For an assignment at school I am researching how a genetic algorithm can solve a specific problem. We were allowed to create our own assignment in the general direction of the course. Genetic algorithms weren’t part of the course but the subject is sufficiently close to the theme of the course, so we were allowed to do an assignment on it. I came up with my own assignment and wanted to provide a research paper. However, there are two parts of my research process.

  1. A general study/orientation/desk research on genetic algorithms, highlighting current technology and trends and highlighting existing research on our specific problem.

  2. The creation of the genetic algorithm to solve my problem, where I want to show the process of trial & error (designing, prototyping and analysing the actual algorithm)

I am now at step two, but when I was writing down the research questions in the “Problem”-section (The one before “Methods”) I found that some research questions contain specific knowledge that I could only know by doing the desk research. It felt weird listing them both in the same paragraph.

Should I:

  1. Just list them under eachother. The body of the research should show that I did the desk research first and then came up with the other research questions.
  2. Split the research into two separate research documents, each with its own problems and results.
  3. Introduce those research questions after the desk research part, so it is clear I came up with them after having completed the desk research. This is the least likely option in my opinion.

What is the best way to show that part of my research questions were made by answering other research questions.

Here is a sample situation of my problem:

Research on animals:

What are mammals? (Desk research question)

What is a dog? (The specific question I couldn’t have come up with
without answering “What are mammals?”)

I am free in my format; this question pertains only to making the research (and therefore the research questions) clear enough to a reader.

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