ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES

NOMINATION OF SUPERVISORS APPLICATION FOR QUALIFYING EXAMINATIONS SUBMISSION OF DISSERTATION

STRUCTURE II
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (EDUCATION) MASTER OF EDUCATION (OPTION 1)

CENTRE FOR GRADUATE STUDIES
V 1 2009

2

in writing. the learner has to submit.5 page synopsis of the intended study. a learner has to register for the Proposal Stage and submit a Nomination of Supervisor form (CGSR01) together with a 3 . at the discretion of the Centre for Graduate Studies.0 before proceeding to work on his/her dissertation. For successful completion of a PhD (Edu) degree or a MEd degree (both in Structure II). If a learner does not obtain at least a CGPA of 3. NOMINATION OF SUPERVISOR 3. 2. a learner must complete the required coursework and undertake a research leading to a dissertation.0. A recurring fee will be charged to keep the candidature afloat. To begin the dissertation. It is recommended that coursework be completed within 2 years from the date of admission into the programme. Aspects to be covered in the synopsis are: (i) Topic (ii) Objectives of the study (iii) Research questions (iv) Significance of the study (v) Methodology Population & sample/Participants Research design and data collection Suggested data analysis The synopsis together with CGSR01 Form should be submitted to: Centre for Graduate Studies Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail 50480 Kuala Lumpur CGSR01 3 . A maximum period of 4 years is given for a learner to complete the Master’s degree programme and 8 years to complete the PhD degree programme If this period lapses. Extension may be granted based on a case-by-case basis. one or more courses may be repeated or redeemed. A learner may only request for extension once. A learner will be awarded the degree once the dissertation is examined and accepted by the University.INTRODUCTION 1. an application for extension to the Director of the Centre for Graduate Studies. A learner should ideally complete the required coursework and obtain a CGPA of at least 3.

The M. Submit Change of Supervisor form (CGSR02) Throughout the duration of the dissertation stage. A proposal will be examined within THREE (3) months of the date of submission of the Application for Qualifying Examination by one examiner for the M. NOT for the research topic. CGSR02 CGSR03 APPLICATION FOR QUALIFYING EXAMINATION 7 Once the proposal is ready. 6. A supervisor is appointed for the duration of the dissertation writing stage during which time he/she assists the learner in: (a)the preparation of a proposal for the intended study.pdf BPPDP 1 CGSR04 8 9 4 . The application may be filed when a proposal has been submitted for the qualifying examination. The name of the supervisor together with the title of the proposed study is submitted to the University Academic Management Committee (MJPAU) for final approval and endorsement before the letter of offer is issued to the supervisor. A learner may nominate more than one supervisor. For the PhD learner.emoe. The supervisor(s) nominated should NOT be in any related to the learner 5. The EPRD form can be downloaded from: http://apps.4. During this period the supervisor and the learner are required to follow the Guide to Proposal and Dissertation Writing provided by the university. the learner is to submit to the Centre for Graduate Studies a progress report (CGSR03) through his/her supervisor(s) at the end of every semester. No oral presentation is required for the MEd learner.Ed learner and two examiners for the PhD learner. while the PhD learner needs to submit four (4) copies of the proposal to the Centre for Graduate Studies. To be reminded is that the approval given at this stage is for the nomination of the supervisor(s). The learner is allowed to apply for a change of his/her supervisors with valid reasons. and (b)the completion of the dissertation. Learners are responsible for getting EPRD (Ministry of Education) clearance for research involving public schools in Malaysia.my/bppdp/borang/Form%20BPPDP1%20%20English%20Version. the learner submits the Application for Qualifying Examination form (CGSR04).gov. a date and venue will be fixed for him/her to give an oral presentation. The application must be accompanied by a comprehensive proposal evaluation report by the supervisor(s).Ed learner needs to submit two (2) copies of the proposal.

