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Universidade Federal de Campina Grande

Programa de Ps-Graduao em Engenharia Mecnica

Master Research:
methodology, some ideas
and Working Plan

Raimundo Nonato Calazans Duarte


Campina Grande/PB, April, 18th , 2017.

Scientific Research
Types of Research
Variety of classification criteria (Tognetti, 2006,; electrical engineering):
it depends on the field of study !


Finality Objectives Procedures Nature Site





Scientific Research
Types of Research (Tongnetti, 2006)
Level Knowledge Objective Modalities
To know deeper and better
about a problem Bibliographic review
Exploratory How To elaborate hypothesis Interview
To improve ideas Case study

To realize intuitions
To describe the
Ethnographic study
characteristics of a population
Descriptive What or phenomena Survey of opinions,
attitudes, believes,
To establish relationships
between variables
To identify the determinant
variables for the phenomena
occurrence Experimental
Explaining Why To explain the reason of the Quasi-experimental
phenomena and to establish the
cause-effect relationship
Scientific Research
Types of Research (Vergara, 1997; administration )

Field research
Laboratory research
Finality Documental
Exploratory Bibliographic


Explaining Ex-post facto

Methodological Participant
Applied Action research

Interventionist Case Study

Scientific Research
Types of Research (Silverman, 2000; social sciences)

Method Quantitative Qualitative

Preliminary work (before Fundamental action to
Observation the questionnaire buildup) understand other culture

Analysis of contents To understand the

(counting of existing terms categories of the
Text Analysis in categories predefined by participants
the researchers)
Survey with closed Open questions with small
Interview questions and random samples and/or participants

Unusual way to check out Used to evaluate how the

Transcriptions the consistency or truth of participants structure their
the interviews talks (speech analysis)
Scientific Research

Types of Research
System #1:
Basic research
Applied research
System #2:
Quantitative research
Qualitative research
System #3:
Experimental research
Nonexperimental research
Scientific Research
Types of Research
Basic X Applied
Pure, fundamental Central purpose to solve an
research immediate problem
Improved products or
Discovery of new

knowledge; theoretical in processes

Infers beyond the group or
situation studied
Takes many years for the
Interpretation of results
results of basic research
relies upon Basic research
to find some practical
Scientific Research
Types of Research
Quantitative X Qualitative
Numerical, measurable data Generally non-numerical
Traditional or positivist data
approach Typically anthropological
Clearly stated questions and sociological research
Rational hypotheses methods
Developed research procedures
Observations of a natural

Extraneous variable controls


Large samples
Traditional, statistical analyses In-depth descriptions of

Interpretive and descriptive
Scientific Research

Types of Research
Experimental X Nonexperimental
Variables: IVs and DVs Causal-comparative
Cause-and-effect Descriptive
Extraneous variable controls Correlational
3 fundamental characteristics

At least 1 active IV
Extraneous var controls
Observation of the DV response
to the IV
Scientific Research

Types of Research
Steps to Experimental Research
1. Identifying the research question or
problem area
2. Initial review of literature
3. Distilling the question to a specific
research problem
4. Continued review of literature
5. Formulation of hypotheses
6. Determining the basic research
7. Identifying the population and sample
Scientific Research

Types of Research
Steps to Experimental Research
8. Designing data collection plan
9. Selecting or developing specific data collection
instruments or procedures
10. Choosing the method of data analysis
11. Implementing the research plan
12. Preparing the research report
Scientific Research

Experimental Research
Questions to answer before the research !
Identify the research problem.
Identify the purpose statement.
Identify the hypotheses.
How will you collect the data?
What equipment/methods/procedures will you use?
How will you analyze the data?
Identify the research plan.
Scientific Research

Experimental Research
Some additional questions
Re-write the title using 5 8 words.
Re-write the title using 15 18 words.
Provide the delimitations for this study.
What are 2 examples of the limitations of this study?
Does this study answer the questions of the Methods section
Scientific Research

