A research plan is a framework that shows how you intend to approach your topic. The plan can take many forms: a written outline, a narrative, a visual/concept map or timeline. It's a document that will change and develop as you conduct your research.
Components of a research plan
1. Research conceptualization - introduces your research question
2. Research methodology - describes your approach to the research question
3. Literature review, critical evaluation and synthesis - systematic approach to locating,
reviewing and evaluating the work (text, exhibitions, critiques, etc) relating to your topic
4. Communication - geared toward an intended audience, shows evidence of your inquiry
Research conceptualization refers to the ability to identify specific research questions, problems or opportunities that are worthy of inquiry. Research conceptualization also includes the skills and discipline that go beyond the initial moment of conception, and which enable the researcher to formulate and develop an idea into something researchable (Newbury 373).
Research methodology refers to the knowledge and skills required to select and apply appropriate methods to carry through the research project (Newbury 374).
Method describes a single mode of proceeding; methodology describes the overall process.
Method - a way of doing anything especially according to a defined and regular plan; a mode of procedure in any activity
Methodology - the study of the direction and implications of empirical research, or the sustainability of techniques employed in it; a method or body of methods used in a particular field of study or activity
*Browse a list of research methodology books or this guide on Art & Design Research
Literature Review, critical evaluation & synthesis
A literature review is a systematic approach to locating, reviewing, and evaluating the published work and work in progress of scholars, researchers, and practitioners on a given topic.
Critical evaluation and synthesis is the ability to handle (or process) existing sources. It includes knowledge of the sources of literature and contextual research field within which the person is working (Newbury 373).
Literature reviews are done for many reasons and situations. Here's a short list:
to learn about a field of study
to understand current knowledge on a subject
to formulate questions & identify a research problem
to focus the purpose of one's research
to contribute new knowledge to a field
to prepare for architectural program writing
Sources to consult while conducting a literature review:
Online catalogs of local, regional, national, and special libraries
meta-catalogs such as worldcat, Art Discovery Group, europeana, world digital library or RIBA
subject-specific online article databases (such as the Avery Index, JSTOR, Project Muse)
digital institutional repositories such as Digital Commons @RISD; see Registry of Open Access Repositories
works cited in scholarly books and articles
the internet-locate major nonprofit, research institutes, museum, university, and government websites
search google scholar to locate gray literature & referenced citations
trade and scholarly publishers
fellow scholars and peers
Communication refers to the ability to
Research plan framework: Newbury, Darren. "Research Training in the Creative Arts and Design." The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts. Ed. Michael Biggs and Henrik Karlsson. New York: Routledge, 2010. 368-87. Print.
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