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How to Write a Rationale for a Research Paper: 3 Huge Mistakes


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Mistake 1: The rationale does not mention who the research is helping.
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Mistake 3: The rationale has a poorly defined scope.

Securing advances in agriculture across the nation. The strengths of the paradigms often come from single disciplines end the competitive "rants funding mechanism are elaborated scientists on peer review panels may from single in a subsequent section. The Advantages of Competitive Grants The competitive grants mechanism is advocated in this proposal because it has three major strengths: Some believe that an inordi- nate amount of time is required to prepare applications for competitive grants and their renewals; this burden disciplines and the scientists on peer review panels may not be equally knowledgeable in all the disci- plines covered by the proposal.

Some people are also concerned that competitive grant research programs avoid applied research. In an expanded competitive grants program in USDA, the mission will be agriculture, and the distinction between basic and applied research should not be of concern.

The distinction should be between high-quality and relevant research, on the one hand, and pedestrian and inappropriate research, on the other. In agricultural, food, and environmental research, many of the more interesting problems are in settings that have en applied character such as ecosys- tem studies in relation to sustainable agriculture ; these kinds of studies are intended to be funded under the proposed competitive grants program within USDA.

Some of the conditions noted above, such as the time required to prepare competitive grant proposals and the risk of losing continuing support, are neces- sary to ensure the highest quality of science. Notwithstanding the reservations, competitive grants are the preferred way to award the funds for the research envisioned by this proposal. Respon- siveness and flexibility jointly are the ability to iden- tify and support potentially important areas of re- search areas that are emerging but that have not yet been designated significant.

Responsiveness means being hospitable to-and strongly encouraging-work at the forefront of an area of science. The basis of the competitive research grants system is doing a definable piece of work within the bounds set by the grant's funds and duration. Virtually by definition, competitive grants programs have the capacity to be responsive. Future funding can be redirected without unduly disrupting previously funded research studies. Over relatively short periods the program can significantly and systematically change the emphasis on the area of research to be funded.

Its commitments are for finite lengths of time and for relatively small amounts of money. Thus, such a program is less likely to get locked into supporting research whose relevance to significantproblems might become marginal as advances are made elsewhere in science or as social needs or economic opportunities change.

It can afford to support risky but potentially promising work and to make awards to promising but not yet fully established younger scientists. A competitive grants program can also be respon- sive to changing USDA mission agency needs by making additional or new grant support available in particular program areas.

Such needs can be high- lighted in annual program announcements, and efforts can be made to notify the science and engineering communities of the new program areas. Notwith- standing the desire to respond to new opportunities and to change as needs dictate, frequent and extensive shifts in priorities should be avoided because continu- ity and stability are hallmarks of high-quality science.

A further aspect of responsiveness is the capacity to promote communication and links across scientific disciplines and between program sectors. Such com- munication and links are built into the administra- tive processes of the program at every stage.

People from various disciplines and from all segments of the scientific community academia, industry, and gov- emment are necessarily brought together to discuss and refine program priorities, establish proposal re- view criteria, and serve on peer review panels.

Even the process of develop- ing proposals particularly those involving multidis- ciplinary team research requires considerable dia- logue. It will do so by expanding opportunities for scientists who are currently involved in agricultural research; by drawing productive, proven scientists from other areas into agricultural research; by attracting and retaining new, younger scientists into agricultural research at the beginning of their careers; by removing financial and other barriers impeding women, underrepresented minorities, and disabled individuals and providing them with greater opportunities for research; and by encouraging and supporting work across all the program areas areas in which many scientists both inside and outside agriculture are strongly interested.

An expanded competitive grants program offers an important new opportunity for top-quality scientists currently involved or interested in agricultural re- search to be significantly more involved. This is particularly important for scientists who are involved with USDA's current program: New talent will be attracted to research important to agriculture because people throughout the science and engineering communities both new, younger scientists and established scientists will,perhaps for the first time, seriously consider how they could.

An illustration of this kind of successful involvement is NIH's use of com- petitive grants to attract and retain researchers for biomedical science. NIH grants are one of the main reasons for the exceptional advances recently made in understanding molecular and cellular genetics and in elucidating the biology of growth and development- advances that lie behind the development of the entire biotechnology industry.

The competitive grants approach is successful for biomedicine and should be equally so for agriculture. For that to occur, however, it will be necessary to make the size and length of the grants competitive with other grant forms and thereby secure the interest and com- mitment of researchers.

