undergraduate research project writing tips for students

One of the most important requirements for graduating from a tertiary institution is an undergraduate research project. An undergraduate student may be required to write a full research project under the supervision of a lecturer. This student may be assigned to a lecturer for supervision during the period of this research. The research is usually carried out within the limits of a student’s study. the Undergraduate research project writing process could be very intimidating but read through this guide before deciding if you will like to go through this process alone or if you will like to request for the service of some of our expert researchers here.

It is the duty of the researcher to receive the research proposals, make necessary assessments and approvals. Most often an external supervisor is brought in to provide an independent assessment of the undergraduate research project work.

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Research Proposals: Writing an undergraduate research project proposal is usually very tough for some students and this is primarily because most students are just doing this for the first time. But I can assure you that if you have been paying careful attention to some of the project writing tips posted on this site you will have little or no problem in the undergraduate research project writing process or while writing your proposals. The proposals for the topic should have the subject of the study, a brief but comprehensive description and justification for the work, aims and milestones, software and hardware to be employed, assumptions to be made, the research methodology and references.

Research Guideline: A typical undergraduate research project writing build-up will pass through these phases; researching, presentation and print submissions. These are to ensure that the student is adequately prepared for the harsh environment outside school.   While developing the content of your research (which is usually divided into five chapters), these are some very helpful guidelines that you should follow.

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Undergraduate Research Project Format:

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content
  • List of tables
  • List of figures
  • List of symbols/nomenclature(where applicable)
  • Main work(chapter 1-5)
  • References
  • Appendices(where applicable)

Title page: this is where you would have to remember the name of your institution and write it down in full, on no account should you write an abbreviated version of the name of your higher institution or a slug. Write out the name of your higher institution in full, the title of the research, the name of the author and your matriculation number, then the reason for the research, this is where you will write “it is in partial fulfillment of the course requirement required for the award of the B.Sc degree (or B.Art, LLB, B.Eng write what is applicable to your course of study).” Then add the date to it.

undergraduate research project writing

Title page fig1.0

Use the image below as a guide.

Approval page: the name of the institution and department, then a statement signifying approval for the work by the supervisor, head of department and external supervisor. Space is reserved for signatures of all listed parties as well.

 

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Dedication Page: this is the part of the research where the student can either choose to dedicate the research to God, a friend, marriage partner, parents, children or Ancestors (this is common practice among African students)

Acknowledgement: this is the part where the researcher writes to acknowledge those that contributed to the success of the research project.

Abstract: the abstract is a brief summary of the major points of the written work and it is often written last with the tense in past. This summary is usually less than 100 words and it is expected to summarize the problem statement, the research methodology and recommendations. This should be in a single paragraph and the word limit not exceeded.

Table of content: the main heading(s) and sub-heading(s) and page numbers are listed here. This serves as a navigational map for the research work. Making page identification and reference very easy. The table of content should be edited at the end of the research so that every part of the work can be captured in the table of content

List of Tables/Figures/Symbols: the list is to aid the reader in locating tables/figures/symbols. It should contain the tag numbers, tags which reflects the content and the page numbers. It should be well-numbered and unambiguous. In the main content, the figure/table should be well-labeled

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Chapter One: This is usually the introduction. It describes the background, scope and purpose of the research. The rest of the report should be tied to the information supplied. The researcher should strive to present sufficient details regarding why the study was carried out. Carefully laying out your content in a hierarchical order would be preferred. arrange the content from top to bottom. You can go on to conclude the chapter one of your research project with a linking paragraph that would expose the objectives, constraints and limitations of the study

Chapter Two: the chapter two of your research project should cover your literature theoretical review. Your research should be based on the ground work done by others and chapter is that chapter of the research project where you would have to present the work done by others, summarizing the points made by past authors and the areas left untouched by the authors. While writing your literature review you should properly give due credits to past authors and researchers whose work you may be using as a reference. You should reduce the use of quotation, paraphrasing may be preferred while writing your literature review. You could comment on the work of past authors on the field and care should be taken while writing a literature review not to derail into criticism of an existing literature on your subject of study as this is unprofessional and unethical. Focus should be on the author’s contributions and you should try to also point out some of the relevant facts and details left out by some of the past authors.

Chapter Three:  this part of your work contains the research methodology and the language used here should be in the past tense. It is a sum-up of the research design, procedures, the area and population of study, data sampling and data sources are detailed as well. The method used, from all alternatives, should also be justified. The materials and equipment used should be included.

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Chapter Four: Data presentation and analysis. The results collated during the research will be presented here, that is why chapter four is usually the best place to use visual presentations like graphs, charts, tables etc. the results should be discussed here and compared to the result of past authors. the effects and application of the result should be detailed as well. When writing chapter four a research student should pay very close attention the data being analyzed to avoid simple errors that usually occur during data analysis. Data should be outline correctly and since we may have to deal with data this part of the research should be easier for a student with access to a computer.

Chapter five: This part houses the conclusions and recommendations. From the results of the research, conclusions are made, and then there are suggested options for improvement for other researchers with similar interest. Based on the whole happenings, recommendations are suggested for tackling the issues raised during the research.

References: this is a comprehensive list of all the books, journals, and other sources of information cited in the research work, this could either be online or print materials. Most students still use referenced materials to create heavily plagiarized research and they face disciplinary actions when caught. But not all schools presently organize plagiarism detection tests for their student’s research. it is however better to avoid writing plagiarized research work and all quoted and exact words of different sources should be properly referenced, in-text and at the references’ list/bibliography. MLA, APA and Chicago style are the commonest referencing styles.

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Appendices: Materials that are relevant to the work but were not added should be listed here. This is to back-up the facts of the research. it encapsulates extensive proofs, official data from case study, list of parameters, et al.

 

Tips:

  • After writing time should be taken to proof read the content of the research and if possible an independent editor should be consulted to help edit the research for grammatical and spelling errors as this may affect the quality of the research content.
  • Ensure that the final submission is clear and uses the specified font and font size required for the research.
  • Above all ensure that your research is up to standard, read through other works that have been written in your field and use them as a guide to writing your own research.

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