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Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Writing up a Research Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Writing up a Research Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Writing up a Research Project

2 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Aims of the Session Appropriate writing of a quantitative project. Appropriate writing of a qualitative project. Guidelines for scientific writing.

3 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Writing the Research Project Start ASAP, e.g. literature review and methods. Write down any ideas. Read the Project guidelines. You will have to rewrite each section (allow time). BACK YOUR WORK UP!

4 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Title/Abstract Title: Should be as concise as possible. Don’t need ….”An investigation to see whether…..” or to ask questions. Abstract: Also known as a summary. Main points of the project, ‘abstracted’ from it.

5 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners General Page Format Double Spaced (except Abstract which is single spaced). Font size 12. Page numbers at centre of bottom of page. Margins 1.5 inches from the left. 1.0 inches for all other margins. Please refer to Project guidelines for details for cover page & title page. Acknowledgements.

6 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Abstract 1-2 sentences of Introduction. 1 sentence for Aim. 2-3 sentences for Methodology. 3-4 sentences for Results 3-4 sentences for discussion & conclusion. Limit of words. Single –spaced.

7 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Contents Page Ensure in line with sequence of chapters. Style of page numbering, the BOLD & upper & lower case text. Ensure have a list of Tables/Figures & Plates.

8 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Title Should be concise, but fully informative. Example: Changes in glutamine & glutamate concentrations for tracking training tolerance. Avoid superfluous words such as “An investigation of…..” Example: An investigation into the changes in glutamine & glutamate concentrations for tracking training tolerance. Do not use questions for a title. Example: Do the changes in glutamine & glutamate concentrations track training tolerance?

9 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter One: Introduction Think of this like a funnel. Start with the general subject area. Discuss theory and research work which is relevant to the research topic. Move from the general area to the particular hypotheses to be tested via a coherent & logical argument. State the specific hypothesis

10 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter One: Introduction 1.1 Introduction. Background to problem with key/major references. Rationale of study. Statement of problem. Significance of study. 1.2 Aims The aims of the study are: - (i) (ii)

11 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter One: Introduction 1.3 Hypotheses/Research Questions. In order to fulfil the aims it was hypothesised that: OR (mainly for qualitative projects) In order to fulfil the aims the following research questions were addressed: -

12 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter One: Introduction Loosely/Incorrectly stated: “More people of one sex will avoid the ladder because they are superstitious” “People will perform worse on a sensory- motor task in front of an audience” Correctly stated: – “There will be no significant difference between the number of men and women avoiding walking under the ladder” – “Participants will make significantly more errors on the sensory-motor task in front of an audience than when they are alone”

13 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter One: Introduction 1.4 Delimitations. A constraint imposed by the researcher. 1.5 Limitations. Something that the researcher has no control over. Use Bullet Points for Limitations/Delimitation's.

14 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter One: Introduction 1.6 Definition of Terms. Alphabetical order. Note: Dictionary Definitions are not accepted unless it is from a sport science or medical science publication.

15 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Two: Literature Review 2 Literature Review. Comprehensive coverage of the literature relevant to the study (< 8 – 10 yrs old unless a specific ‘benchmark’ text/paper). A critical appraisal of the literature. How your study is related to/has emerged from this literature. Commence with generality & finish with specificity. Use subheadings.

16 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Two: Literature Review Common errors: Poor referencing. Written in wrong tense (use past tense) Aim of review not written, or too broad. Diagrams not explained. Poor use of results from articles. Use of questions (try to avoid) Poor writing style. Poor critical appraisal of literature. No summary.

17 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Three: Method 3.1 Participants Number of subjects used & their classification. Age of subjects (mean  SD). Info on any relevant demographic &/or general statistic about the subjects. 3.2 Equipment All equipment necessary for another researcher to successfully complete the same experiment.

18 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Three: Method 3.3 Protocol Step-by-step fashion. Write as point form initially & then convert to paragraphs. Note: Bullet point is NOT an acceptable way to present your method. 3.4 Data Analysis Statistics used (if any) & brief explanation why.

