You are on page 1of 11

1

FORMAT OF A THESIS/DISSERTATION REPORT


(Quantitative Approach)

The Preliminaries

Title page. The title page usually indicates the title of the report, the authors name,

and the submission requirements, which include the faculty or school, the name and location

of the college or university, the degree sought, and the date of submission of the report.

Figure 1. Illustrates a typical example of a Title Page.

Approval sheet. Most institutions have a model or form printed for this purpose, and

local requirements should always determine the format of this page. Usually, the approval

sheet provides space for the signatures of the adviser, panel of examiners, and graduate

school dean indicating acceptance of the work. The example is presented in Figure 2.

Acknowledgment/s. Most theses and dissertations include an acknowledgment

page. This page permits the writer to express appreciation to persons who have contributed

significantly to the completion of the report. It is acceptable to thank your adviser or

professor for her guidance and assistance, your respondents for their cooperation, and other

groups for their valued support. The example is shown in Figure 3.

Dedication (Optional). You may or may not include this in the research report. More

often, the research report is dedicated to the members of the family or a special group.

Figure 4 shows a typical example.

Abstract. Some colleges and universities require an abstract, while others require a

summary, and the current trend is in favor of an abstract. Since the abstract of a research

report is often the only part read, it should describe the most important aspects of the study

that include the research problem (the statement of the problem and hypotheses), the

research methodology (research method and design/s used, the population frame and

sample, the instrument/s used, the data gathering procedures, the statistical

formulas/techniques used), and the major results (findings or conclusions). Figure 5 presents

an example of an abstract in quantitative studies.


2

Table of Contents. The table of contents is basically an outline of the research

report which indicates on which page each major section (or chapter) and subsections

begins. The beginning page number of each section is indicated along the right-hand

margin. The numbering of chapters and wording, capitalization, and punctuation of titles and

headings should be exactly the same as they are in the text. You can see the sample of

Table of Contents in Figure 6.

List of tables, figures, and plates. List of tables, figures, and plates should follow

the Table of Contents. Each type of illustrative matter should be presented on a separate

page. All captions should appear in the listing exactly as they are in the text. They should be

numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals throughout the text. Refer to Figures 7, 8, and 9.

CHAPTER I
2 Single space
THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
2 Single space

Introduction

In this section, it is important to carefully consider the opening sentences. The

opening sentences affect whether readers will continue to examine the study; generate

interest in the study; and provide an initial frame of reference for understanding the entire

research topic. It makes sense to start with a broad topic that readers can easily understand.

After stating the topic, the researcher then narrows it to a research problem that needs to

be examined. The two general types of research problems are: 1) practical research

problems which arise from the setting and activities of the researcher and 2) study-based

research problems which emanate from a need to extend knowledge or resolve conflicting

views. The next thing to do is to justify the research problem by presenting reasons for the

importance of studying the issue or concern. This justification is based on suggestions from

other researchers and on personal experiences (something witnessed on the workplace or

experienced personally). Besides suggestions found in published studies or articles,


3

justification for a research problem can be found in unpublished theses and dissertations,

conference papers, research syntheses, or encyclopedias that report the latest research.

Justification may also be based on comments by authorities or experts who have researched

some issues and concerns. After justifying the research problem, the researcher proceeds to

identifying deficiencies in the evidence. This means that the past literature or practical

experiences of the researchers as discussed do not adequately address the research

problem. As the researcher summarizes evidence deficiencies, a good practice would be to

identify two or more reasons why existing practice and research have been deficient in

addressing the research problem. The last thing to do in this section is for the researcher to

identify audiences or groups that will profit if the deficiencies in existing knowledge and

practice related to the problem are addressed. Audience consists of individuals who will read

and potentially use information provided in a research study. Prepare this section in 3 to 5

pages. A sample of this section is shown in Figure10.

Theoretical Framework

The research should have a theoretical underpinning that provides the legitimate

basis for defining research parameters. This is used to guide and direct research. The

Theoretical framework presents the theory or theories from which the research problem is

anchored. The example is shown in Figure 11.

Conceptual Framework

The researcher discusses in this section the relations among concepts used in the

theory or may just refer to the concepts discussed in the review of related literature. The

framework is presented in a paradigm which shows the relationships among variables or

concepts. The paradigm is a well-developed descriptive analogy used to help visualize the

phenomena that can be observed. You can see the sample in Figure 12.
4

Statement of the Problem

This section defines the main and sub-problems (objectives) or research questions of

the study. The main problem begins with the statement of purpose which describes

succinctly the overall direction or purpose of the study. This statement of purpose is

narrowed down to specific sub-problems or research questions that the researcher seeks to

answer in his/her study.

