Thursday, March 31, 2016

Methodology Samples

Methodology - This should be a description of the methods used and will include any alterations that became necessary during the conduct of the investigation. Your choice of method should be drawn from or build upon the literature review. 


The research plan will proceed in two phases. During the first phase, I will select a 60-household purposive sample, create and test interview protocols, choose key informants, and train a research assistant. . . . During the second phase, I will conduct in-depth interviews with key informants and four ethnographic interviews with each household in the sample. At the end of the second phase, I will conduct a series of experimental economic games to determine the norms of trust and reciprocity in the community. . . . The research design has several strengths. First, ethnographic study will yield data with high internal validity about how responses to water scarcity evolve over the wet-to-dry cycle (Kirk and Miller 1986). Second . . . (After providing a rationale for the research design, the author goes on to describe in detail the site selection and methods of data collection and analysis).


My research draws on a three-tiered methodological approach: close textual analysis of primary source material; historical contextualization of both primary documents and broader socio-cultural framework through archival research and secondary histories; and interpretation of primary texts through theoretical frameworks, including spatial theories and gender studies. (Goes on to describe specific theoretical frameworks).


I am proposing two major analyses: 1) a comparison of simulated to observed streamflow and soil moisture for the historical period as a means of validating the hydrology of the VEMAP models, and 2) an examination of how changes in the water balance affect species’ distributions over the entire simulation period, and vice versa. . . . VEMAP Phase 2 model runs will cover two periods: (1) the baseline or historical period from 1895-1993, and (2) a period of altered climate inputs from 1994 through the end of the twenty-first century as derived from three climate model experiments: i) The Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis . . . The nearly 100-year baseline period will allow for the examination of multi-decadal variations that may be of similar magnitude to the effects of climate change. (Goes on to describe sources for historical data, and how the interaction between water balance and species’ distribution will be measured).


Eves, Rosalyn. PowerPoint Presentation. The Graduate Writing Center of the Center for Excellence in Writing. University of Texas.

Notes on Methodology

What Your Methodology Contributes to Your Research

- Introduce the overall methodological approach.
- Indicate how the approach fits the overall research design.
- Describe the specific methods of data collection.
- Explain how you intend to analyze and interpret your results (i.e. statistical analysis, theoretical framework).
- If necessary, provide background and rationale for unfamiliar methodologies.
- Address potential limitations

Tips on Writing Your Methodology

- Break down your methodology into subsections.
- In the physical sciences, these sections may include subjects, design, apparatus, instrumentation, process, analysis, etc.
- In the social sciences, these sections may include selection of participants, interview process, profiles, interpretive and analytic framework, methods of qualitative analysis, etc.
- In the humanities, these sections may include scholarly research, archival research, theoretical orientation, etc.
- Remember that your methods section may also require supporting literature.
- Anticipate and pre-empt the audience’s methodological concerns.
- Acknowledge major problems.
- Justify your approach by showing how benefits outweigh potential problems.


Eves, Rosalyn. PowerPoint Presentation. The Graduate Writing Center of the  Center for Excellence in Writing. University of Texas.

Literature Review Samples

Literature Review - Here you discuss the ideas which are relevant to your project. This should show that you understand the background issues and theories relating to the project.


Other studies also support the conclusion that traditional teaching methods hinder learning calculus. Selden, Selden, and Mason, conclude that isolated, trivial problems, the norm in many classrooms, inhibit students from acquiring the ability to generalize calculus problem-solving skills (Selden, Selden, and Mason 1994). Similar results are reported by Norman and Prichard (1994). They demonstrate that many learners cannot interpret the structure of a problem beyond surface-level symbols. They show that novices have inaccurate intuitions about problems which lead them to attempt incorrect solution strategies (Norman and Prichard 1994). Because they cannot see beyond high-level features, they can not develop correct intuitions. On the other hand, successful problem solvers categorize math problems based upon underlying structural similarities and fundamental principles (Silver 1979), (Shoenfeld and Herrman 1982). These categories are often grouped based upon solution modes, which the experts use to generate a forward working strategy.