A learner may only apply for the Qualifying Examination THREE (3) times. the Qualifying Examination Committee Report (CGSR05-2) will be presented after the oral presentation by the learner. the candidate is encouraged to attend a Doctoral Seminar: Research Report to give an oral presentation of his/her data and 5 . The outcome of the proposal examination by the examiner (s) will be presented in the form of the Qualifying Examination Report (CGSR05-1). The scope of the study is too limited or superficial. For PhD. These reports will contain one of the following recommendations:  Satisfactory (S)  Satisfactory subject to correction (S)  Unsatisfactory (U) For recommendation Unsatisfactory. This means that he/she can proceed with the study and the preparation of the dissertation. an additional document. a candidate is expected to proceed to gather his/her research data and conduct the data analysis. However. he/she may be granted another two-semester extension to resubmit his/her proposal. For PhD. SUBMISSION OF DISSERTATION 12 A learner whose proposal is accepted has to register for Dissertation Final Report. the learner has to rewrite the proposal under the guidance of the supervisor and then submit Application for Qualifying Examination (CGSR04) a second time together The proposal will be re-examined and a second Qualifying Examination Report (CGSR05-1) will be presented. The maximum number of semesters allowed for proposal writing is THREE (3). his/her candidature will lapse and the learner will not be allowed to continue with the programme. If the proposal is not submitted for re-examination the third time. After registration for the Dissertation Final Report. The intended study has no strong theoretical basis and/or relevant research support. The proposal reveals that the learner is NOT academically ready to embark on the research. if a learner fails to obtain a Satisfactory (S) grade in his/her first attempt at the end of the third semester of proposal writing. Some of the reasons for an unsatisfactory proposal are: CGSR05-1 CGSR05-2 CGSR04 CGSR05-1 • • • • • • 11 Topic/title is not related to the course of study (Education) Proposed area/topic is not researchable.10. Proposed area/topic is too general and lacks focus.

Upon completion of the dissertation. During this period. 13 When the dissertation is almost completed. the candidate has to register as a student and rewrite the dissertation under the guidance 6 . In the absence of examiners. CGSR07 must be endorsed by the supervisor (s) and be accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation report by the supervisor(s). the candidate submits a Confirmation of Thesis/Dissertation Submission form (CGSR07) together with FIVE (5) soft bound printed copies of the dissertation to the Centre for Graduate Studies. For PhD. The Committee will make one of the following recommendations: CGSR09-1  Dissertation acceptable for the Master’s/Doctoral Degree  Dissertation acceptable for the Master’s/Doctoral Degree subject to minor modifications being made  Dissertation acceptable for the Master’s/Doctoral Degree subject to major modifications being made  Dissertation requires re-submission for the Master’s/Doctoral Degree  Dissertation is rejected with no right of revision or re-submission For a dissertation that requires re-submission. readers will be appointed to present the examiners’ report at the Viva Voce. 18. The notice should be submitted THREE (3) months before the intended date of dissertation submission. three examiners (at least TWO are external examiners) will be appointed and endorsed by MJPAU. the candidate will be given 12 months to do so. Appointment letters will then be sent to the examiners together the dissertation. the candidate submits a Notice of Thesis/Dissertation Submission form (CGSR06). . CGSR06 14 CGSR07 15 16 17. For the Master’s degree programme. the Examination Committee comprising the Chairperson and two (Master’s degree programme) or three (PhD degree programme) examiners will convene and invite the candidate for Viva Voce. the Committee will communicate its decision to the candidate by filling in the Thesis/Dissertation Final Examination Report (CGSR09-1).preliminary findings. The notice must be accompanied by a research abstract and a receipt for payment of dissertation examination fees. A dissertation will be vetted within SIX (6) months of the date of submission of the Confirmation of Thesis/Dissertation Submission. At the end of Viva Voce. Upon receiving all Examiners’ Reports. two examiners (at least ONE is an external examiner) will be submitted to University Academic Management Committee (MJPAU) for approval and endorsement.

7 . the candidate has to register as a student and should submit a soft bound copy of the amended dissertation within the 6-month period together with a Post Viva Correction Report (CGSR09-2) For a dissertation that requires minor correction. When all programme requirements are satisfied. the candidate will be given 3 months to do so. However. If amendments suggested by the Examination Committee are not adhered to. During this period. the candidate will be given 6 months to do so. CGSR07 CGSR01 CGSR09-2 19 If a candidate fails to adhere to the time frame of dissertation submission. The candidate need not register as a student but need only submit a soft bound copy of the amended dissertation within the 3-month period together with CGSR09-2 Post Viva Correction Report (CGSR09-2). the candidate will be conferred the degree 21. The Process Flow for these procedures is presented in Figure 1 below. ONE (1) hardbound copies of the dissertation and ONE (1) soft copy (in the form of a CD) are to be submitted to the university. a Post Viva Reviewer Report (CGSR09-3) will be prepared and submitted to the Director of Centre for Graduate Studies for further action. his/her dissertation is deemed to have been rejected. For a dissertation that requires major correction. The candidate may opt for a new supervisor and resubmit a Nomination of supervisor form (CGSR01). the candidate can write to the Director of Centre for Graduate Studies to apply for a 60-day extension if he/she has a valid reason to do so. CGSR09-3 20 When the final version of the dissertation is approved by the university.of a supervisor and then submit the Confirmation of Thesis/Dissertation Submission form (CGSR07) for a second time.

