Ayaz Isazadeh
Research Guidelines

Whether you want to do a Course Paper,  B.Sc. Project,  M.Sc. Thesis,  Ph.D. Dissertation, or even Post-Doctoral Fellowship Research,  you are about to start a 5-Step Process:

And, if you are a beginner, then you are also just about to experience the Joy of Research!

Mount Savalan

And see...
Wonders of the top,

Joy of Research!

Your work is not complete unless you go through all these steps, successfully.  In the first step, naturally, you would not randomly pick a topic!  You would consider a number of not necessarily related topics, possibly make some comparisons, and then decide on one.  By the time you complete this step, you would gain valuable knowledge on the context of your topic.  Your actual research will be accomplished in Step 3; but you cannot do that unless you have a foundation based on two requirements:

  1. Breadth Requirement, extending your knowledge in the context of your topic, fulfilled by Step 1.
  2. Depth Requirement, deepening your knowledge on your topic, fulfilled by Step 2.

As you see, Step 1 is an important part of the process; and if, as I frequently hear, you too want to say,

I'd  like to do research, but I don't know on what; would you give me a topic?

you really want to skip an important part of the process.  As long as you are looking for a topic, you are in Step 1 and not ready to start the next steps.  You should not let your supervisor make you skip this part.  I certainly will not take away this part of the process from any student, in any level, that I may supervise.

In Step 4, you make a conclusion.  Step 5 may not look as important, but it is the most significant part of the process.  In fact, a research with great results is of no value, unless it is presented properly.  You have to prepare an oral presentation, using PowerPoint, and a written presentation, using LaTeX, XePersion.  Your work can be as introductory as a course paper, presentable at your classroom, or as advanced as a full scale research paper, presentable at a national or international conference and/or journal.

Your paper should be organized in 4 sections (or chapters), as follows:

Note that your paper will be considered as a

Generally, a good review paper leads to some good research topic, for example:

The depth of the work in all 5 steps of the process gets reduced when you come to B.Sc. Project, and further reduced in the case of Course Paper.

The volume of a paper does not mean much, but just to give an idea, I like to see a Course Paper in 10, a B.Sc. Project in 30, an M.Sc. Thesis in 90, and a Ph.D. Dissertation in 140 pages, 10%, excluding the programs, simulations, and other appendices.

For My DEAR Students, who are just starting to experience the joy of research, I have some samples:

See also my Students page,

Specially the Future M.Sc. Students and Future Ph.D. Students.

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Ayaz Isazadeh
, 2008