Increasingly, the research community is turning to coupled land-surface-atmosphere-ocean models with dynamic modules to achieve the realism necessary for climate studies. Most of the studies  to date have incorporated equilibrium vegetation models into climate change simulations (e.g., Neilson and Marks 1994, VEMAP Members 1995 . . . ; but see Foley et al. 1998 for an example of climate simulations with a DGVM). It is recognized that the next stage is to include dynamic representations of the terrestrial biosphere. In this context, VEMAP Phase 2 model experiments will provide a unique opportunity to assess the effects of climate change on the hydrologic cycle and the water balance of regions on a continental scale, and how vegetation dynamics mediate those responses.


Eves, Rosalyn. PowerPoint Presentation. The Graduate Writing Center of the  Center for Excellence in Writing. University of Texas.

AIMS Sample

Aims - This stage is a full account of what you were trying to find out and why it was important. In a different description in more traditional terms, the aims contain the rationale, significance of the study, and the stratement of the problem.


Horror is one of the sub-genres of fiction in the Philippines. One would expect that since there are a number of horror stories and movies, the said genre would be defined in Philippine terms. This is not the case, however. One has to resort to studies of scholars like David Hartwell (1987) who has traced the tradition of horror fiction in the English and American literature for more than 150 years. Hartwell defines horror stories a

Stories – all clustered around the principle of a real or implied or fake intrusion of the supernatural into the natural world, an intrusion which arouses fear. (Hartwell, 1987: 4-5)

Contrary to this definition, Anthony J Fonseca and June Michele Pulliam (1999) state that horror fiction need not have the intention of inducing fear from the reader. They assert that such works, instead, should contain a monster.
No concrete definition exists for Filipino horror but Fonseca and Pulliam concepts are applicable to our own reading of the horror story. Nick Joaquin even states that horror fiction has to be totally realistic, its plot set in “broad daylight among the matter-of-fact, the commonplace, the quotidian” (Quirino, 1982: vi). He explains that horror fiction authors use various elements from myths and legends. Scholars like Maximo Ramos, and others as well as studies made by the Philippine Folklore Society lend credence to this as they traced elements of mythology and folklore in horror fictions that spans the various cultural regions of the Philippines (Ramos, 1971: 1). In Cebu, there is no known research in the genre.
Thus, this study aims to fill in this gap in the existing knowledge. In addition, it seeks to reveal the connections between the horror story and myths and legends. It attempts to substantiate that “abat” is a term which encompasses all different types of monsters. And since literature is a reflection of the human experience, the results of the study will contribute to the better understanding of the Cebuano and Filipino identity.
In order for the objectives to be realized, the paper analyzed the Cebuano horror stories found in the post-war Bisaya Magazine, from 1948-2000. The following are the different aspects of the topic that were covered by this study: (1) the different traits and forms of the abat, (2) the functions and the roles of the abat in the stories, (3) the evolution of the abat through the post-war period, and (4) the abat’s contribution to the definition of the Cebuano horror story.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Notes on Review of Literature

Your literature review should help you understand:
- How other scholars have written about your topic.
- The range of theories used to analyze materials or data
- How other scholars connect their specific research topics to larger issues, questions, or practices within the field.
- The best methodologies and research techniques for your particular topic.

Your Literature Review:
- Situates the current study within a wider disciplinary conversation.
- Illustrates the uniqueness, importance of and need for your particular project.
- Justifies methodological choices.
- Demonstrates familiarity with the topic and appropriate approaches to studying it.

An Effective Literature Review Should:
- Flesh out the background of your study.
- Critically assess important research trends or areas of interest.
- Identify potential gaps in knowledge.
- Establish a need for current and/or future research projects.

Tips on Writing Your Literature Review

- Categorize the literature into recognizable topic clusters:

  • include the most recent various positions that are relevant to your project 
  • build on existing literature or research that lead to your project
  • demonstrate the places where the literature is lacking

- Avoid “Smith says X, Jones says Y” literature reviews.

- Avoid including all the studies on the subject.

- Avoid polemics, praise, and blame.

Key Points in Making Your Literature Review

- You are entering a scholarly conversation already in progress. The literature should be able to include what has been mentioned before and the various important voices that are participated in the conversation.