5 semesters. Supervisor submits Dissertation Evaluation Report. failing which candidature will terminated. VIVA VOCE VIVA Committee convenes VIVA Committee presents Thesis/Dissertation Final Exam Report (CGSR09-1) Minor/Major Modifications OR Resubmission VIVA/REVIEW OUTCOME Reject Degree Not Conferred Learner & Supervisor to complete Post Viva Correction Report (CGSR09-2). Register for Dissertation Final Report Learner submits Notice of Thesis/Dissertation Submission (CGSR06) & Receipt for payment of VIVA fees. Supervisor submits Proposal Evaluation Report. Coursework Learner submits Nomination of Supervisor form (CGSR01). data collection & final report writing stages. Submission of Examiners’ Reports to CGS by examiners. if necessary outcome Accept Accept with modifications Degree Conferred ` Reject Figure 1: Process Flow of Structure II Programmes Degree NOT conferred 8 . Learner submits Confirmation of Thesis/Dissertation Submission (CGSR07). Learner submit progress report (CGSR03) through supervisor(s) at the end of every semester throughout the dissertation stage. Learner & supervisor are to have at least 4 interaction sessions during each of the proposal.00.STRUCTURE II Registration Learner has completed coursework and obtained CGPA of at least 3. 3 months* Nominate QE examiners. Learners given max 1 year to submit proposal. Reviewer to complete Post Viva Reviewer Report (CGSR09-3). Learner submits Application for QE. official duties or extenuating personal circumstances. MJPAU endorsement and letter of offer to Supervisor. Resubmission for examination Register for Proposal Qualifying Examination (QE) Satisfactory PhD learners are encouraged to present preliminary data analysis at a Doctoral Seminar: Research Report. Letters of offer to examiners. Learners have 3 chances to pass QE. letter of offer to examiners. if necessary. MJPAU endorsement. Outcome Learners must sit for QE & pass within max. Submit CGSR02 for change of supervisor. Notice of Dissertation Submission 6 months Confirmation of Dissertation Submission Nomination of Examiners by CGS & Endorsement by MJPAU. Unsatisfactory Learners must apply for extension if non-submission due to medical reasons. Failure on third attempt shall result in termination of candidature.

ACADEMIC GUIDELINES GUIDE TO PROPOSAL AND DISSERTATION WRITING STRUCTURE II DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (EDU) MASTER OF EDUCATION (OPTION 1) CENTRE FOR GRADUATE STUDIES V 1 2009 9 .

You should be aware that a research proposal can be rejected as “unsatisfactory” or “poorly designed”. the research proposal should map out the first three chapters of the dissertation final report that will be written later. 10 . The major difference between the Master’s and PhD research proposal or the PhD and the Master’s dissertation is the scope and depth of research undertaken (Refer Appendix A). The three-chapter proposal with the relevant appendices should clearly illustrate all the theoretical and methodological aspects of the proposed study. In other words. it will form the outline of your final dissertation. The rationale is that OUM wants to ensure that you are able to proceed with your research work successfully. In Open University Malaysia (OUM). the chapters with the headings and subheadings are generally the same. If the proposal is welldesigned. This would entail the preparation of a research proposal which is later developed into a dissertation. Furthermore. You will notice that OUM requires learners to produce quite a detailed proposal. Therefore it is imperative that you spend some time getting it right. Whether you are writing a research proposal or dissertation at the Master’s or PhD level. do note that the headings and subheadings in each chapter may vary slightly in different studies. A well planned proposal will save you a lot of time in the long run. The format of the proposal varies from one institution to another.INTRODUCTION Learners pursuing Doctor of Philosophy (Education) or Master of Education (MEd) are to submit a dissertation for examination as a requirement for the award of the degree. the proposal maps out the different parts of the final dissertation. The chapters with the headings and subheadings that are usually included in a proposal are shown in Figure 1. OUM would like to see that the proposal submitted would contain adequate information for a fair assessment. So the proposal is obviously an important document. WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL A research proposal is a document written to inform others (your supervisor or graduate committee) of a proposed piece of research. This document provides guidelines for writing the research proposal and the dissertation. However.

