One of the main steps in obtaining a master’s and doctoral degree for students is to conduct research under the title of dissertation . Students virtiv.ir choose a specific topic in their field of study, conduct scientific research, and after obtaining the final results, defend the research and its results in the presence of a number of faculty members. Obtaining the consent of the professors present at the meeting is required to complete the student’s education. One of the most important steps in this research and dissertation writing is to find the research background in relation to the chosen topic for the dissertation and to find the right research path. In this article, we intend to introduce the research background and how to write it.
Research background is a collection of resources related to the research topic. These resources will include scholarly books, journal articles, conference papers, dissertations, and more. The research background provides researchers and audiences with an overview of the findings, theories, and developments made on the main problems or questions. A good research background is not enough to summarize past research and will pursue the following goals:
- Critical analysis and evaluation of previous research
- Combining resources to highlight patterns, backgrounds, contradictions, and study gaps
- Demonstrate the state of current knowledge about the main problem or hypotheses of the present study
How to write a research background correctly?
Writing a good research background can be summarized in four main steps, which we will introduce in the following steps:
Step 1 – Collect, evaluate and select research for the background
In the first step, you should search for articles and resources that are relevant to the main issue and hypotheses of your research. This step is the first step to understanding the current state of your research and starting research.
Use keywords to find the main sources.
Make a list of keywords related to your topic and search for sources from the following sources:
- University Library.
- Google scholar
- Project Muse (for Humanities and Social Sciences)
- Medline (Life Sciences and Biomedicine)
- EconLit (Economy)
- Inspect (Physics, Engineering and Computer Science)
Once you find a useful article, see its list of resources to find related content.
Evaluate and select resources.
Most likely, viewing the title of the searched resources alone will not help you to select the sources used. Therefore, read the summary of the sources found. At this point you need to determine which resources will be available to you.
Take notes for yourself and cite your sources.
You should save notes while studying the selected sources to refer to when writing the original text of your research background. Citation and avoidance of plagiarism are required for each of the notes.
Step 2 – Find connections and backgrounds
To begin planning and organizing the research background structure, you must already know the relationship between the sources studied. Depending on your studies and notes, you can look for the following at this stage:
- Patterns (in terms of research methods and results): Has the use of specific methods increased or decreased over time?
- Backgrounds : What questions and theories are most frequently asked about your topic?
- Discussion, Conflict and Contradiction: What do the sources disagree on?
- Publishing: Are there effective theories and studies that have changed the course of research in general?
- Study Gap: What issues have gone unnoticed in past research?
This step will help you work on the structure of your research background and show how your research will expand current knowledge.
Step 3 – Plan for the structure of the research background
There are various solutions for organizing the main text of a research background. You need to make sure of your strategy before you start. Depending on the length of the research background, you can have different strategies or choose a combination of strategies.
Historical Dynasty Strategy
The simplest strategy is to follow the progress of an issue over the years. If you have chosen this strategy, avoid summarizing and listing the research done without analyzing it. Try to identify the main patterns, points, and discussions that have shaped the research path. Give your interpretations of why and how different research is formed.
As you find repetitive central topics, divide your research background into different sections that refer to a part of the topic.
If you come up with something out of the ordinary, then they have to re-think their position.
Research background is usually the basis of a theoretical framework. You can explore different theories, models and key points in different research. You may disagree with some theories or use a combination of several theories to shape the structure of your research.
Step 4 – Write a research background
To write a research background section, you will need three general sections: introduction, main text, and conclusion. The following is a description of each of these sections:
This section should fully and clearly define the purpose of the research background for the reader.
Depending on the length of the research background, you can break down the original text into different sections. When writing the original text, note the following:
- Summarizing and combining research : Gather the main points of different researches and combine them in an understandable way.
- Analysis and Interpretation : Do not just discuss the opinions and results of others. Add your own comments as needed. State the importance of the results of previous research on your subject.
- Critical evaluation : Point out the strengths and weaknesses of previous research.
- Exact structure of the text : Use captions to understand the text accurately and to express contradictions and comparisons.
In this section, you should state the key results you have obtained from the study and review of previous research and emphasize their importance