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The Research Proposal
Defining… • Research: "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. " • Scholarly Research: Looking for credible/scholarly/masterful work to aid in your own research
Where to Search? ? • Where is a good place on the internet to start researching a topic? – GOOGLE – WIKIPEDIA—BUT WHERE – Synonyms – Databases – Public Libraries
Do you know the difference? • What is the difference between domain names ending with: –. com (company) –. net (network) –. gov (government) –. org (organization) –. edu (education)
Criteria • What are three main criteria for a good research topic? 1. Interesting to read 2. Easily (somewhat) able to find sources 3. A topic not overdone
PAPER VS. PROPOSAL • What is the difference between a research paper and a research proposal? PAPER—a full essay that completely probes at the topic at hand PROPOSAL– An actual question to answer (within your essay—may not always have an answer) why you want/how are you going to write this paper
What to AVOID • Taboo subjects/cliché subjects – Abortion – Legalizing Marijuana – Same Sex Marriage – Gun Control – Violence in media/video games
Some Examples! • For further explanation of these subject areas: • http: //www. ibo. org/diploma/curriculum/core/es say/ and • For some sample subject areas and topics: • http: //www. beaverton. k 12. or. us/isb/IB/DP%20 e xtended%20 essay. pdf (starting on page 33) • ****If you choose a science topic, you must design an experiment and be able to conduct it. • ****Any history topic must be at least 10 years old
Categories to Consider Information technology in a global society Mathematics Music Peace and conflict studies Physics Politics Theatre Visual Arts World Religions Biology Business and Management Chemistry Computer Science Environmental Systems and Societies Film Geography History Human Rights
Categories 1 and 2: Literature Examples Language English • Topic Dance in Jane Austen’s novels • Research • question • “What are the role and the significance of dance in Pride and Prejudice and Emma? ” Language English • Topic Death in Emily Brontë’s and Emily Dickinson’s poetry • Research • question • “How is the subject of death treated in selected poems by Emily Brontë and Emily • Dickinson? ” Language French • Topic Fiction and history in Blaise Cendrars’ L’Or • Research • question • “How and why does Cendrars modify facts and rewrite history in his first novel? ” Language Danish • Topic The presentation of nature in poetry • Research • question • “Perceptions of nature in Danish poetry of the 1890 s. ” Language Italian • Topic Imagery and themes in the work of Giovanni Pascoli • Research • question • “The theme of the nest in the poetry of Giovanni Pascoli. ”
• • Category 2: Studies of a literary work(s) originally written in the language of the essay compared with a literary work(s) originally written in another language examples English: “Religious imagery in Wuthering Heights” is better than “Religion in the Brontës”. English: “A comparison of the presentation of racial conflict in one work by James Baldwin and one work by Richard Wright” is better than “Racial conflict in the works of American writers”. French: “The portrayal of women in the works of Zola” is better than “The works of Zola”. French: “Existentialism in Les Mains Sales and Les Mouches by Sartre” is better than “What is existentialism? ” Spanish: “The treatment of social conflict in La Busca by Pío Baroja” is better than “Social conflict in modern literature”
Examples 1, 2 and 3: Language in a cultural context Language English/French/German • Topic The impact of electronic communication technologies on meaning • Details—subject specific • Extended essay guide 23 • Research question • An analysis of the development and implications of “Twitter” reactions to the 2010 election campaign in Britain. Language English • Topic The use of persuasive language in political speeches • Research question • How far does the use of rhetoric in Barack Obama’s speeches increase their effectiveness? Language French • Topic The use of persuasive language in political speeches • Research question • How, and to what extent, did De Gaulle’s rhetorical strategies change over time in his political speeches?
Biology Topic The distribution and growth of lichens on urban pavements • Research question • How are the distribution and growth of lichens affected by sulfur dioxide and ozone levels in the • atmosphere? • Approach Thalus diameter and population density data is collected from selected sites in different parts of • the city. This data is then correlated with published data on the levels of SO 2 and O 3. Topic The effectiveness of commercial antibacterial cleaning agents • Research • question • Are commercially available antibacterial cleaning agents effective at controlling the growth of • E. coli on nutrient agar under laboratory conditions? • Approach Pure strain E. coli are grown on nutrient agar plates under controlled conditions. Filter paper discs • soaked in samples of the antibacterial agents are placed on the agar plates and the zone of • exclusion is measured and compared. Topic Altitude and physical fitness • Research question • Can a programme of training at high altitude have an impact on the fitness of an athlete? • Approach Using a digital heart-rate monitor, pre- and post-exercise heart rates and recovery times are • measured for four athletes. These athletes then carry out a programme of training at 2, 500 metres • above sea level, after which heart-rate and recovery time data is once again collected. The pre- and • post-training data is analysed and compared to published data. Topic Urease from soy beans • Research question • Which method of extraction and which temperature conditions give the best levels of urease • activity? • Approach The enzyme is extracted from dried soy beans using three different methods, and the activity of • the extract is measured and compared to a standard. Urease activity is measured by noting the • time taken for a standard urea solution, with phenolphthaline indicator, to turn pink in the • presence of the enzyme extract.
