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Thesis and Dissertation Research in Environmental Design: Research Methods

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This might include interviews, field notes, documents, journals, and possibly some quantitative elements more information on quantitative research follows. A case study focuses on a particular problem or situation faced by a population and studies it from specific angles. For example, a researcher might look at violence in the workplace, focusing on when, where, or how it occurs.

For example, take Hurricane Katrina. A researcher using this method will be trained during coursework and residencies in how to conduct this type of research, which involves specialized interviews and surveys with the people involved in the phenomenon. Also called generic qualitative, generic inquiry, or other variations.

So the researcher may be using similar methods, but will not have as thorough of a foundation of research available. The researcher could run into problems with fewer data to analyze.

Quantitative Quantitative research involves the empirical investigation of observable and measurable variables. In this approach, data are collected by the researcher. Participants are recruited for the study, informed consent is obtained, and quantitative data are obtained either electronically or in person by the researcher.

This approach allows the researcher to decide exactly what variables he or she is interested in exploring and how they will be operationalized in the study. Research methodology consists of the principles and rules by which you will abide as you perform your research. From an analytical perspective, this involves clearly defining equations, experiments and or variables you have used.

From an argumentative point of view, this means establishing a scholarly review of the state of research from which your argument stems. A thesis generally begins with a title page, including the thesis title, your name and contact information and the name and contact information for your project adviser s.

Next comes the acknowledgements section, which allows you the opportunity to thank those who have assisted you in the steps leading up to your thesis. The successive series of sections are intended to prepare your readers for what they are about to review. This includes the abstract, which provides a brief description -- roughly to words -- of the research you will present in your thesis and its significance and novelty, followed by the table of contents and a list of figures or tables if applicable, which give your reader a quick guide to the outlay of information and imagery in your thesis.

The aim of the body is to offer a compelling introduction followed by an in-depth report of your research, including a review of the literature that led to your original research question, the research methods you used, the results of that research and a discussion of the results as they relate to your original research question.

For a properly composed analytical thesis, these areas are parsed into specific sections: The methods should include all calculations and parameters you used in your research so that anyone wishing to replicate your results and analyses could do so. Visit the site, talk with key actors, watch the program in operation.

This direct contact is highly recommended, but not required. The project thesis essay may take a number of forms and include a range of information. It ought to discuss at least the following elements:. Consider the institutional or social context within which the project takes place.

Describe the organization, the potential clientele or participants, and the larger environment social, economic and political conditions surrounding the problem and the project. Describe the particular problem or need that you address in the project. What causes that problem? How extensive is it? Have other attempts to solve the problem been made; if so, what were their shortcomings, and why are you trying another approach?

Place the problem in its professional and academic context by referring to the appropriate literature. Describe the goals and objectives of your project and what you hoped to accomplish. Describe how the program was designed and structured; for example, what kinds of activities did participants engage in, and in what sequence? What kinds of resources and techniques were used? Justify your strategies and tactics by citing appropriate professional and academic literatures.

Describe how the plan was carried out. Use as much detail as you need to give the reader a sense of what actually happened, and to indicate the extent to which the reality matched the plan. Describe the criteria for assessing the project and evaluation methods used.

Justify the criteria and methods by referring to appropriate literatures. To what extent did the project accomplish the goals and objectives identified earlier? Citing relevant literature and the practical contingencies of the project, explain why the project did or did not achieve its stated purposes. Describe the factors political, social, organizational, financial, psychological, etc.

What changes-either conceptual or practical-would you make if you were to repeat or extend the project? What would you leave in place? Describe what you learned from the project about the original problem and about your strategy and tactics. Also consider the professional and theoretical implications of the project.

If necessary, put relevant documentary materials flyers, important correspondence, budgets, etc. Below you will find descriptions of the three types of theses: Artistic Thesis The artistic thesis is appropriate for those students who wish to display the creative process in the performing, visual or literary arts.

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Research Design Research Methods for Students Which of the many different types of research design is best for you? One thing that you will want to consider early in your dissertation process is the design of your research study.

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Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations What are they and which one should I choose? In the sections that follow, we briefly describe the main characteristics of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods dissertations. Rather than being exhaustive, the main goal is to highlight what these types of research are and what they involve.

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Types of Research Methods Adapted from Edvantia SBR Rating for Technical Assistance Programs and Services form () and Carter McNamara Overview of Methods . Thesis and Dissertation Research in Environmental Design: Research Methods A strategic bibliographic guide for architecture, city planning, urban design, and landscape architecture graduate students beginning their professional report, thesis, or dissertation work.

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The types of method suitable for a dissertation could include content analysis, a small scale ethnographic study, small scale in-depth qualitative interviewing. it is important to ensure that you match your methodology to the problem you are pursuing. Social Research Method. 2nd ed., Oxford, Oxford University Press CRESWELL, J. (). The thesis may take one of three forms: a research thesis, an artistic thesis, or a project thesis. In each case, the thesis represents a synthesis of the student’s accumulated knowledge and skill and an opportunity to display the ideas, practices and skills learned through the program.