Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

The Research Journal

A Reflective Tool for Your First Independent Research Project

By Barbara Bassot


18 Mar 2020

Page count

188 pages




198 x 170 mm


Policy Press
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The Research Journal

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Are you worried about how to get your research project started and how to keep it on track? Do you wish you had help in gathering your thoughts and developing your ideas?

This brilliant book is a great guide for students undertaking their first piece of independent research. Regular critical reflection is an invaluable tool for helping you gain new insights, deal with practical issues as they arise and develop your understanding. This book gets you started in the habit of using a research journal.

Offering a systematic but flexible framework, the book enables you to:

• reflect at a deeper level about all aspects of your research;

• develop your arguments and ideas;

• process each part of your research project or dissertation;

• consider and confront challenges you may face in your project.

Including key definitions, top tips and helpful exercises, the book will be invaluable to any student undertaking independent research across the social sciences.

“An accessible book to guide students through the research project cycle with prompts and examples to encourage and capture thinking, which aids learning and reflection during the project and beyond.” Julia Everitt, Birmingham City University

"A refreshingly pragmatic book packed with ideas and directions that students embarking on their first research project will find incredibly valuable." Rachel Vipond, University of York

"This research journal is essential reading. It is an invaluable tool for graduate students undertaking their first research project, and I would recommend it to all my dissertation students." Peter Hall, University of Suffolk

“This lively and interactive book is filled with useful tasks and suggestions, providing new and returning researchers with a terrific framework to help them think through their project.” Jon Dean, Sheffield Hallam University

"A useful introductory and interactive journal for undergraduates beginning their first independent research project. A valuable tool to use throughout the research process that will aid students’ reflective thinking." Emma Craddock, University of Warwick

Barbara Bassot is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Career and Personal Development at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. She lectures on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and regularly supervises students doing their first piece of independent research.



Theme 1 Journal writing

Theme 2 Making a good start

Theme 3 Time management

Theme 4 Reading for research

Theme 5 Key research terminology

Theme 6 Research ethics

Theme 7 Support and feedback

Theme 8 Research management

Theme 9 Motivation

Theme 10 Submission and review


The research process

The introduction

Literature review


Data analysis