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A DVANCED R ESEARCH

C OURSE M ANUAL

S EM ESTER 3

MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATIONS E UROPEAN STUDIES 4


Academic year 2012 - 2013

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

A DVANCE D R ESEARCH
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The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

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At the end of the courses, students will have developed the following skills and/or competencies: Familiarity with the basic features of feasibility and market research Writing a research plan Familiarity with the pros and cons of different research instruments, such as questionnaires Basic questionnaire design and data analysis Advanced Desk Research

The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

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In Advanced Research Skills, students build on their research skills competencies by reviewing Desk Research and Critical Thinking while also learning how to design, conduct and analyse a research questionnaire. Theory is put into direct practice as students carry out a semester-long assignment in which they write and carry out their own research plan, using desk research, a questionnaire and another method of their own choosing. Students will be expected to act independently and to conduct their research with less direct supervision than in previous courses and projects.!

G&4'+-$() +$) $+>&#) E$5%$(&(+.) The course builds upon Introduction to Research Skills and puts the skills -()+>&)E"##-:"4"5) taught in those classes into further practice, while also overlapping with core semester themes related to decision making and policy in the public and/or private sectors. A separate course on using Microsoft Excel, an important aspect of Advanced Research Skills, is offered as part of the Skills study unit. ! @-,':+-:.) The course consists of a series of interactive lectures/workshops combined with organised (mandatory) feedback sessions and office hours.$ Full attendance is strongly recommended during lectures and workshops. Consultations with teachers and feedback sessions are mandatory and students who miss class are responsible for catching up on their own, using the materials provided and will not be entitled to extra assistance or detailed feedback.$ Advanced Research Skills part A - Assignment (weight 20) Advanced Research Skills part B Assignment (weight 40) Excel - Open Question Exam (Computer) (weight 40)) ) Students will carry out a major research assignment throughout the entire semester. In groups of 2-3, they will plan and conduct a feasibility study. This will involve making a research plan and choosing several methods. One required method, which is part of the assessment, involves designing and implementing a questionnaire. Different components of this assignment will be assessed at different times. Part A (30%) Questionnaire and Pilot Test Report During the first half of the course, students will learn how to design a questionnaire. Then they will design a questionnaire for use on their research assignment, which they will have to test, evaluate and refine. The final questionnaire, together with a report on the pilot test, will be handed in for 30% of the final grade. Part B (70%) The Final Research Report

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The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

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The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

Weekly Programme Week 1


General course introduction Reminder of basic concepts a central question, etc. Desk Research Tips Assignment Students think about possible topics for their feasibility research and do some preliminary desk research. Class discussion on possible research topics, preliminary desk research and the planning process. Forming of groups for the big research. Students put into groups and asked to brainstorm, based on what theyve found so far, and to narrow down the topic. Come up with a concrete idea and motivation for this topic. Lecture: Introduction to Feasibility Research and Reminders of how to write a research plan. Students begin writing research plan. Lecture: Designing Questionnaire Questions.

Assignment

Week 2

Assignment

Week 3
Assignment

Week 4
Assignment

Students finish and hand in Research plans. No class individual group meetings for feedback on the research plan.

Week 5
Assignment

Students begin creating questionnaire. Individual group meetings where students bring their questionnaire for feedback. Students pilot test questionnaire and hand in pilot test and report.

Week 6 Break

Week 7

Lecture recap on research methods. Students are asked to choose to do an interview or focus group and should be reminded that interviews can be different from last semester (i.e., not necessarily in groups for 40 minutes, could be on the phone, or even done digitally). Students go out and conduct questionnaire and interview(s). Lecture - How to process results in Excel and write the research report (the basic structure, etc.).

Assignment

Week 8

The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

Week 9

No Formal Class Teachers may choose to allow students to work on data processing instead of attending class though office hours will be held for questions. Teachers may also choose to hold a group meeting. Lecture: Adjusting research if necessary (being flexible) and a recap of how to write a report. No Formal Class Teachers may hold office hours and provide students with a chance to work on their report, but a group meeting may also be scheduled. Peer Review Session Students bring a draft of their Research Report to class to share with their teacher and peers for preliminary feedback. Students will need to hand in a complete Research Report by the deadline stated below. The report must be handed in together with a CD-Rom or data stick containing all questionnaire data and pivot tables and should be submitted through the Ephorus Plagiarism scanner.

Week 10 Week 11

Week 12

To hand in: The Deadline will be announced well in advance. Hard copies only: A printed version must be handed in to your teachers pigeonhole before the deadline.

