The undergraduate research handbook

Gina Wisker

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authoredpeer-review


Undergraduate research is challenging, rewarding and recognised as absolutely crucial in developing confidence, creative and critical thinking. It involves you in exciting, carefully managed routes to problem solving and discovery, as well as sound approaches to learning and practice which affect your life and your future work. This book seeks to enthuse and to equip you in the art and craft of research, from generating ideas and formulating questions to research design, carrying out the research and writing, and speaking about your research. Research is a developmental journey. It s the key learning activity, involving as it does enquiry, theorising and conceptualising, the excitement of searching after and shaping new knowledge, problem solving, seeking after, analysing, managing, interpreting and presenting ideas, information, findings and
knowledge. It encourages and enables the development of creativity and originality, leading towards the production of theorised, research evidence-based work. For undergraduates,
research begins as you start to work towards your first assignment, planning
and undertaking fieldwork or experiments; reading towards an assessed task or essay; opening up seemingly fixed issues and ideas, thus making them problematic; asking and beginning to answer questions about topics, fields or areas. The theorising, problematising, research skills and approaches you develop throughout your degree come to some final (for now) fruition with your specific, focused research project. Research skills are initially developed to enable, underpin and feed into the writing of essays, reports and independent learning projects of all kinds. The pinnacle of the research development is the final year (or honours in Australia) research project and dissertation. There are different views about where and how and what undergraduate research is:
‘An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes
an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline’ (Centre for
Undergraduate Research) ‘Undergraduate research is original work conducted by undergraduate students working in collaboration with a faculty mentor’ (University of Central Florida) ‘Discovery Learning’ (University of Alberta)
It can be a lone venture, or carried out in a team with others. It is a set of approaches and views about learning, and also a journey where you develop skills, insights, and critical thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages368
ISBN (Print)9781137341488
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Publication series

NamePalgrave study skills
PublisherPalgrave , Springer


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