4 WHAT IS RESEARCH PROBLEM? Research problem is a statement that has academic value that solving it will achieve one or more of the following:Enhancing knowledge/ improving understanding of a particular subject (i.e. from not-knowing, or from knowing less to knowing more)Improving quality of life (e.g. safety, health, mobility)Increasing productivity or efficiency (i.e. getting/doing more with similar resources)Improving process (i.e. reducing wastage)
6 RESEARCH REPORT WRITING to communicate findings of a research/experimentPurposeinternal/externalAudienceproof of research activityValuea well-written report indicates the quality of the researchPlace of language
7 CHALLENGES: QUALITY OF WRITING Clarity – when others can follow your ideas.Coherence – when thoughts are hang together.Logic – when sequence is valid.Clarity, Coherence, LogicResistanceAcceptanceIdeas
9 To request permission to proceed Research Proposal?Plan of actionTo request permission to proceedTo seek fundingTo persuade
10 COMPONENTS IN RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1. Background of the Study7. Methodology2. Statement of Problem3. Objectives of Study4. Research Questions5. Significance of the Study6. Scope of the Study
11 What calls upon the need for the research? Background of the StudyWhat calls upon the need for the research?Statement of the ProblemProblem Statement = Current situation + GAP (diff. between CURRENT & IDEAL) + Cost/Consequence + ProposalObjectivesAims or goals of the studyResearch QuestionsList questions that you need to find answers to.SignificanceBenefits of carrying out the researchScopeArea of the researchMethodologyProcesses in gathering primary data (answer to research questions).
12 Work out a proposal for your chosen research topic and present it to your class.
14 1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY “… provides readers with essential background info of the relationship[1:126]between specific topic of research and the general area of study”
15 (cont.) Background of the Study General contextStatisticsHistorical developmentSpecific statementsFindings made by other researchesStatement for more researchAddress the issue that you’re investigating
16 Language Conventions -Background of the Study- Simple present & present perfect tense are most commonly used“Being in a non-earthquake zone, buildings in Singapore are usually designed without considering earthquake conditions. But with an increase in earthquake occurences in Sumatra recently, there is a growing awareness of the damaging effects of ground tremors on buildings, structures and reclaimed land. “Present Perfect Tense- happened in the past up until nowSimple Present Tense- general/factual
17 Language Conventions -Background of the Study- “In the past few years, the Internet has proven to be a huge and powerful media for users to access and retrieve information fast and free of charge.”“In the last decade, extensive deployment of GPS satellites to give satellite coverage has made GPS a superior global space-based positioning.”
18 Language Conventions -Background of the Study- Sometimes the simple past tense is also used especially when you wanted to indicate specific time in the past. This happens when you start background of the study by giving historical background.“Optical fibres were first used in laser Doppler velocimeter for the measurement of average localised blood flow velocity in 1975.”Passive Simple Past Tense
19 2.Statement of ProblemTo define the issue or problem investigated in the studyHeart of a good thesis
20 When do you have a problem? (cont.) Statement of ProblemWhen do you have a problem?When there is a GAP between current situation and ideal situation.Ideal SituationCurrent SituationGAPKnowledgeUnderstandingSolutionQUESTIONSWhat? (what didn’t we know?)Why? (Why it happen?)How? (How to solve)
21 How to prove a problem exist? Since a problem is a GAP between current and ideal situations, you need to provide:Justification of why we need the IDEAL situation!Hard facts (e.g. data, reports, etc.) as evidence to the CURRENT situation.
22 Structure of Problem Statement Problem Statement = Current situation + GAP (diff. between CURRENT & IDEAL) + Cost/Consequence + Proposal
23 What is a GOOD problem statement? “inform the readers of the current situation & make the readers aware of the negative impact of the problem as well as the consequences of not solving the problem”Should end with a hypothesis/proposal.