Experimental Research
Questions to answer after the research !
Did the collected data support or reject the original
research hypothesis? Why?
What were the conclusions? Future studies?
Write two new conclusion statements by using deductive
and inductive reasoning.
Scientific Research:
Research in (Mechanical) Engineering

Major characteristics:
Applied, quantitative and
experimental research
Classical areas:
Materials and manufacturing
Design and product
Thermal sciences
Fluid mechanics and
Scientific Research:
Research in (Mechanical) Engineering
Scientific Research:
Research in (Mechanical) Engineering
Some numbers of Brazilian production:
Scientific Research:
Research in (Mechanical) Engineering

Main areas (last 5 years; RBCM):

Master Research
Working Plan (or Research Project)
1srt Phase: Research Identification
Subject Selection Problem formulation

2nd Phase: Research Planning

Hypothesis Research Questions Preliminary Project

3rd Phase: Data Collection

Data classification and
Sample Selection Choice of techniques

4th Phase: Data Analysis and Interpretation

5th Phase: Final Report & Publication of Results

Undergraduate Research

Working Plan
Starting point: the research idea !!

KISS = Keep It Simple, Student.

Identify something of interest to you.

Prepare to solve one piece of a


Realistic expectations Can you

reasonably accomplish it?

RBP = read before proposing !

Undergraduate Research

Working Plan

Developing a Research Idea

Brainstorm ideas for research topics
Record on flip chart (or computer file).
Vote on two highest priorities.
Form groups for the top 3-5 topics.
Each group explore the topic to:
Agree on a research idea.
Identify next steps based upon the previous
Share highlights with the whole group.
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan
Problem Delineation
Subject or obeject of study

Available knowledge What is the problem?

What are the What are the problem

What is known?
unkowns ? controversies ?

What is the What are the What are the

problem research results
hypothesis? objectives? expected?
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan

Plan Structure
Broad diversity of structures
Vergara (2005) routine explored here

Key Sections
Front Page and Face Sheet
Summary 4. Timetable

1. The Problem 5. Bibliography

2. Theoretical Reference Annexes

3. Methodology Appendixes
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan

Front Page & Face

Project Title
Author Identification
Project Destination
Advisor Identification
Place, month and year of
the proposal
OBS: unnumbered pre
textual page
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan

Description of the
document content
Indexed list of chapters,
sections and subsections
May be preceded by an
Abstract page
Recommendation: use
text editor tools
OBS: unnumbered pre
textual page
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan

1. The Problem
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Objectives
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Hypothesis or Suppositions
1.5 Study Delimitation
1.6 Study Relevance
1.7 Term Definition (if its the case)

2. Theoretical Reference
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan
Introduction Importance of the project or of the
subject under discussion.
Objectives What does the research intend to
1. The Problem

reach in a global and specific manner ?

Research The root of the problem; What
Questions motivated the researcher curiosity ?
Hipothesis Antecipations to the problem answers
Study Delimitation Here the research cutouts are defined
Study Relevance In which way the study will contribute
to the knowledge about the problem ?
Term Definitions Short list with key terms of the study
followed by their definitions
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan

2. Theoretical Reference
Exposition of previous studies about the subject to be
researched with an extensive bibliographic revision focused on
the theoretical approaches and concepts related concerning the
object of study. In addition, it should appropriately compare
the concepts and research tools of each author revealing its
positive and negative aspects.
Search by state of the art, in other words, the limits of the
science knowledge about the subject under investigation.
It indicates the more adequate procedures to collect the data.
It offers support to the collected data interpretation and
analysis which will be contained at the Results section
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan
3. Methodology
Study about paths, approaches and
instruments used to make science.
Action of critically knowing and detailing
these approaches.
Definition of how the problem will be
studied and how the data will be collected.
Clear exposition of the limitations of the
chosen methods, justifying the choices
taken in face of the problem specificities
and considering the nature and
limitations of the other methodological
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan
4. Time Table
Detailed list of concatenated activities in a logical top-down
order of execution describing every step to reach the research
The time line for each activity keeping in mind the time limit of
the research and the obligations with financial supporters and
Table showing graphically the global evolution of the research
and its specific activities.
Undergraduate Research