The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

C O U R S E
Research

I N T R O D U C T I O N

Research Skills are of vital importance to any European Professional. Regardless of where they work or in what sector, European Studies graduates need to be able plan, conduct and analyse research in order to function. In general, any organization that employs you would expect you to keep up with the latest developments in your field through desk research and through field research in the form of conferences, conventions, etc. or to come up with and evaluate new ideas. And, at the organisational level, research is a necessary part of the decision-making process. In order for companies, governments or NGOs to decide what to do and how to do it, they need to do research in a wide variety of areas. If, for example, you work in marketing and your company is about to launch a new product, you will need to do market research to determine whether or not there are enough potential customers for your product, to find out who those customers are and to determine how best to promote the product in order to reach that goal. You might have to do the exact same thing if you worked for a nongovernmental organization, only instead of trying to measure or stimulate interest in a product; you might be hoping to determine whether or not people or organisations are interested in supporting your cause. Remember: marketing is at least as important to the non-profit sector as it is in business and, in fact, many NGOs have larger marketing departments than some companies. Governments are no exception, as they cannot develop new policies or attempt to solve problems without doing extensive research to find out, among other things, the causes and effects of the problems they want to solve and the possibility of public support for their solution. Organisations need information in order to function and Research Skills enable you to gather up the information you need and to use that information to serve a variety of purposes. In short, research makes it possible to ask and answer the right questions to get things done. In Introduction to Research Skills, you learned that research consists of a few simple steps. Basically, it involves choosing a topic, narrowing the topic down to a central question, choosing methods to gather the information needed to answer that question, executing those methods, analysing the information that is gathered and reaching a conclusion and/or recommendations based on your findings. Basically, research is about asking the following questions: 1. What do I want to know? (and why do I want to know it?) 2. What is the best way to find out? (and where can I find the information I need?) Once you have found the information you need and have critically evaluated it to make sure it is accurate and trustworthy, you should be able to answer your research question.

From your Desk to the Field


As you know from the Introduction to Research Skills course you followed in Year 1, there are two basic strategies for gathering information: Desk Research and Field Research. You have already done both and in both cases, you were asked to take a specific, concrete research question and then to go out and find some concrete answers. The term Desk Research refers to the gathering and the processing of information from sources that can be accessed from your desk (using the Internet, school databases, libraries, magazines, newspapers, journals and books, etc.). Desk Research is useful, because it is a quick and costeffective way to find a lot of (in-depth) information and to consider different perspectives. Desk research is usually the first step in research. Most researchers need to do extensive desk research before they can even establish a central research question after all, it makes sense to first find out what has already been done and what is already known about a topic before deciding to dig

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Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

for more. Desk research enables you to narrow down your research questions, while also providing you with a theoretical background from which to work. Field Research refers to any research that requires you to leave the safety of your desk or your local library and go out into the field to interact with your subject. In Introduction to Research Skills, you did this by conducting an interview, but there are dozens of other methods for field research, including questionnaires a key aspect of this course focus groups, case studies and direct experimentation. Successful field research requires careful preparation and planning. Methods must be carefully chosen and implemented in a scientific and ethical manner, and you must never forget that, whatever youre doing, you cannot lose sight of your central question or goal. In general, the quality of your field research will also depend, to some extent, on the quality of your desk research, especially if you are testing a theory or looking for connections or contradictions between the theory and the reality out in the field. Another requirement is strong critical thinking skills and an awareness of reasoning and argumentation. A good researcher must always be critical of their findings, while looking out for meaningful relationships and keeping an eye on the big picture. Once you reach a conclusion, you must examine it carefully to make sure it is logical and well supported by your data, and this requires an acute understanding of logic and reason. In Introduction to Research Skills, you learned how to make a Reasoning Tree to evaluate your own logic (or the arguments made in the information you find through research) and you are strongly encouraged to use this tool again. In Advanced Research, you will take your knowledge of desk and field Research (as well as critical thinking) to the next level. This course challenges you to apply a variety of methods some that are familiar and some that are new in order to answer a specific question. In order to complete this course, you will need to re-apply your Desk Research and Interviewing Skills, but you will also be looking at other methods.

