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Report writing

Report writing

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Report writing

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  1. Report writing Writing a research report By Keith Barker-Jones

  2. Overview Leading up to writing a dissertation a student is expected to: • Prepare a project proposal • Carry out a pilot study This verifies the feasibility of the methodology

  3. Project proposal The research proposal contains the definition, scope, and significance of the problem and the methodology that will be used to solve it. (Thomas, Nelson and Silverman 2005, p367)

  4. Preparing a research proposal Why prepare a project proposal? A project proposal will: • Enable detailed planning • Provide a framework • Identify if the study has already been done • Address potential problems in the design

  5. Sections of the research proposal • Title • Introduction • Literature review Review of literature Justification for study Research questions/hypotheses

  6. Sections of the research proposal 4. Methods 5. Timeplan/Budget 6. References 7. Appendices (optional)

  7. Proposal title The final proposal title is often chosen after the study has been written. However, For the purposes of the proposal meeting, a provisional title is necessary (Thomas, Nelson, and Silverman, 2005)

  8. Proposal title Thomas, Nelson, and Silverman (2005) highlight the importance of keeping the title succinct and to avoid waste words such as “An investigation of” or “A study of.” A title should contribute in some way to the “description of the content” (Thomas, Nelson, and Silverman, 2005, p52)

  9. Proposal title Example: An investigation into the impact of classical music when used simultaneously with massage Should perhaps be written simply as…. The impact of classical music when used simultaneously with massage

  10. Introduction This is a concise, broad opening that leads the reader into the problem under investigation Considerations: • Outline the problem and its importance • Use everyday language: avoid jargon • Reference to literature is minimal

  11. Introduction Statement of the problem This says what will be done Purpose/justification for the study States why the study is necessary

  12. Literature review This section is normally about one-third of the total proposal and is perhaps the most challenging section to write • The literature review must evaluate each article or text that is used • It must state how available literature relates to the proposed study • In verbatim quotations must be avoided

  13. Literature review The literature review ends with a summary that leads the reader into the methodology

  14. Research questions and Hypotheses A research question identifies a problem to be solved. As the name suggests it is framed as a question For example: Does classical music heighten the soporific effect of massage when used simultaneously? This is in contrast to a hypothesis which predicts an outcome to a study

  15. Hypotheses There are two types of hypothesis • Research hypothesis • Null Hypothesis

  16. Research hypothesis A hypothesis is “the anticipated outcome of a study or experiment” (Thomas, Nelson, and Silverman, 2005, p12) This expected outcome is also called a research hypothesis and, through logical reasoning, predicts: • A relationship between two variables • A difference between two variables

  17. Null Hypothesis A null hypothesis in contrast to a research hypothesis in that: • It says that there is no difference or relationship between variables • It is used in the statistical test for the reliability of results (Thomas, Nelson, & Silverman, 2005)

  18. Hypotheses – Examples 1 Research hypothesis A research hypothesis (expressed as H1) may assert that the soporific effects of massage would be increased if the recipient is simultaneously exposed to classical music. Null hypothesis A null hypothesis (expressed as H0) may assert that the soporific effects of massage wouldnot be increased if the recipient is simultaneously exposed to classical music.

  19. Hypotheses – Examples 2 Research hypothesis (H1) Heart rate will increase after the ingestion of caffeine Null hypothesis (H0) Heart rate will not increase after the ingestion of caffeine

  20. Methodology The methodology will outline how the research should be carried out and on whom It is a means of finding an answer to the problem posed in the research question or to confirm the prediction made in the hypotheses. The methodology should be thoroughly planned and pilot-tested

  21. Methodology Thomas, Nelson, and Silverman (2005, p63) present a four part methodology: • Participants • Instruments and apparatus • Procedures • Design and analysis

  22. Methodology Furthermore, Gratton and Jones (2004) offer another useful outline for a methodology: • Outline of methodological assumptions • Research design • Methods • Sample • Procedures • Methods of analysis • Evaluation of the methodology

  23. Sections of the research report • Title page • Abstract • List of contents • List of figures • Introduction/Literature review Review of literature Justification for study Research questions/hypotheses

  24. Sections of the research report 6. Methodology 7. Results 8. Discussion 9. Conclusions, limitations and recommendations 10. Reference list 11. Bibliography 12. Appendices

  25. List of references Gratton, C. and Jones, I. (2004) Research methods for sports studies. London: Routledge Thomas, J.R., Nelson, J. and Silverman, S. (2005) Research methods in physical activity. 5th ed. Leeds: Human Kinetics