Queen's Learning Commons


Learning Commons

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Research in the Humanities

Some of the work in the humanities relies on primary sources and theorizing activities. It may also involve conducting a modest amount of qualitative research (such as analyzing student papers or synthesizing interviews).

  1. Create a budget.

    • Determine possible expenses

    • Identify and calculate the cost of specific needs, such as books, library space, and field trips

  2. Submit application for use of human subjects from GREB (General Research Ethics Board).

  3. Locate your primary sources or documents.

    • Visit the library and special archives, complete the field trips, collect data, and make related phone calls

    • Refer to stage 4: Reviewing the literature in your field for more tips

  4. Establish an information database or filing system.

    • Organize your files, contacts, ideas, resources, field notes, and bibliographic information

  5. Develop a research checklist or timetable.

    • Break your work down by week, hour, and day, including tasks to be accomplished

    • Design a visible calendar or checklist

    • Refer back to stage 7 for tips

  6. Complete your tasks from the timetable.

    • Writing and theory-building are part of research in the humanities, and you need to complete each task systematically, keeping in mind that these are ongoing processes that will strengthen as the dissertation builds

    • Monitor your checklist (literally marking each step accomplished) and assess what additional steps need to be taken or documented