How to do Assessment 3 – Report
Due week 12
Students may choose to investigate in an in-depth manner on a ‘small’ part of the topic or take a more generalised approach. Students would not be required to select a topic based on their enrolment, however, the topics may provide more motivation based as they are on their chosen disciplines.
The report must contain the following parts:
Student Declaration page
Table of Contents
Body of the report – do not write ‘body’ but instead use headings and sub-headings appropriate to the topic. The body of the report should also contain the findings and discussion of the research.
List of references
Appendices (if required)
C: Business: Measuring and improving service quality. This topic can cover the basics of measuring service quality.
Can small business, market followers, compete with market leaders on customer service by adopting the philosophy of high tech, high touch?
The question provides the opportunity to compare and contrast two areas of business; leaders and followers i.e. the big corporates and the smaller operators.
Research what constitutes ‘small’ in business as a starting point.
You may use literature that isn’t on the discipline of the actual topic (accounting, hospitality, business) so long as it there are elements to it that can cross over. For example, a banking case study may be applicable to a hospitality study because they are both service industries.
1. Define words and terms – but remember the audience. Basic non-technical words do not need to be defined. In this circumstance you have access to your audience (the academic), so if you are unsure, ask what terms they would expect to be defined, and what words they would need to have defined.
2. Read about the topic as a general topic (‘micro-finance’, ‘valued customer’, ‘customer relationships’ etc.). Do this via a Google search. Do not use Wikipedia.
3. You should have come across a couple of specific areas now that interest you and/or are areas that keep recurring as you read.
4. Do a search on Google Scholar. Ask for material that is ‘2000 – recent’.
5. What needs to be incorporated:
Explain that the research is primary, qualitative, descriptive and uses in-depth interviews to gather data.
Adhere to all the writing conventions explained to students in class.
The interviews should be written up in a similar way to this example from
The reporting of qualitative data is much less bound by convention than that of quantitative data. The data itself usually consists of words, from written documents or interview transcripts (but may include images), which have been analysed in some way, often into themes. In reporting the data, it is generally important to convey both the themes and some of the flavour of the actual words.
The data needs to be connected back through the layers of detail to the overarching research question it relates to. This can be done through the introductions to carefully-structured sections and subsections. Individual data extracts can be connected back into this structure through a process of ‘tell-show-tell’.
Example from a Doctor of Education thesis:
6.4.3 Themes from the Interview Data
In analysing the interview data, two themes emerged which will be discussed in this section. These themes were: the complexity and challenges of working with families and the professional satisfaction and challenges of program planning for children in preschool or childcare.
For each of these graduates, their work with children was clearly the area of their professional lives that was bringing the most satisfaction, although there were some challenges identified. In the interviews, the data reveal that they were all seeking ways to improve their pedagogy and achieving success in different ways…
Angela suggested that in her second year of teaching she had changed in that she was programming in a “more child oriented” way. She discussed this change:
One of the things I’ve changed is this idea of herding children through the Kinder day: they go from indoor play to snack time to the mat and so on. How I do it now is that I have a lot of different things happening at once. I’ll have a small group on the mat and there might be some children sitting down and having a snack and there’s still some children in home corner playing.
These comments seem to provide evidence that Angela is growing professionally for two reasons. First, the ability to identify changes in her program suggests to me that she has deeper pedagogical knowledge gained through critical reflection on her practice, and second, there is congruence between her expressed beliefs and the practice she describes.
Discuss your findings
In the discussion of your findings you have an opportunity to develop the story you found in the data, making connections between the results of your analysis and existing theory and research. While the amount of discussion required in a thesis may vary according to discipline, all disciplines expect some interpretation of the findings that makes these connections.
In your discussion you must draw together your research question and your own research results. If the discussion is in a self-contained chapter or section you will need to briefly summarise the major findings that come from the research and relate them to what you originally proposed to find out.
If your research is testing a hypothesis, you need to answer these questions:
• Do your research findings support your initial hypothesis? Why and how?
• Do your findings only support the hypothesis in part? Why and how?
• Do your findings disprove your hypothesis? Why and how?
• What else do your findings tell you, over and above what you initially set out to investigate?