This guide is intended to help you produce a good final year project report. It gives advice on how to gather relevant material, how to organize it into a suitable form and how to then turn it into a written project report or dissertation. It also describes the conventions that should govern the structure of the report or dissertation, and suggests some descriptive devices that you can use to make it more effective.
Project writing is compulsory and an integral part of the B.Sc. (Ed) programme and should be taken seriously like any other compulsory courses. Failure to write or complete project within the stipulated time will automatically lead to the non-completion of the degree programme. Towards ensuring that students successfully complete their original essay, the guideline should be adhered to; failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in the rejection of the project. Students are also expected to adhere to the comments of their supervisors.
Students are expected to demonstrate originality of thought, independent research skills, intense critical analysis and evaluation of phenomena and to come out with new ideas.
2.0 APPROVAL OF PROJECT TOPIC
After the students have been assigned supervisors, each student is required to submit at least three researchable topics to the assigned supervisor, who is to give approval. The supervisor has a right to modify the submitted topic(s) where necessary. Therefore, the student submits his/her proposal on the approved topic to his/her supervisor. The proposal should not be more than five pages and should contain the following.
2.1 Background to the study
This sub-section generally gives the background information to what informed the research or why the research is being carried out.
It equally examines what is wrong with the existing political phenomenon, which invariably informs the interest in the research.
The contributions of the relevant scholars and philosophers, as well as other social scientists on the subject are generally examined pointing out the appearing inherent problems.
2.2 Statement of the problem
This part will examine the fact that despite the existing policies, laws or attempts to solve certain problems or socio-politics or economic problems, the problems still persist. This part should further examine question whether, is it the policies or laws, among others, are inadequate or the problem is with its implementation, or other identifiable causes. The statement of the problem should be able to identify the gap that the study seeks to fill.
2.3 Aims and objectives
You should state in clear terms the aim(s) of the study and in numbered paragraphs the specific objectives of the study.
2.4 Research questions
This involved transforming the research objectives into interrogative statements. Data is generated towards solving these research questions. Such data should achieve the research objectives. The research questions like the research objectives should
(I) Start with opening statement/preamble
(II) Itemize the questions in sub-sections and numbered in Arabic numerals.
2.5 Research hypothesis
The hypothesis is used to examine the relationship between variable. It is a statement assuming certain relationship between two or more variable. The assumption would therefore be tested using data generated by the study before confirming or disconfirming same. The researcher makes clear and unambiguous statements on the aspect of the relationship between the stated variables that the study intends to investigate. The hypothesis should be in line with the research problem already stated. Not that it is only the null hypothesis that should be stated to line with the current trend in hypothesis formulation. Note: Your formulated hypothesis should not be less or more than three.
2.6 Research method
It is imperative that you state the method you intend to adopt in carrying out this research. It is the most critical aspect of your project aside the statement of problem. You should therefore indicate how you intend to achieve the stated objectives and the procedure (step by step) to be used in carrying out the research.
Generally, there are two sources of information – primary and secondary. Primary sources are questionnaires, interviews, observations, experimentation and so on. Secondary sources are textbooks, journal articles, monographs, conference proceedings, newspapers and magazines, as well as materials sourced from the internet.
Those proposing to use questionnaires should agree with their supervisors on the form and content of the questionnaires. The rules guiding the writing of questionnaire should be strictly adhered to. The questions should be constructed in such a way as to achieve specific research objectives. The questions should be properly scaled. For those intending to use interview, formulation of interview questions and identification of the targeted groups are essential issues to be borne in mind, among others. Interview questions should be structured in a way to avoid leading questions and other interview rules should also be observed.
In either case, supervisors should determine the suitability or otherwise of the use of interview or questionnaire, having regard to the approved topic and the probative value of the information to be generated through such means.
Students should bear in mind that the use of invalid or unapproved method in their research might result in the invalidation of the project or the research outcome, thus necessitating the affected student to redo the project.
2.7 Significance of study
This is the area where you discuss the economic importance of your research I.e. justification for carrying out your research. Where your research will add nothing or on fact adds nothing to existing knowledge, improve the existing human conditions or policies on completion. It is unnecessary carrying out the research; new topic should be submitted for the long essay.
