CONCLUSION: GETTING AN OVERALL PICTURE

Format of Research Proposal and Thesis

In the finalization of a research proposal and thesis a researcher has to consider the format.

a) Proposal

In a proposal the structure is as follows:

  1. Cover Page — This page consists of the following:
  • Title — The title should not be more than twenty words. It should be clear and focused.
  • Author(s) identification — This includes stating the author(s) full names and the name of the department
  • Caption — A research proposal submitted for the degree of (specify e.g. Master of Education) in the School or Faculty of, then specify the institution e.g. Kenyatta University.
  • Date e.g. (August, 2005).
  • The cover page therefore has full title, and the sub-title if any, of the research work; the name of the author; a statement about the degree programme under which the dissertation is submitted; the date of submission.
  1. Declaration

This is the immediate page after the cover page. The declaration is made the student and the supervisor. This is as follows:

  • Student’s Declaration — “This proposal is my original work and has not been presented for a degree in any other university.”

Then the student signs above his/her name, indicates the registration number and date.

  • Signature……………………………………………….. Date………………………………………….
  • Name: Magdalene Cheptoo Limo
  • Registration number: E22/7623/2001 –
  • Supervisor(s) Declaration — “This proposal has been submitted for review with my/our approval as University supervisor(s).”

Then the supervisors, beginning with the main supervisor, sign and indicate their respective departments. This is as follows:

Signature………………………………………………..  Date………………………………………….

Dr Delno L. A. Tromp

Department of Business Administration

 

  1. Abstract

This is immediately after the declaration page. It summarizes the entire proposal, pointing out the research problem, the objectives of the study and methods of data analysis. The abstract should not exceed 500 words.

 

  1. Abbreviations and Acronyms

This section comes immediately after the abstract. This section should be included in the proposal only if it is applicable.

 

  1. Table of Contents

This section indicates the chapter and sections. It lists the chapter and section headings with their corresponding page numbers. In proposals three main chapters are indicated. These are as follows:

  1. Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

1.2 Statement of the Problem

1.3 Purpose and Objective of the Study

1.4 Research Questions and Hypothesis

1.5 Significance of the Study

1.6 Limitations of the Study

1.7 Assumptions of the Study

1.8 Conceptual/Theoretical Framework

1.9 Definition of Terms

 

  1. Chapter 2: Literature Review

This section consists of highlights of current studies that address the issues in the proposal. Clear gaps in quoted studies should be indicated.

 

  1. Chapter 3: Methodology

This chapter highlights the methodology appropriate to the study. This includes the following:

3.1 Research Design

3.2 Location of the Study

3.3 Target Population

3.4 Sample Selection

3.5. Research Instruments

3.6 Data Collection Techniques

3.7 Data Analysis

  1. References
  2. Appendices

 

b) Thesis

The thesis is written after the collection and analysis of data. tt consists of the following

  1. Cover Page

This page is similar to the proposal in the title and author’s identification. However the caption changes to: A research thesis submitted for the degree of (specify e.g. Master of Education) in the School or Faculty of .. . .then specify the institution e.g. University of Nairobi. Then the date e.g. (August, 2005).

  1. Declaration

This is similar to the proposal except that the word proposal is replaced with thesis. This is as follows:

  • Student’s Declaration — “This thesis is my original work and has not been presented for a degree in any other university.”

Then the student signs above his/her name, indicates the registration number and date.

  • Signature……………………………………………. Date…………………………………………..

Name: Magadalene Cheptoo Limo

  • Registration number: E22/7623/2001
  • Supervisor(s) Declaration — “I/we confirm that the work reported in this thesis was carried out the candidate under my/our supervision as University supervisor(s) This proposal has been submitted for review with my/our approval as University supervisor(s).”

 

Then the supervisors, beginning with the main supervisor, sign and indicate their respective departments. This is as follows:

Signature…………………………………………………… Date…………………………………………..

Dr Demo L. A. Tromp

Department of Business Administration

  1. Dedication

This statement should not exceed 25 words. It should be on a separate page.

  1. Acknowledgement

This section should not exceed 150 words and should be on its own page. 

  1. Abstract

This should not exceed 500 words. It should consist of the precise summary of the thesis including the objectives, methodology used, findings and recommendations

  1. Abbreviations and Acronyms

This section comes immediately after the abstract. Explain all abbreviations and acronyms as used in the entire thesis. 

  1. Table of Contents

This section begins on a new page. As in the proposal, it indicates all the chapter and section headings with their corresponding page numbers. 

  1. Chapters 1-3

Chapters 1-3 have content and form similar to that in the proposal.. However the future tense used in the proposal changes to past tense. Chapter two and three of the thesis are similar to the proposal apart from the tense used.

