Tips for choose good research topics

The inescapable factor in defining a topic is its relevance to the field of knowledge within which we are working. The topics that are constructed must contain the possibility of being approached by the concepts, the notions, the own views of the field. Debates about what is or is not a problem of communication (as an object, process or knowledge) without doubt dive deep into the development of research in the academic degree. The most common confusion comes from believing that every social fact can be observed and interpreted as a fact of communication. In this way the ability of the field to respond to any research problem is overestimated.

For example, “The environmental impact of beach erosion in the La Costa party” is not a communicational issue, as long as its disciplinary anchoring in communication is not established, ie what or which components Determine as a subject relevant to the field.4 The example thus formulated seems to be more closely related to possible problems to be addressed from the natural or environmental sciences. However, if our interest is placed in that topic, it can lead us to a first approach on the subject that we will define, investigating, for example, the reception by the community of the communication strategies imparted from the municipal government in relation to the impact Environmental impact of beaches erosion in the La Costa party.

The pertinence is given by the recognition of a tradition in research that the field – through years, of subjects and works – has been forging for its development. Although our research should not respond positively and necessarily to what is done by others – if this were the case, the knowledge would run the risk of being watertight -, it is fundamental to recover the previous knowledge in the sense of accounting for the experience of knowledge in that area.

It is important to note that it is also very frequent to observe the opposite situation, since many tesists believe it is impossible to approach a topic of interest from the field of knowledge in which they investigate. Hre the problem is the opposite of what we pointed out in previous paragraphs, since the scope of the tools and knowledge of the field is underestimated because they are not well informed about the possibilities they possess within it. Relevance is the first maxim that a topic must answer. If we think again the scheme of the inverted pyramid, we will see that at the most comprehensive level is the field of knowledge. If our subject does not respond to this pattern, it is impossible to advance in the investigation.

A rule can not be set on the amount of information that a subject must provide to establish its relevance; May be broader or more specific as required by the research, as required by the object of study being constructed. In this sense, referring to the examples above, the theme “Analysis of communication processes in the neighborhood assemblies” presents a less detailed definition than the theme “Television discourse in the communication strategy of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in The Argentine air TV “, as the latter provides more information about the object under construction, explaining what aspect of which social actor and in what scenario will investigate. However, it is clear that both formulations have a definite communicational anchorage. The subject only has validity within the research that contains it, and models can not be given to make topic types. Each theme is a particular construction for specific research, and therefore comparisons do not always give a full idea of ​​the type and amount of information required.

Simple topics, complex investigations

We can say that scientific knowledge refers to the construction, description and deconstruction of an object of study that is defined in the relationship between an empirical referent and a conceptual referent. Scientific knowledge, like other forms of human knowledge and other ways of adapting living beings to

Environment, constitutes a complex adaptive system. Although every attempt to address the social is complex, it is necessary to arrive at an instance of clarity and simplicity from the enunciative. But a clear enunciation is a consequence not so much of the linguistic skills of the researcher, but of the recognition of the debates (contextual and conceptual) around the subject that we will address. The degree of necessary simplicity will be achieved when a very extensive description is not required to explain the content or purpose of a research topic.

For all this, the initial effort of the researcher has to be focused on specifying the limits of work – although these limits can be modified in the course of research – and enunciating those limits in the simplest possible way. Simple definitions will allow for more orderly progress on the complexities of social reality.

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