Long essays, Research Project, Independent study, Graduation Thesis, and other academic papers are important elements towards getting a degree/certificate conferred in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria.
A research is a quest into the unknown. It is the act of finding a rational explanation or clarification on facts, events and phenomenon which surrounds human existence.
Research takes place in every day of our lives, be it in the formal or informal settings. Literary meaning of the word research refers to an inquiry, which invariably implies that whenever one engages in the process of an inquiry such a person is already making a research, we often embark on research in order to gain clarification on facts and phenomenal which are unknown or not vivid.
Scientific research which is the emphasis of this article differs from mere inquiries in the sense that it deals with the identification of a problem, statement of a problem, formulation of hypothesis, collection, interpreting/analysing of data and formulation or drawing of necessary inference or conclusion(s).
This academic level/requirement from the university is very crucial in moulding a graduate who will be grounded both in theory and practice. It exposes students to research approaches and practical application of theories in solving real life situations.
However these particular aspect of the university requirement tend to pose a lot of constraints and bottleneck to most tertiary institution students partly, as a result of lack of understanding and in depth knowledge of what research really entails and negligence on the part of the students.
This article will do justice to what research stands for, and things to look out for in writing a good research project.
Choosing a Research/ Project Topic
The first stage is choosing project topics, it is worth noting that the success of a good research is partly dependent on the topic.
This is so because if the topic is not balanced or well phrased, it becomes difficult for the young researcher to grasp the meaning or the message his/her topic is trying to pass.
Secondly, if the topic is not in line with the young researcher’s area of interest, for instant project topic imposed on the researcher by his/her supervisor, it could be a constraint because passion and interest is a driving force in every research work.
On the other hand if the topic is not in line with the young researchers supervisor’s interest it also presents a myriad of problem. Hence care should be taken in order not to start off your research on a wrong foot with your supervisor.
- Choose a research topic which aligns with your research interest
- Choose a research topic which aligns with your supervisor’s interest so as to facilitate a good supervisor-supervisee relationship. Note that if your research interest are not in line with that of your supervisor’s interest, it could take you longer time to finish as the needed attention will not be paid to it.Look for a way to blend into that of your supervisor because your supervisor have a big role to play in the whole process of the research.
- Ensure that your topic is researchable: Not every research topic is researchable. To know if your topic is researchable look up the keywords in your topic on the internet, this enables you to ascertain the available literatures and the extent other researchers have done in your area of research or alternatively other offline documents cum documentaries that will be of help in the course of the study. Remember, it is called RE-SEARCH which can consequently (if well planned) lead to new knowledge and INVENTION and not necessarily INNOVATION.
- Choose a research topic which would be relevant to the society: identify a problem in your locality and then try fill it. If for instance in your locality there is a high prevalence of unwanted pregnancy, your research topic should be geared towards ascertaining the causes and remedies to the problem in line with your course of study.
- Critically look at your topic and plan the end from the beginning. What this entail is that you should know the possible structure of your research work, the methodology to be adopted (if it is one you can handle) and then plan a way of getting it done. For instance, not every research work need survey research design that needs interview, questionnaire et cetera.
- Also, you should determine the kind of data your research work need. Most project topics in Economics need secondary data while most project/research topics in Education need primary data. All these can be ascertained from your topic.
- Try to know the dependent and the independent variables in your topic as this will help you in developing your research objectives.
Ways of Formulating a Project Topic
1. Identifying a problem within your vicinity. E.g.
- Effect of economic recession on household food affordability: A study of Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Effect of poor water supply on cholera outbreak in Ebonyi State.
- Nutritional education: A panacea towards reducing maternal-infant mortality rate in Kotangora, Kaduna state.
2. Creating a topic from trending economic, social or political events of the country. E.g
- Effect of bad leadership on youth unemployment 1999-2017.
- Effect of Ponzi scheme on youth’s loyalty and reduced interest in their job.
- Effect of crypto-currencies on banks liquidity ratio in Nigeria.
- Emergence of crypto currency and the future of fiat currency.
- Effect of crypto currency on money laundering in Nigeria.
3. Making up research topics from class activities or course contents. E.g.
- Effect of teaching method on student’s academic performance: A study of Ebonyi state University, Abakaliki
- Impact of “sorting” on quality of graduates in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.
Starting Your Research Writing
Having selected a suitable project topic, don’t be in a hurry to start writing your research project:
- Source, download articles, journals and literatures which are relevant and closely related to your study.
- Read them very well
- Get an already completed research work from your department, you can borrow it from your departmental library and study it.The essence of this is for you to know and understand the format your department is using.
- Use the “borrowed” already completed work as a guide, and please do not copy from it, because when you do so, you are no longer conducting a research rather you are just copying words from one book to another which results to plagiarism.
- When you have read a lot of literatures then you can start your research work.
Complete Guide on research project writing and graduation thesis – How to use the search engine in research project writing.
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