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Carrying out a research project might seem tedious and intimidating for first time researchers however with the right knowledge and guidelines, a successful project is certainly attainable. Project writing is a necessary requirement every undergraduate and postgraduate student must undergo in pursuit of their degree. The student is being supervised by an academic staff to carry out research on a specific topic within the area of their study. You don’t only carry out an academic activity while researching but you also have an opportunity to explore a topic that is particularly interesting to you. The research process allows you to gain expertise on a topic of your choice, and the writing process helps you remember what you have learned and understand it on a deeper level.

The first step to writing any research project is to search for project topic ideas and select the best you can work with. After this topic is approved by the academic staff in charge of the research work, the next step is sorting for research ideas.

Enriching oneself with several ideas that relate to the topic you are working is very key to giving the researcher an edge while writing. The researcher should download research project topics and materials that have similar affiliation to the research work and acquaint themselves with the methodologies used by other researchers in order to know the right approach to undertake for the study. Every post graduate and undergraduate research project or thesis is broken down into five chapters and each chapter is significant to the complete project work


How does a research project grow from a folder of brainstormed notes to a polished final draft? No two projects are identical, but most projects follow a series of five standard steps:

● Chapter one

● Chapter two

● Chapter three

● Chapter four

● Chapter Five


1.1 Background of the study

Just as the name means, this section outlines the history of the subject matter under investigation; the evolution of the research problem; how the researcher became fascinated with the problem. He goes on to describe the specific situation surrounding the research problem, using facts from the literature to support various arguments. In this section also, the student researcher tries to ascertain the suitability and feasibility of the study, concluding from the sufficient evidence drawn from the previous literature.

In a nutshell, this is where the student researcher initiates the subject of his investigation using all obtainable evidence and figures to establish its groundwork. Note that even if there is no standard number of pages that this should take, the lengthier and well focused the Background to the Study, the better for a good and solid groundwork for that research being conducted.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The Problem Statement, as it is otherwise described, is the reasonable conclusion of the problems/issues raised in the Background to the Study. The idea is that while the Background to the Study offers a wider or global perspective/standpoint to the subject matter of the research, the Problem Statement makes assumptions from there and concludes on the specifics as they relate to the specific investigation being conducted.

That is the reason Problem Statement is expected to flow, rather logically, from the Background to the Study; and it is not a good Problem Statement, one that deviates from this; given that they are not expected to be two unconnected entities, as it were. It is nevertheless different from Background to the Study in that it must be stated reasonably briefly and very clearly. All the descriptive components of the Background to the Study would have assisted to allow one go straight for the specifics under the Problem Statement.

This is why experienced project supervisors would maintain that the Problem Statement should be in the range of one to three paragraphs only. The idea is that the shorter, the clearer; and the clearer the better for the whole process of investigation. In a nutshell, one cannot overstate the need to state the research problem very clearly and accurately, since the entire course of the investigation depends on it.

Therefore, there is no doubt that a satisfactory statement of the research problem is the most important component of a research process. The plain reason for this claim is that the whole process of investigation centers on it and it is typically related to some of the following issues:

A missing link

A need


An unanswered question.

An unsatisfactory state of arrangements

Consequently, the Problem Statement offers direction to the rest of the project; signifying and highlighting the major variables of concern to the researcher as well as the exact relationship that exists between them.

1.3 Objectives {Purpose} of the Study

Simply similar to every other component in a research project, the Objectives of the Study are strongly connected to the Research Problem. The former is derived directly from the latter. The Objectives of the Study, which is sometimes described as Purpose, stand for the aims of carrying out the investigation and could be categorized into general and specific.

The general objective describes the overall aim of a research project whereas the specific objective is concerned with the comprehensive list of intentions concerning what the research stands to accomplish at the end of the project. Typically, the specific objectives are stated in the form of declarative statements. For example, the statement should start with “to examine”, “to analyze”, “to determine”, “to assess”, “to find out” etc. The Research Questions usually take the form of interrogative statements, the Objectives present the same thing, but in the statement form.

1.4 Research Hypothesis

The Research Hypotheses specify the fundamental issues relating to the data to be gathered in the process of conducting the study. They serve as a theoretical conceptualization of what the researcher anticipated with respect to his research outcomes. These help him to test and verify his concepts on the basis of which he makes very tangible and reliable conclusions and generalizations. They also assist in sharpening researcher’s focus on the research problem with a view to determining the direction where to find the solution.