Quantity and Quality


Another thing you learned in the introductory research course is that research is either quantitative or qualitative in nature. Quantitative research is the search for information that can be expressed in terms of quantities (numbers), data that can be measured mathematically and put into charts and graphs and most importantly pivot tables. Surveys, questionnaires and opinion polls are forms of quantitative research. Qualitative research is less precise and involves trying to gather quality and detail. Interviews and focus groups are examples of qualitative research, as both aim to procure detailed information. When used correctly, qualitative research helps you to go deeper into the topic. And that is the major difference between the two: quantitative research tends to be broad while qualitative research tends towards depth. Each has its strengths and its weaknesses. An interview with an expert can, for example, provide great insight into a specific issue, but it remains one persons opinion. A survey, on the other hand, can tell you what a larger number of people think about an issue, but only in broad terms. After all, surveys rely on closed questions that dont allow for detailed answers the way that interviews and focus group sessions can. Neither of these methods is better than the other. Theyre both different and they can and should both be advanced where appropriate. Most professional research uses a combination of different methods, just like the research you are going to do in this course. It is up to the researcher to decide which methods are likely to provide them with the answers to those questions and apply them. For further information on research methods, please see section 10 or consult the manual from Introduction to Research Skills.

The Hague School of European Studies & Communication Management, The Hague University

Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

Advanced Research
Over the course of the next 12 weeks, you and your classmates, working in small groups of 2-3, are going to conduct a major research project in which you will be asked to use a mix of the research methods described above to answer a central question. Youre already familiar with two methods, Desk Research and Interviewing, but you are also going to go a step further into quantitative research by creating, conducting and analysing a questionnaire. At the end of the course, you will have a variety of data that will have to be packaged together into a professional research report, complete with a detailed analysis of your questionnaire data made in Excel. This time around, you will be expected to work more independently, without close supervision by your teacher and, unlike Introduction to Research Skills, this course does not come with a detailed manual or a textbook (though there are some recommended texts mentioned below). Many of the important concepts covered in this course including the theory and skills needed to design, implement and analyse a questionnaire will be dealt with in interactive workshops during class. Regular attendance is therefore vital to understanding the material, but PowerPoint slides and video podcasts will be posted for review purposes.

Context of Research Skills in Semester 3 and Connections to Other Courses


Semester 3 is all about Decision making and policy. It is about how organisations in the public and private sector, from small NGOs to government offices of all shapes and sizes to large and small businesses set goals and solve problems. In short, its about how things get done. As stated above, good research is an essential part of this process. No government, NGO or business can afford to make these decisions without carefully considering their position and using research to identify and evaluate the possibilities. As such, research is an essential part of the process. Students will see this in their Negotiation and Argumentation courses, where evidence is needed in order to create persuasive arguments or to build consensus, and in their political or economic courses, where students will develop their knowledge of how this is done in the real world This course is also integrated with a self-study course on Microsoft Excel. Excel and other spread sheet based software are an important tool for the contemporary professional most employers today expect graduates to be familiar with them and to be skilled at using programmes like Excel to process data. Data processing is a major component of Advanced Research, as students will be conducting and analysing quantitative questionnaire data in Excel or a similar programme. Some Excel basics are covered in this course, but in order to be properly prepared for data analysis, students should already be familiar with how the programme works. As such, students must also study the Excel module which is largely self-study very carefully. There will not be enough time to cover Excel in detail in this course and it will be necessary to use spreadsheet software to process data.

2 .

A s s e s s m e n t

&

A s s i g n m e n t

S p e c i f i c s

Students will conduct a large-scale research project throughout the entire semester. Working in groups of three, students will choose a topic and develop a research plan that includes Desk Research, a Questionnaire and another Research Method of their own choosing. Along the way, students will hand in a series of specific assignments. A research plan will be submitted for feedback, followed by a Questionnaire Pilot Test that will be graded (accounting for 30% of the grade) and a Final Report that will be graded (accounting for 70% of the grade). Students will also be practicing peer assessment within their groups. Each student will grade his or her teammates and provide a motivation for those grades, which will count for 10% of the grade on the final report.

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Your Mission: Feasibility Research This course involves doing Feasibility Research, a specific type of research that is an important part of the decision-making process. Feasibility Research is all about determining whether or not something is feasible whether or not it can be done and/or is likely to succeed. Feasibility Research is used to determine the likely success or failure of an idea before it is implemented. Governments do not attempt to implement a new policy without first evaluating whether or not their idea is likely to work. NGOs do not launch a campaign without first checking to see if it is likely to catch on and companies do not put out new products or change their marketing strategy or make decisions about export without first finding out if they are likely to profit from the decision. Throughout the semester, students will research the feasibility of an idea. You are going to come up with an idea for a public policy, an NGO initiative or a business strategy and then conduct research to determine whether or not it is likely to succeed. To do this you must: Do desk research on the situation and possibilities, as well as any relevant theoretical concepts, trends or other relevant information. Use a questionnaire to evaluate how the general public might respond to the idea (would they support the policy or product, etc.?) Choose and implement other research methods as needed (depending on your specific topics) options include case studies, interviews, focus groups and direct experimentation.

A variety of the available research methods will be discussed in class, but students are advised to consult recommended textbooks like Research Methods for Business Students by Mark Saunders, et al. or Researching Social Life by David Gilbert. Acceptable topics Students are free to use a topic of their own choosing, as long as the focus of the research is on testing the feasibility of an idea. Students are also free to use topics they are discussing or dealing with in other courses (as long as their work reflects the skills covered in this course and meets the specified criteria). Here are some examples of acceptable options: Students can consider a possible solution to a social, economic, cultural or political problem and research the feasibility of that solution on behalf of a government. Students can create an idea for a new Non-Governmental Organisation aimed at meeting a specific need (or think of a new programme through which an existing NGO could accomplish specific goals) and find out of it is likely to succeed. Students can research the feasibility of exporting a specific product to a specific country, on behalf of a real company or a company of their own creation. Students can research the likelihood that a given product or marketing campaign will succeed.

Pick Something Interesting There are limitless possibilities and students are advised to consult their teacher and, above all else, students are advised to focus on subjects related to their own interests and to avoid frequently chosen or clich topics (obesity, for example) unless they have a fresh take on the issue.

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Advanced Research Student Manual

Semester 3 2012 / 2013

Products Here is a brief overview of the products that students will hand in throughout the semester. 1. The Research Plan Students will submit a Research Plan in Week 4. This plan will provide an overview of the research objective, the central question and sub-questions, and the methods that students will use to get the information they need. Students will receive teacher feedback on their plans but will not receive a grade. See Section 3: Writing a Research Plan below for detailed instructions and tips. 2. The Questionnaire and Pilot Report
Students will design, conduct and analyse a questionnaire as part of their research. As part of the design process, students will test their questionnaires on a small sample of respondents who will fill the questionnaire in and provide feedback, before finalising them. Based on this pilot test, students will write a short evaluation of their questionnaire and explain any revisions they need to make and hand that in, together with the questionnaire, mid-way through the semester. This assignment will be graded (Criteria has been included below) and counts for 30% of the final grade.

3. The Final Report


After conducting Desk Research, the questionnaire and at least one other research method, students will write and hand in an APA-style research report documenting their research. The Report should also include an Annotated Bibliography. See Section 6: Writing a Research Report for detailed instructions and tips and section 10 of this manual for grading criteria. This report accounts for 70% of your grade. The report is a group product but individual grades will differ due to peer assessment. All students are required to assess their teammates with a grade. Peer review results will account for 10% of the grade on the final report. The report will be accompanied by a CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive containing Excel Data. ES4-E students are required to conduct and document their research in English. ES4-N students may conduct and document their research in Dutch.

3 .

W r i t i n g

R e s e a r c h

P l a n

Here is a brief overview of the steps involved in writing a Research plan: Step 1: Establishing the overall objective The researcher will begin by identifying and defining the problem and its context. Based on this specific viewpoint, the problem is elaborated to form a general research question (what do I want to know?) - and an objective (why do I want to know?) Step 2: Formulating the research questions Following the preliminary research (of whatever extent), the general research question is elaborated to form the central research question. This will be formulated in such a way as to give rise to data that will make an actual contribution to the solution to the problem. This central research question will then be broken down into a number of subsidiary questions. The manner in which the central research question is framed will reveal the type of research he or she has chosen to conduct. There are two associated types of research.

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Step 3: Selecting research strategies and data collection methods The choice of one or more research strategies is a key decision, based on a number of other decisions, which have to be made: Are we to seek a breadth or depth of information? Are we to quantify the information acquired (by means of graphs, tables, calculations etc.) or is there to be a qualitative, interpretative approach in which the results are presented by means of a textual report with commentary? The answers to these questions you can find using a combination of central and subsidiary decisions as described above. The most relevant strategies for answer those research questions are: desk research, survey, case study / interviews (see appendix 2). As you know, for this course you will have to do a survey, but you will still have to make choices about what information you will gather with your survey and be able to explain why the survey was the best method. Step 4: Identifying and defining the key terms of the research questions The most important terms used in the research questions - the key terms - are identified and defined. Step 5: Establishing probable relationships between terms An important task of the researcher is to identify possible relationships, even in descriptive research. In his research plan, the researcher will state his suspicions or hypotheses with regard to these relationships. Later - when interpreting the data - he can then determine whether these suspicions are founded. For example, an interesting relationship may be the one between gender or cultural background on the one hand and certain key aspects under investigation. Step 6: Creating a time schedule Many researchers find it useful to produce a schedule for their research and many use a Gannt chart for that purpose, which provides a simple visual representation of the tasks and activities that make up the research project. For more tips on writing a research plan, see Introduction to Research Skills.