As important as attracting and retaining new talent is the need to encourage and support members of groups that have not traditionally been part of the agricultural, food, and environmental system: Relative to their proportion of the general, univer- sity, or research community populations, these groups have been significantly underrepresented in the scien- tific disciplines involved in agriculture. Evidence suggests that many women, members of other underrepresented groups, disabled individuals, and young scientists trained in basic science depart- ments outside colleges of agriculture are discouraged from pursuing careers in food and agricultural scien- tific disciplines because of the lack of financial support in the system and, in some cases, because of their sense that greater professional challenges can be found elsewhere National Research Council, b.

This proposed grants program would help significantly in addressing this need. Thus, a competitive grants mechanism gives scien- tists and scholars in public and private universities, government laboratories, and not-for-profit research locations a fair and equitable chance to obtain addi- tional support.

The benefits of increased funding would be distributed widely. The openness of the competitive grants mechanisms is important for at- tracting top-quality scientists to agricultural research.

Balance among Funding Mechanisms Each of the four funding mechanisms now support- ing agricultural, food, and environmental research has 37 a valuable role to play in ensuring that the vital basic or fundamental , applied, technology development and transfer, crisis driven, and long-term forms of research are being met. Different needs are best met by different funding mechanisms.

The most immedi- ate ways of doing this are to 1 attract new talent into the research system and 2 help active scientists take greater advantage of the developments rapidly occur- ring across all fields of science. In terms of total public and private support for all components of the agricultural, food, and environ- mental research system, competitive grants play an even more modest role.

The applied, regional, and site-specific nature of many agricultural, food, and environmental research and engineering issues makes it appropriate for a consid- erable portion of total agricultural research funding- perhaps one-third to two-thirds, depending on the area of science-to continue moving into the system through federal and state formula funds and other noncompeti- tive mechanisms.

Although support from these sources has been crucially impor- tant in advancing basic science in fields key to agricul- ture, food, and environmental research, it is generally directed at priorities and applications other than those most critically needed to advance the agricultural and food sector. In addition, competition for these funds. TIC w Cat hi;. Much of the knowledge and techniques discovered by scientists who received NSF and NIH grants can be applied to agricultural research.

An expanded USDA grants program will increase the application of this new knowledge to address the needs of the agricultural, food, and environmental system. Reciprocally, scientific developments brought about by USDA-supported work will advance funda- mental knowledge, for example, by increasing the understanding of genetic, physiological, and ecologi- cal processes. A second way to obtain a better balance among funding mechanisms is to redirect funding currently in the intramural, formula fund, or special grants pro- grams to competitive grants.

But such redirection, as noted earlier, would likely damage the agricultural research system as a whore. Furthermore, es problems become more complex and as more rapid responses are needed to keep up with global competition, it will be essential to keep the ARS, SAKS, and CES sectors as fully funded as possible, lest their ability to accept and use new knowledge, develop new technologies, and help with technology application decreases even further.

It has been suggested, for example, that USDA might allocate all its research support through a na- tional competitive grants program. If that were done, just under one-half of total state and federal agricul- tural research support would be competitively awarded.

But doing that would require the ARS to close and would completely eliminate formula funds and spe- cial grants. That would be a mistake. Competitive grant program expenditures should grow relative to those of the intramural, formula, and special grant funding mechanisms but should neither replace nor dwarf them.

A multidisciplinary project requires research "in" the disciplines and at the same time draws research and results "from" the disciplines to form a study that integrates the disciplines and results to examine systematically the various facets as well as the totality of the problem.

As used here, multidisci- plinary research designates both cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, even though the three terms have somewhat different meanings. Four examples illustrate the point: Understanding plant pathogenesis requires re- search in plant pathology, biochemistry, plant biol- ogy, cell biology, ecology, and population biology. Developing sustainable animal agricultural sys- tems requires research in agronomy and soil science, ecology and ecosystems analysis, animal nutrition, population and community biology, economics, and other disciplines.

Controlling the postharvest losses of crops in- volves a combination of the ability to resolve engi- neering problems in the harvesting, sorting, and re- frigerating equipment and an understanding of certain aspects of plant breeding, genetics, pathology, nutri- tion, toxicology, and plant science; only such a com- bination can address crop quality, control of posthar- vest diseases, nutrient loss during storage, and control and detection of mycotoxins.

To realize the full potential of science and technol ogy in agricultural, food, and environmental research, the USDA competitive grants program should direct up to 50 percent of its support to multidisciplinary research through multidisciplinary team grants, both fundamental and mission-linked. This emphasis is meant to stimulate more multidisciplinary team re search and to strongly encourage it among senior scientists. As described earlier in this chapter, fundamental multidisciplinary team grants are conceived of as the involvement of, on average, at least two senior scientists as principal investigators; and multidisciplinary mission-linked teams would involve about four senior scientists see Table 3.

