Introduction, methods, results


Your introduction presents the justification for the project and includes much of the same content as you addressed in your synopsis (Getting started, lesson 4).

The section starts to present an overview of the knowledge you have obtained from the extensive literature search you have performed during your study. It summarizes the evidence you have found as well as gaps in the knowledge, all put into context of your project. Based on this you present your problem formulation and/or hypothesis and your specific objectives to the reader.

The logic is that your introduction will show that you have performed a research worthy project. You explain how your work is an original contribution to the most relevant previous finding in the area. Based on your literature search you explain how your work differs from the existing and how far you hope to advance knowledge in the field.

You can also say that is a verbal “road map” that describe where you want to go (objective), which difference your work will make (hypothesis) and to whom. In this way you make a “contract” with your reader on what they will experience along the road and what to expect at the end of your guided tour.

You may want to include or mention definitions with references for terms and phrases, and if your thesis has any limitations due to lack of resources, time, practical issues etc., which means that you will be intentionally leaving anything out.

Your introduction also has another purpose: It should capture the reader’s interest, so they will want to read he rest of your thesis. Therefor you may also think interms of presenting why it is important and why your research is worth tackling. What can be won? And optionally also personalize by mentioning what is your professional motivation for the thesis.

This section describes the method or methods you have used to answer the question(s) raised in your problem formulation. Your information concerning methods should both allow the reader to assess the validity of your results and (particularly for quantitative research) ultimately make it possible for another researcher to get the same results by completing the same work as you. Finally you should also describe which analytical methods and statistical software you have used – and any limitations.

In this section you have to report the results of your study – your data and their analysis. Remember that you are not only expected to present raw data, they should be analysed and presented in overview for this purpose. You may therefor need to describe very briefly how you collected your raw data and how you processed and analyzed these. Data may be displayed in the form of tables or figures where it enables you and the reader to make sense of it, but in a lot of qualitative research it is merely the explanation in words that constitutes the results.

Learn about how to write the discussion, conclusion, references, appendices and layout sections in the following.


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