COM3005: Describe and present information from given data: Introducing Research Skills Assignment, AU, UK

Learning Outcomes:
After completing the module, you should be able to:
1. Describe and present information from given data
2. Understand how to plan research on a given topic
3. Collate, structure, present and use information from data
4. Be able to utilise this information to inform own writing.

Formative Tasks

Formative Task 1 
Choose your research topic from the list above. The topics we have given you are really large topics. Good research projects look at a small part of a larger topic. One of the first things a researcher should do, therefore, is narrow down the topic so that you are researching something more specific.

For this task, make a list of some questions you could ask in order to investigate the research topic in more detail. Use ‘who, what, where, when, why, and how’ words, where appropriate, in your questions to make sure they are open-ended and therefore more interesting to research.

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Formative Task 2
A key stage of any research project is to do some background research on your topic. Using the University online library, locate and select 4 academic sources relating to your research topic. Appropriate sources include academic journal articles, textbooks, reports, conference papers, books/chapters from edited books.

Once you have selected your 4 sources, complete a CRAAP analysis for each source. How useful or relevant is each source as background information to your research topic? Present your analysis in a table like this.

Formative Task 3
Choose two of the following primary research methods and compare and contrast their usefulness as methods. Think about: how much skill is needed by the researcher, how quick and easy they are to implement on a practical level, what kind of data you would get from them.
• Observation
• Surveys
• Interviews
• Focus groups

Formative Task 4 
Look back at the sources you selected for Formative Task 2. What research approaches (qualitative or quantitative) have been taken by the researchers in these sources? Why do you think they chose those particular approaches for their research?

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