Working Plan
List of papers, books, electronic
database and any other source of
List organization and citation
following standards (ABNT).
Consulted Bibliography: sources
of information with transversal
value to the project and not cited
in the text.
Bibliographic References: those
which are explicitly referenced in
the document.
Master Research

Working Plan

Texts or documents not
elaborated by the authors that
supports the contents as
fundamentation, comprovation
and ilustration

Texts or documents elaborated
by the authors to complemment
their argumentation, without
pennalities to the main text

(ABNT, NBR 14724:2002)

Master Research
Development of Activities

Research facilities and objective support

(grants, financial, material, team evolved, )
Logic of implementation
Top-down or serial strategy
Parallel procedure
Mixed procedure
Team work and collaboration
Responsibility and strength of purpose
Continuous and critical evaluation of
previous and next steps
Master Research

Development of Activities

Research requires vision and discipline, but you

need not rely solely on your own resources.
Look for support, opportunities and resources in
your unit or the university:
Complete research as an Independent Study.
Apply for research grants or awards.
Apply for research assistantships.
Volunteer to assist a professor.
Convert a class project into research.
Complete a service learning experience as research.
Take a course in Research Methods.
Master Research

Development of Activities

Learn how to collaborate:

Novice researchers develop best under the
apprenticeship system of learning.

Research is a creative enterprise; it is myth that

creative work usually emerges from the mind of one

Collaboration can occur with peers in a course setting

or with an experienced researcher.
Master Research

Development of Activities

Assume responsibility:
Undergraduate research is a boon to your
academic record, BUT
Research projects require self-imposed:
Plan of action to structure the work and
Accountability for process and content.
Mutual respect among collaborators,
whether co-researchers or advisers.
Respect for boundaries.
Master Research

Development of Activities

Present and publish your findings:

No publication senseless research !
If the research is worth doing, it is
worth going beyond the research report.
Mandatory demand for pursuing
graduation tittles and accomplishing
financial award requirements
Publications science development
Publication of Results

Written Reports
Publication of Results

Events or journals ?
Publication of Results

Scientific Paper
Publication of Results

Events or journals ?

General (personal) rules:

First, fundamentals or initial results of UG research: national
Consolidated, frontier advancing and stronger results:
international events (CIBIM)
Consolidated, impacting and inedited results: journals
Journal with Qualis index: A or B (1,2, 3)
Some examples: IJHMT, Journal of the AIAA, RBCM, .
Publication of Results

Written Reports
Publication of Results

Scientific Paper
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Structuring your story

Preparing your data/information

Preparing and giving the


Concluding your presentation

Questions and answers

Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Structuring your story

How to give an effective presentation: Structure;
Basic rule
Say what you are going to say
1-3 main points in the introduction
Say it
Give the talk
Then say what you said
Summarize main points in the conclusion
Dont try to build suspense and then unveil a
surprise ending
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Tell a story !
Prepare your material so that it tells a story logically
Subject: title, authors, acknowledgements
Use examples, anecdotes, and significant details
Create continuity so that your slides flow smoothly
Guide the audience through your story
Your last point on one slide can anticipate the next slide
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions
Be careful with your audience !
Why and to whom are you giving this presentation?
What do you want the audience to learn?
Think about this as you construct your talk
Edit your slides -- delete what is unnecessary, distracting,
confusing, off point
Present your methods, data, and results:
Methods, Instrumentation: for most talks, only present
the minimum
Data Tables
Include units and indicate data source if they are not your
Tables are useful for a small amount of data, but they are
often used badly
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Discharge of the
Esopus Creek
(Coldbrook, NY)
and precipitation
at Slide Mountain,
NY (source:
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Oral Expositions
Preparing your data
1 figure 1000 words
Figures should be readable, understandable, uncluttered
Keep figures simple, use color logically for clarification
Blue = cold, red = warm, dark = little, bright = a lot
Invisible color
Meaning attached to colors (color blindness is more common than
you think
Explain axes and variables
Include reference on figure
Emk1 knockdown inhibits lumen formation in
MDCK cells:

-RT-PCR: EMK1 is effectively knocked down in

MDCK cells 24 hours after transfection with P-
SUPER (control) or P-SUPER-siEMK1 plasmid;
knockdown confirmed on the right with antibodies to

- Collagen overlay assay: cells cultured 24 h on

collagen I before being overlaid with additional
collagen on the apical surface, analyzed 24 h later.
Note the lack of lumen in EMK1-KO cultures.

