1. Research Project
Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management &
2. Research Project Guidelines
Written and oral communications skills are probably the most universal qualities from management students
sought by schools as well as by employers. Being MBA students, you are responsible for developing such
skills to a high level. The objective of asking you to develop a research project as a part of your course
curriculum is to help you develop such skills. The following are the guidelines which will help you to write
the research project in a more organized and accurate way. However, guidelines are only facilitators. You
must use your own creative effort to execute the concept and develop a high quality research project. The
research project is divided into two parts: Research Project 1 and Research Project 2.
Research Project 1
This is to be done in two parts. The first part involves selection of the topic of research and preliminary
investigation which include the collection of secondary data and literature review. This has to be completed
in Trimester XI. The second part of the project deals with the analysis of this initial work which has to be
completed and presented in Trimester XII.
Research Project 2
This should be a continuation of the Research Project 1 and must include original primary data collection
and analysis. The submission of this project report has to be done in Trimester XIV.
1. What is a Research Project
The organization, format, and content of a research report should be based on an original idea and must
contribute to academics as well as practice.
2. Objectives of a Research Project
The aim of the research project is to provide you a scope to unleash your analytical side by contributing
something new to the already existing knowledge in a field where you feel confident in e.g. marketing,
strategy, operations, finance or HR.
3. Getting Started
Choose a topic that will actively engage you in the research and writing. Depending on your area of interest
choose a faculty guide who can facilitate you to undertake a meaningful topic, provide the necessary
academic guidance, and to facilitate evaluation. In order to make the research paper more meaningful, the
faculty guide must be consulted at all stages beginning of the research to the report completion. However,
you and only you are responsible for the whole project from problem formulation to doing the actual
research to writing the results of the research. Faculty guides are only facilitators.
3. 4. Style and Format of the Draft Research Report
4.1 Simple things to remember and follow while preparing your research Report:
Print or type using a 12 point standard font, Times New Roman.
Text should be 1.5 spaced on 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1 inch margins, single sided
Although there is no prescribed page or word limit for a research paper, there should be a minimum
of 4000 words (Excluding Title page, Acknowledgements, Abstract, Table of Contents, Tables,
Figures, References and Appendices).
Papers should be paginated. Number pages consecutively.
A heading (or subheading) should appear when you are discussing something different.
4.1.1 Tips to follow while writing the text:
o Stay focused on the research topic of the paper
o Present your points in logical order
o Use simple and short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Help the reader to
understand your points
o Avoid informal wording. Too many jargons should be avoided
o Always try to use the active voice
o Use paragraphs to separate each important point (except for the abstract)
o American OR British English (do not switch in the paper)
Provide bibliographies or reference lists at the end of the report. Follow one particular style
4.1.2 Mistakes to avoid:
Placing a heading at the bottom of a page with the following text on the next page (insert a page
break!) . Dividing a table or figure - confine each figure/table to a single page
5. Steps involved in undertaking Research Project
5.1.1 Literature Review: A section that traces the development of the present research issue historically
by examining the earlier research (literature) on the same. Specifically, it is a critical analysis of the
existing literature, divergent approaches to derive the present research question/problem. In this section,
show how your research builds on prior knowledge by presenting and evaluating what is already known
about your research problem. Assume that the readers possess a broad knowledge of the field, but not the
cited articles, books and papers. Discuss the findings of works that are pertinent to your specific research
issue. You usually will not need to elaborate on methods. The goal of the introduction and literature
review is to demonstrate “the logical continuity between previous and present work” (American
Psychological Association [APA], 1994, p. 11). This does not mean you need to provide an exhaustive
historical review. Analyze the relationships among the related studies instead of presenting a series of
seemingly unrelated abstracts or annotations.
4. 5.1.2 Rationale, Research Question/Objectives: A presentation of your rationale for taking a particular
problem as research issue, recommending a particular approach or course of action. Specify your major
5.1.3 Methodology: The method section includes separate descriptions of the sample and the procedures.
These are subtitled and may be augmented by further sections, if needed.
The design of the study, whether it is a case study, a survey, a controlled experiment, a meta-analysis, or
some other type of research, is conveyed through the procedures subsection of method section.
In the sample subsection, describe your sample with sufficient detail so that it is clear what population(s)
the sample represents if your research is based on primary data.
A description of your instruments, including all surveys, tests, questionnaires, interview forms, and other
tools used to provide data, should appear in this section. Evidence of reliability and validity of the
instrument should be presented.
5.1.4 Results: Present a summary of what you found in the results section. Here you should describe the
techniques that you used, each analysis and the results of each analysis.
With today’s availability of statistical packages for example, SPSS (Statistical Package for Social
Science research), it is fairly easy to use very sophisticated techniques (e.g., regression analysis) to
analyze your data. Understand the techniques you are using and the statistics that you are reporting. Try
to use the simplest, appropriate technique for which you can meet the underlying assumptions.
