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Task 1.1.3 – Outline the subject of the research


Description of Task 1.1.3 – Outline the subject of the research

Students can only gain by familiarizing themselves with their topic at this stage in order to facilitate the next tasks.

This task brings students to explore the theme, to clearly define the need for information and to clarify their research topic.

Supplemental Information

Students familiarize themselves with their topic by exploring general sources of information. They identify general and specific keywords, synonyms and associated terms. They answer routine questions such as: Who? What? When? Where? How? Why?

In order to choose a research topic, it is important to determine the extent and limits (such as the time and geographic scale) and to take into account the allotted time, the pertinence of the topic and of the documentation available. It is also important at this stage that students validate the extent and pertinence of their topic with their teachers so that it is not too large nor too precise.

Requirements - Suggestions

The end result of this task is reflected by the formulation of a research question or statement. This statement must, of course, meet the requirements of the assignment, but it must also allow for an information search that is both precise and realistic.

In early courses, the topic is determined by the teacher. But as students progress in their program, they must be able to choose their topic and to determine it with precision.

Potential Tools

To carry out this task, students can use:

  • Working aids (e.g. to clarify a topic and formulate a research question or work sheet);
  • Templates provided by teachers.

In Practice

The expressions used to outline the research topic can vary from one discipline to another: specifying an analytical perspective, formulation of the question, draft the research equation, etc.

Exploring the topic allows students to learn about its different aspects and to avoid choosing a topic that is too broad or too narrow. For example, choosing in vitro fertilization as a theme can bring one to many possible topics (biological, ethical or sociological perspectives).

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