Task: ITECH 5500 Research Report- Mini Research Project
Due Date: Week 11 – See course description
Worth: 40% (30 marks for Project Report and 10 marks for Reflective Journal)
This assignment can be conducted in groups of 1, 2 or 3. If you wish to work in a group please let me know who your group members are as soon as possible.
The purpose of this assessment is to enable students to demonstrate a critical awareness of previous research in an IT context within a chosen topic area through a basic understanding of research theory and techniques. It requires clear communication of ideas in a professional manner so that the reader can easily understand the purpose and results of your research. Overall goals of this assignment are to help you to:
• Become more knowledgeable about finding and using varied research sources in your chosen area in IT.
• Further develop your critical thinking skills and back up your points with evidence.
• Become more adept at synthesizing information and developing informed views.
• Discipline yourself to follow a scholarly research format to document in-text sources and a references page (bibliography).
• Compose a well-organized, clear, concise, research paper to expand your knowledge on a research question in your chosen area.
The mini research report provides a detailed description of a proposed research idea. It is similar to an essay and needs to be in a formal style with introduction, body and conclusion. In addition it requires a critical analysis and a coherent presentation.
Each group is required submit a mini research report (4000-4500 words excluding the title, abstract, TOC and references/bibliography). The purpose of this task is to assist students to prepare and write a scholarly paper at an appropriate standard for this level of study.
You have already done quite a bit of work for this research: you should have a tentative research issue, strategies and evidence to persuade your readers about the significance of the problem you’re researching, as well as the validity of your research issues. You also should consider opposing views or good counter-arguments that you can address in order to help establish your credibility and enhance the relevance of your paper.
A. Report Layout
The mini research report must contain the following sections, submitted in the order as listed below-
• Title Page – selection of an informative title
• Abstract - summarization of the significant concepts in the study focusing on key aspects (major results and conclusions)
• Introduction – Outline of the thesis, problem, question, etc. (stating the thesis/theory in terms of relationship among variables and examining the problem or investigating the question, or the like) and preview of the structure of the paper.
• Literature Review- demonstration of the ability to find significant sources, familiarity with the existing body of knowledge, analysis of existing research, and learning through a careful reading of existing scholarship.
• Methods (and Methodology)- procedures and processes undertaken in your investigation/study including the research design– study type, research question, hypotheses, variables, and data collection methods (as applicable).
• Results (and Findings) – presenting your evidence and developing your argument. If appropriate, you analyze your data, outline your evidence, and apply your research design.
• Discussion (Analysis & Substantiation )- match up with the aims/goals/argument of the research question/s, bring together the major outcomes of your project, interpret and review all significant findings, notes and discuss all shortcomings.
• Conclusion – briefly restate the research highlighting the implications of your findings
• References- include relevant literature sources (in-text citation and a list of full-text references)
• Appendices (if applicable) - tables, graphs, charts or any other- related to the study not included in the main paper but referred to.
Note: Students are required to follow the ‘General guide to referencing’ and ‘Guide to Writing and Study Skills’- specially the ‘Layout and Appearance’ and the ‘Report’ sections.
[For distribution of marks, see the Marking Rubric at the end of this document]
B. Reflective Journal
You are required to produce a Reflective Journal (approximately 1000 words) that has been ongoing and progressive in terms of reporting ideas developed and other findings for the purposes of the research work.
For this part of the assignment, write up a Reflective Journal of all work relating to your research topic and research idea as you have progressed through on a weekly basis, based on your weekly work/exercises in Part B of your Tutorial-Workshops from weeks 1-10.
• A Reflective Journal is a tool that allows students to reflect on and write about their progress in their learning. They can identify and reflect on success and challenges. Its purpose is:
o To record the development of your ideas and insights through the weekly exercises
o To reflect on your own learning process
o To analyze and discuss key issues covered by class work and/or readings
• In other words, a Reflective Journal is a personal record of your progress and your developments in thinking about a subject or a topic. Although it’s a more informal style of writing than other academic assignments, you now need to submit it as regular entries developed over a period of time- from week 1 till week 10. Your reflective journal forms the basis of your research report.
• Consider the following when writing a reflective journal:
o Describe events and your experience on weekly basis (weeks 1-10 based on the Tutorial-Workshops Part B) – What did I do/hear/see?
o Interpret and evaluate the events from your perspective – What do I think about it now? How does it relate to other things that I know?
o Explain your experience- reveal your new insights, connections with other learning, your hypotheses, and your conclusions.
o Have I changed how I think about the situation? How have I used these to help organize my writing?
• Create individual weekly headings to reflect on and add a brief conclusion on the reflections at the end, all as suggested above.
[Adapted from the following sources: Morley-Warner, T. (2000), Academic writing is: A guide to writing in a university context, Centre for Research and Education in the Arts, Sydney.]
Submit an electronic copy of the Research Report along with your Reflective Journal via the Turnitin submission link on the course Moodle page. Please refer to the Course Description for information regarding late assignments, extensions, special consideration, and plagiarism. A reminder all academic regulations can be accessed via the university’s website, see: http://federation.edu.au/staff/governance/legal/feduni-legislation
Research Proposal via the Turnitin link
You will be able to view the originality report immediately after submission. You are advised to submit earlier so that you can check the originality report and make necessary changes (by paraphrasing, adding appropriate in-text citation/referencing etc.) to eliminate matching and avoid PLAGIARISM. You may re-submit the assignment until the due date/time.
It is important to learn from the work of others and you are encouraged to explore the library, World Wide Web resources and have discussions with other students. However, work for the assessment must be entirely your own work.
Plagiarism is the presentation of the expressed thought or work of another person as though it is one's own without properly acknowledging that person. You must not allow other students to copy your work and must take care to safeguard against this happening. In cases of copying, normally all students involved will be penalised equally; an exception will be if you can demonstrate the work is your own and you took reasonable care to safeguard against copying. Plagiarism is a serious offence. As set out in the University Regulation 6.1.1., students who are caught plagiarising will, for a first offence, be given a zero mark for that task. A second offence will result in a failing grade for the course involved and any subsequent offence will be referred to the Student Discipline Committee.