COMPONENTS OF A RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT ABSTRACT Succinct summary Use keywords INTRODUCTION: what this is all about Background to the issue Rationale for this project, ie. Why do it? How the issue / question relates to existing theory and practice Broad parameters of the research project, e.g. location, research approach & methods (refer to the notes handed out on Research Methods earlier in the semester) LITERATURE REVIEW: What is already known What body of research, literature and practice is relevant to this issue / question? How does each aspect of the issue / question relate to existing literature and practice? RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: How I have researched the issue?
How was the research approached? e.g. quantitative vs. qualitative Why? Explanation and justification for this approach What were the methods used? e.g. interviews, survey, statistical analysis. Why? Explanation and justification of methods What are the limitations to this research in terms of the approach and methods? What were the various stages or phases of the research? What happened at each stage?
Did any problems arise? Did they limit the findings? (this point may not relate to all topics - but keep it in mind for future research assignments) FINDINGS: What I found What was found about the issue / question from each stage of the research? Analyse fully and systematically Set out logically and comprehensively DISCUSSION: What it means What does each aspect of the findings mean? How can the findings be understood? How do they relate to other research / writings and to practice?
CONCLUSION: What conclusions I draw What conclusions can be reached in relation to the issue / question? How does this fit with existing knowledge? What do the findings contribute to existing knowledge and theory? What are the implications for practice in the field? What are some suggestions for further research?