research methods

Assessment two – Individual project guidelines

Written Report – total 60%

LENGTH: 1500 words (+/- 10%)
EXCLUDING title and contents page, bibliography and appendices
REPORT DUE DATE: Week 12 – Friday Dec. 4th (23.59 or before)

Topic requirements:

Working individually, you will either prepare a business report on a new topic of interest to you, OR you will continue working on the topic from Assignment 1.
If you choose the former option, first select a research question. Your tutor will help you with this. It should be related to business and organisational life.
For this assessment, you are expected to collect primary empirical data. Write up your research by using the guidelines given below. You should also look at the marking criteria (see below) to see what is expected from each section of the proposal and the balance between sections. Be aware that most of the marks for this report are awarded for the analysis and conclusions you research.

The content of your report
• Title page (including name of all group members, date of submission, course, title of course work)
• Introduction – this short section should offer rationale for your chosen topic.
• Report topic/question. Aims and objectives – These must be succinct, achievable and coherent.
• Literature review – a short review of the literature which sets out relevant concepts and ideas you plan to utilise in your empirical study. You should include 5 academic sources in this section.
• Methodology/methods – short methodology section focusing primarily on research design. Briefly outline the population, sampling and research methods. Also state your proposed data analysis technique.
• Findings and analysis
• Conclusions

N.B –data collection is necessary for this piece of work.
Formatting advice

• Sub-headings should be used to separate main sections
• Sources of all research information must be clearly cited in the text. You are expected to use the Harvard referencing style. All sources of ideas other than your own in the report must be properly cited
• A separate references list must be included, with entries in alphabetical order
• Appendices are also allowed
• Text must be written in clear English
• Finished assignment will be well organized
• Finished assignments will demonstrate clear evidence of the group’s understanding of research methods and how they can be applied in practice

Presentation of the report
NB (The notes below refer to how the report looks. There is no oral presentation of this report in class).

• Reports must be word processed
• Line spacing: EITHER 1.5 lines OR double spaced
• Font: EITHER Ariel 12 OR Times New Roman 12
• Tables, charts and/or graphs may be used
• Reports must be spell checked
• Word count for the main text must be included


Not included in word count
• Title page (inc your name, date of submission, course, title of course work)
• Table of Contents

Approx. 200 – 300 words

The introduction should:
Briefly explain your topic and why you selected it; provide relevant background to the topic selected; state clearly the research aim/question and research objectives.

Approx.: 150 – 250 words

(10%) In this section, you are required to provide a brief review of relevant literature, i.e. what are the main issue (s) of contention, concept you will utilise in your empirical study.

Provide a correct in-text citations using Harvard Referencing style
Approx. 100 – 150 words
(10%) This needs briefly to explain the main steps in your primary research, including the research methods:
– E.g.using an experiment, a questionnaire, interviews, etc.,
And how they were gathered:
– E.g. in person, online, etc. and how they were sampled, randomly (with no sampling) in the street, or chosen for particular reasons, etc. etc.


Approx. 600 – 700 words

This section should present and evaluate your findings from the analysis of your primary data. For quantitative data (e.g. from a questionnaire survey), this should take the form of suitable tables or charts, accompanied by relevant analysis/interpretation.

For qualitative data (e.g. from semi-structured interviews), the content of the material needs to be evaluated using other suitable forms of analysis, eg category analysis.

It should also include comparisons with the literature where appropriate (eg are the comments in the LR supported or not?) and discussion of any unexpected/unique findings.

The results should be presented in an organised, logical and coherent manner.

Approx. 500 – 600 words

(30%) The conclusions should set out your findings on the research question/aim and objectives in relation to the RQ in the Introduction.

Your conclusions should be backed by evidence from your literature review and analysis of your primary data.

You may also identify any limitations to your study here.


(5%) Present your report in a way that demonstrates your professional approach to this assignment. Observe the word limit; show an effective organisation, logical structure and accurate referencing. Make sure you have good spelling and grammar and careful proofreading; make effective use of tables, graphs and appendices