Due to certain restrictions, the researcher might deliberately eliminate some aspects (modify the extent) of the research work. This sub-section therefore enables him/her to clearly state the extent to which he/she intends to go in achieving the research objectives.
Delimiting factors might include the time frame, finances, research instruments, logistics, government policies, and so on.
2.9 Organization of study
This is where you divide your work into chapters and in summary form – in one or two sentences, indicate what you intend to discuss. The project should be developed into chapters which should not be more than five, with each chapter further subdivided into sections and sub-sections. This will facilitate the development of a number of key ideas.
3.0 Composition Of The Project
3.1 student’s project should be structured according to the following pattern;
(I) Preliminaries and Contents Arrangements
The project shall contain all or some of the following materials arranged in the following order.
(b) Certification page: example:
This is to certify that the research work for this project and its subsequent preparation were carried out by (name of candidate & matric number) under the following supervision.
Name of supervisor. Signature & Date
Name of Head of Dept. Signature & Date
Name of External Examiner Signature & Date
(e) Table of content
(f) Figure and tables
(h) Abstract–Not more than 500 words
(I) Main body of project (This will usually be chapter 1-4)
(j) summary, conclusion and recommendations (this will usually be the 5th chapter)
(k) List of References and Bibliography
The abstract shall conform to the following format;
(I) Introduction/objective: A brief statement of what the research is about, specific objectives envisage and contribution to knowledge.
(II) Hypotheses: Formulated hypotheses and their relationship with the research objectives.
(iii) Method : Where the questionnaire or the interview method was used, this should indicate how this was done.
(iv) Findings/result: Stating of specific findings.
(V) Implications: Implications of findings (if any or where applicable I.e. Implications for the implementation of the research findings as it affects the various bodies and those likely to benefit from the research findings).
3.3 LENGTH OF THE PROJECT
The long essay should in the maximum not be more than 80 pages in length or the word equivalent, excluding references/bibliography.
3.4 TYPOGRAPHY AND FONT
The standard 12-point should be used for the main text. The usually typeface is the Times New Roman and the main text should be justified to ensure uniformity in the typing style.
Main text should be the Double spacing and 1.5 should be the reference/bibliography.
Necessary margins should be provided to accumulate binding without infringing on the text, 1-inch margins at top, bottom, and sides should be provided.
An ellipse is a series of three points with spacing between them (…) inserted into quotation to indicate the omission of material from the original quotation. Thus, where a part or parts of a quotation are left out, such omitted part(s) must be indicated by three dots (…) only, no matter how long the omitted are, to indicate that something from the original text has been omitted. Students who fail to abide by the above style may have their projects rejected or lose marks in the assessment of the same.
You should ensure that your project do not contain plagiarized material(s) in any form. Plagiarism is a serious academic fraud which carries grave consequences.
You must know what plagiarism is and that it can be omitted in various ways. Generally, plagiarism is when you present another person’s ideas or work as your own. To avoid plagiarism all sources of materials used, including those sourced from the Internet must be clearly indicated and properly cited. Words that are not your own must be clearly stated so indicate by putting the words in quotation marks and proper reference given for their source. Not acknowledging quotations taken from other people’s work or adaptation of such quotations or other people’s work without proper acknowledgement and reference to the source.
You must also not engage in “self-plagiarism” by presenting ideas or words contained in a work previously done by you and which have been submitted for an award or a credit in the completion of a course unit or academic program.
4.1 USING OLD REFERENCES NOT MORE THA
Avoiding using old references that is more than 10years
Students must avoid making general assertions or statements in their projects. Any assertions made in your project must be substantiated, thus, students should desist from expressing views not substantiated by credible academic or references otherwise there’s be no credit.
5.0 APPROVED STRUCTURE OF PROJECT
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Literature Review and Theoretical Framework
Chapter Three: Research method
Chapter Four: Data Presentation and Analysis
Chapter Five: Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations.
Note: All calculations of data analysis should be taken to the appendix page(s) of the project including the copy of the questionnaire.