The example below illustrates how this section is prepared:

The purpose of this study is to test Fines theory (1996) by relating

leadership style (independent variable) of school administrators

(participants) to autonomy (dependent variable) for teachers

(participants) in high schools in the National Capital Region.

The next example illustrates the use of the script in which the researcher

compares two groups (as an independent variable) in terms of dependent

variable:

The purpose of this study is to test Smarts theory (1999) by

comparing autocratic leaders (group 1) with consensus-building leaders

(group 2) in terms of the job satisfaction of teachers (dependent

variable) in State Universities and Colleges in Region II.

From the statement of purpose, you may now break the main problem in two specific

sub problems or research questions.

Hypotheses

Hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable. It is an empirical statement

concerned with relationship among variables. The following is a sample script for declarative

or alternative hypothesis:

There is a difference between at-risk and non-at-risk supervisors in


terms of their productivity level in manufacturing companies.
5

Independent variable : At risk and non-at-risk (members and


non-members)

Dependent variable : Productivity level

Participants : Supervisors

Site : Manufacturing companies

Another script:

There is a significant relationship between learning strategies

and academic achievement of college freshman students in

Mathematics.

Assumptions (optional)

Assumptions are postulates that may or may not influence the findings of the study.

They are propositions of some occurrences and considerations which are based upon know

fact or phenomenon. Assumptions are so basic that, without them, the research problem

itself could not exist. Generally; every specific question is implicitly based upon assumption.

If there is no assumption, expressed or implicit, there can be no research question. To

illustrate, we have the following examples:

(1) Specific question: What level of fitting and machining skills are being taught in
Institution A?

Implicit assumption: There are certain fitting machining skills required in the
curriculum.

(2) Specific question: Is there a difference between what is taught and what is needed
by the industry in terms of fitting and machinery skills?

Implicit assumption: There are certain levels of fitting and machining skills the
students should possess to meet the requirements of the industry.

Researchers cannot make assumptions on: (1) the value of the study, (2) the

reliability of the instruments to be used, (3) the validity of basic data, (4) the characteristics of
6

the population, and (5) the representativeness of sample.

Scope and Limitations/Delimitations of the Study

This section answers the questions on what (coverage of the study), when (time or

period covered by the study), where (place covered or where study is conducted), who

(persons involved in the study), and how (procedures used in the conduct of the study).

What the researcher intends to do is stated in the research problem. What the

researcher is not going to do is stated in the delimitations. Limitation, on the other hand is

some aspect of the study the researcher knows may negatively affect the results or

generalizability of the results but over which the researcher probably has no control such as

sample size, lack of time, loss or lack of participants, inadequate measures of variables

errors in measurement, and other factors typically related to data collection and analysis. A

research plan might state, for example:

Only one class of 30 students will be available for participation.

Or

While ideally subjects should be exposed to the experiment for a longer period

of time in order to more accurately assess its effectiveness, permission has been

granted to the researcher to be in the school for a maximum of two weeks.

Significance of the Study

The researcher states the importance of the study in terms of theoretical and

practical aspects. The person or groups who will benefit from the study should be identified.

Benefits each group shall get should be discussed. A sample of this section is shown in

Figure 13.

Definition of Terms

The key terms and relevant terms of the study should be defined operatively or

theoretically. Operational definition interprets the terms as it is employed in the study.

Definitions taken from materials are called conceptual or theoretical definitions. The key
7

terms of the study usually refer to the independent variable, intervening variable, moderating

variable, dependent variable, and other relevant terms.

CHAPTER II
2 Single space
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2 Single space

This major division of the research needs to be introduced. It requires the use of topic

approach based on the key terms of the study. For each topic, the conceptual literature shall

be discussed first followed by the discussion of studies. In research problem where literature

is abundant, use thematic style writing where scars, use study-by-study technique.

The literature citation must be dated within the last 5 to 10 years. However, you can

go beyond ten depending upon your field of study. For the length of the literature, a

maximum of 20% of the total number of pages of the manuscript should be observed. You

are encouraged to paraphrase your literature citations rather than copying it verbatim from

your source. End the review with a synthesis or concluding statement. All sources mentioned

in the literature should be included in the references. Figure 14 presents the example.

CHAPTER III
2 Single space
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
2 Single space

Introduce first the Chapter before you discuss each section

Research Method and Design/s

The research method used should be discussed briefly. The procedural part of this

method, its appropriateness to the study, and some of its advantages should be well

explained. The specific research design/s and technique/s should be identified. Why and

how they are going to be used in this study must be explained. As each of the methods,
8

designs on techniques has a unique purpose application of each of them entails a unique set

of procedures and concerns.