  1. Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Discussion

This chapter interprets and explains the findings with regard to the study objectives.

  1. Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

In this chapter, a summary of the study and implication of the main findings are given. Conclusion and recommendations are given. Areas that need further research are also suggested.

  1. References

This section lists the references that have been cited in the thesis. It gives credit to any authors the researcher referred to. Good referencing allows readers to check, the foundations of the researcher’s additions to the structure of knowledge in the discipline. This enhances work reliability. Good referencing also tells the reader which parts of the thesis are descriptions of previous knowledge and which parts are the researcher’s additions to that knowledge.

 

  1. Appendices

This presents research instruments, charts, graphs, illustrations, etc.

 

Proposal and Thesis Presentation Format

The presentation format for the thesis is similar to that of the proposal.

  1. The thesis must be prepared using a word processor using the Times Roman or Anal 12-point typeface. It should be double spaced and printed on one side of the paper.
  2. The text should be justified.
  3. A 50mm margin should be left on the left side of the paper and a 25 mm on the right side margin of the paper. Typing should begin 40mm from the top of the paper and should not go beyond 25mm from the bottom of the page.
  4. All references must be complete and consistently applied in the format indicated in chapter 7.
  5. All figures must be produced using a computer graphics package and have figure number and title.
  6. Gender-specific words should be avoided. Words like author, researcher, and engineer, for example, should be used instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’.
  7. Pagination: The preliminaries (title page, declarations and abbreviations) should be numbered in Roman numerals lower cases (e.g. i, ii. iii.. ..)
  8. The text, chapter 1 to appendixes should be numbered using Arabic numerals. The number should appear in the center of the upper margin of the page.
  9. Language Used: In writing the thesis, past tense should be used. This is mainly because the author is reporting what has already been carried out and completed.

 

Guidelines in Thesis Presentation

Various chapters of the thesis must be linked together in a coherent manner. One of the techniques to achieve smooth flow of contents in a thesis is to maintain a thread between adjoining chapters. The author should ensure that each section within a chapter leads on to the subsequent section, and paragraphs of sections are connected to each other. A common practice is to use “joining” words or sentences, particularly at the end and beginning of each chapter. A joining sentence at the end of a chapter tells the reader what to expect, while one at the beginning of a chapter reminds the reader of the contents of the previous chapter.

 

When making calculations in a thesis, the author should define all variables (include units where applicable) and justify all simplifying assumptions. The author should be fastidious in describing experimental, simulation and test conditions. In compiling thesis material, the author should not presume that the reader knows what he/she is trying to do or are familiar with the techniques that one is employing.

 

Material that does not contribute directly to the discussion, argument, or development of a theme or idea in a thesis interrupts flow. Such material should be excluded. If, for the sake of completeness, the author wishes to include these materials, then they should be placed in an Appendix and referred to in the main text.

 

In writing a thesis, the author should avoid one sentence paragraphs. Too many of these paragraphs will result in a page having numerous gaps. This will impact a feeling of discontinuity with the content. The author should also avoid long sentences. Long sentences are difficult to read, and can obscure an otherwise simple explanation. The author should try to keep sentence length to less than two lines. Appropriate use should be made of punctuation. Punctuation breaks a sentence into readable chunks, reduces ambiguity, and can increase effect and emphasis. However, punctuation should be carefully applied since it can change the meaning of a sentence.

 

The repeated use of words can make a thesis difficult, if not boring, to read. The author should use a thesaurus to get synonyms to introduce variety. The author should make sure that they are used in the proper context. In compiling a thesis, bombastic words should be avoided. Explanations using commonly encountered words are more effective than pompous sounding but rarely used vocabulary. Presentation also plays an important part in giving the impression of smooth flowing content.

 

Rough Draft

It is important to create a rough draft before the final copy. The rough draft should include any critical components including thesis, supporting statements, facts and conclusions. It is often helpful to have someone other than the supervisor read some sections of the draft, particularly the introduction and conclusion chapters.

 

Revise and Amend

One should revise the proposal/thesis. The author should proofread to check for spelling errors and be sure the cited information was well documented.

 

Proposal/Thesis Defense

In most institutions one has to defend one’s proposal/thesis. This at times lasts for an hour. The thesis defense is like an examination in some ways. However, the main difference is that the candidate usually knows more about the topic than do the examiners. Some questions will be sincere questions: because he/she does not know and expects that the candidate will be able to rectify this. Students often expect questions to be difficult and attacking, and answer them accordingly. Often the questions will be much simpler than expected.. The use of the phrase “That’s a good question” is exceedingly useful. It flatters the person asking and may get him/her onside, or less offside; it gives the author time to think; it implies that one has understood the question and assessed it already and that one has probably thought about it before. If necessary, it can be followed a bit more stalling “Now the answer to that is not obvious/straightforward…” which has the same advantages.