19 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Four: Results 4 Results Maintain confidentiality. Presentation of data must be clear (most raw data in an appendix). Title of Tables at top (table top). Title of Figures at bottom (figure foot). Group data in separate tables & figures. Short paragraph to highlight the main/important data on the table & explain what the data means in relation to the table/figure. Discuss the data in the next chapter.

20 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Four: Results When reporting significance values in the text, the ‘p’ value must be reported in parentheses, immediately following the statement, e.g. Significant differences (p<0.05) were found between the age groups of the subjects used.

21 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Four: Results Figures: Do not put too much information on the figure. Title at bottom. Ensure that colours or shading is clear in terms of style & format. Ensure that axis are clearly labelled & units given. SD Bars. Care with Pie Charts (not too many segments).

22 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Table 4: Mean and standard deviation for the demographic data for trained & untrained subject groups. TrainedUntrained Age (years) 21  626  5 * Height (cms) 178  4179  7 Weight (kg) 72  379  4 * (Note: - * denotes significant difference, p< 0.05)

23 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Five: Discussion 5 Discussion Explain the results. Why did you get these results? How does it relate to your hypotheses or research questions? How do they compare to the literature you have used in the review. How could the study be improved? Does the method & results help you fulfil your aims? Can you relate your findings to a wider pop?

24 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Six: Conclusions & Recommendations 6. Conclusions and Recommendations Should only be based on the results of your study. Link to your aims. How would you develop this research to further improve it and add to the database currently available on the research topic? Implications of findings for future research.

25 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Reference List & Appendices Reference List: HARVARD Style of referencing. Alphabetical Order. Original articles. Appendices: All raw data. Ordered in the sequence that such items occur throughout the Project.

26 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Qualitative Project Due to the nature of the techniques & data collected it is not possible to give a definite guide. Must seek guidance for appropriate write- up from tutor. Chapters 1 & 2 would be similar to a quantitative project.

27 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Three: Method 3 Method (based on interview research) 3.1 Introduction Reasons for the research, supported by literature 3.2 Pilot Study Why was the format chosen? 3.3 Interview Procedure How the sample was chosen, access to interviewees Interview Schedule Topic areas explored i.e. interview questions or broad categories.

28 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Three: Method Protocol Analysis Method of coding e.g. grounded theory, content analysis. Use of coding e.g. open or axial.

29 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Four: Discussion of Results 4 Discussion of results 4.1 Introduction to Themes identified 4.2 Theme One (insert title of theme) 4.3 Theme two 4.4 Theme Three 4.5 Theme Four 4.6 Summary Within each section, what are the main aspects that have contributed to his theme.

30 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Chapter Four: Discussion of Results 4.2 – 4.5 Discussion of results Definition of theme. Illustrative examples of theme. Comment on theme in relation to previous research. How the present research takes the debate/topic onward. Direct quotes from interview. Rest of Project is the same as quantitative project.

31 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Guidelines on writing style Avoid… Punctuation errors (especially in it’s and plural’s). Spelling errors. Abbreviations. Awkward expressions. Clichés, such as the results showed that… Passive voice: e.g. It has been identified that…. wasted words.

32 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Guidelines on writing style Avoid… wrong words, especially affect and effect. Repetitions. non-sentences. one-sentence paragraphs. paragraphs with more than one main idea.

33 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Guidelines on writing style Flow: Avoid unlinked ideas (non-sequiturs) Make a logical sequence of ideas within and between paragraphs. List headings, subheadings and topics within each section before you begin.

34 Teaching Research Methods: Resources for HE Social Sciences Practitioners Recommended Reading Banyard, P. & Greyson, A. (2000). Introducing psychological research. (2 nd Ed.). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. Bell, J. (2001) Doing your research project. Open University Press: Buckingham. Field, A. & Hole, G. (2003). How to design and report experiments. London: Sage publications. Field, A. (2000). Discovering Statistics using SPSS for window. London: Sage publications Gratton, C. & Jones, I. (2004) Research methods for sport studies. London: Routledge. Coolican, H. (1999). Research Methods & Statistics in Psychology, pp Hodder & Stoughton: London. Thomas, J.R. and Nelson, J.K. (1996). Research methods in physical activity (3 rd edition) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics


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