The front cover of your report must display:
The title of the project
(The title is important and, therefore, must be agreed with your supervisor.
The initial title should allow you to address one fundamental question and a minimum of three related ones.
The final title should be short, focused and invite attention)
The module code and title (ED6015: Education Studies)
Your Student ID
The Programme (BA Education Studies), the School (Cass School of Education and Communities) and the title of the University (University of East London)
Table of Contents
The titles of each section should be listed in chronological order and the page references provided.
Appendices are listed A, B, C etc., but pages do not have to be numbered.
Thank anyone who has assisted you in providing data or help with your investigation. You can refer to tutors and relations by name, but protect the identity of individuals and schools used in the investigations (particularly if sensitive data is presented). Dedications are permitted.
Abstract (Approximately 150 words):
This is a brief overview of the aims, research questions (RQs), participants/institutions sampled, methods employed, and a brief account of findings and conclusion. Write approximately 150 words.
Introduction/Purpose and Aims (Approximately 800 words)
This provides the reasons for the AREA of research, which you have selected. It should present the overall question which you set out to address.
The introduction provides a reference point for all subsequent writing and will be written mostly in the past tense, with occasional reference to the present.
It should be possible to read this section and to go straight to the Conclusions and Recommendations, to gain a continuous understanding of the whole work and to be directed to different sections for additional information.
What do you want to find out, with whom, where, and why (referenced to literature)?
Why did you choose this area for research (referenced to literature but also to personal experience if appropriate)?
How is your proposed research important; identify key issues and debates (referenced to literature)?
Briefly define specific terminology in relation to your research (referenced to literature)
Who might be a potential user of this research?
What are the specific research questions?
Literature Review (Approximately 2000 words)
This should discuss the specific questions or problem you have identified, both with reference to relevant literature and with regard to professional practice.
You must demonstrate critical engagement with a wide range of literature:
Present the literature reviewed as a body rather than itemised individual pieces, incorporating a thematic approach.
Interrogate academic literature from a range of sources (e.g., books, chapters in edited books, journal articles, conference papers)
Elaborate on specific terminology/definitions in relation to your research (referenced to literature)
Engage critically with the literature by exploring, for example, gaps, weaknesses, strengths, contradictions, agreements and disagreements
There is never a case of there being no relevant literature on the subject. Think ‘outside the box’ and search journals and media reports for related items. Your tutor will give you some guidance, but become a researcher and engage in an ‘archaeological dig’.
It is useful to have a concluding paragraph in your literature review in which you state how your research will attempt to build upon/develop/extend what is already known. How does it influence your own research?
Methodology (Approximately 1600 words)
This chapter, written in the past tense, should identify the processes by which you set out and followed through the next stages of investigation.
State what research paradigm you used and why. What are its key principles?
State what methodological approach you used (e.g. Survey, Action Research, Case Study, Ethnography, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, etc) and why.
State where you went to collect the data (the setting), the time frame used and the successes, limitations and problems experienced. Core readings and lecture notes will help your analysis of process and tools used for investigation.
Be sure to report the size and characteristics of the sample of participants (gender; age; faith; socio-economic status of parents-as applicable) and note how they were selected (probability (random) or non-probability (convenience) sampling, and why?).
What did you do to ensure that your reseach was valid and reliable? Triangulation (the use of two or more research methods / collection of data from different sources / engagement with a wide range of literature) is said to maximise the validity of qualitative research, but some researchers place more importance on integrity, honesty and comprehensiveness of coverage than on other validity criteria. Whilst the use of a minimum of two research methods to collect data is recommended, you must seek the approval of your supervisor if your particular methodological approach does not necessarily require this.
Never approach a school or other institution without knowing what you want to find out. You will be given an introductory letter by your supervisor when s/he is satisfied with your Ethics Form.
Agree, with your supervisor, the content of any further letters and questionnaires going to an external body.
Research Ethics (Approximately 600 words)
Demonstrate your understanding of ethical procedures and, where appropriate, how they were applied in your research.
Your discussion in this section must be supported with relevant literature on ethics.
The key word in this section is application. It is not just a question of stating, for example, what informed consent/assent is, but how it will be applied in your research.
What is informed consent? How did you gain informed consent in your research? Make reference to gate keeping.
What is meant by confidentiality and anonymity? How did you guarantee that confidentiality and anonymity were observed in your research?
What are the benefits of your research?
Discuss any possible risks in your research. How has your researcher identity and positioning had an impact on your research. Consider power relations in your role as researcher
Discussion of Findings (Approx. 2000 words)
In this section you should analyse your data. However, remember that the aim of your analysis is to answer your research questions! It might be useful to use a thematic approach to structure your analysis. Think about presenting your findings in different ways – this needs, however, to tie in with your research paradigm.
How did you sort, choose and make sense of your data?
How does your data support and/or contradict the literature on your topic? Remember, you should refer to the literature reviewed in Chapter 2. If pertinent new literature becomes available at a later stage, you can of course draw on it, but make sure to incorporate it in the literature reviewed.
Anonymised raw data, such as excerpts from your interviews, must be drawn upon in the text to support the arguments you are making throughout the text.
Reference to relevant appendices, where appropriate, should be made throughout the text.
Take care not to indulge in assertions and assumptions. Take the available evidence and work with it, rather than engineering it to confirm a personal hypothesis or worse, prejudice.
Conclusion and Recommendations (Approx. 800 words)
Remember, most work involves too small a sample for results to ‘prove’ anything. The data provides indications and possible trends for further investigation. In education there are not truths – truth is transitory and relative to the criteria to which it applies at a specific time in history.
Refer back to your introduction and note the intentions at the outset of your work and summarise your subsequent discoveries. Provide guides to the chapters and pages where supporting evidence can be found.
Follow through with a statement of what value you would place on the work for yourself, for other professionals in the field and indicate areas of need for future research, with reasons.
A reader should be able to read your Introduction and this Chapter and gain a comprehensive, but succinct picture of what the whole dissertation is about.
The overall purposes of the reference list are:
To allow the reader to verify all sources used in the text to indicate the range of literature consulted.
All references and in-text citation in Harvard Style
Do not include any text not explicitly mentioned in your text. There must be discernible evidence of having made reference to a work.
Include here material necessary for the reader’s fuller understanding of the text. This must include:
A copy of your project time table or personal action plan, which should be annotated
Completed Research Supervision Log
A copy of your completed approved ethics form
A copy of the information letters/sheets and consent forms
If interviews were used to collect data, the interview questions (also known as interview protocol or interview schedule)
If interviews were used to collect data, anonymised transcripts and an indication of how you analyzed/coded the data.
Appendices should not include ‘padding’ or other extraneous material.
A reader does not necessarily refer to the appendices, so do not include material that is essential for understanding when reading the main body of your work.