Therefore, some of the qualities of a good hypothesis must include that:

It should be sensible {i.e. clever guesses}.

It should be in line with known facts or theories.

It should be constructed in such a manner that it is testable and found to be probably true or false.

It should be in very simple, unambiguous terms.

It should be directly connected to the problem of research.

It should involve very few variables at a time.

It should be quantifiable {i.e. operationally formulated}.

1.5. Significance of the Study

It is anticipated that every research project must have something new to contribute to knowledge in that research field, no matter how small. In point of fact, no research should take place if it will not contribute anything to knowledge; as this represents the major feature of all research endeavors.

Consequently, this section is expected to clarify the possible benefits of the research and to whom such anticipated benefits would be meant. All these should be clearly stated. In any way, there is no standard detail as to the number of benefits that a research project should have or its length. It can be arranged sequentially or itemized or paraphrased depending on the person’s method of writing.

1.6. Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study basically refers to the level of coverage of the research subject being investigated and the good statement of the problem will act as a helpful guide to doing this. That means, if the problem had been properly stated at the beginning, it helps, certainly, in defining the scope of the research. That is why the scope of the study is partially dependent on the title of the research project. If well formulated, the phrase of the title only does define the scope of the study and possibly, needs a little rider to make it clearer. The limitation of the study represents the things and issues that constituted challenges in the process of investigations.

Consequently, if the scope was concerned with the level of the research’s coverage, then, limitation implies building a fence around the subject of research. This is with a view to creating a foundation for the non-inclusion of certain things in the study for understandable reasons.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

This section of the Chapter one (introduction) is used to offer a kind of working definition to all the concepts, which would be operationally used in the course of the research. The notion is that there are some terminologies, which have been “adapted” and so utilized restrictively for the purpose of the research project.

This implies that such terminologies would mean something somewhat different from the one adopted under different circumstances; therefore the name Operational Definition of Terms. In defining terms operationally, individual concepts/words to be so defined are recognized and then itemized. Thus, operational definitions are typically given in such a manner that will imply that they are not usually accepted as standard definitions but those peculiar to the study in specific. This section typically comes last in the introductory chapter.


Literature can be best described as a summary of previously published works on a particular subject. It is the largest part of the work.

Literature reviews when presented as chapter two of a research project, thesis or dissertations are often lengthened, it could go as high as 30 -150 pages and above as the case may be. The volume of the entire literature review section is most often determined by the number of words/pages recommended by the institution’s research committee/ thesis guidelines. This, therefore, tells us that there is no universal word count or page limit that can be generally followed.

That, notwithstanding, the literature review process is conducted following an already established framework. These frameworks include

1.Conceptual review

2. Theoretical review,

3. Empirical review or review of empirical works of literature/studies, and lastly

4. Conclusion or Summary of the literature reviewed.

Conceptual Review

Ideally a concept is an abstract idea which forms a basis for learning or argument. In this article, it is a part of the research process where ideas on the subject topic are studied. It is also an analytical tool used for comprehensive understanding of the subject topic for the readers of a research work.

Conceptual framework means a researcher’s perception about the research problem A conceptual framework is used in a research paper to explain the key concepts or variables and the relationships between them that need to be studied. Simply put, conceptual framework is the way ideas are organized to achieve a research project’s purpose and explanation is the most common method employed.

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory which explains why the research problem under study exists. It consists of existing theory/theories that are used for your particular study. The theoretical framework must demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts that are relevant to the topic of your research paper and that will relate it to the broader fields of knowledge in the class you are taking.

The theoretical framework is not something that is found readily available in the literature. You must review course readings and pertinent research literature for theories and analytic models that are relevant to the research problem you are investigating. The selection of a theory should depend on its appropriateness, ease of application, and explanatory power.

The theoretical framework strengthens the study in the following ways

1. An explicit statement of theoretical assumptions permits the reader to evaluate them critically.

2. The theoretical framework connects the researcher to existing knowledge. Guided by a relevant theory, you are given a basis for your hypotheses and choice of research methods.

3. Articulating the theoretical assumptions of a research study forces you to address questions of why and how. It permits you to move from simply describing a phenomenon observed to generalizing about various aspects of that phenomenon.

