The research you conduct in college is academic rather than practical. It is designed to result in a convincing paper rather than a purchase of action.
But then, meaningful research results from real questions that you care to answer. It's exciting work. Journalists get more and authentic details conducting thorough interviews and immersion, scientists work out on experiments, scholars study several books and adhere to detailed methods.
Check out the following tips:
The researchers must have a genuine interest in the topic. It is difficult to fake curiosity. So if you are, for example, interested in teaching ESL, you can pursue about such topic. As you go some topics become more interesting.
The researcher must ask questions. General and detailed questions must be asked. Experts can help to give you primary data.
You must seek answers from people. Schedule interviews or make survey sheets. This can give updated statistics and exact directions. Working professionals and non-academic staff can help.
Visit places where information may be found. Visit places like municipal halls, communities, archives, museums or offices/schools where records can be retrieved.
Examine texts. Get video tapes and a bulk of brochures about your topic. If your topic is about ESL, again, the library and the internet will give vast resources.
Evaluate sources. Evaluate/re-check sources to find out if they are convincing.
Write. Update your journals, notes, and records. Indicate dates because they are very important in documentation.
Test and experiment. For example, in an ESL class: carry out the different methods and see if they work. Get participants to help you and/or immerse yourself.
Combine and synthesize information to arrive at new conclusions. Make your thesis work. Find innovations and direct solutions to your research.
The researcher presents the research findings in an interesting focused and well-documented paper. The work must be presented neatly and must conform to professional standards.
In research work, primary data are necessary. Secondary texts, also, have to be applied expertly in the work and about the topic.
There was a time (during my MFA) I was to research about Dr. Jose Rizal, our Philippine national hero. My writer -classmate and I would do it together. We tried to visit significant places, but they were not enough. Those short months given was not enough because I wasn't able to exhaust all my interest in the said topic. However, now, I understand that when conducting a research, it must be thorough, especially if it will be applied to be a scholarly paper.
Rose Flores Martinez