4 .

D e s i g n i n g

t h e

q u e s t i o n n a i r e

The basic principles of and possibilities for questionnaire design will be explained in class. After class, students will need to study supplemental materials on Blackboard PowerPoint slides, articles and video podcasts carefully.

5 .

P r o c e s s i n g

t h e

d a t a

The basic principles of and possibilities for administering a questionnaire are explained in class as well as in the self-study Excel-module. They involve using Excel to create a Code Book, a file that breaks your questionnaire down into variables for interpretation and a Data Matrix, in which all your results are entered. Once these spreadsheets are created, you can use Excel to create charts, graphs and, most importantly, Pivot tables, in which you can compare different results against one another. Please study the materials on Blackboard carefully as well as the Statistical Manual from the Excelmodule.

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Information gathered through desk research must also be processed and analysed. Students must do this by creating an Annotated Bibliography for all their sources. For more information on how to make an Annotated Bibliography, review Introduction to Research Skills.

6 .

W r i t i n g

R e s e a r c h

R e p o r t

Once you have finished consulting sources through desk research, analyzing questionnaire results and documenting the most useful information youve discovered through your interviews, focus groups or other methods, it is time to start writing up your final report (although there are sections of the report, such as the Introduction and Methods sections, which can feasibly be written before youve finished gathering data and it is advisable to start writing your report once you have a solid research plan). Writing a long report may seem daunting at first but can actually be quite easy if you follow the necessary steps. As these reports are written by small groups, students are advised to make use of collaborative writing services like Google Docs (www.docs.google.com), which allow multiple authors to work on the same document. This allows for maximum collaboration and better communication, and it saves you the trouble of having to assemble your report from different documents. You have already studied the structure of a Research Report in Introduction to Research Skills and should review that course manual and the APA style guide if you have questions, but here is a brief review: A research report is, in many ways, a lot like a high school science experiment. It starts with a question that you want to answer through experimentation. Once the question is clearly defined, you select a method that can best be used to find an answer (If, for example, you want to know what temperature is needed to boil water and you cant check on Wikipedia, you would likely decide to find the answer by heating up some water and measuring the temperature at the moment the water boils). Once your methods are selected, you begin testing and make observations (time, temperature, etc). Those observations are like data. Once your experiment gets to the end (the water is boiling), you are able to analyse your data and start to reach some conclusions. You have, in this case, observed that the water began to boil at 100 degrees Celsius and not at 90 degrees and you would probably make the logical conclusion that water boils at 100 degrees. Research Reports follow the same structure.

The Structure of a Research Report


1. Title Page The Title Page must include: ! The title of your report ! Your name, your student ID number and class ! The name of your teacher: Mr/Ms [Name] ! The date on which you completed the report: 4 July 2012 ! The Hague School of European Studies ! The Hague University of Advanced Sciences (or: Haagse Hogeschool) ! Please note that you do not use the words title page on your title page. 2. Executive Summary (Samenvatting) The last thing you write when compiling a report, is the Executive Summary even though this comes first in the report you print off and hand in and, if youre writing your report as a junior professional, it may be the most important part. An Executive summary is a brief text of less than a page in which you summarise the ENTIRE report, stating the purpose of the research, the central question, the research

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Advanced Research Student Manual

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methods, major results, conclusions and recommendations. Leave nothing out and dont save the good stuff as a reward for those who read to the very end. In the real world, your boss might never read the whole report. He or she might not have time for more than the summary, so that summary must include everything they need to know. 3. Introduction (Introductie) The Introduction to a research report should accomplish a number of goals. It must, for example, get the readers attention and introduce the general topic of the research. It must also establish the central question and sub-questions of the research. Since answering that question is the reason youre doing the research in the first place, it must be clear. Not only should you establish your central question, you must also answer another important question: why? Why are you researching this question? Why is the answer important? In short, you have to establish a context. If youre having trouble writing an Introduction, look to your Research Plan for inspiration, as it should help you to answer the why question. Many writers write the introduction last, while others write it before the research is even finished, but both must remember to write the report in the past tense, as it should be looking back on the research that you have already done and should read like a final product. Introductions to any writing usually also give a preview of whats coming next, with a few sentences saying something like: First, the research methods will be explained. Then, the results will be given!!.Finally, a conclusion will be made. 4. Methods (Methodiek) Here you should describe, step by step, the methods that you used (note the past tense) to conduct the research. You must explain what methods you chose to use and why you chose those methods. In a major project like the research for this course, you will choose to use desk research to answer some of your (sub)-questions and interviews for others. At the same time, you will have to gather some quantitative data and will therefore need to decide what questions are best answered with a survey. In your methods section, you explain your choices, in detail. Explain, for example, why you asked specific questions in your questionnaire and what target group(s) you had selected. In a sense, you try to provide enough information for another researcher to be able to repeat the experiment. Here, you must also remember to stick to the past tense, and you will use plenty of sequence markers such as first(ly), first of all, second(ly), third(ly), then, next, after that, last(ly), finally. The tense you will use most is the past tense: Next, water samples were collected from the river and transferred to the laboratory. Passive constructions are very frequent in this section. 5. Results (Resultaten) One of the most important parts of the report is your summary of the results of your research. Here, you answer the question: what did I find out from my research? In this section you describe the results but you do not interpret or analyse them yet. If youve done desk research, you simply summarise and/or quote the information you found. If you interviewed someone or conducted a focus group, you summarise and/or quote what they said. And if you conducted a survey, you report what the respondents said. It is very important to stick to just the facts here and not to overdo it by, for example, explaining every single questionnaire question and following up with the answers. Believe it or not, this can be done quickly and without wasting words.

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If you were doing market research to find out what kind of fast food people like, you would probably conduct a survey in which you would ask people about their age, nationality, gender, profession (or study) and their eating habits (how often they eat fast food, where they eat, what they eat). After you counted up all the results, you could easily report them with just a few paragraphs, like this: One hundred people filled in the survey. Fifty-five of them were male and 45 were female. Twenty were between the ages of 18 and 24, thirty were between 25 and 30, etc!! You can change it up with sentences like: Most of the men surveyed (70%) said they at a lot of Fast Food, mostly from Kentucky Fried Chicken, while the other third said they did not eat Fast Food. You might even make a few comparisons, such as: Women were less likely to eat fast food then men, as the majority preferred to eat in healthier restaurants. But!dont go too far. Its not time to analyse the data just yet. That comes in the next section. Another important tool you will use in your results section is visual aides, especially charts and graphs. Charts and graphs, usually referred to as Figures in a formal report, allow you to present a lot of data quickly and clearly. It is smart to use a few charts or graphs in your results section, but there are too golden rules to remember: 1. Dont overdo it! You do not need to make a figure for every single questionnaire question or every focus group point. Report your results in clear, short sentences, and use a few visuals to represent the main points. You should always keep in mind that visual aides do not replace writing, they just supplement it. 2. Make sure the chart is interesting and actually adds value. A pie chart showing how many men and how many women filled in a survey may be attractive, but doesnt say much and takes up space. 6. Discussion/Analysis (Discussie) In this section you take the results you reported in the last section and explain, analyse and interpret them. Here is where you start to compare answers and look for significant trends that might have meaning for your central question. If, in your Results section, you reported that 80% of the people who took the survey would like to buy your product, here, you can comment on what that might mean. Essentially, you go through your data and look for anything interesting and relevant. Make sure you point out all the correlations (relationships) between the results of the questionnaire, for example, between questions on age or gender and other questions (if young people feel differently than older people, etc). You can also include charts and graphs here, especially if they demonstrate a correlation, but see the golden rules above for reminders about how to use them. Here is an example of a chart that shows a correlation, a relationship between smoking and health:

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7. Conclusions (Conclusies) The importance of a conclusions section should be somewhat obvious. Now that youve reported your findings and analysed the most relevant findings and correlations, you can reach some conclusions. If, as mentioned above, a lot of people said they would buy the product, you would be able to conclude that the product is likely to be successful (note, you cannot conclude that the product will succeed, because of the limitations of your research). Here, its important to go back to your central research questions and sub-questions and, using your findings, answer them. Its that simple. Its about telling us what you know now. 8. Recommendations (Aanbevelingen) Often this part of the report is incorporated into the conclusions section, but it is sometimes separated because recommendations are NOT THE SAME as conclusions. A conclusion is what you know now that you have researched the question. A recommendation is you saying what we should do with this knowledge. If you found that most men would buy your product but few women would, you would likely have concluded that this product is likely to succeed with men. A logical recommendation would be something like, this product and its advertising should be targeted at men. Please note that there are always recommendations that can be made. Even if your research didnt result in any clear findings, you can always conclude and recommend that more research has to be done. 9. List of References/Annotated Bibliography An APA style list of the reference materials collected and used in the report. The List of References must contain a bibliography in alphabetical order is to be included, entitled References and laid out in APA style (see below). The References are one list, so do not separate books, articles and electronic sources. The items in this list of References should perfectly match the references that you have used in the text itself. For this assignment, students will make an Annotated Bibliography that not only lists sources, but also provides a short summary and evaluation of the source, its usefulness and its credibility. **Please note that only the Title Page, Summary, Table of Contents, List of References and Appendices each given (a) separate page(s). The body of the report can flow naturally from page to page with no need for empty space in between. 10 Appendices An Appendix contains any extra material, such as the questionnaire you designed, large figures and tables, explanations of terms, etc. Number the appendices separately.

