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research methods

This list presents a selection of possible methods to inspire new approaches in research practice. Of course there is much more, the list does not claim to be complete.


There are many forms, I would like to introduce two here that I find particularly helpful in my research work:

1. Free Writing:

Pen, paper and off you go. Anything that comes to mind is written on paper. Unfiltered and without any claim to meaningfulness.

On the one hand, this can help to broaden the horizon on a topic, on the other hand, it can also be used to put other thoughts on paper so that the head is free for the actual research work.

2. Brainstorm

Unrelated terms are collected and written on cards. Then they are related to each other and grouped. Also works well in groups!

3. Mind map

I've switched to drawing more mind-map trees. The main theme is at the bottom of the page and ideas grow from there.

Mind maps are suitable for structuring thoughts as well as for digging up unconscious connections in your own brain to a topic.

creative writing


Observing here means looking, listening, smelling, tasting, feeling internal processes but also external things.


Zusammenfassung Deer

In dreams we create spaces, we can effortlessly cross borders.

The dream room opens up unimagined possibilities and thus access to innovative problem-solving strategies.

Only what we can dream of can also become reality.

On the one hand, access to the unconscious and self-spun daydreams promote your own creativity and can go beyond the limits of your thinking laboratory.


Bunter Innenspielplatz

Play is one of the foundations of theatre.

In play we learn, we share and it is effortless and easy to gain new knowledge.

Play involves failure and trial and error, and since it's not "serious, real life," it doesn't matter here if we don't get straight to the point.

In the game, the challenge is usually what is fun, even if the prize is tempting.

Playing is also an expression of personality.

Games can also be a great warm-up to: bring a group together, awaken the senses, train reaction time, and train motor skills and movement.


theory-based methods


Interview forms:

The structured interview:

  Clear process and prepared questions

The semi-structured interview:

Prepared questions but deviations are possible depending on the development of the conversation

The unstructured interview:

No prepared questions, open course

narrative interview  

Suitable for finding out parts of the biographical data or life stories of the respondents. Respondents are completely free to describe their experiences until they finish their own narrative. The interviewer only asks an initial question and can then ask questions.

Problem-Centered Interview

Are suitable for the subjective perceptions and experiences of the interviewees on a specific problem complex. It was developed by Andreas Witzel.

More information on creating and conducting interviews.



In the group discussion you discuss your problem with a selected group. The aim here is to find out the opinion of the group and to understand the individual opinions.


group discussion

Mehrere geöffnete Bücher

Define search terms that result from your question.

Then search bibliographies and the Internet for your search terms.

Based on the literature found, select the literature that applies to you.

Also look at the trustworthiness of the sources.

Write down quotes or jot down important passages. Don't forget to always credit the source, otherwise it will be difficult to prove or find the source later.

At Transcript Verlag you can find books with a keyword search.

Transcript Verlag is one of the leading scientific specialist publishers in the German-speaking world with a focus on cultural, media and social sciences, history, philosophy and cultural management.

The publisher offers unrestricted, free online access to the electronic edition of scientific publications for too many books.

literature research


Structure of the questionnaire:


- Content of the survey

- Introduction of the author

- Reason for the selection of the participants

-  Timing for implementation

- Clarify data processing, request consent

- Deadline for participation


- Questions: Pay attention to a sensible structure. Don't overwhelm your participants with the first question.


- Demographic questions about age, gender

- Thanks for participating

Online surveys can be created and shared easily and free of charge with Google Forms .


opinion poll

Kreatives Schreiben

artistic + experimental methods


artistic + experimental methods

  • movement research

  • Creative writing

  • To play

  • dream

  • Observe: feel, see, hear, smell, taste

theory-based methods

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