Guidelines for Research Project and Dissertation

Format

1. Paper and Page Setup

  • Page Size: Use A4 size paper.
  • Margins:
    • Left and Right Sides: 1.25 inches.
    • Top and Bottom: 1 inch.

2. Fonts and Paragraph Styles

  • Main Text:
    • Font: Times New Roman.
    • Size: 12 point.
    • Line Spacing: 1.5.
    • Alignment: Justified.
  • Headings:
    • Font: Times New Roman, Bold.
    • Size: 16 point.
  • Subheadings:
    • Font: Times New Roman, Bold.
    • Size: 14 point.
  • Footnotes/Sources:
    • Font: Courier, Italics.
    • Size: 10 point.

3. Binding

  • Type: Hard bound or Spiral Bound, as per the guidelines provided by your university.

(This section is being updated)

(This section is being updated)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction ………………………………………….. 1
    1.1 Research Background ……………………………… 2
    1.2 Objectives ………………………………………… 3
  2. Literature Review …………………………………….. 4
    2.1 Theoretical Framework ……………………………. 5
    2.2 Previous Studies ………………………………….. 6
  3. Methodology ………………………………………….. 7
    3.1 Research Design …………………………………… 8
    3.2 Data Collection Methods …………………………… 9
  4. Results …………………………………………………. 10
  5. Discussion ……………………………………………… 11
  6. Conclusion …………………………………………….. 12
  7. Recommendations ……………………………………. 13
  8. References …………………………………………….. 14
  9. Appendices ……………………………………………. 15
    Appendix A: Survey Questionnaire ……………………. 16
    Appendix B: Interview Transcripts …………………… 17

Title

The title should concisely reflect the main theme and scope of the project, incorporating relevant keywords for easy searchability. It’s essential to align the title with the research question or hypothesis, ensuring it directly conveys the focus of the study. Titles that hint at the methodology or theoretical framework can also be beneficial, especially if these aspects are a significant part of the research. While crafting the title, avoid technical jargon and acronyms to ensure it is accessible to a broader audience. Initially, a working title can be used, which can be refined as the research progresses to more accurately reflect its findings and contributions.

Abstract

  • A brief (typically 150-300 words) overview of the project.
  • It should include the project’s objectives, methodology, major findings, and conclusions.

Introduction

The Introduction sets the stage for your report. It begins with stating the purpose of your research and includes a clear thesis statement which guides the focus of your study. This section should provide essential background information, drawing from relevant literature to position your research within the existing field. It’s important to briefly outline the context and significance of your topic, helping readers understand why your research is necessary and what it seeks to contribute. Additionally, include a concise overview of your research methods and an outline of the structure of the report, so readers know what to expect in the subsequent sections.

Literature Review

If your report includes a separate literature review, this section needs to be methodically structured. You have two primary approaches:

  • Chronological Format: This involves discussing existing research from the earliest to the latest, placing your research within this timeline. It helps in showing the development of thought and research on the topic over time.
  • Thematic Approach: Here, you organize the literature review around themes or topics rather than the timeline. This method is useful for highlighting different perspectives or areas of interest in the research. In both cases, it’s crucial to indicate how and where your research fits within the existing literature, establishing a link between your study and the broader academic conversation.

Methodology

The Methodology section details the research methods you used, essentially describing what you did and how you did it. This section should be clear and detailed enough for another researcher to replicate your study. A passive voice is typically used (e.g., “The participants were asked…”) to maintain an objective tone. Be sure to reference any external sources or materials used. If your report includes diagrams, charts, or graphs, they should be clearly labeled, numbered, and relevant, providing meaningful support to your narrative without merely repeating the text. Remember, results are not discussed in this section.

Result

In the Results section, present the findings of your research. This part of the report is strictly for reporting what you discovered, without interpreting these findings. Use clear and precise language and ensure that your presentation of data, whether in text, tables, or figures, is easy to understand and relevant to your research questions or hypotheses.

Discussion

The Discussion section is where you interpret and analyze your results. Here, you link back to your literature review and introductory thesis statement, discussing how your findings relate to existing research. It’s a critical analysis of your results, providing insight into their significance, implications, and any patterns or anomalies that emerged. This section is crucial for demonstrating the contribution of your research to the field.

Conclusion

In the Conclusion, summarize the key findings or most significant aspects of your research. This section should not introduce new information. Instead, it synthesizes the results and interpretations discussed earlier. You may also mention any limitations of your study and suggest areas for further research, if relevant.

Recommendations

Based on your findings, the Recommendations section outlines practical steps or suggestions for future actions. These are typically presented in order of priority and should be directly linked to the results and conclusions of your research. Recommendations are particularly important in applied research where the goal is to inform policy or practice.

References or Bibliography

  1. Referencing Convention: Common styles include APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard. Each style has specific rules for formatting different types of sources (books, journal articles, websites, etc.).
  2. Organization: Typically, entries are listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. If no author is available, by the title of the work.

Appendices

The Appendices section is used to present supplementary material that is relevant but not essential to the main body of the report. Here’s how to manage appendices:

  1. Appendices should only be included if they add value to your report. Refer to each appendix at the relevant point in the main body of your report, directing the reader for more detailed information.
  2. Each appendix should have a clear reason for inclusion. For example, detailed tables of data, questionnaires, extended case studies, technical diagrams, or raw data.
  3. Organize your appendices systematically. Each appendix should be titled (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.) and have a descriptive title (e.g., “Appendix A: Survey Questionnaire”).
  4. The format of appendices should be consistent with the rest of the document. Include page numbers and ensure that any text or tables are legible and neatly presented.

Sample Research Papers

Read these research papers to understand the how literature review, abstract, keywords and methodology are written.