The task is to create a Research Plan as a way of building your research skills by adopting a systematic approach to the task. This involves library and electronic database searching, description and evaluation of a range of sources, brief summaries of material, analysis of the significance of data sources and steps that will help you clarify and define the main issues relevant to your topic.
This exercise will allow you to use your research sources to develop a viable plan for research. (The skills learnt here should be transferable to all other units you study).
You MUST NOT write an essay for this assignment. Here you develop a plan by practicing research skills.
You should follow these steps to complete the exercise and show these steps explicitly in your assignment by using the headings A to G:
A. Indentify a research topic
Choose one topic from the six listed below from Chapter 2 of the text ‘Global Business Today’:
The global pattern of trade and the role of comparative advantage in explaining this pattern. New Trade Theory and its implications for international businesses. Theories of Foreign Direct Investment and the Eclectic Paradigm
OR Stages Models of Internationalisation
Once you have settled on a topic list the main issues that are pertinent to this area of research interest. Refine and narrow the topic as you undertake the following research steps. By the time you reach Step F you should be able to state your
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research question as a clear and interesting question.
B. Search Library Catalogues
Consult a range of catalogues including University of Canberra and the National Library of Australia (NLA)
Find and list four books which are monographs of reports that deal with your general area of enquiry. Write 3 – 4 lines on how and why each is of interest, highlighting any special strength. Do not cut and paste from abstracts – you need to express this in your words. (Text books such as the HCW’s ‘ Global Business Today’ and similar text should NOT be included here).
C. Electronic Academic Databases
Refereed Scholarly Journal Articles: Find 6 articles (from quality journals such as those listed on page 6 of this unit outline) that are directly relevant to the topic and list a few key phrases that illustrate the article’s contribution. Do not cut and paste from abstracts – you need to express ideas in your own words.
Take care to use correct citation methods: use Harvard Author/Date (Check UC library site for full information on these methods). Do the citation/references here rather than in a bibliography at the end.
D. Quality items published on the internet: Find 4 sources (not academic journal articles here) that meet these criteria It is authoritative The site is clear about its own sources and reliability It is up to date or provide material that most likely not been published in other formats (e.g. refereed journals)
E. Statistics and secondary data used to illustrate your argument.
Here you need to show the reader the types of evidence you will use. So you must show empirical data or statistics you will use in the research; cite the sources and availability of the data, and show how you might compile and display it. Show a simple example e.g. A summary table you have constructed or a diagram that richly illustrates main points in your research.
Do not restate material from sections A-D.
F. Progress so far – time to pause and reflect.
Reflect and carefully evaluate your progress. Have you covered all the points adequately and do you have a thesis? When you are satisfied that you have a thesis – express it in the form of a question.
G. Plan an essay
Now as the final step for the Research Plan construct an essay plan with section headings, sub-headings, bullet points or short phrases that reflect your development of the essay and your line of argument. Do NOT write full paragraphs. It needs to be more than a list of points; the reader should be able to discern clearly your line of argument from your plan.
No separate bibliography or reference list is required – all this material should be placed with the 6-8 pages of the assignment.
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An assessment evaluation sheet is provided at the end of this handout. Read it for extra guidance on the presentation of your work. Check you have covered all the points in this sheet before you hand in this assignment.
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