The title should clearly indicate the area in which you wish to do your research. You may include a sub-title to further define your subject of research. The scope of your research should be limited enough for you to sufficiently cover the area within the limitations of the thesis. Your research also needs to focus on an area that is original. The originality may be in the topic, focus, emphasis, application, or other “angles” that are different.


Your proposed study will investigate an apparent problem or question that needs to be resolved. This problem can also be described as an area of “tension” that needs to be resolved. Clearly state this problem, question, or tension in a sentence or two. Make sure this statement sufficiently connects with the title of your research. Along with this statement, include limitations of the area of study, authors, or time period to be researched.


Briefly give a description of why your problem is a problem. What are the factors that cause this issue to be brought to the forefront? Sometimes there is new evidence or new situations that raise new questions regarding a previously accepted norm or idea. When prominent scholars seem to disagree on a particular area this may suggest the need for further research. Certain areas of interest may have developed new meanings due to changes in society. Sometimes, a previous understanding of a certain topic may be deemed insufficient due to new developments in society.


Substantiate why it is important to study this problem. Indicate various reasons why the study of this problem will be useful to the church, community, families, and other entities. It is also important to indicate why the study of this problem is important to you the researcher, and how you are motivated to do this study.


Although your research needs to be original, there will have been a sufficient number of scholars who have done research on the exact area or topics closely related. Select the most important ones and the ones that relate most to your area of study. Those studies may not exactly match your work, but it is important to include several important authors in your field.


Set boundaries for your research. These boundaries will help you to be more focused and to get the results you need. Limitations may be regarding a particular range of time, books, authors, or other significant matters pertaining to your field.


How will you investigate the issue at hand, and how will that help you to address your problem. Indicate important methodologies pertaining to your field. Often, several methods will be used for your study, and that will be advantageous to proper research. Keep in mind that one method may be primary for your study, and the others will serve a secondary nature.


This is your opportunity to think further on how you will delineate your concepts in an orderly fashion. What will be your train of thought to get you to your desired results? Look at samples of the research done by others, and that will give you some ideas. Be ready to present an outline that will require further modifications. Give sub-points if possible.


Include a sample bibliography of at least 20 sources comprising of books, journals, and other pertinent sources. Be sure to make sufficient use of standard online sources such as ATLA and other repositories.

Enjoy Your Research

Compiled by Alexi E. George, D.Th. This resource is intended only as a primer and the student is encouraged to consult research manuals such as Turabian or Hunter P. Mabry.

Resources for research and academic study: www.yourBarnabas.com/academic-resources/