Dissertation Project Sample Format
ABSTRACTThis is a summary of your report and should not be more than one page.Essentially your Abstract is a summary (NOT an outline) of the different sections of the proposal or report – for example a summary of the research topic describing the project, in terms of some background information, your project aim, your methodology, main outcomes and recommendations from your research.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThank any people that have assisted/contributed to your project.
TABLE OF CONTENTSProvide a list of the sections of your project report with page numbers.Provide a list of the figures and tables presented in your project report, if applicable.CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION• What is the setting/ context for your research project?• What is your project about?• What are the aim and objectives of your research project?• What is/ are your research question(s)• Describe how your project will assist the organization that is under study, if relevant and applicable.• Describe the consultation process you have undertaken with the organization, if applicable.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEWWhat are the key concepts and theories that provide some background or platform for your research project? Discussing these entails a thorough review of relevant studies related to your research. Make sure you consult a wide range of relevant literature/ studies. Ensure this is a critical review – not just descriptive or an annotatedbibliography. All sources should be correctly attributed using the Harvard Referencing format.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY• What methodology did you adopt and why?• What is the principle or philosophy that guides & shapes your research project and why (example Positivist, interpretivist; inductive/deductive, etc.)?• Who is your target audience or your research sample and why?• What methods did you employ for collecting data and why?• How did you ensure adequate ethical procedure?• What are your hypotheses, if applicable?• How did you analyse your data (analytical and statistical procedures employed) and why?
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS/ FINDINGS• Provide clear and logical presentation of the findings or results of your research, sighting corresponding examples/ instances from your collected/ generated data
o These might include tables, graphs or other diagrams• Ensure your results correspond with your stated research objectives/ research questions, or hypotheses (if applicable)• You might want to consider integrating this section with Chapter 5 (below) or it can be a standalone Chapter.CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION AND EVALUATION• Provide an analytical/ critical discussion of your findings/ results aimed at addressing your research objectives or answering your stated research question(s)/ hypotheses.o Refer to any diagrams, questionnaire results, graphs, etc. discussed/ presented in the Results/ Findings Chapter• What are the implications of your findings?• How do your findings link with existing research?
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS• What do your findings show?• What were the limitations of your project?• What recommendations would you make on the basis of your findings/ results?• Do you think your recommendations are innovative or entrepreneurial? Present your arguments such that they demonstrate how and why you think your recommendations are innovative or entrepreneurial.
CHAPTER 7: REFERENCES• Full details of all the sources cited in your report. These should be formatted based on the recommended Harvard Referencing System
GUIDANCE ON APPENDICES• These should include any material which is of interest, but which is peripheral to the project, e.g. approved ethics form, sample participant information sheet & consent form, tables of results, graphs, photos, raw data from surveys and interviews, etc.• You should try and keep any such appendices to a minimum.
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