Starting with a Research Question
For this course, you will have a course project that includes the written assignments in Week 1–5. The Week 3 and Week 5assignments are considered major assignments, which combined are worth almost half of the total course points. It will likely take you more than one week to complete the Week 3 and Week 5 major assignments, so begin working on those tasks sooner rather than later.
The course project assignment each week is designed to help you develop skills in critically analyzing and using research studies published in peer-reviewed journals. These resources are critical to the development of your own research agenda and designing of your own research studies. This week, you will start developing a research question to guide your research proposal. You will build from the research question and compose your own research design in weeks 4 and 5.
All good research begins with a research question. For example, how does something happen? Why does something happen? Even, what causes something to happen? A broad umbrella question serves as a starting point for reviewing the literature in a discipline or on a specific topic. The literature review helps refine the inquiry and build a theoretical frame supporting your additional research questions for exploration (qualitative) or your research hypotheses for testing (quantitative).
For this week’s assignment, you are going to start your research proposal (due in weeks 4 and 5) by formulating a clear research question and preparing for a brief review of the literature to support your design.
- Propose a preliminary research question. Based upon your study in organizational behavior thus far, what intrigues you? What do you want to know?
- Assess why you want to have an answer to your preliminary research question. Do you have experiences that contribute to your question? Have you seen (or not seen) something in the literature that caught your attention? Identify the biases that affect how you interpret the literature or seek answers to your research question.
- Compile a set of key terms and topics that you will pursue in your review. For example, what search terms might you utilize? What are the related concepts you will need to research? Be sure to defend why the items are connected to your research question.
- Integrate one or two key articles that help frame your research question. For example, did a published study propose some future research that supports your question? Alternatively, did an author make some comment or defend some point that reflects the question you are interested in asking?
- Submit your paper in a 3- to 4-page Microsoft Word document.