24 Example of good problem statement Many engineers belief that car accidents are the result of poor road conditions. They fail to take into account the behavior of the drivers as the contributing factor. Until the engineers cease to be single-minded, car accidents can never be reduced. Car accidents are preventable when driver behaviors are clearly understood.Current situation:Gap:Consequences:Proposal:
25 Current Situation: Ideal situation: Gap: Consequences: Proposal: engineers belief that car accidents are the result of poor road conditions.Ideal situation:engineers should know that car accidents happen because of poor road conditions as well as drivers’ behavior.Gap:engineers fail to take into account the behavior of the drivers as the contributing factor to car accidents.Consequences:until the engineers cease to be single-minded, car accidents can never be reduced.Proposal:car accidents are preventable when driver behaviors are clearly understood.
26 In an ideal setting, a student's grade in a course should be a judgment of the student's knowledge in that subject area.Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many teachers use grading systems that do not reflect the student's knowledge of the topic at the end of the course. A student is often offered a single assessment event to show their mastery of a concept.If the student has not mastered the material in the allotted time, they will receive a negative grade for that unit of information.This is not an accurate view of the student’s knowledge, because they may learn more about a topic throughout the rest of the course.Retesting is a method where a student is allowed to test on a topic more than one time. As the course progresses, the student may learn the material. Retesting allows this student to show mastery of the material if they learn it after the original test. By incorporating a retest policy, the ideal situation should occur. The grade awarded to the student at the end of the semester would be an accurate assessment of the student’s knowledge of the topic.
27 3.Purpose of the StudyTo include a broad discussion on the reasons why the study was carried out and intentions of the study
28 4.Research ObjectivesTo show the extent and the expected outcome of the studyTo begin with a leading statement followed by the objectives written in point forms
29 Language Conventions -Objective of the Study- This section usually contains the following:Appropriate action verb (e.g: investigate, demonstrate, determine, study)Subject + Verb + ‘to’ + Infinitivee.g: The objective of the study [subject] is [verb] to determine [to infinitive] …
30 Language Conventions - Objective of the Study- Ensure too that you must use standard and formal words and expressionХ Informal: I want to find out if the quantity of rainfall in Malaysia is always the same in the months of June to July.√ Formal: The objective of this study is to investigate the consistency of rainfall in Malaysia in the months of June and July.
31 Action Verbs for Purpose/Objective • To ascertain• To assess• To compare• To decide• To describe• To determine• To discover• To evaluate• To examine• To explore• To find out• To identify• To investigate• To measure• To present• To provide• To recognise• To reveal
32 Language Conventions - Objective of the Study- If you have more than one objective, it is clearer to list them.Use parallel structure – same patterns of words to show two or more ideas have the same level of importance.The objectives of this research are to:1. develop a programme to optimise the recent software.2. create a user-friendly programme package.3. test the programme to ensure its effectiveness.Not parallelThe objectives of the study are to:1. Develop a programme to optimise the performance using recent software.2. Create a user-friendly programme package.3. The programme must be ensured to be effective.Parallel
33 5.Research Questions To guide the discussion about the topic To stimulate readers’ interestsTo turn the objectives of the study into research questions (refer to pg.139)
34 6.Significance of the Study To justify the reason for conducting the studyTo emphasize the potential benefits that it would bring
35 6.Significance of the Study (con’t) Example:“ The results of this study will provide the basis for developing better prosthetic implant to help improve pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The study is important especially for patients with cancer in the neck or head area, as they cannot use the current implants that are available.”
36 6.Significance of the Study (con’t) “The data obtained from this survey should be able to prove that there is a need for the electronic road pricing systems to be extended into the evening hours.” “This study is likely to bring about change to the present system which has limitations as discussed earlier.”Tentative expressionModal verb
37 7. Scope of the Study • shows direction of research • states boundaries or parameter of study• outlines method of investigation used in study
38 Components in Scope • What to be examined or compared • Sample size • Methodology• Equipment / Data collection instrument• Duration
39 Scope of the Study Example: “ This study is designed to understand the use of the design-build project delivery system in interior design firms; therefore, the intent of this study is to exclusively address firms with interior design as their primary concern. A survey will be carried out which will include both firms that lead a design-build team, and firms that may not lead a design-build team but are involved in the design-build process. The results of the research conducted therefore will be collected from interior design firms and design-build projects that these firms are working on. This research does not represent the views of all organisations that use the design-build project delivery system and it does not represent clients’ (the owners’) perspectives on the projects surveyed.”