The final year research project is an independent effort required of students in every tertiary institution. The students, under supervision by academic staff, are to carry out a pre-determined research work within the constraints of their studies.
The supervisor primarily is to receive project proposals of the research interest, approve it, provide guidance, and assess the work at the end. An external supervisor is usually and primarily to provide an external and independent assessment of the research works.
The proposal for the research topic is to include the intended subject of study, a brief description, justification for the work, aims and milestones, software and hardware to be employed, assumptions to be made, the methodologies involved, and the references.
There are standards in the research build-up, actual research, and presentation, and print submissions. These, surely put the students in shape for the strict rules they are to face after-school.
In developing the content, there are certain guidelines that would be beneficial to every student. The work is usually divided into five chapters (broadly) before any further divisions. Hence the typical formats as such:
- Title page
- Approval page
- Table Of Content
- List Of Tables
- List Of Figures
- List Of Symbols/ Nomenclature (Where Applicable)
- Main Work (Chapter One To Five)
- Appendices (Where Applicable)
Title page: Here, the title of the research project will come in, the name of the institution is added, including the name of the Author, then the reason for the report (this is why it is required that students add that it is 'in partial fulfillment of the course requirement required for the award of the B.Sc degree, Higher National Diploma or any other degree.' Then the date is added.
Approval page: The name of the institution and department, then a statement signifying approval for the work by the supervisor, head of the department, and external supervisor. Space is reserved for signatures of all listed parties as well.
Dedication page: This is where the researcher dedicates the research to a deity, someone, dead, or/and alive. This is different from the acknowledgment.
Acknowledgment: The researcher here writes to appreciate all that contributed, (technical, financial, moral, and otherwise) to the success of the research.
Abstract: This is the synopsis of the research work. It is often written last with the tense in past. Usually, less than 100 words summarizing the problem statement, the methodology employed the findings, conclusion, and recommendations. This should be in a single paragraph and the word limit not exceeded. Click here for more Info on Writing a Good Abstract
Table of content: The main heading s and sub-headings and page numbers are listed. This allows for easy page identification and reference. The table of content should be edited at the final stage as well, to correctly capture the reflections in the work. Click here for more info on developing a table of content
List of tables/figures/symbols: The list is to aid the reader in locating tables/figures/symbols. It should contain the tag numbers, a tag that reflects the content, and the page numbers. It should be well-numbered and unambiguous. In the main content, the figure/table should be well-labeled. (The body of the work)
Chapter One: This is usually the introduction. This describes the background, scope, and purpose of the research. A good introduction of the final year project should tell the reader what the project is all about without assuming special knowledge and without introducing any specific material that might obscure the overview. It should anticipate and combine the main points described in more detail in the rest of the project report. The rest of the report should be tied to the information supplied. The researcher should strive to present sufficient details regarding why the study was carried out. It shouldn't be rushed, a gradual build-up of the content from bottom to top is ideal. It should be closed with a linking paragraph that would disclose the objectives, constraints, and limitations. Click Here for More Info on How To Write Your Final Year Project Chapter One (Introduction To A Research Project)
Chapter two: This is usually the theoretical literature review.
A literature review is a survey of academic sources on a particular project topic. It gives an overview of the ebb and flows information, permitting you to distinguish significant hypotheses, strategies, and holes in the current research.
A literature review is to show your reader that you have read, and have a good grasp of, the main published work concerning a particular topic or question in your field.
It is very important to note that your review should not be simply a description of what others have published in the form of a set of summaries but should take the form of a critical discussion, showing insight and an awareness of differing arguments, theories, and approaches. It should be a synthesis and analysis of the relevant published work, linked at all times to your own purpose and rationale.
Conducting a literature review involves collecting, evaluating, and analyzing publications (such as books and journal articles) that relate to your research question. There are five main steps in the process of writing a literature review:
- Search for relevant literature
- Evaluate sources
- Identify themes, debates, and gaps
- Outline the structure
- Write your literature review
A good literature review doesn’t just summarize sources – it analyzes, synthesizes, and critically evaluates to give a clear picture of the state of knowledge on the subject.
According to Caulley (1992) of La Trobe University, the literature review should:
• compare and contrast different authors’ views on an issue • group authors who draw similar conclusions • criticize aspects of the methodology • note areas in which authors are in disagreement • highlight exemplary studies • highlight gaps in research • show how your study relates to previous studies • show how your study relates to the literature, in general, • conclude by summarising what the literature says Chapter two basically presents, the work done by others. It is on the groundwork done by others that the current research is to be based, hence the review. It sums up the pros and cons of all past work but due credit should be given to the various Authors (see the guide on referencing on this website). The use of quotations should be less in use, more of paraphrasing (reading and making out meaning in your own words), making comments in the review is great as well, it just depends on the context. Click Here for More Info on How To Develop Your Research Project Chapter Two Effectively (Literature Review)
Chapter three: This is usually the research methodology.
Chapter three of the research project or the research methodology is another significant part of the research project writing. In developing the chapter three of the research project, you state the research method you wish to adopt, the instruments to be used, where you will collect your data and how you collected it.
