Research project guidelines by nmims


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Research project guidelines by nmims

  1. 1. Research Project Guidelines Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering
  2. 2. Research Project GuidelinesWritten and oral communications skills are probably the most universal qualities from management studentssought by schools as well as by employers. Being MBA students, you are responsible for developing suchskills to a high level. The objective of asking you to develop a research project as a part of your coursecurriculum is to help you develop such skills. The following are the guidelines which will help you to writethe research project in a more organized and accurate way. However, guidelines are only facilitators. Youmust use your own creative effort to execute the concept and develop a high quality research project. Theresearch project is divided into two parts: Research Project 1 and Research Project 2.Research Project 1This is to be done in two parts. The first part involves selection of the topic of research and preliminaryinvestigation which include the collection of secondary data and literature review. This has to be completedin Trimester XI. The second part of the project deals with the analysis of this initial work which has to becompleted and presented in Trimester XII.Research Project 2This should be a continuation of the Research Project 1 and must include original primary data collectionand analysis. The submission of this project report has to be done in Trimester XIV.1. What is a Research ProjectThe organization, format, and content of a research report should be based on an original idea and mustcontribute to academics as well as practice.2. Objectives of a Research ProjectThe aim of the research project is to provide you a scope to unleash your analytical side by contributingsomething new to the already existing knowledge in a field where you feel confident in e.g. marketing,strategy, operations, finance or HR.3. Getting StartedChoose a topic that will actively engage you in the research and writing. Depending on your area of interestchoose a faculty guide who can facilitate you to undertake a meaningful topic, provide the necessaryacademic guidance, and to facilitate evaluation. In order to make the research paper more meaningful, thefaculty guide must be consulted at all stages beginning of the research to the report completion. However,you and only you are responsible for the whole project from problem formulation to doing the actualresearch to writing the results of the research. Faculty guides are only facilitators. 2
  3. 3. 4. Style and Format of the Draft Research Report4.1 Simple things to remember and follow while preparing your research Report:  Print or type using a 12 point standard font, Times New Roman.  Text should be 1.5 spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1 inch margins, single sided  Although there is no prescribed page or word limit for a research paper, there should be a minimum of 4000 words (Excluding Title page, Acknowledgements, Abstract, Table of Contents, Tables, Figures, References and Appendices).  Papers should be paginated. Number pages consecutively.  A heading (or subheading) should appear when you are discussing something different. 4.1.1 Tips to follow while writing the text: o Stay focused on the research topic of the paper o Present your points in logical order o Use simple and short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Help the reader to understand your points o Avoid informal wording. Too many jargons should be avoided o Always try to use the active voice o Use paragraphs to separate each important point (except for the abstract) o American OR British English (do not switch in the paper)  Provide bibliographies or reference lists at the end of the report. Follow one particular style throughout.4.1.2 Mistakes to avoid:  Placing a heading at the bottom of a page with the following text on the next page (insert a page break!) . Dividing a table or figure - confine each figure/table to a single page5. Steps involved in undertaking Research Project 5.1.1 Literature Review: A section that traces the development of the present research issue historically by examining the earlier research (literature) on the same. Specifically, it is a critical analysis of the existing literature, divergent approaches to derive the present research question/problem. In this section, show how your research builds on prior knowledge by presenting and evaluating what is already known about your research problem. Assume that the readers possess a broad knowledge of the field, but not the cited articles, books and papers. Discuss the findings of works that are pertinent to your specific research issue. You usually will not need to elaborate on methods. The goal of the introduction and literature review is to demonstrate “the logical continuity between previous and present work” (American Psychological Association [APA], 1994, p. 11). This does not mean you need to provide an exhaustive historical review. Analyze the relationships among the related studies instead of presenting a series of seemingly unrelated abstracts or annotations. 3
  4. 4. 5.1.2 Rationale, Research Question/Objectives: A presentation of your rationale for taking a particularproblem as research issue, recommending a particular approach or course of action. Specify your majorobjectives.5.1.3 Methodology: The method section includes separate descriptions of the sample and the procedures.These are subtitled and may be augmented by further sections, if needed.The design of the study, whether it is a case study, a survey, a controlled experiment, a meta-analysis, orsome other type of research, is conveyed through the procedures subsection of method section.In the sample subsection, describe your sample with sufficient detail so that it is clear what population(s)the sample represents if your research is based on primary data.A description of your instruments, including all surveys, tests, questionnaires, interview forms, and othertools used to provide data, should appear in this section. Evidence of reliability and validity of theinstrument should be presented.5.1.4 Results: Present a summary of what you found in the results section. Here you should describe thetechniques that you used, each analysis and the results of each analysis.With today’s availability of statistical packages for example, SPSS (Statistical Package for SocialScience research), it is fairly easy to use very sophisticated techniques (e.g., regression analysis) toanalyze your data. Understand the techniques you are using and the statistics that you are reporting. Tryto use the simplest, appropriate technique for which you can meet the underlying assumptions.For most research reports, the results should provide the summary details about what you