If during defense, some questioner found a question that put something in the research in doubt the first thing would be to concede that the question imposes a serious limitation on the applicability of the work, “Well you have identified a serious limitation in this technique, and the results have to be interpreted in the light of that observation.” The questioner is then more likely to back off and even help answer it, whereas a straight denial may encourage him/her to pursue more ardently. The researcher should go through the argument in details-  showing listeners how serious it is while giving oneself time to find f1aws in it or to limit the damage that will ensue.

 

It is relatively common that a. panel will ask one (or more) questions that, whatever the actual wording may be, are essentially an invitation to the author to tell them (briefly) what is important, new and good in one’s proposal/thesis. One should not stumble at this stage. The author should be able to defend his/her work and be prepared to extend if invited for further questions. The defender should always keep calm.

 

REFERENCES

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_________(1991). The New ineai.ing of educational change (2nd ed.). London: Cassell

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__________(1992). Beyond guaranteed outcomes: Creating a discourse of praxis.

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Theses

Ambia, C. N. (2003). Access and retention of girls in primary education, Wajir

district, North Eastern province, Kenya. Nairobi: Kenyatta University, M. Ed.

Thesis, Unpublished.

Buluku, E. A. (2003). An assessment of the adequacy of school meals in meeting

nutritional requirements of girls in boarding secondary schools in Nairobi.

Nairobi: Kenyatta University, M. Ed Thesis, unpublished.

Gakif, C. (2003). Pre-school teacher factors that influence the teacher-child

relationships in Miriga Mieru division, Meru district, Kenya. Nairobi:

Kenyatta University, M. Ed. Thesis, Unpublished.

Kamonji, V. W. (2003). An investigation of resources zvomen farmers use to enhance

household food security: A case study of Embu district, Kenya. Nairobi:

Kenyatta University, M. A. Thesis, Unpublished.

Kathari, L. N. (2002). Students perceptions of the marriage institution: A survey of

selected colleges in Embu, Kenya. I’Jairobi: Kenyatta University, M. Ed. Thesis,

Unpublished.

Kombo, D. K. (2004). Girl parents in secondary schools in Kenya: An examination of

pre and post pregnancy performance. Nakuru: Egerton University, Unpublished.

__________(2004). Girl-parents in secondary schools in Kenya: An evaluation of pre

and post pregnancy performance: A preliminary proposal submitted to the Spencer Foundation, Chicago.

Kwamboka, E. M. (2003). Factors affecting food selection, intake and nutritional

status of the elderly in Mathare slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Nairobi: Kenyatta

University, M. Sc. Thesis, Unpublished.

Lekalgitele, S. M. (2003) Socio-economic, cultural and school based factors affecting

the aspiration for higher education of Santhuru girls in secondary schools, Samburu district. Nairobi: Kenyatta University, M. Ed. Thesis, Unpublished.

Maingi, S. G. (2003). An examination of the prevalence of typhoid in provincial and

selected district hospitals in Kenya. Nairobi: Kenyatta University, M. Sc.

Thesis, Unpublished.

Mbuthia, S. W. (2003). Farming related transport needs and provisions in Mwea

Tebere irrigation Scheme, Kirinyaga District, Kenya. Nairobi: Kenyatta

University, M. Sc. Thesis, Unpublished.

Muigai, T. M. (2003). Corporate Sector Marketing through sports in Kenya. Nakuru

Egerton University, MBA Thesis, Unpublished.

Ndwigah, R. K. (2003). A study of accident victims’ and drivers’ knowledge and

practices on road traffic accidents in Thika and Machakos Hospitals: Nairobi:

Kenyatta University, M. A. Thesis, Unpublished.

Njoroge, B (2003). Relationship between mathematical language and students’

performance in mathematics in public secondary schools in Nairobi province,

Kenya. Nairobi: Kenyatta University, M. Ed. Thesis, Unpublished.

Olembo, S. M. (2005) Factors influencing effective communication in event

Management services in Kenya: A case study of Safariquip Limited. Nairobi:

University of Nairobi, Unpublished.

Smyth, R. (2002). Knowledge, interest and the management of educational change.

Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, University of New England, Arn-iidale.

Were, K. (1999). Socio-economic constraints faced bar attendants in their

struggle to eke a living. Nakuru: Egerton University. Research Paper,

unpublished.

 

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