Research Project Format
General Considerations: Your project should reflect good writing techniques and guiding principals. The Research Project consists of 5 Chapters: Introduction, Review of Literature, Methodology and Design, Presentation and Analysis of the Data and Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations. The Research Project also includes Appendices and Bibliography. The following outline should be utilized when constructing your project. Chapter titles and sections are indicated in BOLD. Explanations are indicated under the specific sections.
Overview Provide a brief overview of the entire study. Purpose of the Study (Including Research Questions OR Hypotheses) Along with the statement, “The purpose of the study is…,” the Research Questions are stated in this section. Note: The project normally has ONE or the OTHER, not both, although certain
studies employ both Research Questions or Hypotheses.
Selection of the Sample and Demographic Data Briefly explain why you chose a specific population and the sample. You will expand on this information in Chapter III. Significance of the Study Why is your study important? This sections can be expanded after your Review of Literature is completed. For example, “Research indicates that little information exists in the area of (your research questions).” Then go on to explain. Assumptions of the Study What assumptions are you making about the design of the study? For example, you are obviously making an assumption that participants are responding to your investigations accurately and honestly. Limitations of the Study What doesn’t your study address? Be up front. Amazingly, this section makes your study stronger since you are acknowledging that while your study doesn’t address that element, it does (convincingly) address this element, etc. Definition of Terms For each important term in your study, you must define what the author means in the study when the term is used. Organization of the Study A brief paragraph should be included at the end of Chapter I to explain to the reader how the remainder of the study is organized.
II. Review of Literature
Introduction Provide a brief introduction to place your study in the context of the current research. Review of Literature (Related to Research Topic/Question) This section details a review of literature that specifically addresses your research questions/hypotheses. You will have subsections under the Review of Literature section. Note the “Levels of Heading” handout.
III. Methodology and Design
Research Design This section details what type of research you are doing (i.e., survey research, experimental or field research). You should also answer the question of “Why this is the most appropriate method of researching your topic?” We will discuss more about Research Design in the coming sessions. Selection of the Population and Sample Why did you specifically want to study this population? What is your rationale? Describe the method used to select the sample. For example, random sample, stratified random sampling, purposive sample. Again, the question of “Why this was the most appropriate method of sampling?” Variables List and explain all of your variables. Must identify all dependent and independent variable. Dependent Variables List and Define Independent Variables List and Define Instrumentation Your survey instrument (i.e., questionnaire) or interview form is discussed in detail. How did you construct it? Did you test it, then revise it based on feedback? Why did you included certain items; why were certain items excluded? The instrument itself should be included as an Appendix to the study. Procedures for Data Collection How did you physically do the data collection? For example, “The survey questionnaire form was hand-distributed to the sample on Friday, August 2. One hundred questionnaires were distributed, and within 1 week, 35 questionnaires were returned, yielding a rate of return 35%. Procedures for Data Analysis How did you complete the data analysis? This is the section in which you discuss either the qualitative or quantitative data procedures.
IV. Presentation and Analysis of the Data
Introduction Provide a brief discussion of the data analysis approach. Refer back to previous section. Data Analysis This is the heart of your paper. What is process by which you analyzed your data. Statistics? (Quantitative?) Concepts formation? (Qualitative?) Summary Summarize your process.
V. Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Summary Provide a one or two paragraph summary of the research process to this point. “A (type) study on (topic) was conducted using (sample). Data was collected using (instrument/process) and results were obtained by (process). Overview of Findings This section contains each research question and each hypothesis. After the restatement of the Research Question, the results are stated. This section should contain subsections. For example, Overview of Study Research Questions Research Question One Results Hypotheses Hypothesis One Results Discussion and Implications Discussion Discuss your findings in relation to the information/research in your Review of Literature (Chapter II). Implications This is the most creative part of the study. Let your imagination run wild!!! Given the results, what are the implications for the participants, for others, for the field, etc? Be imaginative. This is the generative part of research. This is why we do it!!!! Recommendations for Further Study Given the results (and limitations) of your study, you should provide 2 to 3 recommendations for further study to obtain more knowledge. For example, use the same design on a different sample. Use an interview or statistical technique instead of a survey questionnaire, etc. Predict what additional knowledge you could obtain by utilizing alternate methods? Reference This is the Bibliography section. You are to use the American Psychological Association (APA) Citation methodology. Refer to your Expository or Critical Writing Handbook (A Writers Reference, Harbrace College Handbook or any
good style manual) for specific details.
Appendices This is the section in which you include the instruments/letters or correspondence with the participants, etc. On occasion, you can include sample analysis of data or responses. Appendices contain additional information that is important, but would detract from the main focus of your paper.