found. Usecarefully planned tables, figures and graphs. While tables and graphs should be self-explanatory, do notinclude a table or graph unless it is discussed in the report. Limit them to those that help the readerunderstand your data as they relate to the investigated problem.5.1.5 Discussion/ Conclusion: Conclusion ties ideas together and synthesizes the information broughtout in the paper. The objective here is to provide an interpretation of your results and support for all ofyour conclusions, using evidence from your research and generally accepted knowledge, if appropriate.In this section, discuss and interpret your data for the reader, tell the reader of the implications of yourfindings and make recommendations. Do not be afraid to state your opinions. The significance offindings should be clearly described.One wise way to begin the discussion section is by highlighting key results. Return to the specificproblem you investigated and tell the reader what you now think and why. Relate your findings to thoseof previous studies, by explaining relationships and supporting or disagreeing with what others havefound. Describe your logic and draw your conclusions. However, do not over generalize your results.Your conclusions should be warranted by your study and your data. 4
  5. 5. 5.1.6 Limitations and Future Research Directions: Often this section is embedded in the discussionsection. However, one can take the liberty to put it under a different heading.Be sure to recognize the limitations of your study. Try to anticipate the questions a reader will have andsuggest what problems should be researched next in order to extend your findings into new areas or tothe next level RPII.5.1.7 References/ Literature Cited: Please note that you will be required to properly document sourcesof all of your information. One reason is that your major source of information is existing literature(journal articles, books, news paper articles, website resources) on which your work is based. Youshould cite any articles that your faculty supervisor provides or that you find for yourself and you referfor preparing the particular report. All references cited in the report should be listed in the referencesection.5.1.8 (i) Tips to Cite Literature The literature you cite should be appropriate and academic. Newspapers and magazines are not considered appropriate literature but can in some cases represent a source of empirical data or public opinion. Periodicals and books addressing practitioners and encyclopaedia or reference books (except for selected definitions) are not considered appropriate literature either. Publications from associations and corporations (in particularly those published on the web) need to be considered with care. Only some of them stand up to scientific scrutiny. Wikipedia entries are NOT considered academic references. List all literature cited in your paper, in alphabetical order, by first author. All reference of journal papers should have at least author name, year, title of the paper, journal name, volume, issue (if any), and page numbers. Be cautious about using web sites as references - anyone can put just about anything on a web site, and you have no sure way of knowing if it is truth or fiction. It is difficult to evaluate the usefulness and usability of internet sources. Therefore, you have to consider the following issues: o Provide the full and correct web address (URL) to allow for further enquiry. o Indicate author, title, publication date and publication type (the publication date equals the date of creation or update). o Indicate when you retrieved the information (access date) as changes may have been made to the document afterwards. o Internet page needs to be accessible, identified and verifiable. 5
  6. 6. 5.1.9 (ii) Examples of Citing ReferencesFor Journal ArticlesBrown, DL., & Tanden, R. 1983. Ideology and political economy in inquiry: action research andparticipatory research. Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 19, 277-294For BooksCarroll, L., 1999. Alice in Wonderland, London; North-South Books.For - accessed 21stFebruary 20076.1.11 Appendices (if necessary): Any extra information including tables, questionnaires used for primarydata collection etc. should be given as appendices in the end of the report.6. Making the Final Draft  EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!!!  Correct spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors. Proofread before submitting your draft. (Poorly edited and proofread papers show lack of care, and will turn off the reader/evaluator.)7. Submission of Research ProjectSubmit the final and corrected draft of your research paper on or before the deadline in printed form.However, you need to submit the electronic copy of the same in both essentially in word (.doc, .rtf, .docx)and .pdf form in a CD with your name, roll number and year/semester clearly written on it.  Please ensure that the files are correctly saved in the CD and are not corrupted.  Always keep a copy of your report on your PC/Laptop/Email as a back up.8. Evaluation of Research Project Report 8.1 Antipiracy CheckingThere cannot be more serious misconduct in academic writing than Plagiarism. Using the language andthoughts of another author and representing them as ones own original work is called as plagiarism. In orderto check your academic integrity, your report will be checked through anti-plagiarism software. Suitablepunishments will be given to those who resort to such practices of lifting others’ work and reporting it asown without quoting the source. Remember your grading largely depends on your creativity, effort andcontribution. 8.2 Formal requirementsThe formal requirements of a research report as discussed should be considered as the basis o of preparingthe research report as well as evaluation of the same although their fulfillment does not automatically lead toa positive grade. NOT meeting these standards, however, definitely results in downgrading or a negativeevaluation. 6
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  8. 8. Sample Research Project Title Page TYPE TITLE HERE Research Project Presented to MPSTME, NMIMSIn Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree (Type in degree to be received - example: MBA Tech) By (Name) (Roll No) Year of Graduation (e.g. 2010) 8
  9. 9. Sample Research Project Table of Contents TABLE OF CONTENTS PageTITLE PAGE iACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iiABSTRACT iiiTABLE OF CONTENTS ivLIST OF TABLES vCHAPTER I 1I. INTRODUCTION 1  Statement of the Problem  Purpose of the Study  Significance of the Study  MethodologyII. REVIEW OF LITERATURE 5II. METHODOLOGY 15  Procedures  Participants  InstrumentationIV. ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY DATA 20V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 30  Summary  Conclusions  Recommendations 9