This chapter outlines the process of conceptualizing your research question in a theoretical context; that is, in the context of debates and conversations that other scholars are having in your field(s) of study. The conceptualization of your research is not a process of trailing through the literature in your field(s) without a sense of direction or purpose. It is crucially important that researching your question contributes to broader knowledge, and that it be of interest to others, even those who are researching very different topics. Done well, your research will be considered; but it will be much more likely to gain attention if it is clear exactly to which piece in a bigger field or interdisciplinary-wide puzzle it contributes. You need to be able to clearly answer the question, put rather crassly but aptly by one of our former course instructors, “why bother” with this research?
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- Theory and Conceptualization, including the Literature Review
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter 5