But the terms team and multidisciplinary may also suggest the concept of a research center. That associa- tion is incorrect, however, because center implies a larger research group, a more permanent or long-term association, and a physical facility, whereas the mul- tidisciplinary team grants proposed for the USDA competitive grants program are intended to go to small teams of probably two to four scientists and to extend for no longer than one grant cycle, with the possibility of one renewal.

The association of multidisciplinary team with center should be avoided. Both types of multidisciplinary "rants proposed for the competitive grants program will involve multidis- ciplinary team research and will address fundamental science and engineering questions. The difference between them is that fundamental multidisciplinary grants should be for pioneering research at the fore- front of science and engineering disciplines. Mission- linked projects should address major science and engineering questions and perform basic research on understanding the phenomena being studied.

They are also to link the work with more applied problems. Examples of mission-linked projects might be re- search that addresses both the source of the commod- ity and the market for a new product by studying the enzymatic, microbiological, or genetic basis for new uses of commodity materials or by combining agro- nomic, economic, and ecosystem research to deter- mine the optimum balance of components for a more sustainable and profitable crop and animal agricul- tural system.

The key aspect of mission-linked multidisciplinary grants-their direct connection to the more applied problems-can be facilitated, and in some cases en- sured, if teams applying for grants of this type are required to include people from the applications sec- tor.

Such people could be from private industry e. If the proposed research can be conducted by the team members separately, it does not qualify as multidisciplinary team research. Multidisciplinary team research presents a number of conceptual and practical difficulties.

Chief among them are issues of leadership, management, coordina- tion, rewards, and satisfaction. Scientific problems and their relation to new research findings-evolve continuously, sometimes rapidly, and keeping up requires good coordination and the ability to change research plans expeditiously, as necessary.

Then, too, rewards, advancement, and satisfaction within the profession and within the university envi- ronment, and sometimes within the industrial or gov- emmental environment, have traditionally been based on work done individually, not that done as part of a team.

All of these difficulties together constitute a management and leadership challenge for an institu- tion, and resolving the difficulties is essential for the long-term success of multidisciplinary team research.

Granting agencies have customarily awarded grants to single investigators within one scientific discipline; thus, the reviewing mechanisms are generally set up on a disciplinary basis. Involving reviewers from several rather different disciplines is considerably more difficult. Reviewers must give careful consid- eration to the composition of the research team; the quality and creativity of the scientific approaches being proposed; the extent of direct working involve- ment by the appropriate individuals, agencies, and institutions; and the ability to manage the project effectively.

For the Wanting agency, managing the review of multidisciplinary team grants is exception- ally important. Some of the management issues are discussed in Chapter 6. Notwithstanding the difficulties, multidisciplinary research is clearly worth doing because of the multi- faceted nature ofthe problems both the fundamental and the more applied problems that are common in the agricultural, food, and environmental system. It is also worthwhile because of the unexpected synergism and creativity that good collaboration may generate.

Thus, two types of research-strengthening grants would be offered: Grants to institutions, departments, and programs would be for research program development, retrain- ing, and instrumentation but not for buildings and capital expenditures.

These grants would be targeted at institutions that aspire but are currently unable- to develop nationally competitive proposals to submit to federal funding agencies. Many agricultural, food, and environmental issues are unique to certain re- gions; so the whole system land-grant universities, state colleges, and private universities will become stronger and more responsive as a broader array of 41 institutions attain the capacity to compete for grants on a national basis.

These grants would thus help over- come the geographic and institutional unevenness in the nation's ability to pursue research and technology development. In some cases, the need for a research-strengthen- ing grant will be revealed when reviewers identify specific weaknesses or constraints in a grant proposal. A proposal may go unfunded, for example, because investigators either lack access to a certain instrument or research method or have inadequate experience in using it.

Or an investigator or research team may not display enough familiarity with related scientific developments or with multidisciplinary research. In such cases, a research-strengthening grant could prove to be appropriate and constructive support. Fellowship support would be for both graduate and postdoctoral research studies. These fellowship ok portunities would supplement, not replace, USDA's successful and nationally competitive higher educa- tion fellowship programs National Research Coun- cil, c.

In virtually all of the states there are systems of peer review for allocating state and industrial support. This book provides an analysis of funding for agricultural research in the United States and presents a proposal to strengthen this system. Its premise is that a judicious but substantial increase in research funding through competitive grants is the best way to sustain and strengthen the U.

The proposal calls for an increased public investment in research; a broadened scientific scope and expanded program areas of research; and four categories of competitively awarded grants, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary research. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website. Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one.

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Page 38 Share Cite. Page 39 Share Cite. This is true for your writing process as well. Different parts of your paper are going to take on new meaning as other portions are added and changed. If your idea, research, topic or area change as you work through your research paper, make sure that your rationale reflects this. Do not get caught making this huge mistake! As you begin to work on our research paper, you need to clearly define what the scope of your topic is.

