Revising the research question

As I wrote earlier, once the student becomes better acquainted with the research area, it will probably become necessary to slightly revise the original research question. There could be several reasons for this, but largely this is because the review of the previous academic literature on the subject has helped to clarify what the academic community already knows about the topic and what still remains to be discovered. Hopefully this will result in minor adjustments, rather than huge changes of emphasis, but it is important to recognise that this is an ongoing process which will require a bit of settling down. For some people, in certain subject areas, this settling-down process will take longer than others, and a crucial resource to help the process along is – surprise, surprise – the research supervisor! It might seem obvious, but when the research student becomes enmeshed in the research problem, it seems that sometimes they forget to communicate effectively with their supervisor(s).

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