When you need to write an independent assignment, it is not only the choice of topic that is important to consider. You can also get a lot out of considering the type of task and your research approach. This applies no matter where you are in your studies.
By knowing different task types and approaches, you will be able to make a more conscious choice about the design of your task. Maybe you have more different options than you thought.
No task type is better or finer than others. They are not pure types either. They can often be combined within the same task.
No matter what type of assignment you choose to write, it is important to structure and divide your assignment into sections with Method, theory and analysis. You can read more about structuring the task under the task structure here.
Purpose: Do you most of all want to immerse yourself in the theories and work independently of external conditions? Purely theoretical tasks are immediately simple to go to, but for some there is a danger of getting stuck in the texts and having difficulty producing the necessary amount of substance. Make sure – as in all assignments – to use your supervisor and to work towards a clear problem formulation. Avoid stalling on the topic (”I am writing about”), and move on to a problem statement (”I will investigate... and I will do it this way...”).
Example: Study of the crisis of the welfare state and the risk Society – a theoretical analysis of Anthony Gidden's welfare project.
Purpose: Do you want experience in collecting data, or do you want to investigate specific material thoroughly? This research method provides concrete tasks to get started with and therefore something to hold theories against. It can be difficult to see how large the collection and analysis work is in advance, so use your supervisor.
If you want to conduct qualitative or quantitative studies, you must first familiarize yourself with how, for example, you structure an interview, do fieldwork, design questionnaires or conduct experiments. Also remember to set aside time for the finishing of the collected material.
Example: Study of the effect of a concrete learning process with mobile phones.
Cooperation with stakeholders
Purpose: Here you get a unique opportunity to gain insights from a working-life problem. It can give inspiration and energy that there are others who are interested in the results of your task. You may be able to access material that you would not be able to analyze without the involvement of a company or organization.
You are often dependent on the commitment of the company and on how much space they have in the calendar. It is important to lay out a plan for the process that both you and the company/organization can agree on in advance. Also make agreements on confidentiality. Remember that the final product should be assessed as an academic assignment and not primarily written for the company/organization.Example: Study of the management philosophy of Den Danske Bank.
Purpose: To prepare a specific product that has a direct utility, can energize the writing process. You can include empirical studies in the assignment. make the actual use of the product the subject of analysis and evaluation. The specific product can not stand alone, but can be part of, for example, a thesis. Use your supervisor to help you weight the different elements of the task.Example: Preparation of teaching materials for use in Latin classes in high school.