With too large a scope and your research paper will likely be stretched too thin. You will not have the space to develop your ideas, and your grade will suffer. There are several ways to help narrow your scope. One of my favorite methods is to do a free writing exercise. First, write for 15 minutes about your topic. Then pick the most interesting thing about what you have written.

This is your new topic. Now, write for 15 minutes about that topic. Repeat this process until you feel that your gap has been narrowed down to something that you can work with. Consider the following topic examples:. You may also run the risk of creating a topic that is too narrow.

If you find yourself unable to find any relevant research or incapable of generating paragraph ideas, you may have this issue. Consider taking a step back from your topic. What qualifiers have you put on your topic? Is there any way to remove them? Do not forget that your research will have to be centered around a central question that you have or a gap in previous literature. If you get too specific your gap may be taking too many steps beyond what is already there.

You cannot learn everything in a single research paper so you cannot propose a rationale that goes too far beyond what it already known.

It might seem contrapuntal to say that being too specific can be a by product of trying to accomplish too much, but consider these topic examples:. The benefits to homeless veterans of establishing a turquoise line from central park to the suburbs on workdays.

In this example, there may not be enough research about the individual parts in order to apply so many qualifiers. If there is a gap in the study of homelessness new public transportation in general, you will have a hard time supporting the more specific idea. Consider taking a step out from such specificity. The benefits to the homeless of establishing ways in and out of the city.

This topic will allow you to operate directly between segments of previous literature. You will be able to note exactly one gap, rather than a string of gaps that you yourself must fill. Filling more than one gap in a research paper is always a good sign that your topic is either too broad or too narrow. This may seem like a lot to juggle.

But this guide, and ones like it are here to aide you in all your writing processes. However, if you feel that you truly do not wish to write your own paper, Jittery Monks has a service for you. Jittery Monks employs only top quality writers to write your rationale. If you order a rationale from Jittery Monks, you can be sure that it will be well done.

The best way to avoid these mistakes and ensure that your rationale has all of the key parts is to place an order here. Can you help us make a rationale about the determinant of students in choosing strand and it affect to their academic performance. Can you help me on how to come up with a problem statement on the research titled evaluating the relationship between consumer buying behaviour and celebrity endorsement.

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Locating your study in a context consists of identifying a domain of life into which the research fits. One popular way to accomplish this is to introduce a label that you assume is familiar to your readers. Labels can be on different levels of specificity. To illustrate, for our hypothetical study of Mexican-American families, consider three alternatives that descend from the general to the specific.

The first label—social change—places your work within a very broad field. The second—family structure—identifies a more limited realm. The third-trends in family structure and function among Mexican-Americans—represents a very narrow field, indeed.

Your rationale might start with the label that signifies the field in which you think your work belongs. Investigations of trends in family structure and function among MexicanAmericans treat such issues as. Your next task is that of showing how your project fits into the selected realm.

Here is one way that could be done for the second option—family structure. The literature on family structure can be divided into six categories focusing on 1 family members' roles, 2 types of human needs met within different family structures, 3 nuclear and extended forms of family, 4 lineage and governance i. The present study links the second and fifth of these categories by addressing the question: What changes have occurred in the structure and functions of Mexican-American families during the twentieth century, and what trends do such changes reflect"In addition, by centering attention on a particular ethnic group—Mexican-Americans—the study provides material useful to people interested in the last of the categories, that of cross-cultural comparisons.

This function is typically performed by the author's identifying shortcomings in the existing body of knowledge or practice that could be remedied by the proposed research.

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It is important for you to be able to explain the importance of the research you are conducting by providing valid arguments. Rationale for the study needs to be specific and ideally, it should relate to the following points: 1. The research needs to contribute to the elimination of a gap in the literature. Elimination of gap in existing pool of literature is one of the compulsory requirements for your study.

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A rationale is a kind of sub-proposal within a proposal: it offers the reasons for proceeding to address a particular problem with a particular solution. A rationale for research is a set of reasons offered by a researcher for conducting more research into a particular subject -- either library research, descriptive research, or experimental research.

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Aug 28,  · Mainly, a rationale will need to have stated your research problem, defined the key terms, noted objectives and noted the importance of the subject. In addition, a rationale will need to have reviewed and summarized the available literature, noted any gaps in /5(62). Explaining the purpose of a research study and providing a compelling rationale is an important part of any research project, enabling the work to be set in the context of both existing evidence (and theory) and its practical applications.

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rationale Somewhere in the introduction you need to inform the reader of the rationale of your research. This is a brief explanation of why your research topic is worthy of study and may make a significant contribution to the body of already existing research. A rationale typically consists of a line of reasoning that performs two principal functions. It describes a context within which to locate the intended project and suggests why doing such a study is worthwhile.