Planning and Design

Planning and Design are the first steps in any systematic inquiry, as they lay the foundation upon which to build your study or investigation. At this stage, an ideal place to start, is to determine the purpose of your work. What do you want to investigate, learn, improve, change, or develop, and Why?

Time spent in the planning and design stage, is a worthwhile investment, as it not only allows you to clarifying the purpose of your inquiry, but also to generate and refine questions relevant to the object of your work. Make sure that your questions (a) are related directly to the purposes of the inquiry; (b) can be “answered” via the methods and resources at your disposal; and, (c) that they are interesting and potentially beneficial to yourself and others.[1]

“You can’t fix by analysis what you’ve bungled by design.”[2]

[1] FINER criteria, Huller et al., 2007, in Designing Clinical Research

[2] Light, Singer, and Willett (1990) in By Design: Planning Research on Higher Education

Tools for Planning and Design

There are a plethora of resources and tools that can assist you with the planning and design stage(s) of your work.