- Ca switch: control or EMK1-KO cells were plated

in low Ca medium 24 h upon transfection with
pSUPER or pSUPER-KO. After 12 h, cultures were
switched to normal medium for 24 h. Transmission
EM of cells sectioned perpendicular to the
substratum shows lack of microvilli in EMK1-KO
,Tips for Preparing and Giving an Effective Scientific
Presentation using Powerpoint
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Figures (continued)
Create a summary cartoon with major findings, or an
illustration of the processes or problem
Consider showing it at the beginning and the end
You can use web sources for figures
Include reference
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Preparing the Presentation

Average not more than 1 slide per minute
MS Powerpoint is now standard
If you use something else, be careful to check it in advance
No sounds! Some logical animations good
Use 3-7 bullets per page
Avoid writing out, and especially reading, long and complete
sentences on slides because it is really boring to the audience
Slide appearance (font, colors) should be consistent
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions
Type size should be 18 (20) points or larger:
18 point

20 point
What font shoul I 24 point
use ?
28 point

36 point
* References can be in 12-14 point font
pt#307,6,Powerpoint basics: 1. What font to use
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Oral Expositions

Be careful about colors !

Dark letters against a light background work

Dark letters against a light background

are best for smaller rooms, especially when the
lights are on for teaching
#302,5,Powerpoint basics: 1. What font to use

Light letters against a dark background

also work

Many experts feel that a dark blue or

black background works best for talks in a
large room
pt#302,5,Powerpoint basics: 1. What font to use
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Put yourself at the worst

point of the audience!
Light and clear slides
with some white space
enhances visibility
Avoid visual pollution
6-6-1 rule: six text lines
with six words each by
#302,5,Powerpoint basics: 1. What font to use
Publication of Results

Oral Expositions

Preparing yourself.
Immerse yourself in what you are going to say
Web of Science/Google it: use the latest news
Make sure you are familiar with the projection
equipment, remote control and Powerpoint
Bring your presentation on a memory stick AND a laptop
with power supply AND an extension cord
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Oral Expositions

What to wear
Dress up maybe wear a jacket?
More formal attire makes you appear more
authoritative and you show you care enough to
try to look nice
Consider what would the audience wear: more
(or at least as) formal than the audience !

From Ask Dr. Marty AnimalLabNews

(Jan-Feb 2007)
Dark clothes are more powerful than light
Shirts or blouses with collars are better than
collarless ones
Clothes with pressed creases (!) are signs of
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Oral Expositions

Print your slides !

Dont read the presentation
Print out copies of your slides (handouts)
You can annotate them and use them as notes
You can review them as youre waiting
If everything crashes the bulb blows, you can still make
your main points in a logical way
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Oral Expositions

Rehearsing: you are the first audience !

Practice actually stand up and say the words out loud
You discover what you dont understand
You develop a natural flow
You come up with better phrasings and ways to describe things
It is harder to explain things than you think, practicing helps
you find the words
Stay within the time limit
Try speaking too loud to get a feeling where the upper limit is
Dont over rehearse or memorize the talk
The first practice things will improve at least 10 fold -- the second will
make things twice as good -- the third may add a bit of polish, but from
there it can easily get worse
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Oral Expositions

The first impression:

Audience forms opinion about the speaker during the initial
instants of the presentation
Visual aspect and acceptance of the opening slides
establishes the tom of the presentation
The initial minutes:
Use them to organize yourself
Show the content of your talk
Show what it is intended to the audience learn
Contextualize emphasizing the key points
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Oral Expositions

