Lecture on American Studies
Topic: Rethinking Research Design: a response to challenges
in dissertation writing
Speaker: Prof. Zhang Chunbo
Discussant: Dr. Liu Yang
Chair & Discussant: Dr. Song Ying
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 25 September (Tuesday)
Place: Room 115, SEIS Building
Sponsor: American Studies Center, SEIS, BFSU
About the Lecture
A Students who are about to embark on a scholarly journey of academic research may have been repeatedly reminded that a “good research design” is a prerequisite for a “good research”. A vast pool of books and references are presenting to beginners and young professionals the principles and skills required in structuring academic research so that they may collect accurate and unbiased data based on which valid and useful conclusions/research findings can be developed. As early as in the undergraduate years, students may have been already informed of a range of techniques about selecting a research topic, deciding on research methods and choosing an appropriate way of data collection and analysis. However, that does not mean everything will go smoothly once you get enrolled in the program of American Studies. Instead, many cases seem to show that lack of consideration in designing the research remains as one of the major causes for students’ failure in meeting the requirements set for the writing of course papers or the final dissertation.
This lecture will review certain cases to address to the bewilderment students may still suffer and hopefully to share experiences and provide useful suggestions. To achieve such a purpose, the lecture will elaborate major components of research design as usual but a down-to-earth approach will be taken to relive the struggling moments in one’s study and research and meanwhile research design will be presented as a circular but not a linear process. In addition, to understand what a “good research” is, to have a clear knowledge of paradigms of research design, to learn to actively communicate with academic literature and to make the best use of the resources provided by the program will also be fully discussed as responses to some typical challenges the students may encounter in doing graduate study and research.