The following unit is designed to help researchers get started generating ideas for a research project.
One of the most difficult aspects of research is generating an idea that is interesting and workable. Researchers must understand what work has been done on a given area and how they may be able answer additional research questions that could further advance the field. Once an overall topic area of interest of interest has been identified, the researcher should review the literature and examine what research has been done on that topic and look for gaps, holes, or areas that could benefit from further exploration. These steps will require the researcher to consider their current knowledge base and to explore areas that may lend themselves to further research. Of course, the main criteria for a good research idea is that the research idea be of genuine interest to researcher. Once a researcher has identified an overall research idea, they can begin to narrow the topic down to a particular aspect of the idea that is realistic and feasible to research. The following chart lists a few of the ways that researchers may generate large scale ideas for research projects.