1) Reflect on your current creative project. Write down your motivations and aims for creating the project. Write down any significant discoveries you have made along the way.
2) Ask yourself, have there been any issues arising from the project that I could research? These issues may be based around the concept, themes or technical aspects of your work or a combination of these.
3) If you are struggling to identify any issues, talk with peers who know your work and ask them for feedback. Explain to them your motivations, aims and discoveries. Ask them if your work effectively achieves what you set out to do. Write down any issues related to your work that come from this discussion.
4) Based on the issues you and your peers have identified, select one or two issues that are the most interesting and important for you. These issues will form the basis of your research question.
Using the 1 or 2 issues you have identified, you can narrow the focus of your research question. Here are a few questions to ask:
2) Make a list of responses to these questions. Select which responses are most interesting and relevant to your creative project.
You will now have a narrower idea for your research question.
1) Play around with your research question. Write it down as a question or statement in a number of different ways. Try to get to at least ten different statements, but no pressure! Not all of them will be good. You might:
2) Highlight the questions that seem clearest to you.
3) Forget about your question or topic for 24 hours. Instead, reflect on your creative project, watch some documentation or perform part of the project.
4) Return to your list of questions with fresh eyes. Make a list of the best three questions/topic sentences. If you have already identified that one question is the best one for you, stick with that one.
1) For each question, spend 10 minutes searching Discovery / Catalogue
2) Assess the results of your searches as you go and use these results to help you choose one of your three questions. Ask yourself:
3) By answering the questions above, you will be able to select a suitable question. If not, reassess your question and repeat Phase 2 onwards. Alternatively, you may wish to discuss your question with your lecturer or supervisor.
REMEMBER: Your question will change over time. When you are making work and researching, your ideas will change and your question can too!
The Library collections offer many resources on research methods. Doing a simple keyword search in the Library Catalogue will give you a list of many. You can use the keywords below as a starting point: