In writing the final year project, Students at times find it difficult to document their findings properly. In every research project, chapter four is the heart of the research work and sometimes, supervisors do not even start the reading of the research work from chapter one, but they jump to chapter four because that is the chapter that tells the reader all that was done, the instrument you used, how you analyzed your data and finally your findings.
The purpose of this chapter four in your final year project is to summarize the collected data and the statistical treatment, and or mechanics of analysis. The first paragraph should briefly restate the problem, taken from Chapter one, and explain the object of each experiment, question, or objective, point out salient results, and present those results by the table, figure, or other forms of summarized data. Select tables and figures carefully. Some studies are easier to defend if all the raw data is in this chapter; some are better if the bulk of the raw data is in an appendix.
Also, read this article - Step By Step Guide To Write A Good Research ProposalChapter four of a Qualitative Research work carries different titles such as ‘Analysis of Data’, ‘Results of Study’, ‘Analysis and Results’ and so forth but the keywords are ‘analysis’ and ‘results’ which implies that you have ‘analyzed’ the raw data and presenting the ‘results’ or what you discovered in the fieldwork carried out, in this Chapter.
Studies have shown that a greater number of students always find it difficult to document their findings correctly. You may have done a good job writing Chapter one (Introduction), Chapter two (Literature Review), and Chapter three (Methodology) with such clarity and end up making a mess of Chapter four (Findings and Data Analysis).
Since chapter four is the heart of your research work and if your supervisor does not start the reading of your work from chapter one, but jump to chapter four which you have spent so much time collecting and analyzing data but do a poor job of reporting the results of the findings.
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Alternatively, after collecting all the data and your presentation of your results lack organization and clarity, your reader would struggle by trying to figure out what you have written, and by this, you’ve just wasted your precious time and possibly the cost of compiling the chapter.
Chapter four should ‘stand-alone:
what does this mean?
This means that you could ask a friend to read it and he or she would understand what you discovered in your study without having to read Chapters one to three.
For you to achieve this, your chapter four should be aligned to the purpose of the study, the research questions, why the study was important, how it connects to the underlying theories, literature review, and reflective of the conceptual framework. Chapter four is the culmination of your study and represents your best thinking and how you answered the research question you had formulated and stated in chapter one of the research project.
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A good researcher should begin this chapter with two or three introductory paragraphs. A transition from chapter three is very important too. The researcher should also provide a very brief review of the overall research design. It is not necessary to list all of the secondary questions and hypotheses at the beginning of the chapter, but the introductory section of the chapter should focus the reader’s attention on the primary research question and hypothesis.
Don’t border detailing everything, the bulk of the chapter will consist of the presentation of findings for the secondary questions and hypotheses set forth in Chapter three.
In quantitative research, the results usually begin with a description of the sample, For example, the sample size, description of participants who were excluded, and why the handling of missing data.
Also, the descriptive statistics. For example, frequencies and percentages for categorical variables, means, standard deviations, and ranges for continuously measured variables are presented, and normality of continuously measured variables is usually presented.
Address each hypothesis in turn, presenting a description of the analysis that was computed to address each hypothesis and the results of that analysis. State whether the null hypothesis was rejected.
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Do not repeat in tedious prose that it is obvious for a knowledgeable peer to see at a glance. The dissertation advisor usually has an opinion about the level of detail needed in this chapter. Table titles and figure captions should be understandable without reading the chapter text.
Note all relevant results, even those that were contrary to the alternative hypotheses, or those that tend to distract from clear determinations.
Chapter Four Table Of Content
- Introduction to the Chapter.
- A transition from chapter three. (Very important)
- Provide a brief overview of the research project: as I stated earlier, chapter four should be able to stand alone, this means it should be presented in such a way that one can read it and understand everything about your study, this means that a BRIEF overview of the research project is very important in this chapter.
- Describe the purpose of the chapter.
- Explain the organization of the chapter.
- Data Analyses and Presentation of the Findings: this is the heart of this chapter, the presentation of the findings should be very concise and clear, make sure that you present it in such a way that even a layman can understand it.
- State null hypothesis.
- Present the statistical results in a table.
- Draw statistical conclusions for accepted and rejected hypotheses.
- Draw a preliminary research conclusion
- Conclusion and Transition to Chapter Five
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