This chapter explains the different methods to be used in the research project. Here you mention the procedures and strategies you will employ in the study such as research design, research area (area of the study), the population of the study, etc.
You also tell the reader why you chose a particular method, how you planned to analyze your data. Your methodology should be written in a simple language such that other researchers can follow the method and arrive at the same conclusion or findings.
You can choose a survey design when you want to survey a particular location or behavior by administering instruments such as structured questionnaires, interviews,s or experimental; if you intend manipulating some variables.
The purpose of chapter three (research methodology) is to give an experienced investigator enough information to replicate the study. Some supervisors do not understand this and require students to write what is, in effect, a textbook.
A research design is used to structure the research and to show how all of the major parts of the research project, including the sample, measures, and methods of assignment, work together to address the central research questions in the study. The chapter should begin with a paragraph reiterating the purpose of the study.
It is very important that before choosing a method, try and ask yourself the following questions:
Will I generate enough information that will help me to solve the research problem by adopting this method?
For instance, you are attempting to identify the influence of personality on a road accident, you may wish to look at different personality types, you may also look at accident records from the FRSC, you may also wish to look at the personality of drivers that are accident victims, once you adopt this method, you are already doing a survey, and that becomes your methodology.
Your methodology should aim to provide you with the information to allow you to come to some conclusions about the personalities that are susceptible to a road accident or those personality types that are likely to have a road accident. The following subjects may or may not be in the order required by a particular institution of higher education, but all of the subjects constitute a defensible methodology chapter.
Here the language used should be in the past tense. It is a sum-up of the research design, procedures, the area, and the population of the study. The data sampling and data sources are detailed as well. The method used, from all alternatives, should also be justified. The materials and equipment used are also included. Click Here for More on How To Write Chapter Three Of Your Research Project (Research Methodology)
Chapter four: This is usually for data presentation and analysis (results and discussion).
The purpose of this chapter four in your final year project is to summarize the collected data and the statistical treatment, and or mechanics of analysis. The first paragraph should briefly restate the problem, taken from Chapter one, and explain the object of each experiment, question, or objective, point out salient results, and present those results by the table, figure, or other forms of summarized data. Select tables and figures carefully. Some studies are easier to defend if all the raw data is in this chapter; some are better if the bulk of the raw data is in an appendix.
Chapter four of a Qualitative Research work carries different titles such as ‘Analysis of Data’, ‘Results of Study’, ‘Analysis and Results’ and so forth but the keywords are ‘analysis’ and ‘results’ which implies that you have ‘analyzed’ the raw data and presenting the ‘results’ or what you discovered in the fieldwork carried out, in this Chapter.
The results obtained in the research are presented here in chapter four. Visual aids like graphs, charts, and the likes should be used as well. The results should be discussed then compared with the results of past Authors. The effects and applications of the results should be detailed as well. Click Here for More on How To Write Chapter Four Of Your Final Year Project (Data Analysis And Presentation)
Chapter five: This chapter summarises the research findings, discusses the limitations, and reflect the recommendations of the study.
The easier way of getting your research project work done is to understand how to SAY what you are going to say, SAY IT, and SAY what you have already said
In writing chapter five of your final year research project. You are meant to say what you’ve already said. Here, you are reminding the reader where he or she is coming from.
It is always ideal to start your research project chapter five by reminding your readers of the purpose of the study (Say what you’ve said already), this will refresh their memory of what the research study is all about.
In my previous writing on How To Write Chapter Four Of Your Final Year Project (Data Analysis and Presentation), I took my time to thoroughly explain how to report your research project analysis. And at this very point of your research project documentation, it is assumed that you have already done with your study and now into reporting
First of all, you will have to tell your readers what you are able to understand your analysis of the variables used. Then relate that to what other researchers had found out from their research (as related to your own studies). Then you make your recommendations based on your own findings and finally your conclusions.
In writing chapter five (5) of your research project, it is recommended that you check with your institution on their preferred title for research project chapter five(5). Chapter five has been titled in different ways. Here in this writing, it is suggested that the chapter is titled as Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations since institutions vary in their chapter five (5) of the final year research project.
Chapter five houses the conclusions and recommendations. From the results of the research, conclusions are made, then suggestions for improvement for other researchers with similar interests. Based on the whole happenings, recommendations are proffered. Click Here for More on How To Write Chapter Five Of Your Final Year Project (Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendation).
References: This is a list of all the relevant journals, books, and all sources of information consulted in the research work, either online or print. Plagiarism should be avoided at all costs, all quoted and exact words of different sources should be properly referenced, in-text, and at the references' list/bibliography. MLA, APA, and Chicago style are the commonest referencing styles. (See a comprehensive guide on this blog). Click Here for More on All You Need To Know On References Before Writing A Final Year Project
Appendices: This is for all extra materials that were not added to the body of the work. This encapsulates extensive proofs, official data from the case study, a list of parameters, et al. P.S: After writing, the researcher should painstakingly proofread the whole content for grammatical and spelling errors. This could be very distracting while reading the material. The page numbers are easily distorted by changing font size and type, spacing et al. The final submission should be very clear, error-free(to a large degree), and as required by the standard.