Think of the Introduction as follows: Imagine a group of academics discussing in general the area of study you are interested in. You tell them that there is something that has not been resolved or there is a gap or problem.8 Chapter 2 Introduction Background to the study Problem statement Objectives of the study Research questions Research Hypotheses (if any) Significance of the study Limitations of the study Definitions of terms Review of Literature 2. if necessary.1 Instrumentation 3.3 1.CONTENTS OF A PROPOSAL Chapter 1 Introduction The introduction should present the research problem or issue that you intend to study. • The first section in the introduction chapter is the background to the study. This should be as brief as possible. In this section. Use simple and jargon-free language.6 1. Then you tell your listeners the objectives of your study and how it will attempt to answer the research questions. You join in the conversation (assuming they allow you to!) and draw their attention to your specific problem of interest. They should be clearly and unambiguously framed as they will influence research methodology and the type of data analysis to be performed.3 Proposed framework for data analysis • The objectives are followed by research questions. When you are able to identify the issue or gap.5 1. Ask yourself what you hope to uncover through your research and then say it in a way that your colleagues will understand it. Describe the general field of research relating to the issue and then narrow down to the specific area you are concerned with. you should provide a description of the background to the research problem or issue that you intend to study.1 Sample 3. Chapter 1 1. • In one or two statements.4 1. Otherwise. you can have an additional subsection on Research Design in Chapter 3 to explain the conceptual framework of your study. In this section.7 1.2 Theoretical framework 2. write the objectives of the study.2 Data collection procedures 3. then the research questions fall in place naturally.1 Previous studies 2. Chapter 3 References Appendices Figure 1: Research Proposal Format 11 . Include null hypotheses.2 1.3 Methodological issues Methodology 3.1 1. Do not ramble! The background should be clear and straight to the point. you might want to elaborate on the conceptual framework to further clarify your objectives. • Discuss the issue that you intend to study in terms of problem statement and show that there is an issue that needs to be addressed or a “gap” in the body of knowledge that you want to fill. You argue that this gap or problem has to be addressed and go on to describe it in detail. The research questions must be in line with the objectives and should indicate the variables under investigation.

o your study will contribute to the body of knowledge in the field. the operational definition of concept mapping strategy in a reading research study may take the form of a group of students reading texts with the help of concept maps (experimental condition) and another group of students reading texts without the help of concept maps (control condition). data collection and/or data analysis so that the reader is aware of the parameters of your study. intelligence may be operationally defined as scores on the Standford-Binet Intelligence Scale. and there are two types of operational definitions: measured and experimental. A constitutive definition is the dictionary type of definition. This is only possible if you provide operational definitions of the variables. In this context. o the methodology you are using is unusual. 12 . They merely indicate to the reader that you are aware of the limitations and that the findings of should be interpreted in light of these limitations. A measured operational definition details the operations by which researchers measure a variable. • The limitations of the study refer to elements which are beyond the control of the researcher. For example.• Briefly tell the reader the significance of the study (justify doing the study). Do not be intimidated by the limitations of the study because it is not possible to expect every research conducted to be perfect. you should be aware of the distinction between a constitutive definition and an operational definition. especially the variables investigated in the study. For example. On the other hand. o certain variables you are studying have not been given attention in previous studies. You can argue the significance of your study based on the following criteria: o the problem or gap demands attention because the findings could influence practice and policy. Outline the limitations in terms of the sample. • Provide operational definitions of key terms. This type of definition helps to convey the general meaning of a variable. but it is not precise enough for research purposes. an experimental operational definition details the steps a researcher takes to produce certain experimental conditions. o the outcome of your study could be the extension of a theoretical model under study. You need to define the variables in your study so that readers know exactly what is meant by the terms and so that other researchers can replicate the research.

• Definition of key terms (this can be done when you introduce each idea. Refer also to HMEF 5133 Directed Reading on how to write a good review. The literature reviewed should also be as recent as possible. • The gaps in the body of knowledge (in greater detail than that provided in the introduction). avoid excessive use of quotations.Chapter 2: Review of Literature The Review of Literature provides details on what other researchers have done in the area. • Research questions and/or hypotheses (for quantitative research) which are connected carefully to the literature being reviewed. you should rely more on primary sources for your review. Furthermore. instrumentation. It also gives evidence of your knowledge of the field.] 13 . The journal Review of Educational Research can be referred to for examples of good critical reviews of the literature. It describes the theoretical basis that you are using in conducting your research. and what you propose to do. this chapter provides a background for the development of your study and brings the reader up to date about research and thinking in the field. You should avoid an article-by-article presentation but should indicate areas of agreement or disagreement in findings or gaps in existing knowledge. Generally.  The theoretical framework. data collection procedures and data analysis. [Refer to HMEF 5014 Educational Research Methodology Chapter 2: Theory and Review of Literature for more details. You should provide the operational definitions of the key variables of your study • Methodological issues arising from the gaps relating to sampling. you need to cover the following: • The major theories. Nothing is more tiresome or difficult to follow than a review of literature that is merely an accumulation of quotations. or in a definition sub-section). In this section. which can either form the first or the final part of the Literature Review section. Also. issues or schools of thoughts.

