90% of the module assessment is based on the final 7,000 word Research Report written in the style of an academic journal article.
The article is based on: ‘What are the implications of Brexit on e-commerce businesses in the UK?’
Make sure you use secondary research for the information you’ll need for the article and write from a secondary research point of view.
Note that if you are using secondary data you must still carry out your own analysis of the data. Secondary research does not mean simply writing another literature review. If you collect quantitative secondary data you can use the methods of quantitative analysis covered below. If you collect qualitative secondary data (such as blogs, policies, Ted talk transcriipts) you can use the methods of qualitative analysis covered below.
Use simple english when writing the essay
What should my article include?
Your Research Project article should include the following elements:
Research questions, and/or aims and objectives*
Hypotheses (where applicable)*
Research design and methods*
Presentation and discussion of your findings*
Conclusions and recommendations*
Limitations and future research*
References (not a bibliography)
*Elements included in the word count.
What should each element include?
The Introduction should:
Describe the academic and/or practical context of your research. This should set the scene for your research and illustrate the value and relevance of your research.
Briefly state your methods of data collection.
Clearly state what you are going to explore through your research. What is your focus? What is your aim? What question do you seek to answer?
Describe how your research relates, or adds, to existing academic research and/or practice.
Provide a brief summary of your main findings or contributions.
Explain (briefly) how your article is structured.
You will be given further guidance on writing your introduction under the tab ‘Your guide to writing up’.
The Literature Review should establish what has already been covered in relation to your topic. It should:
Clearly demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the key issues, concepts and authoritative material relevant to the topic.
Critically evaluate a range of relevant literature.
Include an analyses of an appropriate theory/theories.
Clearly demonstrate how your research questions relate to the existing academic literature.
Include a conceptual or theoretical framework. The framework should bring together key concepts and/or theories discussed in your literature review and demonstrate how these relate to your research question.
You will be given further guidance on writing your Literature Review under the tabs ‘Week 2: Reviewing the Literature’ and ‘Week 4: The Literature Review’. Information on the Conceptual/Theoretical Framework can be found under the tab ‘Week 8: Conceptual Framework and Research Tools’. Your will find further guidance and examples under the tab ‘Your guide to writing up’.
Research Questions: This section should include your overall research question and any sub-questions/ aims, and objective. It should be clear from your introduction and the content and structure of the literature review how these relate and respond to existing literature.
You will be given further guidance on writing research questions in week 1-4
Hypotheses should be clearly outlined. Note that this section is only required if you are doing quantitative research and decide to use hypotheses in your research. Note that you should not have hypotheses and research sub-questions.
You will be given further guidance on writing hypotheses under the tab ‘Week 6: Research Design and Research Methods’.
The Research Methods should:
Outline your methodology
Justify your choice of methods.
Explain how data was collected and analysed.
Provide detail on data collected.
Outline any ethical issues and how these were mitigated.
You will learn about methodology and research methods in weeks 5-9. You will be given further guidance on writing your methods section under the tab ‘My guide to writing up’.
Your Findings and your analysis of them can be included in a single ‘findings’ section or divided into two separate sections (a ‘findings’ section and a ‘discussion’ section). Generally speaking, students who have collected qualitative data do the former, while students who have collected quantitative data do the latter – your supervisor will be able to advise you on the best approach for your project. In either case, you should:
Present and describe any relevant data.
Outline and discuss the findings that emerge from your data
Link your findings to existing literature and theory.
The data and findings that you present MUST answer your research question/s.
You will be given further guidance on writing your findings section under the tab ‘Your guide to writing up’
At the end of your project you should provide Conclusions and Recommendations. In this section you should:
Summarise the main findings of your research
State the contribution your findings make to academic literature and/or practice.
Outline any recommendations or implications for practice.
Finally, you need to discuss the limitations of your research and outline areas for future research.
You will be given further guidance on writing your conclusions, recommendations, limitations and future research under the tab ‘Your guide to writing up’
References should include a list of sources you have used and cited in your project. You should follow the Harvard referencing style. Please note that your reference list is not included in the word count but in-text citation (e.g. ‘Smith, 2009’) are included.
Further guidance citing and referencing can be found under Help and Guidance >Turnitin, Plagiarism and Referencing.
The appendices will vary depending on the nature of your project. As a minimum your appendices should include:
For primary research: a copy of the interview/focus group/questionnaire questions and/or observation guides used during data collection.
For secondary research: your secondary data plan.
A sample of your data. This might be a sample transcriipt, a complete questionnaire, and/or observation notes. Please note that all identifying information should be removed. If you have carried out secondary research please include a list of secondary sources used (this should be covered in your secondary data plan).
Illustrative examples of your analysis process. This might include (for example) highlighted transcriipts (with any identifying information, such as participants’ or organisations’ names, removed), tables showing your themes and related quotes, worked examples of quantitative analysis.
A completed and signed ethics form.
Any participant information sheets and blank consent forms. Please note that you should not include completed consent forms.
A copy of your supervision record.
How should the article be presented?
Your project must start with the correct NBS Research Project Front Cover. You do not need to include a title page. You should not include a contents page
The project should be typed in Verdana size 10 using 1.5-line spacing. Bold, underlined or italicised text should be used for headings and subheadings.
All pages should be numbered consecutively beginning with the first page of the introduction.
References should be in the Harvard Style.
In general, you should aim to keep your presentation clear and simple, avoiding any superfluous decoration or embellishment. Any images or colour (including coloured headings) should only be included because they are essential to your narrative.
Research Project word count
The purpose of the word count is to: support your writing development by encouraging a focus on clarity and conciseness; provide experience of writing to a specified word limit, which is common practice in professional and research environments; support equity in grading work from different individuals.
What is the maximum word count?
The maximum available word count for your article is 7,000 words. This is the maximum word count. You may be able to demonstrate that you have met all the intended learning outcomes with fewer words. Please note that you no longer have the leeway of +/- 10%, but assignments of significantly less than 7,000 words will have difficulty in meeting all the learning outcomes.
What does the word count include?
The available word count includes the main text, starting from the first word of the introduction and ending with the last word of the conclusion (see what should my article include above). In-text citation, headings and sub-heading, and quotations (including quotes from your participants) are all included in the word count.
The word count does not include:
The NBS Research Project Front Cover
Tables and figures. However, please note that tables should only be used where they serve as the most appropriate format. They should not normally exceed 250 words and should not be included as images. Tables should not be used simply to reduce the main body text to within the maximum word count. If a marker considers a table to have been used in this way you may incur a penalty.
There is no definitive guide on the number of words per section but advice on this has been provided below.
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