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What Research Is - Features of Research

Kate L. Turabian in A Manual for Writer of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th Edition, along with Nancy Jean Vhymeister in Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology, 2nd Edition, share insights about the meaning of research through the eyes of the researcher. They identify the following distinctive features of research:

1. Research is specific to a particular problem (Turabian, 1.1.6: Vhymeister 2).

2. Research answers questions about the problem (Turabian 1.1, 6, 7; Vhymeister 2).

3. Research leads to knowledge and understanding about the problem (Turabian, 1.1.7; Vhymeister, 2).

4. Research identifies the importance of the problem (Turabian 1.1.7; Vhymeister, 2).

 How do these features of research relate to your own perceptions of the research process?  What other features of research are important to you?

What Research is Not

In her book, Your Guide to Writing Quality Research Papers: For Students of Religion and Theology, Dr. Nancy Jean Vyhmeister identifies six items that do not fit the definition of research (6-7).

1. A string of quotations

2. A rewrite of others work

3. A personal defense

4. A polemic

5. A forum for personal opinion

6. A sermon

Which of these are most likely to influence or impact your writing?


Welcome Doctor of Ministry students!

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