Choosing a Research Topic

Throughout the next six weeks, you will plan and propose a
qualitative research design of your choice, which may (or may not)
involve an area of interest for your doctoral dissertation. You will
select a research topic, generate researchable questions, review
relevant literature, describe participant selection procedures, identify
data collection methods, address potential ethical problems, and
describe limitations of your research proposal.

This assignment is the first step toward completing your Final
Research Proposal in Week 6. Every research project begins with a
well-understood topic.

After thinking about a topic area you are interested in researching,
conduct a preliminary literature search on that topic using ProQuest,
EBSCOhost, or another library search engine. ProQuest has a database
called “Dissertations & Theses” that will be especially useful for
finding dissertations that have been written on your topic.

Find the results of at least five studies (including at least two
dissertations) related to your topic. Create a table that lists key
aspects of those studies, including: author, date, methodology, methods
used, and key findings. You may want to include the full APA formatted
reference entry in your table, or you may put your full reference list
in a page following the table. See sample table below for the topic of
“student-faculty conflict.

  • A few paragraphs describing what your topic area is. Tell why this topic is important to you.
  • Your table of at least five studies, listing authors, date, methodology (fieldwork approach), methods used, and key findings.
  • An APA formatted reference list of the studies in the compiled table.

Keep adding to your table throughout this course as you will need to
use it to write a literature review on your topic in Week 6.

Sample Literature Review Table

[Example Topic: Student-Faculty Conflict]

List all the related studies and how they were conducted, and the key findings:

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