Ideally. if your study is a survey you have to explain how you design and develop the questionnaire or interview checklist. If you are going to use attitude scales. experiments. Why you are researching certain dependent or independent or moderating variables. Why you are using a case study of a specific kind. Indicate the extent to which the sample is representative of the population. How you are proposing to analyse the data. etc. (iii) Data Collection Procedures You should provide a clear description of the procedures you use in collecting your data. For example. Framework of Data Analysis This section elaborates on the techniques used in the data analysis to obtain the information required to answer the research questions.Chapter 3: Methodology This chapter describes the methodology used in great detail and with justifications of its use over other similar methodologies. you should explain how you will analyse the data obtained under each research question. How you are proposing to have access to the data. Among the various issues discussed in this section includes the implementation of pilot studies and the actual research procedures. It would be helpful if you can present a summary of your analytical framework using the following grid (Figure 2): Objective Research Question Hypothesis (if any) Sources of Data Types of Data Technique of Analysis 14 . you could explain: • • • • • • • • (i) Why you are using a certain paradigm or theory. What is the composition of your sample? Are you going to use random sampling or purposive sampling and why? (ii) Instrumentation You should include a clear description of the data collection techniques or instruments you will use. achievement tests and other psychological tests. you have to give evidence regarding the reliability and validity of the instruments. correlational studies. For example. Why you are using surveys. For example. Sample It is here that you explain the size of the sample and how you select them. Why you have chosen a sampling frame and the size of a certain sample. You should also describe the scoring procedures adopted for the instruments used. Why you are using quantitative research. Explain the number and types of items included in the questionnaire.

Use the citation style proposed by the Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style for short). This will indicate to whoever assesses your proposal that you are ready to embark on the intended research. Very often. much work still needs to be done. that is. Make sure that all materials cited in the text are also found in the list of references and vice versa This will reflect your academic honesty in producing the research report. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RESEARCH PROPOSAL AND FINAL DISSERTATION Note that while the proposal can be mapped onto the final dissertation. You might have to make adjustments to your write-up on sampling techniques. The proposal merely provides the first three chapters of your dissertation. For example. The other two chapters need to be written once the research is done. from present and future tenses to past tenses.Figure 2: Summary of Analytical Framework List of References • This must be provided in the usual scholarly fashion. you need to change the tenses used in the presentation of the write-up. Most importantly. data collection procedures and data analysis framework. It helps to convince your reader that your proposal is worth pursuing if you can identify literature in the field and demonstrate that you understand it. This is often overlooked by learners. This would involve making modifications to your chapter on methodology. there is also a need to modify the three chapters submitted as your proposal without changing the area and focus of your study. • • Appendices Include in this section all the relevant support materials especially the research instruments that are to be used in the study. You might have to provide more detailed research and/or theoretical support for the study by beefing up the chapter on literature review. instrumentation. you might have to realign your research objectives and research questions so that they are more reflective of the research problem. 15 .

4 Directions for future research Supporting Materials References Appendices 16 .2 Theoretical framework 2.2 Discussion 5.7 Limitations of the study 1. The dissertation final report can be viewed as a three-part document: Preliminary Section.1 Summary of main findings 5.5 Research Hypotheses (if any) 1.1 Sample Instrumentation Data collection procedures Framework for data analysis Chapter 4 Data Analysis and Results (Description of statistical analyses in relation to research questions/hypotheses/objectives and presentation of relevant tables and figures) Chapter 5 Discussion and Conclusion 5.4 Research questions 1.8 Definitions of terms Chapter 2 Review of Literature 2.3 Implications 5. See Figure 3 which shows the format adopted by Open University Malaysia.6 Significance of the study 1.1 Previous studies 2.3 Objectives of the study 1. the Body and Supporting Materials. The format discussed may vary with respect to the research design and approach used for the study.3 Methodological issues Chapter 3 Methodology 3. Preliminary Section Title Page Abstract Abstrak Acknowledgements Table of Contents List of tables (if any) List of figures (if any) Body of Research Report Chapter 1 Introduction 1.2 Problem statement 1.WRITING THE DISSERTATION FINAL REPORT The purpose of this section is to give you a general guide for preparing the dissertation final report.1 Background to the study 1.

