ERIC Number: EJ828745
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec-19
In Search of New Frontiers: How Scholars Generate Ideas
Hampel, Robert L.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n17 pA72 Dec 2008
After several years of teaching a seminar for first-year Ph.D. students, the author began to question his three-pronged topic-selection advice: (1) Fill a gap in the literature; (2) Identify a problem that has not been studied adequately; and (3) Add a brick to the wall of knowledge. Recalling his Colonial America seminar with historian Michael Kammen, who maintained a file folder of GTFR (Good Topics for Future Research), the author asked professors at his school how they discovered research topics. From these conversations, four key lessons were gleaned: (1) Future research arises from current research; (2) Future research can be autobiographical; (3) Future research often arises from conversations; and (4) Future research can derive from what others want and might pay for. The writer concludes that in addition to offering research-methods courses, graduate seminars should also discuss the range of sources for creative work.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Inquiry, Research Design, Futures (of Society), Interest Research, Personality Traits
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A