- After assessing the literature in your field, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Why should we study (further) this research topic/problem? 
  • What contributions will my study make to the existing literature?


Eves, Rosalyn. PowerPoint Presentation. The Graduate Writing Center of the  Center for Excellence in Writing. University of Texas.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Notes on Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the act of presertning another's work or ideas as your own. The word "plagiarism" comes from the Latin plagiarus meaning kidnapper.

Is plagiarism a serious issue?

- Plagiarism is theft of intellectual property.
- Plagiarism is cheating.
- Plagiarism may result in receiving a failing grade or zero for the assignment.

Misconceptions regarding plagiarism

- It does not matter if the person whose work you have cited is alive or dead.  If it is not your own idea, you must cite your source.
- If you translate or paraphrase something, you must still give a citation.
- If you use a picture from the Internet, you must cite the source.

Two types of plagiarism


- Copying a friend’s work
- Buying or borrowing papers
- Cutting and pasting blocks of text from electronic sources without documenting
- Media “borrowing” without documentation
- Web publishing without permissions of creators 


- Careless paraphrasing
- Poor documentation
- Quoting excessively
What are the things you don't have to cite?

- You are discussing your own experiences, observations, or reactions
- Compiling the results of original research, from science experiments, etc.
- You are using common knowledge
What three strategies, alongside proper citing, can you use to prevent committing plagiarism? 

1. Quotations are the exact words of an author, copied directly from a source, word for word.  

Use quotations when:

- You want to add the power of an author’s words to support your argument
- You want to disagree with an author’s argument
- You want to highlight particularly eloquent or powerful phrases or passages
- You are comparing and contrasting specific points of view
- You want to note the important research that precedes your own 

Quotations should be used sparingly.  They must be exact, word-for-word as they appear in the original document. Quotes require a citation in addition to the use of quote marks. Every quoted word needs to be cited.  Even a short phrase or single word must be quoted and cited.

2. Paraphrasing means rephrasing the words of an author, putting his/her thoughts in your own words. When you paraphrase, you rework the source’s ideas, words, phrases, and sentence structures with your own. Like quotations, paraphrased material must be followed with in-text documentation and cited on your Works-Cited page.

Paraphrase when:

- You plan to use information on your note cards and wish to avoid plagiarizing
- You want to avoid overusing quotations
- You want to use your own voice to present information

3. Summarizing involves putting the main idea(s) of one or several writers into your own words, including only the main point(s). Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material. Again, it is necessary to attribute summarized ideas to their original sources.

Summarize when:

- You want to establish background or offer an overview of a topic
- You want to describe knowledge (from several sources) about a topic
- You want to determine the main ideas of a single source

Brannon, Joyce.  “Plagiarism.”  PowerPoint Presentation.   University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL.  (1/30/06)

Valenza, Joyce.  “What is Plagiarism?”  Springfield Township High School. Springfield, IL. (1/30/06).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Investigative Report Outline

This stage is a full account of what you were trying to find out and why it was important. If a project proposal was written, then any subsequent changes should be noted and briefly explained.

Literature Review
Here you discuss the ideas which are relevant to your project. This should show that you understand the background issues and theories relating to the project.

This should be a description of the methods used and will include any alterations that became necessary during the conduct of the investigation. Your choice of method should be drawn from or build upon the literature review.  

An Account of Your Conduct of Your Investigation
Here you should describe the context in which the conduct of the work was carried out and give a concise account of investigation what was done. Explain how you addressed any critical issues. It may be written as   a first-person narrative or more formally.

In this stage give the results of the investigation. How do these relate to issues in the literature? Present examples from the evidence collected to illustrate the points being made.

Here you need to consider the outcome of the project in relation to the initial aims and questions. Are there ways in which it could be changed and improved if carried out again? What kinds of further investigation could be made to follow up the results or extend the work started?

A list of all sources of material quoted or drawn upon in the project.

Additional data or analysis that supports your aims and findings.

Source: Coffin, Caroline, et al. Teaching Academic Writing. London: Routledge, 2003. Print.