create a research space

It is important when writing a research proposal, a conference paper or a journal article to establish the warrant for your research. This is the rationale for why you are doing the research. Establishing the warrant is usually done through writing what John Swales (1) calls CARS, Create a Research Space. Here’s my adaptation of how CARS goes.

Move 1 Establish a Territory in which to Locate your Work

Step 1 Claim the centrality of the problem in a current policy or professional issue and/or

Step 2 Make the topic generalisations about the problem which will be generally accepted and/or

Step 3 Review relevant items of previous research about the problem… in order to

 Move 2, Establish a Niche for Your Research

Step 1 Counter-claim a position in relation to policy, practice or the extant literatures or

Step 2 Indicate a gap in policy, practice or the extant literatures (but do not over claim by saying nothing exists as this is rarely the case. It just means you havent read it yet) or

Step 3 Raise questions about policy, practice or the extant literatures or

Step 4 State that you are continuing and contributing to a tradition of existing research

Move 3. Fill the Niche you have Constructed

Step 1 Outline the purposes of your research or stating the scope and nature of your present research

Step 2 Indicate the key/ principal findings you have or expect to make

Step 3 Signpost the structure of the document to come

Read more about CARS:

(1)   Swales, J. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK
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14 Responses to create a research space

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  8. Elaine says:

    Hi the aber link is dead, is it possible to update it please?


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  10. Peraphan says:

    Reblogged this on Woodentop and commented:
    Great note. Find it really helpful.


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