What is a Research Project?
It is a particular type of academic assignment that requires studying an issue of interest to contribute to theoretical or practical knowledge. The paramount goal of the research project is to examine a topic in an in-depth manner, integrate the available evidence, and produce new knowledge (Thomas, 2017). Among the most widespread options, one may note a systematic review, the assessment of the program implementation, the experimental study, et cetera.
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How to Choose a Topic?
The identification of the focus of the study is the first step in conducting any project. As a rule, the students are given a list of possible topics, while they are also welcome to select any relevant subjects that are relevant to their course or specialization.
- Setting realistic goals. It is important to avoid too broad topics, instead of determining a specific area of interest. The formulation of proper and narrow questions is helpful to guide the process of the topic selection. The academic department can also be contacted to receive some help regarding the feasibility of one or another theme.
- Pondering over the project timely. It is easier to complete research if the student began thinking about it as early as possible (Cloutier, 2016). The work done through the semester would be more comprehensive and error-free compared to those that were started a couple of weeks before the deadline.
Organizing a Research Project
Once the topic was identified, it is important to plan the structure of the project that can include the following parts: the introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, recommendations, and conclusions. Different research types may require some of these sections, while others do not need all of them.
- Introduction. This section of the research paper should introduce the background, area of interest, research questions, and goals fo the study.
- Literature review. The synthesis of existing knowledge, assumptions, and practices related to the chosen topic is to be provided. A range of opinions, gaps, as well as strong and weak points of the available literature should be outlined.
- Methods. This section presents specific methods and tools that can be used in the study, including sample, data collection and analysis instruments, and the theoretical framework used. Flick (2015) states that the methodology section is often omitted or integrated with the introduction, which depends on the particular instructions set by a faculty.
- Results. The direct outcomes of the research project are to be presented within this part of the paper. For example, response rates, statistical and descriptive findings, and any other relevant data can be included. The tables, diagrams, graphs, and other visual presentation means are useful to reflect the results in the most understandable manner.
- Discussion and recommendations. The interpretation of results and their comparison with the recent findings of other scholars compose the essence of this section. The practical implications, limitations, further research needs, and recommendations should be clarified.
- Conclusion. The concluding remarks should be brief, providing a summary of the research work. It should be written after the completion of the project.
Learning the Tips to Consider
The main text of the study should be written according to the chosen topic, while it is important to follow the time frames that were indicated in the introduction. It is not meant to show already known facts, which merely overshadow one’s new information and discoveries (Hahn Fox, & Jennings, 2014). It is critical to focus on new and interesting opportunities, exploring the topic of interest, and presenting the process of research in a thematic and logical sequence.
By planning the number of words, it is possible to avoid overwriting and the sense of frustration. The general rule is to spend up to ten percent of the total word count on the introduction and conclusion. If one knows the suggested number of words, he or she can make proper solutions regarding the word count to be included in other sections. Before starting to write the section, they should be planned in terms of word count and the objectives of the sections.
It is useful to make the introduction persuasive to grab the readers’ attention with appalling facts, convincing statistics, and quotes from prominent people. In the body section of the research paper, the significance of a particular study is to be discussed. To make sure that the research project would be successful, it is critical to set the tone of the paper from the very beginning, making the goals, contents, and expected results crystal clear to the readers.
Paying Attention to Academic Honesty and Plagiarism
In the modern world that is driven by technology benefits, academic resources can be easily plagiarized. In many cases, it is a result of poor academic skills or inexperience, but the deliberate intention can also be a reason. The educational facilities adopt anti-plagiarism policies and reduce scores for such misconduct. Therefore, plagiarism should be avoided by proper citation, preventing too many citations, and verbatim copy-paste. Academic integrity implies that students complete individual works personally, use the resources lawfully and ethically, and follow the rules of their institution.
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Cloutier, C. (2016). How I write: An inquiry into the writing practices of academics. Journal of Management Inquiry, 25(1), 69-84.
Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner’s guide to doing a research project (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hahn Fox, B., & Jennings, W. G. (2014). How to write a methodology and results section for empirical research. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 25(2), 137-156.
Thomas, G. (2017). How to do your research project: A guide for students (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.