps of your research: this will serve to control the time you dedicate to each of the steps and processes of your work and a record of the objectives achieved.
- Prepares a draft: in most cases this is an essential requirement to proceed with the thesis. A good blueprint is an excellent guide, you will have half the way and your goals clear. Many of the points of the draft are also handled in the thesis, but with a deeper treatment. If you already know the methodology you will know the aspects and criteria that you must develop in this point.
- Be original and creative: a good research can lead you to propose valuable knowledge that will serve for future work. Do not copy the material of others, plagiarism is unethical and impairs the advance of intellectual knowledge. For your appointments and references always keep in mind the APA Rules, which you can consult here.