Assignment 4 Notes and Instructions
Associate Professor Martin Young
Assignment 4: Research Project Report
Due: Week 12 – Friday 25th May 2018
Length: 1500 words (+/- 10%)
Mainly Topics 4-9, but also includes some elements discussed in Topic 2 (ethical considerations and problem statement/objectives)
Late submission will lose 5% per day
Assignment extensions need to be applied for via special consideration procedures
These are now eforms submitted via ‘My Enrolment’
For details on special consideration visit http:
You are required to prepare a report that will set out how you will go about answering the research question developed in Assignment 2.
The report will map out a research design - techniques you will use to convincingly address the research question.
Your report will describe and justify the decisions you have made for your research design, data collection methods, sample selection, ethical considerations and data analysis techniques.
The proposal report also involves the development of a Qualtrics survey which you need to design and include whether you choose to develop a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method of survey and/or interview questions.
Your research proposal should address the following criteria (and use these headings in your Research Project Report):
1. Problem Statement and Research Objectives – state your problem statement and research objectives at the start of your research proposal report so your lecturer can refer to these when reviewing your proposal.
Use the feedback from assignment 2 to improve these
A problem statement is a concise statement of the purpose of your study – be specific
Grammar and expression heavily scrutinised here
To find the sub objectives you need to identify the steps required to fulfill your problem statement
Use instruction words like describe, examine, explore…
Should reflect the scope of the project – geographic, temporal, demographic
Make sure that the sub objectives are relevant to solve the overall ‘problem’
Tips for problem statement and research objectives
2. Research design – explain and justify the methodological approach you propose to guide your research proposal using relevant literature.
Tips for the research design section
ief discussion of research design at the 3 levels
Core function (pure vs applied research)
Information requirements (exploratory, descriptive, explanatory research etc)
Methodology (quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research)
Good papers do justify their design choices with appropriate academic references
3. Data Collection Methods – explain and justify the methods you propose for data collection and data management using relevant literature.
Tips for the data collection methods section
You may compare/contrast your selected methods with other methods that you did not select for your research project (explain why) by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods available
Based on this discussion, explain and justify the particular data collection methods/techniques that you selected to apply in your research project
Make sure to support your explanation/justification with evidence from the academic literature using appropriate academic references (e.g. research methodology books and/or academic journal articles)
Remember, if your choose a mixed methods approach for A3 and use Qualtrics you can use other methods in addition to this, if you wish, and it fits with your problem statement/objectives, e.g. observation)
Tips for the data collection methods section
Methods commonly used for quantitative research include:
Surveys (household, street/intercept, telephone, mail, on-site, we
e-surveys, captive group, organisation)
Methods commonly used for qualitative research include:
4. Qualtrics Survey – design and include your Qualtrics survey and/or interview format and explain and justify the questions and style of questions you use with respect to collecting appropriate data to address your objectives.
Tips for the Qualtrics survey section
Include your Qualtrics questionnaire as an Appendix in your Assignment 3 (export it into Word from Qualtrics)
In this section in the body of your assignment, you need to explain and justify why you use particular types of questions in order to address your problem statement and objectives, such as:
Open-ended vs closed/pre-coded questions
Multiple choice questions
Fill in the blanks
Justify your choice with reference to the levels of measurement (i.e. nominal, ordinal, interval and ration)
5. Sample Selection – explain and justify the sample selection process relevant to your research proposal.
Tips for the sample selection section
In the sampling section you must:
State whether you are using probability or non-probability sampling
Justify this choice using appropriate references
You should explain explicitly why your selected sampling techniques are suitable for your study
Good idea to include a paragraph on the sampling procedures that could be applied to your study – noting their advantages and disadvantages
ow down to the ones you have selected and justify your choice with a reference or two
E.g. Neuman XXXXXXXXXXstated that stratified sampling was appropriate under such and such circumstances, therefore stratified sampling has been selected for the present study…
Tips for the sample selection section
Specifically, you need to address:
What is your research population
What is your target population
What is your sampling procedure (simple random, stratified, convenience, purposive etc.)
How big will your sample be?
For your quantitative sample, I will expect a number based on, for example, Neuman’s guidelines (see Power Point slides from Topic 7)
For your qualitative sample, while you can estimate an approximate number, it is sufficient to justify your sample size here refe
ing to the point of saturation
6. Data Analysis Techniques – explain and justify how you would propose to analyse and present the data collected.
Tips for the data analysis techniques section
You should discuss:
What forms of analysis you will apply to your data (univariate, bivariate – frequency counts, central tendency, scatterplots etc.)
You are advised to explain which variables will be subject of univariate analysis and which will be bivariate.
How you will present your analysed data (e.g. frequency tables, bar graphs, pie charts etc.)
Justify your choices – e.g. ‘frequency tables are suitable for presenting nominal data’ (Smith, 1999, p. 45)
Remember to explain/justify data analysis of both your survey and your interviews
7. Ethical Considerations – explain how you would consider the ethical issues associated with the research proposal.
Tips for the Ethical Considerations Section
Briefly outline how your project will be ethically conducted:
How you will obtain informed consent
The risks to participants in your study, and how you will protect them from those risks (mostly to do with privacy)
How the anonymity of participants will be maintained
How will collected data be reported and stored?
8. Provide a reference list (Harvard) for any reference sources you use to justify your final research proposal.
Good papers include a variety of academic references to justify decisions made in relation to the research proposal (A3 required 5 references, so I would propose that 5 is the minimum for A4 as well – however, HDs and Ds may require more references than this)
Your Assignment 3 will be marked based on the following criteria
Criteria Marks %
Research design 20
Data collection methods 20
Qualtrics survey 10
Sample selection 10
Ethical considerations 10
Proposed data analysis techniques 10
Presentation and clarity of the report 10
Referencing quality and list 10
Total % marks 100
Format of Assignment 3
Problem Statement and Research Objectives
Data Collection Methods
Qualtrics Survey explanation
Data Analysis Techniques
Word limit and assignment sections
The cover sheet, title page, reference list, and appendices are not included in the 1500 word limit
The following 7 sections are included in the 1500 word limit: Problem Statement and Research Objectives, Research Design, Data Collection Methods, Qualtrics Survey, Sample Selection, Ethical Considerations, and Data Analysis Techniques
Use headings co
esponding with the required sections above within your assignment
It is up to you whether you would like to number your sections or not (1, 2, 3 etc. – 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc. if you use subsections) but it is a useful tool
At least 2.5 cm margins
Insert page numbers
Use 3rd person (instead of writing ‘I’, refer to yourself as ‘the researcher’ or similar term)
More details of in UIG
Reference Style: Harvard
The required reference style for this unit is the Harvard style
Click on the ‘Topic 3’ folder and upload the referencing chapter from Summers and Smith’s XXXXXXXXXXCommunication Skills Handbook
It provides you with examples and everything you need to know about the Harvard referencing style
Make sure that your referencing is consistent
Focus on the marking criteria of the assignment – this is your guide to ensure that you have included all necessary elements into the assignment that you will be marked on
Start early – last minute assignments written the night before the due date seldom obtain a high grade