4. Having a theory helps you to identify the limits to those generalizations. A theoretical framework specifies which key variables influence a phenomenon of interest. It alerts you to examine how those key variables might differ and under what circumstances.

Empirical Review

Our concern in this article is, however, tied to helping you understand or become familiar with the nitty-gritty of empirical reviews. From a definition standpoint, an empirical review can be described as the review of many aspects of an empirical study that hold some levels of significance to the study being conducted. An empirical literature review process involves the evaluation of previous empirical studies to bring to rest a specific research issue.

When conducting an empirical review, the researcher searches for empirical studies in a similar field, to uncover gaps, convergence, and conflicts that can help to properly identify, describe, and repeat the process. In the empirical review section of the literature review, the author examines the current state of knowledge and theories on the subject, as well as the topic’s historical context.

In an ideal situation, an empirical review should provide information on the name of the author (s), the title of the paper, the number of objectives raised, and research questions asked, the study design, the population and sampling techniques, the data collection instrument as well as the data analysis procedures and techniques. The most significant findings of the research should also be highlighted as well as recommendations made.

At times providing all this information in a highly coherent manner is enough, however, some schools or supervisors may require you to critique the reviewed empirical studies further, especially by highlighting the strength and weaknesses of the various methodological apparatus, tools, and techniques adopted by the author (s) of the reviewed empirical studies.

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology

This chapter explains the different methods to be used in a research work. It includes the strategies and procedures employed in the study which include;

Research Design:

Every Research work must have a technique or design for the study. This section explains the technique employed by the researcher in the study. It does not require lengthy discussion with profuse citations.

Population of the study:

This section explains in detail the research population. It gives a clear figure of the population under study, where the study is located or carried out.

Sample size and Sampling Procedure:

The sample size is defined as the number of observations used for determining the estimations of a given population. The size of the sample has been drawn from the population. Sampling is the process of selection of a subset of individuals from the population to estimate the characteristics of the whole population.

Description of Research Instrument:

Research Instrument is a tool used to collect, measure, and analyze data related to your research interests. Research instruments are tools used for data collection and analysis. Researchers can use these tools in most fields. In business, they aid marketers in market research and customer behavior study. Some examples of research instruments include interviews, questionnaires, online surveys, and checklists.

Validity of Research Instrument:

When a test or measurement is “validated,” it simply means that the researcher has come to the opinion that the instrument measures what it was designed to measure. In other words, validity is no more than an expert.

Validity is defined as the extent to which a concept is accurately measured in a quantitative study.

Reliability of Research Instrument:

Research reliability is the degree to which a research method produces stable and consistent results. It refers to the ability of the study to produce the same result over multiple times.

Method of Data Collection:

This refers to the tool/tools used to create out the research work. Case Studies, Checklists, Interviews, Observation sometimes, and Surveys or Questionnaires are all tools used to collect data.

Method of Data Analysis:

Data analysis in a project research talks about the illustrative Method used in applying the right statistical or logical technique so that the raw data makes sense.

The two primary methods for data analysis are qualitative data analysis techniques and quantitative data analysis techniques. These data analysis techniques can be used independently or in combination with the other to help the researcher to acquire insights from different data types.


This chapter comprises the analysis, presentation and interpretation of the findings resulting from this study. The analysis and interpretation of data is carried out in two phases. The first part, which is based on the results of the questionnaire, deals with a quantitative analysis of data.

A good researcher should begin this chapter with an introduction of about two to four paragraphs. This is closely followed by the Presentation of Findings which might be in tables or write-ups.

This chapter ends with the Discussion of Findings where the results gotten in the process of the research is examined effectively


This is the final chapter of your project paper. This is where the results of the work is summarized, conclusions are drawn based on the findings of the study and recommendations are provided.

It is usually considered the easiest part of the project work. It doesn’t require long or bulky write-up. The following should be included while writing the chapter five

1. The research Objectives

2. The statement of problem

3. Sample size

4. The instrument used for data collection

5. Results gotten from the process

Project topics







Writing a research project might seem like one of the hardest jobs as it requires time, energy and commitment but with the aid of technology, providing access to a wealth of resources where researchers can download project topic ideas and materials for both undergraduates and postgraduate students. These resources help to guide the researcher on the right steps to take in getting an excellent research project work.



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