provide the English translation of the abstract if the report is in Bahasa Melayu.). It should not to be stated broadly and make it difficult for the reader to determine what the study is about. It normally includes a brief statement of the problem. the relationship of the report to a degree requirement. Likewise. The title should not claim more than the study actually delivers. the title “Mathematics Achievement OF Urban Poor Children” is too general and a more precise title would be “Mathematics Achievement OF Poor Children IN AN Urban School IN SARAWAK”. The title should be in capital letters. Do not indulge in flattery and excessive recognition for routine participation of family members. single-spaced and centred between the right and left margins of the page. The title page should not be numbered. Acknowledgements An acknowledgment page is included if you have received unusual assistance in the conduct of the study. For example. All pages in the preliminary section are to be numbered at the centre of the bottom margin using lower-case Roman numerals (i. lecturers. the major findings and their implications. the objectives of the study. iv. acknowledgements. the abstract. the main research questions.Figure 3 Format of Final Dissertation Part I: Preliminary Section The preliminary section consists of the title page. The Open University Malaysia requires that you have the translation of your abstract in Bahasa Malaysia if you have written your report in English. Title Page: Although title pages may differ from one institution to another. ii. These items should be written in Times Roman font/16pt. Keep in mind its possible usefulness to another researcher who may search a database where your dissertation may be listed. table of contents. one paragraph summary of the most important components of the research study. Abstract The abstract is a short. If the title goes beyond one line. librarians and clerical helpers. The abstract should not be more than 500 words for PhD and 300 words for Master’s and it should be written in single spacing. the name of the institution where it is to be submitted. The candidate should use the format provided by the Open University Malaysia. the name of the author. and the date of presentation (see Appendix B). they usually include: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) the name of the topic. The acknowledgements should be simple and restrained. the research design adopted. supervisors. the words in the title should be divided into lines so that each successive line is shorter than the one above it and is centred below it in an inverted pyramid style (see Appendix B). The translated abstract should include the title as well. the sample involved. iii. See Appendix C 17 . (d) Declaration The declaration is meant for the candidate to declare that the dissertation is the result of his/her own work. list of tables and figures. The title should be concise and should indicate clearly the purpose of the study. etc.

graphs) are commonly used to organise and present numerical data. a separate section should be included to list each table or figure. the subsequent discussion will only focus on Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results and Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusion. Page references for each topic should be indicated. For clarity. For qualitative studies. categories or themes which may be presented in table form. Part II: Body of the Dissertation Final Report Commonly. The Qualitative Report is a useful journal which presents reports of qualitative studies in education. observations and documents to support your arguments. you may want to present your analysis and findings under each research question. If you do a qualitative study. You would also be presenting data in the form of anecdotes or excerpts of interviews. the body of the dissertation final report comprises 5 chapters. the main sections of a dissertation are presented in five (5) chapters with the various sections as detailed in Figure 3. you present the analysis of the data obtained from the study. should be presented with corresponding numbers and page locations. demographic data of the sample that are not findings to your research 18 . List of Tables and Figures If tables and figures are included in the dissertation. Differentiate between headings and subheadings using capitalisation and small letters. The full titles of figures and tables. This is the heart of the research report. there are six chapters with the 5th chapter being broken down into two chapters. You are advised to refer to the Journal of Educational Psychology and the American Educational Research Journal to see how tables and graphs are presented and explained. there will be less numerical data. Tables and figures are useful in presenting an overall picture of the data as well as showing trends that have emerged from the analysis. Instead your data would consist of concepts. Since chapters 1 to 3 have been deliberated in the section on Writing A Research Proposal . one focusing on Discussion and the other on Summary and Conclusion. For a quantitative study. However. The Acknowledgements. Table of Contents and List of tables and figures sections should be presented using Times Roman font/12pt.Table of Contents The Table of contents serves an important purpose in providing an outline of the contents of the dissertation. tables and figures (e.g. Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Results In this chapter. The sections under each chapter may differ from one study to another. In some theses/dissertations. worded exactly as they appear in the text. nursing and medicine. Describe all findings that are shown in the tables and figures in detail. As shown in Figure 3.

your study is not attempting to change the whole education system! You should keep in mind that this chapter is the most used part of the research report by other readers. Remember. Other important sections in this chapter are Implications of your findings and Direction for future research. The second part is a discussion of the findings. The formats of references and appendices have been deliberated earlier in the section on research proposal. You might also find some references and documents irrelevant after conducting your research and they should be removed.. Because you are the one who conducted the study. Readers who scan research literature to find significant studies examine this chapter before deciding whether or not further examination to the report is worthwhile reading. This information should ideally be presented in chapter 3 under the heading “sample’. Give possible reasons why the results occurred. you should make the necessary modifications to accommodate any new references and/or new documents related to your research. Part III: Supporting Materials This section of the report comprises the References and Appendices. The first part includes a brief summary of the problem. 19 . methodology and results. Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusion The last chapter comprises of two parts. On the other hand. However. you identify and interpret the findings. Explain how far your findings are similar to or different from those of previous research. One of the most common weaknesses found in the writing of graduate students is that their reports present important and interesting findings but fail to provide a thoughtful interpretation and discussion of the findings in relation to past research and existing theories. Here. Some researchers present the main findings in the form of list. there is the tendency for beginning researchers to overgeneralise on the basis of their limited data. Focus should be on a summary of the main findings and it should be as brief as possible. you should have a deeper understanding of the study compared to most readers.questions should not be presented in this chapter. Thus you are expected to discuss the findings and to give your own opinion about the outcomes. Such a refinement would definitely enhance the quality of your research report. You could also provide reasons by referring to the findings of previous research (This is where the studies cited in Chapter 2 are useful). You should also relate your findings to the theory/theories upon which your study is based.