Keep it simple !
The visual aspect of your presentation works as an advertisement
A message that has to be expressed instantaneously
Each graphic, slide or screen have to communicate a single point
or aspect
Reduce the piece of information to its essence reinforcing the
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Oral Expositions

Giving the presentation:

Starting out is the hardest part
of the talk
To get going, memorize the first
few lines
Hello, Im Stephanie Pfirman.
The title of my presentation is,
The Arctic Marginal Ice Zone.
The edge of the pack ice is the
most dynamic, the most
productive, and unfortunately --
the most vulnerable region in the
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Oral Expositions
Giving the presentation (continued):
Experienced speakers:
Speak freely and look directly at audience
Inexperienced speakers:
Put outline and key points of your presentation on your
You dont have to remember what to say
Eyes are on the slide not on you
Key points are there for people who werent listening or
who are visual learners
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Oral Expositions

Giving the presentation (continued):

Stand where the figures can be seen
Look at people during presentation
Dont worry about stopping to think
Dont rush
Figure out a slide as your half-way mark and use that to
check your time
Be enthusiastic, but.. not a cheer leader
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Oral Expositions
Giving the presentation (continued):
Dont apologize or make comments about yourself
I hope youre not bored
I was working on this til 3 am
Dont overuse the pointer
Dont try to be cute and dont force being funny
Dont forget acknowledgements, always give proper credit
Tip: Everyone in the audience has come to listen to your
lecture with the secret hope of hearing their work mentioned
Behave like if you were at the audience:
The presentation must be seen and listened by everybody
Focus on results: the audience wants to know what you
have got scientifically !
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Oral Expositions

Concluding your content:

Announce the ending so that people are prepared
For example, with a slide titled Conclusions
Or by saying, In my final slide or My final point is

Have only a few concluding statements
Come back to the big picture and summarize the
significance of your work in that context
Extend logically beyond your limited study but dont
Open up new perspective
Describe future work, raise questions, potential
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Oral Expositions

Finishing your presentation:

Think carefully about your final words and how to
finish your presentation strongly
Dont just drift off I guess thats all I have to say
You may want to actually memorize your ending lines, just
as you do your starting points
Ending your talk
Say Thank You pause for applause then
Say: Any questions?
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Oral Expositions

What can go wrong?

Uncertainty about material

Running out of slides
Running out of time
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Oral Expositions

Uncertainty about the material

Try to structure your talk so that you are sure about
the material you present
If you have to address something that you are unsure
Acknowledge the gap in your understanding
Im working on it or Im looking into it
This is better than being pressed to admit something
Also it may very well be an open question
Another way to handle this is to raise it as a question
What will happen to polar cod,
seals and polar bears?

Okosystem Barentshavet.
Norwegian Research Program for
Marine Arctic Ecology, 1992

Nicklin, Flip. "Beneath Arctic Ice".

National Geographic. 180(1), July 1991
Stirling, Ian. Polar Bears. Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan Press, 1988.
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Oral Expositions

Minor interruptions during your presentation

Dont look irritated or rushed
Answer briefly just enough to straighten it out
Then carry on with your presentation without checking back
A question that you will answer later in your talk?
Say Good point; just wait two slides
Requires a long answer and is not critical
Say Good point; Ill come back to it at the end of the talk.
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Oral Expositions

Major interruptions during your presentation

If most in the audience are non-specialists
Explain the issue to the audience
Delay discussion until after the talk
If most of the audience is knowledgeable
Make your point as clearly as you can
Discuss it out dont try to diminish or avoid it
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Oral Expositions

Running out of slides

Short talks are better than ones that are too long
What to do:
Dont make a personal comment
hum, Im running out of slides
Stretch it a little -- see if you can think of an example, or
story, to bolster your points
Conclude unhurriedly, summarizing your main points, but
dont be repetitious
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Oral Expositions

Running out of time

Avoid this impolite to other speakers and the
If it happens
Do not assume that you can carry on past your time
Do not skip all of your slides looking for the right one to put
on next
Conclude on time wherever you are in your talk -- by
making your main points
In Powerpoint you can just type the number of your
concluding slide and press Enter to skip right to it
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Oral Expositions

