The ethics form with the outline of the paper,the aim of the study, the study desing,the methodology etc is provided.
The dissertation should contain the following features:
 A title/author page as shown below:
 Title
 By [Your name and previous qualifications] e.g. M. J. Brown BA.
 Date (month and year).
 An abstract
 A table of contents
 A table of appendices
 List of figures, tables etc.
 A list of abbreviations (where specific abbreviations are adopted)
 The text, divided into sub-sections or chapters as you prefer
 References (Harvard)
 Appendices
The following framework illustrates a typical format for the
independent study dissertation.
Abstract:
This is a short section (approx. 300 words) that summarises;
the context and rationale of the research,
the research question(s) the methodology used and the key conclusions of the study.
It should provide the reader with enough information to decide whether this study is
relevant to their work.
Aims and purpose of the study:
This section will normally comprise a brief explanation of the purpose of the research,
and its aims and/or objectives. It will present the research question, and provide any
background as necessary to the study to place it into its context. Refer to any
limitations of the study, and to your rationale for conducting this research. The terms
of your research will need to be precisely defined and justified.
Review of the literature:
Through critical appraisal of the literature, you present, in the literature review
section, your in-depth knowledge and understanding of the complex and specialized
field of study that surrounds your research question(s). Through this you help your
readers to understand the current knowledge surrounding your study and convey to
them your rationale for why your research is relevant, necessary and how it
contributes to existing knowledge. It is likely that you will access and review a wide
range of sources. Sources will be likely to include research journal articles, books,
policy documents, websites, newspaper articles etc. as appropriate. Please note that
to represent current research in your field it is expected that research journal articles
will feature extensively; wherever possible you should access original texts rather
than secondary sources. Remember to cite using Harvard referencing style and
maintain consistency.
Methodology:
This section describes how the problem is to be investigated and justifies why you
are employing particular methods and techniques.
You will need to discuss and justify the philosophical background to your research ie
brief comments regarding the ontological and epistemological positions will be useful
and help to justify the chosen paradigm of your study. Your paradigm should be
clearly stated and justified. You should describe and justify how you will conduct
your investigation, referring to: research approach where relevant; your sampling
strategy; data collection tools/methods; how you piloted your research tools and the
outcome of the pilot and your data analysis strategy/ies. You should discuss, also,
the concepts of reliability, validity and ethics in relation to your study. Point out any
issues resulting from power or insider-research and how you have addressed these.
Remember literature on research methodology must be used to help you to discuss
and justify the choices for your research design – use text books; research
methodology journals and journal articles which consider similar research to yours.
Findings, Analysis and Discussion:
Findings can be a separate section from Analysis and Discussion, but it is often
worth considering integrating the two sections together, so that you discuss the key
results of your study as you present the data. However, if you do choose to combine
the sections, more often when undertaking qualitative research, do make sure that
you emphasis the findings as these can often become lost in the discussion.
The findings section is a presentation of your data, and will consist of text, tables,
charts, figures, quotes from transcripts, etc depending upon the nature of the
research. The key is for you to choose ways to present your findings that are the
most appropriate for your study. If you use graphs, tables or diagrams, text should be
used to help draw the attention of your reader to the key interesting patterns or
results, in order to illuminate the findings. Remember to label, number and give a title
18
to all tables, charts and figures presented. The findings section will most often
contain processed data not raw data.
Through analysis and discussion you present your understanding of what you think
your findings mean. How do the findings in the literature compare or contrast to your
findings? Discuss new issues arising. Potential issues for further research may be
highlighted in this section. Also discuss how reliable your research findings are. What
are the limitations of your research? How valid is the evidence that you have found?
Ensure that you draw back to your original purpose/aim and make clear links to your
literature review – in this way you are locating your research within a defined body of
literature.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
Summarize the key conclusions of your study. This section draws together all the
evidence gathered and explicitly addresses the research question/aim as well as the
objectives. It examines the implications for future practice and any recommendations
as to what actions should take place as a result of the research. Finally, it is within
the conclusion and recommendations that you can include a rationale for further,
related research that may be necessary as a result of your study.
There should be no new material in this section as the content here should be
logically inferred from the preceding information.
The recommendations should be a numbered list of concise statements, they should
be realistic and clearly derived from the conclusions – no further justification for the
recommendations is needed beyond what has been concluded from the main
analysis and discussion section.
References:
This list includes references to all texts, journals, and websites etc. you have cited in
your report. You should adopt the Harvard method of referencing, and present each
reference alphabetically – do not section into different types of source.
Appendices
:These should be kept to a minimum. Appendices should only be included if they are
referred to in the main body of the dissertation and if you consider that the
information contained is essential for the reader to be able to understand your study.
Copies of research instruments (informed consent, questionnaires, interview
schedules, coded analysis sheets) and examples of raw data may be worth
considering appending to your dissertation. Include one copy only, and ensure
appendices run in logical number format (1, 2, 3 etc.) throughout the report and are
referred to as such in the main body.

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