Population Frame and Sample

The population frame (study population or target population) is a group of individuals

from where the sample of the study is selected. In order to draw accurate conclusions about

the population, a sample needs to be representative of the population. In general, the

minimum number of subjects believed to be acceptable for a study depends upon the type of

research involved.

In this section, discuss how a sampling scheme shall be used in the selection of

participants. Justify, too, the adequacy of sample size through the use of an appropriate

formula. Change the above heading into Study Population if all members of the population

shall participate in the study.

Description of Respondents

This section discusses the characteristics of the respondents of the study. It includes

discussion of the rationale for choosing them as respondents. Normally, personal

characteristics such as gender, age group, and so on are used to describe the subjects of

the study.

Research Environment (Optional)

Designs that take place under actual environmental conditions are field studies and

under simulated conditions are laboratory studies. The environment of such designs should

be discussed.

Research Instrument/s

The description of instrument/s includes the phases or aspects of the instrument the

items, how the items were selected and validated and the number of items. It is desirable to

mention what the instrument measures and how it is used in the research project. If

researcher-made, discuss the validation process. If standardized, mention the validity and

reliability coefficients and its application in the local setting.


9

Data-Gathering Procedures

This section discusses the data gathering procedures that include obtaining

permission, selecting participants identifying data options, and recording and administering

data collection.

Statistical Treatment of Data

The statistical method and or formulas to be used are described in this part of the

research report. The statistical treatment should suit the problems and hypotheses of the

study. Each formula should be spelled and the research question it measures should be

defined. The sample for Chapter III is presented in Figure 15.

CHAPTER IV
2 Single space
PRESENTATION, ANALYSES, AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA
2 Single space
The Chapter should first be introduced and discussion of results based on the

sequence of sub-problems or research questions will follow. The topic approach should be

used with each topic numbered. Devote a separate section to each topic (sub

problem/research question) and its pertinent data. Present data germane to the topic,

discuss the data, interpret the data, and compare results with the literature. The data may be

organized into table, figures, and other concise representations.

The presentation of data is certainly important, but the analysis and interpretation of

data is the essence of research. Interpret the data by attribution, implication, and intertwining

of results with the conceptual and study literature. Reject or support the hypothesis. A

sample of Chapter IV for a quantitative study is shown in Figure 16.


10

CHAPTER V
2 Single space
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
2 Single space

This Chapter restates the research, problem, the statement of purpose, the

objectives (sub problems or research questions), the hypothesis/es, and the research

methodology, (research method and design/s use, the population frame and sample of the

study, the instruments used, the data-gathering procedures, and the statistical formulas).

Summary of Findings

This section summarizes the major findings which would include important details

about statistical test, significance levels, and effect sizes. The presentation follows the

sequence of the sub-problem (research questions) discussed in the preceding chapter.

Conclusions

Conclusions describe the researchers solutions to research problems. In quantitative

inquiries, the conclusion tells whether the research hypothesis was supported or how well a

theory or part of a theory stood the test of an investigation. In the process of drawing

conclusion, researchers look for interpretation of results that converge and point toward the

same outcome. They represent general, rather than specific statements.

Recommendations

Recommendations constitute a third form of research outcome, offered when

researchers find that results warrant them. To be useful, recommendations must be focused.

Recommendations for future research directions are suggestions made by the researcher

about additional studies that need to be conducted based on the results of the present

research. The suggestions are a natural link to the limitations of study, and they provide

useful direction for new researchers and readers who are interested in exploring needed

areas of inquiry or applying results to practice. Recommendations to practitioners provide

suggestions to other groups about potentially beneficial alterations in present practices,


11

based on the outcomes of research projects. Recommendations should be sufficiently

specific to allow others to act on them.

Shown in Figure 17 is the sample of Chapter V.

References

Use modified American Psychological Association (APA) style (2009, 5 th ed.


Categorize the sources).

Appendices

Appendices are usually necessary in thesis and dissertation reports. Appendices

include information and data pertinent to the study which either are not important enough to

be included in the main body of the report or are too lengthy. Appendixes contain such

entries as materials specially developed for the study (for example, permission letter, letter of

consent, test, questionnaires, cover letters, raw data, statistical analysis sheets, and other

documents.) Also, a number of universities ask that a vita be included.

Curriculum Vitae

A vitae is a short autobiography describing the educational training and degrees

earned, professional work experience, membership in professional organizations, and

publications, if any.

For the encoding of manuscript use Arial, font 12. Use royal blue for book cover.