When students get to the project writing stage in their academic career, it is always a major challenge. Several uncertainties and confusions arise from the first procedure to take, to the completion and defence. In this blog post, we will try to reveal some tricks and tips on acing your project defence in your academic year.
The first requirement in every project research is to get a project topic. Most schools or supervisors specifically demand that students source their topics themselves, especially on trending issues with a project proposal (see next post on HOW TO WRITE A PROJECT PROPOSAL). This is ok because, when the students source their topics, they can freely dwell on the topic while building a passion around it. And that will encourage the student to explore every aspect of their topic. Also, when the topic is a trending one, the project will play a vital role in contributing to the body of knowledge, such that, other scholars who are interested in the same chosen field, will have references to assist in their own research work, thereby, boosting the relevance of the research work done by the source. At this end, it is advised that every student has to build an interest in rising issue in the society and seek to research on the root cause and remedies in relation to academic achievements.
On approval of the project topic, the student needs to proceed with chapter one. The Chapter one of most school formats consist of;
1.1 Background of Study: At the background of study, the origin of the subject matter is to be discussed. The process of development and current existence of the phenomenon in the chosen case study will also be expressed and people's ideas and contributions to the topic can also be featured here too. The background of study does not necessarily have to be too voluminous, but should be comprehensive enough for readers to flow. Each paragraph must contain a separate idea or point, but must not digress or distort the linking statements from the previous of next paragraph. For example; If the project topic has to deal with the "Motivation and Employee Job Satisfaction, a case study of a quoted bank" The background of the study can start by expressing the term "Motivation" and its general understanding, then talk about motivation in the banking sector as a whole, its origin, who introduced it, the purpose, etc. Thereafter, motivation in the specific bank to be studied and the sustainability of motivation on the case study, then the response or the impact of motivation on the employees can be discussed and the sustainability of the motivation pattern used if any. Many other ideas can be employed to beef up the background to form a solidified introduction to the topic in view.
1.2 Statement of Problem: The statement of problem on the other hand, deals with the issues underlying either on the over practice or lack of practice of the subject matter in the case study or the general environmental effect of the subject. Problem statement can further express the problems the research will solve after completing the study. This session does not necessarily need any citations nor quotes, however, that is at writer's discretion.
1.3 Research Objective: The objective of the study itemizes few goals and objectives that the researcher want to target on. This is necessary because, one can never exhaust every possible area of any topic nor case study all at once. But then, the list has to be inter connected in the sequence that follows a hierarchical order; Objective one should seek to know the meaning, existence or idea behind the subject matter, objective two should be able to state the status of practice, patronage, exercise, of functionality of the subject matter, objective three would be able to state the solution, enhancement, method of curative or other related steps on the subject matter, then objective four can seek the measures to be taken to solve the issue of the subject matter. They can be as many as possible, but cannot be less than 3 in number in order to gain recognition and easy approval by the project supervisor. According to the project topic, there should exist two variables - Dependent and Independent variables, which should be considered while choosing the research objectives. The dependent variable is the factor on the project topic that cannot exist when the other factor is removed, while the independent variable is the variable that can stand as a constant will continue to exist regardless the other factor is removed. For example “Motivation and Employee Productivity”, here, the Employee productivity can never stop, meaning the employees will continue to work and bring about productivity in the organization whether motivated or not, it can only be little or large. Hence, the dependent variable in the sample topic above is “Motivation” while the independent variable is “Employee Productivity”. These two variables have to be determined first because there is a link between the research objective, research question and research hypothesis and the hypothesis forms the basis of the analysis that will be treated in chapter four, while the research question forms the questionnaire to be distributed to respondents if the research will employ the primary data analysis method.
1.4 Research Question: The research questions are the basis of the research topic. It provides questions to be asked during field survey (if it’s a survey method to be used) or questions that can place a perspective on the direction of the research. This must come in connection to the research hypothesis if not word for word. The only difference should be that the research question comes in a question form with a question mark ‘?’. For example, if the first research objective states; “To discover the relationship between motivation and staff productivity”, The research question one should go, “Is there a relationship between motivation and staff productivity?”
1.5 Research Hypothesis: Hypothesis generally exists as a debate between two opposite facts. One part called the Alternate Hypothesis (H1) is proposing the motion while the Null Hypothesis (H0) is opposing the motion. Hence, on each research objective, there should exist a H0 and a H1, although, most supervisors would not find it so necessary to also state the H0 as they are both like a two-faced coin where one obviously does not stay without the other. The hypothesis will then be the measure of comparism to determine if a particular question ends on a positive affirmation or a negative conclusion.
1.6 Significance of Study: The significance of the study is where the writer or researcher states the importance of the study, sector or set of people it is useful to and how it is useful to them.
1.7 Scope of the Study: The scope of the study states the specific area of concentration of the study, talking about the state, number, Name or branch of case study and others.
1.8 Limitations of Study: Here, the researcher is given the right to state the obstructions, challenges and hitches faced during the research work
1.9 Definition of Terms: In the definition of terms, the researcher is to list out words used in the research and define them as represented in the work.
In Chapter Two of the project work, the student is expected to discuss other ideas obtained from the works of researchers on the similar topic or field. Chapter two comes with three major components according to the university standard;
Conceptual Framework: The conceptual framework is the section to define the concepts of the project topic according to the arrangement of the dependent and independent variables. Pictorial illustrations will be more appreciated also if the diagram represents the links between the variables very well.
Empirical Framework: Empirical study is where all other works on the focus of the study and their writers observations will be listed in paragraphs according to their different authors. It can appear like stating the abstracts of each research done by each researcher in the past on the subject matter, relating to their topic, what they tried to discover and the method they used (if necessary) and the their findings after the study.
And Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework will feature various theories that support the study, who propounded them and the year and how it is related of useful to the research.