- Between 200-300 words max.
- Check out this link for info on how to write an informative
- Try to include in your opening a statement that clearly grabs the reader’s attention and gives a sense of why your research topic is important.
- Provide context to your research.
- In your introduction, it is recommended you flag upfront the relationship between your research topic and social work.
- Outline the purpose of your project report/research
- Signpost to the reader what you plan to include in your report/or the prosed structure
BACKGROUND [Lit review]
- This section needs to highlight the problem or concern that your research project aims to address (for example, this may be a gap in research, for others there may be a particular gap in services, or perhaps confusion about the role of social work). Please note, this will be different for everyone, based on your own unique research topic.
- Your background section of your project proposal needs to be comprehensive and draw extensively from literature. It is expected this section will be will supported by references.
- You are able to use the background literature that you presented in your concept paper, you will not be penalised in TurnitIn (there is no minimum/maximum turnitin score). Please note, the flexibility on TurnitIn scores does not mean you can plagiarise others’ work, you still need to paraphrase academic text and research in your own words.
- Your background needs to be comprehensive enough to clearly highlight why there is a need for your research. This is linked to assessment marks regarding rationale and a well thought out process of critical inquiry.
- The background section may be lengthy, but should not exceed the length of your findings and discussions sections.
- Make sure to incorporate feedback from your concept paper. Don’t be penalized for making the same mistakes twice!
- What is the intended goal of your research project? What are you hoping to achieve?
- Make sure this aligns with both social work values, but also the ‘gap in knowledge’ or ‘issue for investigation’ you have established in your background section of your report.
- Ideally, your research question should flow on from the gap/issue you have identified in your background literature review
- By answering your research question (in theory) you should be able to meet your research aims.
- Marks are allocated towards your research question and your capacity to then facilitate a well thought out process of inquiry. PLEASE TAKE ONBOARD FEEDBACK GIVEN TO YOU during your concept paper and presentation regarding your research question.
- The exact structure of this section depends on a) your chosen methodology and b) your personal writing style and understanding of research constructs. This is a suggestion only and you are welcome to adapt as per your project. If unsure, please seek clarification from your LIC.
- You may like to make a brief statement about your epistemological positioning and personal position. Here is where you would include a paragraph on reflexivity (from session 3) and researcher positionality (from session 2).
- You need to identify whether or not you are doing qualitative or quantitative research (it is assumed people will be doing qualitative research). Clearly highlight the benefits of this type of research as it relates to your research project and/or topic. The readings from the first three classes will likely assist you with this task, as will any good book on social work research methods.
- State your chosen METHOD (eg, content analysis, critical literature review etc). Provide clear justification as to why this method is appropriate to your research topic/project. (Don’t just guess or make this up, draw from literature regarding social research methods to support your claims).
- As appropriate, outline the steps taken in your method. The level of detail may depend on the type of method you have chosen. It is suggested you look at other journal articles that have used a similar method to your project so as to get ideas about how to best structure the method section.
- Identify your THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK. You may choose to do this either before or after your Method Your theoretical framework should identify what theory/or theories inform your research.
- Provide a brief definition of your theory (one or two sentences, not a whole page) and then provide justification of why this theory is relevant/useful to your research.
- Your theoretical framework needs inform your research/data analysis.
- Provide details as to how you plan to analyse your research (eg, thematic analysis, content analysis, discourse analysis using your chosen theoretical framework).
- Some people may like to first present their findings section and then incorporate analysis to each finding. Others may like to present the results first and then a separate discussion section. Please read other research papers in peer reviewed journals or social work texts to decide which approach best fits for you.
- This section can be presented according to key themes. You are welcome to use subheadings. Please avoid the use of dot points.
- Ensure your findings are based on evidence (eg literature) and not just your personal views and beliefs. This section needs to have examples such as paraphrasing with in-text citations and/or quotes as appropriate.
- It is suggested you present your most interesting or significant finding first.
- Ideally your findings should match and/or answer your research question. If there is anything that stands out or you weren’t able to answer, make sure to explore this in your discussion section.
- Depending on how you have structured your report, you may like to examine each key finding using your chosen theory to offer an interpretation. Some students may do this in the above section, others may prefer to separate this out.
- Use your theoretical framework to inform your discussion. There are marks attached to this.
- Highlight why the findings are significant. What meaning can you make from them? What interpretation (using theory) can you offer of your results?
- WHY ARE YOUR FINDINGS SIGNIFICANT TO SOCIAL WORK?
- Are there any further questions that have been raised as a result of your research?
RECOMMENDATIONS AND/OR CONCLUSION
- Depending on the nature of your project, you may have recommendations. Perhaps there are some suggestions to improve practice? Perhaps you have some ideas for future research?
- Remind the reader about the relationship of your findings to social work and how you have made a contribution to the field (but be careful not to overstate your importance!)
- As per usual conventions in a conclusion, summarise the key points made in your report and opportunities for future direction.
- It is anticipated that students will have a minimum of 20 references, and most will have closer to 40. We will be looking at how thorough you have been in your research and how well you have used evidence to support your claims.
- You are able to use the same references from your concept paper (providing you have cited them in your final report)
- APA 7 referencing conventions MUST be followed. Please ensure you have referenced correctly. Marks will be deducted for incorrect referencing.