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Guidelines for Write-up

stage of your long


essay/research report
J. A. Yaro
Department of Geography and Resource
Development

OUTLINE OF YOUR REPORT

Title page
Abstract
Acknowledgments
Table of contents
List of figures and tables
Chapter one

Introduction/
problem statement
Objectives
Justification for study
Literature review
Conceptual framework

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Chapter two
Background of research
area
Methodology

Chapter 3 and 4
Results and Discussion: Two
thematic headings and subheadings to adequately
answer research
questions/objectives

Chapter 5
Conclusion
Summary
General conclusions
recommendation

Title page
Title: A title should summarize the
main idea of the paper simply and with
style. It should be a concise statement
of the main topic
Candidates ID Number
Candidates Name
Department
Institution
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The abstract
An abstract is a brief, comprehensive
summary of the contents of your
dissertation
An abstract should succinctly establish the issue,
the approach, key findings and important
implications of the research
Balanced, precise, relevant, accessible
Example of abstract structure:
Background statement: 1-2 sentences
Objectives: 1 sentence
Method summary: short and to the point!
Results: major points
Conclusions: implication for research, practice
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The Introduction
The introduction begins the body of the paper.
The introduction addresses the specific
problem under study.
A clear introduction should:
Be short, relevant, informative, enticing
Explain the point of the study or the problem
being investigated
Clearly explain the aims/objectives of long essay
by describing the main findings
Explain the theoretical implications of the study
and how it relates to previous work in the area
Providing a justification and a conceptual
framework
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Literature review
If you steal from one author its plagiarism; if
you steal from many, its research (Wilson
Mizner 1953)
Should have a coherent and sensible structure
No unconnected sentences and paragraphs
Present a thematic treatment of issues

Begin with a discussion of the topic in general


terms, and progresses through the development
of ideas on the topic, showing how individual
contributions have led to partial answers and to
new questions being asked.
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Background of study area


and Methods
Provide a background of the study area covering physical
and socio-economic characteristics
Include a map of the district and study communitiesshow roads, settlements and drainage
The Method section describes in detail how the study
was conducted.
These usually include descriptions of the:

Choice of research strategies and methods - and why


Participants and sampling,
The apparatus (or materials), and
The procedure: describe how survey, focus group and indepth interviews were conducted sequentially and what
variables dealt with

The problems encountered in gathering data


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Chapters: showing results and


discussion
Provide a chapter title using your first objective or a
combination of two objectives
The Results for chapter theme:
It summarizes the data collected and the statistical treatment
of them.
Then report the data in sufficient detail to answer research
questions
Mention all relevant results, including those that run counter to
the hypothesis.

Discussing the implications of the results


Introductory statement: main results?
Paragraphs corresponding to similar sections in material &
methods and results
Implication for research
Implication for practice
Concluding statement
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Rule of Three
Within each chapter,
repeat yourself 3 times
Intro. We will show ..
Body. Show them ..
Concl. We have shown ..

Within thesis, repeat your


contributions 3 times
Intro chapter
Main chapters
Conclusion chapter

But dont bore reader


E.g. in introduction be brief,
in conclusions be broader

TABLES
Descriptive: Frequencies, percentage tables, and
qualitative text etc.
Inferential: contingency tables, chi squares and
hypothesis test, correlation and regressions
Main objectives:
Should complement the text
Should be short and not too wide
Not too much information (i.e. not too tight)
Clear, easily read
Should stand alone for comprehension
Dont forget title, caption or abbreviation explanation
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Illustrating your report:


Figures
Descriptive: Maps, bar graphs, pie charts, line
graphs and qualitative data from participatory
methods
Relationships: scatterplots for correlations and
regressions
Main objectives:
Should complement the text
Clear, easily read and understood
Should stand alone for comprehension
Judicious use of color, grayscale
Dont forget title, caption or abbreviation explanation

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Discussion
This can follow each section of the results or as second part of each
chapter. DONT CREATE A CHAPTER CALLED DISCUSSION. MIX BOTH.

Evaluate and interpret the implications of the results, especially


with respect to your original propositions or hypothesis.
Examine, interpret, and qualify the results, as well as to draw
inferences from them.
Emphasize any theoretical consequences of the results and the
validity of your conclusions.
Open the discussion with a clear statement of the support or
non-support for your original hypothesis.
Similarities and differences between your results and the work of
others should clarify and confirm your conclusions.
Do not reformulate and repeat points already made; each new
statement should contribute to your position and to the reader's
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understanding
of the problem.

Conclusions
In general, be guided by the following
questions:

Provide a summary of findings or discussions


What have I contributed here?
How has my study helped to resolve the original
problem?
What conclusions and theoretical implications can I
draw from my study?
summarises the whole research
answers the research questions
provides conclusions to the research problem
offers recommendations to enhance theory and
improve practice
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References
All citations in the Long essay must
appear in the reference list, and all
references must be cited in the text.
Important points:
Follow departmental guidelines for reference
format!!!
Verify that all in-text citations have matching
references!
Use reference management software: RefWorks,
Endnote, Reference Manager
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APPENDICES
Data in the form of tables that were
referred to but not inserted in the main
essay
Research instruments interview
schedules and questionnaires
Ethical clearance if any
Any other relevant information
DONT ADD INTRODUCTORY LETTERS
FOR FIELDWORK

What to expect from your


advisor?
Intellectual support
Quality assurance
What standard a thesis
should reach
Indication of when to
stop

Emotional support
Encouragement
Constructive atmosphere

What are examiners looking


for?
Presentation of
results
Have the hypotheses
in fact been tested?
Are the results
shown to support the
hypothesis?
Is the data properly
analysed?
Are the results
presented clearly?
Are patterns
identified and
summarized?

Discussion and
Conclusions
Are the limits of the
research identified?
Are the main points
to emerge
identified?
Are links made to
the literature?
Is there theoretical
development?
Are the speculations
well grounded?