Basic Guidelines for Writing Research Project
Department of Economics
Bayero University, Kano-Nigeria
The followings are some basic guidelines that can be followed in writing an undergraduate research project, while they are not exhaustive it is believed that they form the basic requirements and can guide students for the smooth conduct of their researches.Basically the research should contain either four or five chapters, the contents of each chapter are presented below
Chapter One: General Introductiom
· Introduction/Background to the Study
· Statement of the Research Problem
· Aim and Objectives of the Research
· Justification or Significance of the Research
· Hypotheses or Research Questions(or both)
· Scope and Limitations
· Outline of Chapters/Plan of the Study
Chapter Two: Literature review and Theoretical Framework
· Review of Conceptual Literature
· Review of Empirical Literature
· Theoretical Framework
Chapter Three: Methodology
· Sources and types of data used
· Methods of data Collection
· Sample and Sampling techniques (where applicable)
· Model Specification(where applicable)
· Techniques of data Analysis
Chapter Four: Data Presentation and Analysis
· Background of the study area/cases study (where applicable)
· Presentation of data
· Data Analysis
· Discussion and Policy Implications of the result
· Test of Hypotheses
Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
· Summary of Findings
· Policy Recommendations
Where a researcher intends to have four chapters, then methodology is fully presented in chapter one and data analysis become chapter three while concluding remarks is presented in chapter four.
A topic is normally choosed by brainstorming and reveiwing literatures, collecting information, taking a lot of notes, andasking a lot of questions to identify a gap that should be filled. Once a topic is coined then every aspect of the research have to be alligned to it for consistency. Literatures are reviewed in order to get an insight on the topic, to ascertain the current trends and to justify the choice of methodology and other requirements.
Depending on the nature of the topic and at the same time the objectives of the researcher as well as the problem at hand, usually quantitative based researches are associated with hypotheses, while qualitative based researches in most cases seek to ask research questions (however, this may not always be true). The important thing here is to allign the hypotheses/ research questions with their respective objectives on a one-to-one basis.
The Section on data presentation and analysis should contain the findings of the research, as well as the test of hypotheses, the findings are expected to provide answers to the research questions earlier stated in chapter one. The last chapter should summarize major findings; conclusion shouldbebased on the findings of the work so also recommendations.
Organize yourresearch - Develop an outline to help you stay on track as you write (it should contain time frame and activity for each period and if possible the strategy intended to achieve it)
Become familiar with the vocabulary of your choosen area of research. For example, time series econometrics use terms such as random walk, white noise, and cointegration.
Facts should be logically and inevitably presented so as to lead to a good conclusion and/or the solution presented.
Always Proof-read before presenting chapters to your supervisors (you can also correct and perfect your writing through checkinggrammar, correcting grammar, spelling, word choice and style mistakes with unmatched accuracy). This can be done via the use of computer softwares like Grammarly, White smoke, ghotit and other grammer checking softwares that can be found free of charge online.Aknowledge all sources consulted.
Candidates can mine literatures and data as well as its management through the following useful sites:
a. Search Robots such as; www.lycos.com, www.altavista.com, www.google.com, www.googlescholar.com, www.exite.com
c. Search Data Banks like; www.acu.ac.uk/cudos(Commonwealth Universities Database Online Service), www.aau.org/datad/(Database of African Theses and Dissertations), www.theses.orgOR www.ndltd.org (networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations)
d. Open Archives such as;http://arxiv.org
e.Specialized Search Robotssuch as;www.ojose.com (Online JournalSearch Engine), www.scirus.com, www.phibot.org and www.sciseek.com
f.Directories of Online Journals and Bookssuch as:www.doaj.org(Directory of Open Access Journals) www.ingentaconnect.com, www.academicpress.com (electronic bookstore), www.amazon.com (electronic bookstore)
g.Electronic Libraries (digital archives) such as:www.ibiblio.org (rich in Humanities / Social Sciences)
h.Other Sources such as: www.sist-sciencesdev.net, www.soros.org/openaccess/software and www.eprints.org