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Research Methods Information : Help With Writing

Research Methods Information

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Writing an Abstract

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Theses, dissertations, and journal articles typically require an abstract.


Thesis Statement vs. Hypothesis Statement: How are They Different?


Both the hypothesis statement and the thesis statement answer the research question of the study.  When the statement is one that can be proved or disproved, it is an hypothesis statement.  If, instead, the statement specifically shows the intentions/objectives/position of the researcher, it is a thesis statement.

A hypothesis is a statement that can be proved or disproved.  It is typically used in quantitative research and predicts the relationship between variables.

A thesis statement is a short, direct sentence that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay or research paper. It is seen in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research.  A thesis statement is developed, supported, and explained in the body of the essay or research report by means of examples and evidence.

Every research study should contain a concise and well-written thesis statement. If the intent of the study is to prove/disprove something, that research report will also contain an hypothesis statement.

NOTE: In some disciplines, the hypothesis is referred to as a thesis statement! This is not accurate but within those disciplines it is understood that "a short, direct sentence that summarizes the main point" will be included.

These links will provide you with more information.

Discussion/Support Groups

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Selected Journals on Writing


VIDEOS: Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Purdue Online Writing Lab logo

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) has its own YouTube channel.

The OWL resourse is used all over the world and includes videos for second language students. American students new to academic writing, or whose skills need some improvement,  may find these videos useful because of their clear, basic approach.

Also presented, videos on MLA and APA style.

SAMPLE VIDEO: Audience: Introduction & Overview | Runtime: 2:47 min.

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)

Online Writing Lab logo

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) maintains its own YouTube channel with vidcasts on a range of writing issues and the use of the APA Style Guide.

Thesis Structure vs Thesis Format

Written recipe and decorated cake

How a thesis is structured is not the same thing as how it is formatted.

STRUCTURE refers to the intellectual arrangement of the thesis. A useful analogy is a cookbook cake recipe.  Typically, a cake recipe is structured in the same way.

Cake Recipe Model

  • Oven Temperature
  • List of Ingredients
  • Assembly/Cooking Instructions
  • [Chef's Notes - Optional]

A thesis follows a standardized academic structure.

Thesis Model

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Findings/Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References

refers to the visual presentation/layout of the thesis, such as margins, line spacing, etc.

Using the cake analogy again. You can use a single recipe to make the same cake, but you can decorate it differently. That is, you can use different styles of decoration.

birthday cakebirthday cakebirthday cakebirthday cake

Academic papers have a required format, or editorial style. The "decoration" or format instructions are found in style guides.

academic style guide icons

The purpose of a style guide is to provide uniformity in writing and documentation/ citation styles and in formatting a document. Following a standard guide ensures that your paper is professional-looking and readable. Journal publishers typically require authors to follow a specific style guide, so it is a useful skill to know how to use one!


Writing a Qualitative Research Report

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Writing a Quantitative Research Report

Women conducting experiment

General Reference: Professional and Academic Writing

Selected Books on Research Writing

VIDEO: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It

Not sure what plagiarism is or how you can avoid it?  Watch this brief, informative video from Bainbridge College (GA). 

Published on January 10, 2010. | Runtime: 2:50 min. | Used by permission.

A transcription of the video is available at the right.

Here are the links referred to at the end of the video:

Online Tutorials | General Writing

hand writing

Online Tutorials | Sentences & Paragraphs

hand writing

Using Micrsoft Word

Microsoft Word 2013 logo

Transcription of "Plagiarism: How to Avoid It" Video

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