Development Study: Chapter Guidelines
1. These notes should be read in conjunction with the suggested writing frame
2. it is suggested that each chapter is structured with an introduction, main body and summary / conclusion
Chapter 1 怎么写Introduction？
• Outline the nature of the research problem or question
• Explain why you chose this topic and why it is relevant
• How to Writing Dissertation/thesis？Make it clear what the actual purpose of this research will be
• Give a detailed description of the context of the study and any relevant background (including historical, if appropriate)
• Provide the reader with enough detail to understand what your study is about
• Avoid any unnecessary or irrelevant material
• Emphasise any particular or unusual aspect of the research that you intend to focus on (perhaps because you think it is important or because it interests you).
• List three or four things that you hope to achieve or find out with this research
• Make your aims clear, concise and realistic
• Outline your research approaches, strategies and methods
• Identify the target group for your data collection
• Identify 4 or 5 key points about your study
• Give a brief overview of how the study will be structured
• Introduce the next chapter
Chapter 2 怎么写Literature Review
Please Note: this is the longest and possibly most difficult chapter of the report. Make sure your material is well organised by use of numbered side-headings and sub-headings. At the draft stage it should be carefully edited to remove any irrelevant material.#p#分页标题#e#
The review should:
• Be organised into 4 or 5 major ‘themes’ or topic areas
• Clearly show how these themes are linked together and how they are directly relevant to the study
• Closely follow the research aims / research areas of the study
• Set a theoretical framework for the study
• Identify key texts / information sources relevant to the research topic
• Review and critically analyse what others have written about the topic in general
• Describe and analyse any research that has been carried out on your particular topic (or similar work)
• Compare and contrast the ideas and opinions of different authors
• Give your own opinions / ideas wherever possible (but note that these should be supported by evidence such as the work of others)
Some advice on selecting information sources
• Use as great a variety of sources as possible, i.e. books, journals, published documents, published research papers, reports, web sites, CD ROMs; and in certain cases newspaper and magazine articles, radio and TV programmes, and film or video
• Generally try to use sources that are as up date as possible, except perhaps where a particular publication is regarded as a standard work in that field.
• There is no minimum or maximum number for listed references but in most development studies about 15 to 20 would be adequate providing they are carefully chosen and appropriate.
TO AVOID PLAGIARISM PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING POINTS
• All material (i.e. hypotheses, arguments, quotations, ideas, suggestions, opinions, data, statistics etc) that are not your own should be attributed to the correct author or source
• Always make it absolutely clear exactly which is your own work and which is the work of others
• Be consistent in your style of referencing (you are strongly advised to use the Harvard System)
• Every time you find a relevant piece of information record it, so that you can find it later and reference it correctly if required
• Always try to put other peoples work into your own words even though you are acknowledging it as someone else’s material. The only exception to this is when you are using a direct quote.
• Material taken from Chinese sources cannot be regarded as a direct quote as it will have been translated into English#p#分页标题#e#
• If you are using ‘secondary sources’ you must say so
Remember that careful editing can be the key to a well written literature review. What you decide to leave out is often as important as what you put in!
This chapter should not be a ‘cut and paste’ copy of your educational enquiry assignment although material from this can be used where appropriate. However all strategies, methods etc that you discuss should be ones actually used in your particular development study
In this chapter you should:
• Introduce some basic principles of research design
• Provide a detailed research timetable to show organisation and forward planning together with contingency plans for any hold ups or problems
• Explain carefully all research approaches , strategies and methods used in your study. Their features, characteristics and uses should be discussed supported by theory from your background reading.
• Analyse and compare the strengths and weaknesses of each technique
• Justify the selection and use of these techniques in the context of your study
• Clearly explain why the strengths are important for your study but also suggest how you might compensate for the weaknesses or limitations of each particular methods
• Discuss the steps you will take to ensure reliability and validity of your data and the measures used to minimise error, including the concept of ‘triangulation’.
• Compare the advantages and disadvantages of collecting primary versus secondary data and the limitations of each,
• Describe the target groups and sampling methods and explain the reasons for your choice
• Describe any pilot studies you carried out and the outcomes
• Outline the methods you intend to use to analyse your data, emphasising the differences between qualitative and quantitative data
• Briefly mention any relevant ethical issues such as confidentiality, personal privacy, transparency etc.
Please Note: questionnaires, interview questions, observation schedules etc do not need to be included here but should be put into an Appendix at the end of the report
Chapter 4:怎么写Data Analysis？(Analysis of Findings)
In this chapter you need to analyse and explain the findings from your data collection (ie questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations etc). It should be the ‘heart’ of your study and as such it needs to be written carefully and thoughtfully.#p#分页标题#e#
In this chapter you should:
• Summarise your quantitative data (questionnaire results) numerically using tables, bar charts, pie charts etc
• Summarise your qualitative data (interview transcripts) descriptively by listing the key points and emphasising any unusual or interesting responses.
• Discuss and interpret the findings, looking for similarities / differences; agreement / disagreement between respondents,
• Identify any ‘patterns’ of response i.e. issues that respondents feel strongly about; feel reluctant to discuss etc
• Identify and try to explain, any extreme, unusual or unexpected responses,
• Be as specific as possible (generalisations can come later, in the conclusion)
• Relate your analysis to your original research aims to give it more meaning
• Analyse the data systematically (question by question is usually easiest although it can be appropriate to analyse questions in groups where they are similar and / or relate closely to specific aims, research questions or themes).
• Include (where relevant) any secondary data obtained during the literature review. Does it confirm or contradict your own findings?
• Analyse data from different sources separately (or it can get very confusing for the writer and the reader!)
• Summarise what you have learned (and the implications) from each data collection method.
• Bring these together by considering the similarities and differences between data collected by different methods and from different groups of respondents..
• Evaluate what you have learned overall in the context of your study and draw appropriate conclusions
• Comment on the reliability and validity of the actual data you collected and the possible affect on your conclusions
Please Note: give yourself plenty of time to write this chapter. Do not leave it until the last minute and then try to finish it in a hurry!
Chapter 5: 怎么写Conclusions and Recommendations？
In this chapter you should:
• Remind the reader of your original research aims
• Summarise your findings in relation to each aim (this will be very similar to the final part of the last chapter)
• Make recommendations and proposals relevant to the study topic and related to your findings#p#分页标题#e#
• Target your proposals at particular groups i.e. teachers, school / university management, ministry of education department etc
• Remember that the recommendations should be specific and based on your findings
• Describe briefly any limitations in your research and suggest suitable improvements
• Outline any ideas you might have for further research that could be carried out to extend your own work
• Describe what you have gained personally by doing this research and how this might help your professional development.