Business and Management Topic Operations management • Research question • To what extent has the introduction of Total Quality Management (TQM) improved quality at ABC • Ltd? • Approach A review of how quality management techniques have changed with the introduction of TQM. • Relevant indicators are selected for measuring quality and the data for ABC Ltd is collected. The • way in which ABC Ltd have adapted their approach to managing quality, and the impact of this on • the selected indicators, is analysed and evaluated. Topic Growth strategies • Research question • How effective has the joint venture between ABC Ltd and UBI Ltd been as a growth strategy? • Approach A review from secondary sources of growth strategies available to a firm and joint ventures • specifically. Relevant indicators are selected to quantify the impact of the joint venture on the • growth of ABC Ltd and UBI Ltd. Relevant data is collected from the two businesses, and the findings • are analysed and evaluated. Topic Financial performance • Research question • Why has the market capitalization of XYZ Plc increased more than the market capitalization of its • competitor ABC Plc? • Details—subject specific • Extended
Chemistry Title The ratio of the gases evolved at the positive electrode during the electrolysis of common salt solution • Research question • Is there a relationship between the concentration of aqueous sodium chloride solution and the ratio • of the amounts of oxygen and chlorine gas that are evolved at the positive electrode during electrolysis? Title The caffeine content of a cup of tea • Research question • Does the time it takes to brew a cup of tea using a specific commercial brand of tea leaves significantly alter the amount of caffeine that is dissolved in the drink? Title Analysis of strawberry jellies by paper chromatography • Research question • The use of paper chromatography to determine whether strawberry jellies obtained from 24 different countries in 5 different continents all contain the same red dyes.
Computer science Topic Advances in computer processing • Research question • Will fuzzy logic replace binary logic in the near future? • Details—subject specific • 50 Extended essay guide • Approach An investigation into the current state of implementation of multi-state logic and the differences between this and binary state logic. Topic Networking system • Research question • Is wireless networking a feasible alternative to cabled networking within a whole-city context? • Approach A feasibility study of the hardware and communications needed to set up a city-wide network in wireless and cabled systems.
Dance • Topic Lin Hwai Min’s choreography. • Research question • The influence of American modern dance of the mid-20 th century on Lin Hwai Min’s choreography. • Approach Specific analysis of the choreography of Martha Graham and identification of the influence her • work had on the choreography of Lin Hwai Min, artistic director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (in Taiwan).
Design technology Topic Ergonomic design of telephones for the physically impaired • Research question • How have ergonomic factors been considered in the design of a new telephone for physically • impaired people? • Approach An essay that considers how ergonomics can be used to improve the design of a new telephone. Topic Bicycle design • Details—subject specific • 58 Extended essay guide • Research question • Has the introduction of new materials improved the performance of modern racing bicycles? • Approach An essay that examines the use of new materials in the design of bicycles and their components. Topic Automated textile production • Research question • Does an automated textile process provide better-quality products than a mechanized • process? • Approach An investigation into a specific automated textile production process.
Economics Topic Pricing at the local supermarket • Research question • Will the recent policy of cutting bakery prices lead to increased revenue for the Safeway • supermarket in Ryde, Sydney? • Approach Primary research is conducted through observation and supported by secondary research, such as • company records and textbooks. This results in a detailed examination of elasticity and its • relationship with total revenue. Topic The economic impact of privatization • Research question • To what extent did Matav, a Hungarian telecommunications company, become more efficient postprivatization? • Approach Primary data is collected through interviews with company management (qualitative research) and • secondary data is collected by accessing company reports. Economics texts are used for • researching the economic theory of privatization. Topic The impact of monetary policy • Research question • Has the Kenyan central bank’s policy of interest rate cuts led to a rise in new car sales in Nairobi? • Approach A consumer questionnaire (quantitative research) is circulated and interviews (qualitative research) • are carried out with sales managers of new car firms. Government macroeconomic statistics • (secondary research) are also accessed.
Film • • “A comparison of the treatment and depiction of the family in the films of Satyajit Ray and mainstream • Hindi films” is better than “The role of the family in Indian cinema”. • • “The contribution of Nino Rota’s composition to the films of Fellini (or Morricone–Leone, • Williams–Lucas)” is better than “Effective composer– director relationships”. • • “Goddess and vampire: two female archetypes in Hollywood cinema” is better than “Women in film”. • • “The continuation and extension of silent film comedy in the films of Jacques Tati” is better than “The • comedy of Jacques Tati”.