Questions and Answers

Questions after your talk can be difficult but they
definitely help you in writing up your research
Identifies parts the audience did not understand
Focuses and adds dimension to your analysis
Test your skills to deal with different points of view
You can repeat the question
This gives you time to think
The rest of the audience may not have heard the question
Also if you heard the question incorrectly, it presents an
opportunity for clarification
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Oral Expositions

Questions and Answers (continued)

Keep your answers short and to the point dont
respond with another lecture
Dont say that a question is bad, or that you addressed
it already
Rephrase it into something that you want to talk about
Never demean the question or questioner
They may have friends in the audience, and you never need
more enemies
The research world is smaller than you think and you will
continue to encounter people throughout your career
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Oral Expositions

Difficult Questions
Usually you have thought more about the material than
anyone else -- this puts you in a stronger position than
you may think
Anticipate typical questions and prepare for them
Generalizability of your findings to other times? Other places?
Other conditions?
Methodological bias? Uncertainties? Exceptions? Priorities?
Still concerned about questions?
Make extra slides perhaps on details of instrumentation or
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Oral Expositions

Difficult Questions (continued)

If you really don't know the answer
Say "Interesting, I will look into that" or Thats a good
point, lets discuss it afterwards
Don't feel that you have to invent an answer on the fly -- you
are only human and you can't have thought of everything
If the questioner disagrees with you and it
looks like there will be an argument then
defuse the situation
"We clearly don't agree on this point, let's go on to
other questions and you and I can talk about this
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Oral Expositions

Small World of Research

Your goal is to handle situations such that your host and
people in the audience want to invite you to give more
presentations in the future
Dealing with difficulties:

Taking the high road and thinking long term you gain more by being
seen as rolling with the situation than you do by articulating your rights
If your host or the session chair handles something badly, dont refer to
it in public they will be grateful to you
If other panelists take too long dont complain, just make your main
points within the remaining time
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Oral Expositions
Small World of Research
Dealing with difficulties:
If something happens to make you angry, rather than having a public
confrontation, see if you can think of a way to turn it around
Perhaps go up to them afterwards and talk with them it could even
lead to a collaboration
Structure your content in a way that is comfortable for you
Use your own style to your advantage

Think ahead about where you might encounter difficulties

and figure out ways to overcome them

Dicas para falar melhor
1) Seja voc mesmo. Nenhuma tcnica mais importante
que a sua naturalidade.
2) Pronuncie bem as palavras - sem exagero.
3) Fale com boa intensidade - nem alto nem baixo
demais - sempre de acordo com o ambiente.
4) Fale com boa velocidade - nem rpido nem lento
5) Fale com bom ritmo, alternando a altura e a velocidade
da fala para manter aceso o interesse dos ouvintes.
Dicas para falar melhor
6) Tenha um vocabulrio adequado ao pblico.

7) Cuide da gramtica, pois um erro nessa rea poder

comprometer a apresentao.

8) Tenha postura fsica correta.

9) D sua fala incio, meio e fim.

10) Fale com emoo - demonstre interesse e

envolvimento pelo assunto.
Atente para o contraste

Atente para o contraste

Em locais onde existe
luminosidade opte por
fundos claros e letras
escuras, facilita a
Em locais onde existe pouca
ou nenhuma luminosidade
opte por fundos escuros e
letras claras, facilita a
As cores de
fundo e de fonte
devem estas
situadas, em
opostas da paleta
de cores. Assim
ser gerado um
Cuidado com os excessos

Cuidado com os excessos - Cuidado com
os excessos - Cuidado com os excessos -
Cuidado com os excessos

TAMANHO adequado
Cuidado com as fontes
Preferencialmente fontes do tipo basto;
Adequadas ao contexto:
Destaque para ttulos;
Adequado ao pblico alvo;
Fontes leves;
Que obedeam a um padro
Fuja dos padres!!!
Utilize recursos de multimdia
disposio para discutir
Raimundo Nonato Calazans Duarte
(83) 2101.1129