An overview and structure of a research project

Sunday, February 5, 2023

An overview and structure of a research project

It might be shocking for some on seeing the caption of our write-up but trust me when I say there are many freshmen/women, second-year students as well as final-year students who are required to take the project-writing course but have no clue what research project is all about or even know its components or structure.


I was fortunate to have someone who was into research, so, I knew some things before time. Some of my friends and coursemates only had to know about it when we took the course (CST 318).

If you fall among those who had doubts seeing this topic, reconsider the fact that many have no clue about research until they get to the point where they have no option but to accept that research project is part of our academic practice while at the university level.


This alone drains students because they consider project writing to be the most stressful part when it comes to pursuing a degree.


The purpose of this article is to help fresh-year students or better still students at all levels in the university to have a clue of what researching project is all about and to prepare better before getting to carry out their own research. So, if you encounter this article, please endeavor to share it so that others can learn too.


For those who will take the bold step to share our article, thanks for being an agent of imparting knowledge. really appreciates it. This is coming from the innermost pendulum of our hearts.


Without wasting your time, what is research? You now know you have to conduct research in your final year in the university, but what is the definition of research?


Research simply refers to the systematic collection, organization, and analysis of evidence to increase understanding of a topic or to increase the stock of knowledge. To students, what does a research project means or entails?


What is a research project?

Relating to students, a research project refers to a systematic or scientific investigation to attain defined objectives or an extended essay that presents a question or statement for analysis and evaluation, or a scientific investigation to provide answers to a set of research questions or question.


It is worth noting that when you get to the level of carrying out your own research, you will be required to present your own ideas alongside analyzing existing knowledge. But, how will this work?


Well, your faculty would assign a lecturer who will be your supervisor until you complete the research writing process. Your supervisor will ask you to present three topics of your choice. Please endeavor to choose what interest you most because if you don’t, the whole process might be very stressful and boring.


Though some supervisors assign topics to students, in most cases, they ask students to submit their topics while they help to modify them in case the topic is poorly constructed. This pop up the question: How do I formulate a good research topic?


I will write an article on how to come up with a good research topic and what to consider when asked to submit your topic. For now, let us learn about the components of a research project.


 The components of a research project

In developing the content of your research project, there are certain guidelines you need to follow. The research work is divided into five chapters. Each chapter has a title and focus. You cannot move to the next chapter without completing the previous one.


In my opinion, the first chapter is the most difficult but if you successfully bypass this level, the rest are not difficult. The first pages found on the research project are known as “Preliminary pages”.

(1). Preliminary Pages

Preliminary pages are simply those pages that come before the main body of your project or research work. It comprises of:

  • Cover/Title page
  • Declaration
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figures
  • List of Abbreviations
  • List of Appendix

After the preliminary pages is chapter one of the research work.

(2). Chapter One

Chapter one of the research project is titled “INTRODUCTION”. Chapter one introduces your topic, and describes the background, scope, and objective of your research. What is the component of the first chapter?

  • The background of the study\introduction: The background of the study provides an in-depth overview of your topic of interest and it is discussed under four subheadings namely: Historical background, conceptual background, theoretical and contextual background.

  • The next is the statement of the problem. This is where you tell us what prompted you to choose this/that topic. It is due to problems that people find solutions right? This is where you raise your problem in order to propose a solution.

  • Objectives of the study that is further divided into specific and general objectives.
  • Research questions are further divided into main and specific research questions.
  • Research Hypotheses
  • Significance of the Study
  • Delimitation of the Study
  • Definition of Terms
  • Chapter Summary

(3). Chapter Two

Chapter two is captioned “LITERATURE REVIEW" and it covers three major sections namely conceptual review where you discuss the various indicators or objectives, the theoretical review which addresses the theories chosen by you that are related to your topic and finally the empirical review which compares your work with other existing work relating to your topic.

(4). Chapter Three

The title of chapter three is known as “RESEARCH METHODOLOGY”. The chapter presents the procedure and the processes used for the study as per the research design, area of study, the population of the study, sampling size and sampling technique, instrument of data collection, the return rate of the questionnaire, the method of data analysis, and ethical consideration.


Below are the various headings in this chapter

  • Research Design
  • Area of Study
  • Population of the Study
  • Sample and Sampling Technique
  • Research Instrument
  • Validity
  • Reliability
  • Administration of Questionnaires
  • Method of Data Analysis
  • Ethical consideration

Also Check: 

How to Write Abstract For A Research Paper

How to create an automatic table of contents for a research project work

(5). Chapter Four

It is titled “PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS”. Here, students are required to present the data they collected from the field. It simply tells us what people think about the subject of interest.


At the level of chapter four, students need the help of a data analyst to help analyze their findings with the use of statistical tools like Excel, SPSS, Python, R, Microsoft Power BI, etc.


Here, your findings are presented according to the various objective with the use of tables and charts like pie charts, bar, and histograms. In case you get to this level and you are in need of a data analyst, is at your disposal.


We render top-notch services and your satisfaction is our priority. This being said let us proceed to the next chapter.

(6). Chapter Five

It is titled “DISCUSSIONS CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS”. Here, students are required to interpret their findings. Yes, you went to the field and got data about your subject of interest but what are the various findings you got from the field saying?


You will discuss the findings according to your objectives. The components of this chapter include:

Discussion of findings. This is done by tackling the various objectives

  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • Limitations of the study
  • Suggestions for further studies
  • After the last chapter comes the referencing

(7). References

Note that whatever you wish to research, others had done it before that is why research is defined as the systematic or scientific presentation of facts to increase the understanding of a topic or to add the stock of knowledge.


In light of this, reference is the process of citing the numerous sources you employ to support or refute previously held beliefs about your project topic. It permits you to give credit to the writers and researchers from whom you borrowed words and ideas, thereby avoiding plagiarism.

The last part of the research project is the Appendices

(8). Appendices

This is where you get to display extra materials that were not included in the body of your work. The appendices can be made up of sample questionnaires, interview questions, figures, tables, maps, photographs, raw data, computer programs, musical examples, etc.  In project writing, students always present their sample questionnaires here.


In my faculty, for instance, we present the sample questionnaire and the letter of authorization we take from our faculty to present wherever we go to carry out our research without being restricted.

 Concluding remark

Congratulations to all those who have read to this level. Above is the structure and overview of a research project. It enlightens you about the whole research project without diving into detailed explanations of how to tackle the various chapters.


We will do that in subsequent articles. Let us know if you find this write-up interesting and informative to encourage us to do more. You can kindly do that in the comment section. I find this(Possible career paths for Advanced Level Subjects (Series) Combination in Cameroon) useful you can check it out. 

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