Guidelines for Independent Research Projects

Independent research projects and dissertations focus on topics developed by students, under the supervision of their faculty in charge. The point of these ‘guidelines’ is to provide an anxiety free process that shall facilitate independent research..

As expert consultants and highly skilled researchers we are glad to discuss with you at your request basic research strategies, methods and techniques.

We shall schedule a 45 minute introductory meeting to discuss your project.

Introductory Meeting

The first meeting is your opportunity to discuss your area of research. Be prepared to speak your interests in your topic area and whatever information, expectations or hunches_you have about it. Try to find answers to the questions listed under “Progress report questions”. Obviously, at this initial stage your answers to these questions will be preliminary, but they really help you focus your research, thinking and preparation for the next meeting.

Level 2

The Assignment for next level of meeting is to locate three different sources relevant to your project. These sources may be an article, an interview, a chapter of a book or a relevant example pertaining to your project. (Do not focus solely on finding relevant examples, nor solely on interviews). Compile a half-page ‘source report’ on each of the three sources(1.5 pages total). This is the first set of reports prepared at level2.

Source Reports

Let each ‘source report’ contain your name, topic and a complete reference for your source. (For citation methods, see ‘ required texts’ ). The report should summarize the point of the source in your own words and mention at the end of each report how useful you anticipate the source will be to your project.

It is not a must that your final project use each of the sources you report on, nor is it prohibited to use sources you do not report on, though it is expected that many of the sources on which you report shall find their proper place in your project. (Otherwise you are wasting both your time and ours). It is permissible that a couple of source reports may reach the verdict that a source initially expected to be relevant is deemed, for good reasons stated in your report, not to be (obviously) relevant after all.

Finally, these reports are plainly provisional. Your research may and should involve revisiting and reassessing your sources as you progress.

Level 3

At this meeting, discuss the three sources you located since introductory meeting, along with your reports on them. Now you try to narrow your topic area, to be more specific and to be precise.Then, determine what further research you need to do in order to have concrete information to develop, analyze and present your issue in your project. For level 3, you should again answer the questions listed under ‘Progress Report Questions’. Although, the questions are the same, your answers now be significantly more specific. These are progress reports, and progress is largely reflected in specificity, both about your issues and about which sources you expect to use and how you expect to incorporate them in your project. Attach a copy of each of your reports in your sources to this second progress report and submit it to us at the end of your level 3 meeting.

Level 4

You conduct whatever research is needed prior to level 4. The point of level 4 is to plan, as clearly and thoroughly as possible, the aim and structure of your research project. This requires that much of research and development of your topic must be completed before the level 4 meeting!

A second set of three source reports is due at this level. At this stage of your work, you probably will need to present more than half a page of material on any worthy source. However, you should make these reports as concise as possible for easy reference, perhaps later when you are trying to organize the material for your presentation, and for our sake, so that we can be sure your work is progressing properly.

Level 5

The point of level 5 is to figure out your strategy for presenting your issues and material. At this level, locate and report on 3 more sources for your project, thus equip yourself to think about and discuss your project in detail and be prepared to specify clearly and concisely the following important points.

  • The exact issues to be presented in your project.
  • Which differing views on those issues will be presented
  • What sources and examples to be used in order to present those issues and views on those issues.
  • What conclusions you expect to articulate and to justify(argue for) as the thesis of your project.

The more specific and detailed is your view on each and every one of these points, the more easily can you identify what must be done next to develop your project and the more easily can you identify any points that require revision as you continue to develop your project. Directly following the level 5 you shall complete a third progress report. The resulting detailed description of your project is due at level 6. To prepare this third progress report, write a detailed statement concerning the points listed under ‘Progress Report Questions’.

Progress Report Questions

To write a progress report, answer each of the following questions. Be as detailed and specific as you can. The same questions are to be answered in each of your three progress reports. For beginning under graduates, the first report should be no more than 2 pages; the second report should be no more than 3 pages; the third no more than 4 pages. More advanced students should provide correspondingly more extensive(and intensive, i.e., focused and specific) reports.

In each case, Progress will be demonstrated by greater clarity, focus and sophistication. Use the brevity of these reports as a tool for achieving concise, clear formulations of your key issues, points, aims and thesis.

  • What is your topic?
  • What issues concerning that topic will be the focus of your project?
  • For each of these issues, what points of view do you plan to develop, examine and assess?
  • How do you anticipate presenting these issues in your project?
  • What thesis do you anticipate developing and defending in your project?

These guidelines are written expressly for guided under graduate research projects. However, the basic procedures, techniques and strategies are central to research at any level, including doctoral dissertations or professional research and can be easily adapted as required.

What other benefits a research scholar can expect being a candidate with our consultancy?

Complementary to academic research skills and techniques, our expert consultancy would foster insight on the following professional skills.

  • Communication skills:Include reporting and writing techniques, oral presentation kills and effective support to teaching researchers(teaching, mentoring or demonstrating activities)
  • Interpersonal skills:E.g., enhanced student-faculty interactions and interests to work on common related problems promoting research activity and sharing of research work accepting responsibilities, working in teams, networking etc.
  • Awareness on intellectual property rights(IPR) i.e., patents, copy rights, designs and trademarks.
  • Career Management:E.g., developing a CV, applying for jobs, submitting funding applications, planning a career etc.,
  • View on private sector constraints and engagements mainly for delivering
  • Broaden scientific expertise with experience in other research domains in particular for researchers who are likely to work in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Developing strategies to fundamentally change software innovation, creation and evaluation techniques.
  • Time management and developing all round personality of the research scholars enabling them to lead a high-profile team of professionals as well as have stress free work-life balance.