6.0 STYLE OF CITATIONS AND REFERENCES
The current American Psychological Association (APA) style should be adopted by students in their projects. This is just a guide to the APA style and is not intended to replace the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6the edition. Only selected examples were chosen for inclusion here for other examples see printed manual.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is a widely used author-date system of referencing or bibliographic citations. This guide covers basic explanations and examples for the most common types of citations used by students. This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) which is available at all UWS libraries. If you’re unable to find the referencing examples you require in this guide, more detailed information and examples can be found in the above publication.
APA requires that the information can be cited in two ways — within the text and in a reference list at the end of the paper. The reference list should be on a new page, double spaced, and use the indent hanging method (all lines after the first one are indented).
Referencing acknowledges the source that you use to write your essay or project work.
In-text citations are used throughout your writing to acknowledge the source of your information. The full references for the citations are then listed at the end of your work in the reference list.
It is important to first consult your unit outline, lecturer or tutor for the preferred citation style for each unit you undertake.
6.2 IN-TEXT CITATION: REFERENCING SOURCES WITHIN THE TEXT
Throughout the text of your project, you need to acknowledge the sources used in your writing whenever you present a statement of evidence such as a quote, or when use someone else’s ideas, opinions or theories in your own words (phrasing), you must acknowledge your sources.
Note: when you summarize the general idea of a source in your own words, you must cite the author and year of publication of the work. APA does not require you to provide the page number unless you use a direct quote, however, if you paraphrase or summarize a specific section you should consider including the page number.
6.4 REFERENCE LIST
A reference list includes details of the sources cited in your project. It starts on a separate page at the end of your project and is titled References. Each item cited in the reference list must have been cited in your work. All sources appearing in the reference list must be ordered alphabetically by surname.
In contrast to the reference list, a bibliography also includes details of sources not cited in your project WOR which were used to support your research. While APA style does not use bibliographies you may sometimes be required to include one in addition to a reference list, this items should not be listed in alphabetic orders.
The reference list should be double spaced (no line spaces between references) with hanging indents used for the second or subsequent lines of each entry. A hanging indent is where the left line starts at the left margin and subsequent lines are indented (approx. 1.3cm or 5 spaces).
Italics is the preferred format for titles of books, journals and videos. Article and chapter titles are not italicized or put in quotation marks. Volume members are italicized but issue members are not.
Capitalization in APA style is very specific. For references, the following general rules apply- capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title, and the first letter of the first word after a colon.
Eg: Federalism and the Nigerian state
And Corruption in public services: Explanation of causes and solutions.
Pronouns, acronyms and abbreviations that are normally capitalized should be capitalized in the reference list and citations.
Examples of a reference list:
- Andrea, N.C. (2001). Brave new brain: conquering mental illness in the era of the genome. Oxford university press.
- Akin, M. (Reporter). (2008, November 13). Bermagui disputed turf. The Hack Half Hour. Retrieved from http://www.ABC.net.ah/triplej/hack/note
6.5 ELECTRONIC ITEM
When referencing electronic sources it is necessary to provide details about the location of the item. Electronic sources should be referenced in the same format as for a “fixed-media source”, such as a book with DOI (digital abject identifier) included. Provide the URL if the item is freely accessible or the homepage URL if the access I restricted.
- These are our main recommendations:
- Record all relevant information generated by the project:
- use a notebook,
- keep a diary,
- log debugging sessions.
- Gather further material from publications or other external resources.
- Organize the material into sections agreed with your supervisor, e.g. “Background”, and so on.
- Turn this material into written prose to form the project report’s main body.
- When writing the main body
- keep your readership in mind;
- identify commonality;
- use sections and subsections;
- follow stylistic conventions.
- Where appropriate use cross-references,
- figures and other descriptive devices.
- Produce all required supporting structures according to convention, after completing the main body, and include this material in appendices to avoid disrupting the flow of your narrative.
- For examples to follow, look at textbooks from reputable publishers, the way this guide is written.
- Discuss an outline of the project report with your supervisor before you begin to write up; this will help you to plan your project.
However, we strongly recommend that you write up your work as much as possible as you carry out your project, rather than leaving the writing to last.
We hope you will find this guide to be of value in completing your project.