For 13.11.17

Read and Outline (briefly) Craft 4

Wrap your head around the concept and practice of Conceptual Problems in a research question (this may take multiple readings and the following exercise to understand)

  • Especially 4.2.1 and 4.2.2
  • Read the whole chapter to develop a larger perspective

Apply this lesson to a relevant Big 4 Survey

As we discussed, most of you have have skipped the high-level, conceptual dimension of your research question (for the understandable reasons we discussed), but now that you know better why we are looking for the conceptual problems, let’s do it: Learn how to read strategically, how to identify your interest as it is being discussed by relevant professionals: you are looking first for major issues / conceptual level issues and only later the details

  • Search for “current issues YourTopic 2017 pwd/kpmg/ey/deloitte” and choose one or more reports offering an overview of current issues
  • When you find a report with multiple topics, outline the major topics/chapters, then choose one based on your interests and outline that section
  • Read this selected section in detail, then choose one or more paragraphs and look them up, for example, “the goal is to leverage data to automate personalization and drive conversion” and search that to find articles where professionals use such language
  • Read one or more of these articles, briefly, to learn how a community of researchers using these keywords are discussing your topic


Now that you have read strategically and found a discussion closer to your interest and the interest of relevant professionals, identify at least three special terms — keywords specific to your topic and research community — and look them up in dictionaries and especially online, as professionals are using them today and in more interesting ways than dictionaries, as you find on my Definitions page


Practice discussing your sources, your research question, and your definitions and revise them accordingly

  • DO NOT even think of submitting anything that you have not discussed with a partner
  • Prepare a brief protocol of your conversation and explain how, having discussed this with someone, you understand your problem differently
  • Even better: describe how you have taken this feedback seriously and changed your topic or adjusted it, how you plan to do something about it, and what you might have done about it: make this advice actionable