For most research reports, the results should provide the summary details about what you found. Use
carefully planned tables, figures and graphs. While tables and graphs should be self-explanatory, do not
include a table or graph unless it is discussed in the report. Limit them to those that help the reader
understand your data as they relate to the investigated problem.
5.1.5 Discussion/ Conclusion: Conclusion ties ideas together and synthesizes the information brought
out in the paper. The objective here is to provide an interpretation of your results and support for all of
your conclusions, using evidence from your research and generally accepted knowledge, if appropriate.
In this section, discuss and interpret your data for the reader, tell the reader of the implications of your
findings and make recommendations. Do not be afraid to state your opinions. The significance of
findings should be clearly described.
One wise way to begin the discussion section is by highlighting key results. Return to the specific
problem you investigated and tell the reader what you now think and why. Relate your findings to those
of previous studies, by explaining relationships and supporting or disagreeing with what others have
found. Describe your logic and draw your conclusions. However, do not over generalize your results.
Your conclusions should be warranted by your study and your data.
5. 5.1.6 Limitations and Future Research Directions: Often this section is embedded in the discussion
section. However, one can take the liberty to put it under a different heading.
Be sure to recognize the limitations of your study. Try to anticipate the questions a reader will have and
suggest what problems should be researched next in order to extend your findings into new areas or to
the next level RPII.
5.1.7 References/ Literature Cited: Please note that you will be required to properly document sources
of all of your information. One reason is that your major source of information is existing literature
(journal articles, books, news paper articles, website resources) on which your work is based. You
should cite any articles that your faculty supervisor provides or that you find for yourself and you refer
for preparing the particular report. All references cited in the report should be listed in the reference
5.1.8 (i) Tips to Cite Literature
The literature you cite should be appropriate and academic. Newspapers and magazines are not
considered appropriate literature but can in some cases represent a source of empirical data or public
opinion. Periodicals and books addressing practitioners and encyclopaedia or reference books
(except for selected definitions) are not considered appropriate literature either. Publications from
associations and corporations (in particularly those published on the web) need to be considered with
care. Only some of them stand up to scientific scrutiny. Wikipedia entries are NOT considered
List all literature cited in your paper, in alphabetical order, by first author. All reference of journal
papers should have at least author name, year, title of the paper, journal name, volume, issue (if any),
and page numbers.
Be cautious about using web sites as references - anyone can put just about anything on a web site,
and you have no sure way of knowing if it is truth or fiction. It is difficult to evaluate the usefulness
and usability of internet sources. Therefore, you have to consider the following issues:
o Provide the full and correct web address (URL) to allow for further enquiry.
o Indicate author, title, publication date and publication type (the publication date equals the
date of creation or update).
o Indicate when you retrieved the information (access date) as changes may have been made to
the document afterwards.
o Internet page needs to be accessible, identified and verifiable.
6. 5.1.9 (ii) Examples of Citing References
For Journal Articles
Brown, DL., & Tanden, R. 1983. Ideology and political economy in inquiry: action research and
participatory research. Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, 19, 277-294
Carroll, L., 1999. Alice in Wonderland, London; North-South Books.
www.drama.uct.ac.za/research/conferencesreport_on_practice_as_research_workshop - accessed 21st
6.1.11 Appendices (if necessary): Any extra information including tables, questionnaires used for primary
data collection etc. should be given as appendices in the end of the report.
6. Making the Final Draft
EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!!!
Correct spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors. Proofread before submitting your draft.
(Poorly edited and proofread papers show lack of care, and will turn off the reader/evaluator.)
7. Submission of Research Project
Submit the final and corrected draft of your research paper on or before the deadline in printed form.
However, you need to submit the electronic copy of the same in both essentially in word (.doc, .rtf, .docx)
and .pdf form in a CD with your name, roll number and year/semester clearly written on it.
Please ensure that the files are correctly saved in the CD and are not corrupted.
Always keep a copy of your report on your PC/Laptop/Email as a back up.
8. Evaluation of Research Project Report
8.1 Antipiracy Checking
There cannot be more serious misconduct in academic writing than Plagiarism. Using the language and
thoughts of another author and representing them as one's own original work is called as plagiarism. In order
to check your academic integrity, your report will be checked through anti-plagiarism software. Suitable
punishments will be given to those who resort to such practices of lifting others’ work and reporting it as
own without quoting the source. Remember your grading largely depends on your creativity, effort and
8.2 Formal requirements
The formal requirements of a research report as discussed should be considered as the basis o of preparing
the research report as well as evaluation of the same although their fulfillment does not automatically lead to
a positive grade. NOT meeting these standards, however, definitely results in downgrading or a negative
8. Sample Research Project Title Page
TYPE TITLE HERE
Research Project Presented to
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree (Type in degree to be received - example: MBA
Year of Graduation (e.g. 2010)
9. Sample Research Project Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE i
TABLE OF CONTENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES v
CHAPTER I 1
I. INTRODUCTION 1
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE 5
II. METHODOLOGY 15
IV. ANALYSIS OF THE SURVEY DATA 20
V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 30