The title of the research report should not be more than 16 words. Line Spacing The body of the text should be double-spaced. A high quality laser or ink-jet printer should be used for the printing. Refer to Appendix D for an example of the Front Cover and the Spine of a research report The colour of the front cover should be Maroon and made from Acroline texture. 20 . Script fonts are unacceptable. double-spaced using a word processor. The manuscripts must be printed on one side of the paper only. short footnotes. The title of the dissertation may be abbreviated or summarised to fit into the spine. The letters should be in Times New Roman. The letters for the front covers should be printed in gold of Ruthlan font of size 18 and in Upper Case using Hot Stamping. Paper and Duplicating Manuscripts should be printed on high quality while A4 paper (80 g/m2). author. The spines of the dissertation should show the brief title. notes. and the year of submission typed on the front covers. Duplicating with carbon copies is not acceptable. Printing Quality Manuscripts should be typed. ii. Binding The ONE (1) hardbound copies of the research report submitted to the university should have the full title. size 12 points. All copies must clean. They must be duplicated by offset printing or good quality photocopying. ONE (1) hardbound copies and ONE (1) soft copy (in the form of a CD) are to be submitted to the University. the name of the author and the University. long quotations. neat and legible. Given below is the format you should follow when you prepare your dissertation final report. Single spacing is only permitted in tables. year of submission and type of degree.FORMAT OF DISSERTATION FINAL REPORT Once you have completed your research and it is approved by the examination board of the university. multi-line captions and in the references. The spines should be printed in gold block letters of appropriate size. Printing i. Duplicating or pinfeed computer papers are not allowed to be used.

etc) are used on the pages of the text and the supporting materials.5 cm/1 inch 2. ii. If it does not.5 cm/1 ½ inches 2. The font size of 8 is recommended for numbers. etc) should be used in the preliminary section. All tables and figures must be placed within the specified margins. Roman numerals (i. 3.5 cm/1 inch 3. Pagination (d) All page numbers should be printed 1. the paragraph should begin on the next page. Arabic numerals (1. topic or subtopic or information in a figure. it should only be for a footnote or the completion of the last sentence of the chapter.5 cm/1 inch The following additional guidelines need to be followed: • Do not type more than one sentence after the bottom margin.5 cm/1 inch The text in the subsequent pages should have the following margins: Top : Right : Left : Bottom : 2. The title page at the front of the dissertation is begins on the second page with ii.(c) Margins The first page of each chapter should have the following margins: Top Right Left Bottom 5 cm/2 inches 2. iii. • A new paragraph at the bottom of a page must have at least two full lines of type.0 cm from the bottom margin and placed at the right hand side without any punctuation.5 cm/1 ½ inches 2.5 cm/1 inch 3. If it is necessary to do so. 21 . 2.

3. 1. Table 4. Notes and footnotes.1.2 Sub-heading 2 ____________ ____________ Sub-heading 3 ____________ ____________ (f) Notes and Footnotes There are differences in the use of notes and footnotes in various disciplines. Chapter 2. Table 4. and so on.(e) Subdivisions The internal organisation of the text should be consistent throughout the dissertation final report. The text should be divided into chapters. etc. Table 4.2 1. illustrations.2 1.3.1. the same guidelines for tables should be followed. the reference must be cited. figures in Chapter 4 should be labelled as Figure 4. The caption is not repeated. (g) Tables Tables must be printed within the body of the text at the centre of the frame and labelled according to the chapter in which they appear.2. if used. Headings should only be presented at a maximum of three levels.1 1.1. continued. However. 22 . It is advisable to place a table as close as possible to the discussion related to the table. for example. Like tables.1. Content of each chapter may be divided under headings and sub-headings such as 1.3 and so on. photographs or anything that is neither script nor table. for example.2 ____________ 1.2. Use single spacing for the caption if it exceeds more than one line. unlike tables.2.2. should have a smaller font than the text (font size 8).1 Sub-heading 1 1. For example. If a table is reproduced. The table number and its caption should be placed above the table itself. A figure should not normally extend beyond one page.1. as shown below. (h) Figures Figures are graphs. Figure 4. and so on. Subdivisions can also be used. figures and their captions should be labelled according to the chapters they are found. If any table takes up more than one page. Chapter 1 Main Heading 1. tables in Chapter 4 are numbered Table 4.3 1.1 1. the labels for figures should be placed at the bottom of the figures. For example. 1.3. the continued table on the following page should indicate that it is a continuation. If it does.2. Chapter 1. It should only appear after reference about the table has been made in the text.1 ____________ 1.3.