8 .

E x a m p l e

A n n o t a t e d

B i b l i o g r a p h y

Students should review Introduction to Research Skills for tips on making an annotated bibliography. Here is a brief example to refresh your memory of what an Annotated Bibliography looks like:

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9 .

A d d i t i o n a l

R e a d i n g

M a t e r i a l

1. Recommended Reading Students who wish to further their study of research methods may want to study Researching Social Life by Nigel Gilbert (ISBN: 9781412946629) or Research Methods for Business Students by Mark Saunders, et. al. (ISBN: 9780273658047). Both provide useful reference.

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2.Web Resources The following link leads to the Companion Website for Research Methods for Business Students: http://wps.pearsoned.co.uk/ema_uk_he_saunders_resmethbus_4/

1 0 .

C r i t e r i a

f o r

A s s i g n m e n t s

This section lays out the criteria that will be used to assess assignments. More details will be published on Blackboard as deadlines approach.

Evaluation Critieria for the Questionnaire and Pilot Report


All students must test their questionnaire on 5-10 respondents in their target group and write a 1-page report evaluating the questionnaire and any feedback they recieved. This process will be further explained in class. Teachers will use the following checklist to grade this assignment : Please note that students of the English-language programme (ES4E) must conduct and document their research in English while students of the Dutch-language programme (ES4N) may write their reports in Dutch. Introduction (1.5 points) Should include: the right tone, relevance, introduction to the subject and goal of the research, explanation of what will happen with the information, assurances of anonymity, an estimate of how much time it will take and a statement thanking the respondent for their help. 2. Questions (2 points) Should be: Correctly formulated as indicated in Week 4 (see slides) - positive phrasing, one variable per question, proper coding, clear phrasing and good grammar/spelling. 3. Answer choices (2 points) Should be: Correctly formulated as indicated in Week 4 (see slides) answers should fit the question, should be mutually exclusive, should cover all possible options and be appropriately similar to one another, with correct coding, clarity and good grammar/spelling. 4. Variety and comprehensiveness (1 point) There should be: An appropriate variety of subjects and question types. Enough questions to gather information that will answer the research question or meet the research goal . 5. Lay-out (2 points) Should be: Clear and easy to read, attractive/inviting, divided into different sections based on the content of questions. The goal of each section must also be clear. The Pilot Report (2 points) Should be: A Brief report (1-2 pages) demonstrating thorough analysis of the questionnaire, based on a satisfactory amount of testing, showing insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the questionnaire and reporting on any necessary changes, written clearly and with correct grammar/spelling.

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Evaluation Criteria For The Final Research Report


Here is an overview of the grading criteria for the final report for Advanced Research, which will result in your final mark for the course. The general criteria are followed by a marking checklist that your teacher may use to evaluate your report. In General In general, each group is expected to hand in a complete report and a CD-ROM or USB stick/Flash Drive containing their processed questionnaire data, complete with a Code Book, Data Matrix, and any (pivot) tables and charts that were made to analyse the data. Everything must be clearly labelled and professionally presented according to APA criteria. Each assignment should include each group members name, student number and class. Executive Summary (Samenvatting) Should summarise the entire report quickly and efficiently, including the conclusions and recommendations.

Introduction (Introductie) Should give a brief and clear presentation of your (fictional) business / NGO and the Global Citizenship project you are researching; Should give a clear formulation of the objective of the research, the central question and sub questions; Should make clear why the research is necessary/relevant; Should provide an outline of the report.

