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How do I Research?: An Example

A guide to conducting research for OCAD U coursework and beyond

Creative Research: An Example

Although research is a thoroughly individualized process, try interpreting this model to alternate environments; for example:

  • In the course “Space and Place in Urban Planning,”the syllabus requires students to “read” the built environment by becoming adept in researching, investigating, and interpreting communities.
  • Each of these actions will be conducted differently according to what mode of reasoning you use:

Of course, creative research should not be overly constrained, so you may want to consider using

  • Abductive Reasoning: a form of reasoning that takes accepted knowledge and infers the ‘best available’ explanations for what is observed. Whereas
  • deduction works from a general theory (hypothesis) down to particular examples
  • induction moves from particular examples up to general theory (hypothesis), then
  • abductive reasoning infers relationships from observations rather than asserting them.


Abduction presents a ‘provisional’ account for what has been observed, either inviting further empirical [inductive] investigation that might sustain the explanation or, conversely, encouraging deductive work ...