APPENDIX A FORMAT OF TITLE PAGE MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT OF POOR CHILDREN IN AN URBAN SCHOOL IN SARAWAK EVY SOFIAH ISMAIL A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education Faculty of Education and Languages Open University Malaysia 2009 *Do not indicate the box on the Title Page 23 .

except for quotations and summaries which have been duly acknowledged.APPENDIX C FORMAT OF DECLARATION PAGE DECLARATION Name: Matric Number: I hereby declare that this dissertation is the result of my own work. Signature: Date: *Do not indicate the box on the Declaration 24 .

APPENDIX D FORMAT OF FRONT COVER AND SPINE MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT OF POOR CHILDREN IN AN URBAN SCHOOL IN SARAWAK EVY SOFIAH ISMAIL MATHEMATICS ACIEVEMENT OF POOR CHILDREN IN AN URBANSCHOOL IN SARAWAK EVY SOFIAH ISMAIL OPEN UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA 2009 MEd 2009 *Do not indicate the box on the Front Cover & Spine 25 .

Research Methodology Learners may use various research methods: qualitative. it should rest on a sound theoretical framework and supported by past research.g. justifying use of appropriate research design) in their work by applying all elements of relevant and appropriate methodology Learners are required to demonstrate a high level of originality their research work.Suggested Scope and Depth of Research Below are expectations for research for the PhD (Edu) Dissertation. ANOVA. ANOVA.g.g. quantitative or mixed method Learners should demonstrate a high degree of rigour (e. If the study employs a quantitative approach. it should rest on a sound theoretical framework and supported by past research. Quantitative Research If the study employs a quantitative approach. quantitative or mixed method Learners should demonstrate a high degree of rigour (e. Mere description or a study of perceptions of people in the field is not encouraged unless it is supported by some qualitative data. Area PhD (Edu) Dissertation M Ed Option 1 Dissertation (18 credits) A dissertation is expected to cover a particular area of study in depth and to contribute to research in the field. t-tests or chi-square statistics at the very least. The intended study should explore and address the existing “gap” in the area of research. For a dissertation using an experiments or survey. justifying use of appropriate research design) in their work by applying all elements of relevant and appropriate methodology Learners are required to demonstrate a high level of originality their research work. the analysis should include use of inferential statistics. Learners should explain the appropriateness of the statistical tests used and they are encouraged to provide evidence for the assumptions underlying each statistical procedure. The emphasis here is on a learner’s understanding of the research process as well as the awareness of the limitations of his /her study with some in-depth understanding of the phenomenon investigated or the possible generalisability of his/her findings. A dissertation should examine contemporary issues in the field by presenting evidence of reading seminal work as well as recent contributions to research in an area. the analysis should include use of inferential statistics. For a dissertation using an experiment or survey. e.g. Learners must explain the appropriateness of the statistical tests used and they must only use these tests after providing sufficient evidence for the assumptions underlying each statistical procedure. t-tests or chi-square statistics at the very least. 26 . The emphasis here is on a learner’s detailed and in-depth understanding of the phenomenon investigated. e. In situations where these assumptions are Learners may use various research methods: qualitative. A dissertation should demonstrate evidence of reading seminal work and recent contributions to body of research. the Master’s Dissertation (Option 1). Overview A dissertation is expected to cover a particular area of study in depth and to contribute to research in the discipline.

figures. of Pages Proposal: 75 – 150 pages Dissertation: 250 . Qualitative Research If the study uses the qualitative approach. If the study uses the qualitative approach. appropriate non-parametric tests should be used and the limitations of these tests must be discussed. references and appendices) Qualitative studies should include “rich thick description” so that understandings of phenomena in the field are based on indepth analyses of data. Qualitative studies should include “rich thick description” so that understandings of phenomena in the field are based on indepth analyses of data. references and appendices) 27 .Area PhD (Edu) Dissertation M Ed Option 1 Dissertation (18 credits) not met. the theory building must be directed by a well developed conceptual framework. figures. Proposal: 60-75 pages Dissertation: 120-150 pages (Excluding tables. The use of appropriate qualitative data analysis approaches and techniques should be clearly explained. Apart from reporting the significance of the findings. The use of appropriate qualitative data analysis approaches and techniques should be clearly explained and justified with sound theories and/or past research. learners are also required to discuss the ‘practical importance’ by means of effect size and confidence intervals whenever appropriate.300 pages (Excluding tables. No. the theory building must be directed by a well developed conceptual framework.

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