Research method(s) (Methodiek)

Should explain the research methods chosen and why they were chosen, and the added value of using a questionnaire using quantitative research; each method (desk research, the questionnaire and whichever other method was chosen; Overall choices concerning chosen sample etc.; Key terms, defined in a specific and measurable way. Results (Resultaten) Should provide all relevant findings from the research but just the facts, no analysis; Should provide answers to all sub-questions (in different sections); Should be presented and illustrated with the help of some essential graphs and pivot tables; Presented graphs and tables must be explained / motivated by text.

Discussion (Discussie) Should show serious analysis of the results; Should demonstrate correlations in the findings; Should highlight interesting and relevant data.

Conclusions and Recommendations (Conclusies en Aanbevelingen) Should provide a proper conclusion (an answer to the main research question); This conclusion should be based on answers to sub-questions; Logical recommendations should be made, based on the conclusions and other results; Should provide an overview of any limitations of the research.

List of References/Annotated Bibliography (Bronnen) Should provide an overview of all desk research sources that were consulted, in APA style;

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Should provide a summary of each source, as well as an evaluation of its credibility; Should demonstrate a critical approach to research.

Appendices (Bijlagen) Should include a blank Questionnaire form (final version) used to research the topic, including the coding used; Should include any charts, graphs and pivot tables made in support of the research.

Peer Review Each student must evaluate their teammate with a brief text (less than 1 page) in which they give their partner(s) a mark out of ten and explain their evaluation. This will count for 10% of each students grade for the report.

EVALUATION CRITERIA For THE EXCEL DATA The Excel files students hand in (on CD-ROM or USB stick) together with their report must include: A code book that converts questions into variables and provides a clear key to interpreting data; A data matrix in which all data collected with questionnaires is entered correctly; A series of pivot tables in which the most significant relationships between different variables are examined.

Students should refer to the Excel Module and Statistical Appendix therein for more on what the Excel files should look like. General Criteria for ALL Assignments Quality of Writing All assignments will also be assessed on the general quality of the writing within them (in English or in Dutch). While language is not the focus of this course, it must be noted that research will only be taken seriously if it is presented in a professional package that is attractive and readable. Therefore, research plans, questionnaires and reports will be assessed based on the general professional quality of the English or Dutch writing. Students are advised to proof read their work carefully and to use a spell checker. If your writing is unreadable, it will result in a failure. An important reminder about Group Work This assignment is the result of group work and your teacher will assume, unless otherwise informed, that all group members should be given the same mark. If there are apparent discrepancies in contribution or the quality of work by some group members, it is at the teachers discretion to adjust individual marks accordingly.

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EVALUATION CHECKLIST

The Report (20 points) Criteria


Structure (4 points) Is the report properly structured using APA style? Does each section (Introduction, Methods, Results, etc.) accomplish its goals? Is information presented in a logical order? Are arguments well structured and easy to follow? Is everything included in the report relevant to the topic? Research and Methods (5 points) Are the research methods chosen for this report clearly explained and justified/motivated? Is a third method beyond desk research and questionnaire design included? Are all methods properly applied? Are all relevant results properly documented? Analysis (5 points) Have the reports authors carefully and critically analysed information? Is the data gathered through each research method analysed and interpreted? Are the conclusions/points of view clearly stated and supported by evidence and reason? Do the authors demonstrate a clear understanding of the research and analysis? Is the report free of bias or fallacy? Quality of Presentation (4 points) Is the report written in adequate, professional English (Is it easy to read and free of major mistakes? Does it have a professional lay-out that is easy to read (1.5 spacing, justification, etc.)? **Citation of Sources (2 points) Are sources documented in proper APA style throughout? Are in-text citations up to standard? Please note that APA style is a knock-out criteria. Failure to document sources will result in an automatic fail and plagiarism cases will be reported to the exam board.

Comments and Points

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The Annotated Bibliography (5 points) Criteria


Completion (3 points) Does the Bibliography provide a complete list of sources? Were enough sources used to provide the writers with credible information? Are sources listed in accurate APA style? Evaluation (2 points) Is each source summarized and evaluated for quality and credibility?

Comments and Points

CD-ROM (5 points) Criteria


Completion and formatting (2 points) Does the CD-Rom / flash drive containing all the necessary components (Code Book, Data Matrix and Data analysis through pivot tables, etc.) Is the data properly organised and easy to examine? Analysis (3 Points) Have the Excel tools for data analysis (frequency tables, cross tabs, charts and graphs) been used appropriately to analyse data? Does the data analysis support what is stated in the report?

Comments and Points

Total out of 30: Final Grade (total divided by 30):

__________________________________ __________________________________

Final Grades for the course will be determined by this report (60%), the results of your pilot report and questionnaire (30%) and the peer review grades (10%).

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