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Chapter 1

THE PROBLEM

Introduction

The introduction renders an exposition of the situation that has made the study

necessary. The first paragraph of the introduction is the most important part of the paper.

It provides a “narrative hook” to the reader (Creswell, 2007). The narrative hook causes

the reader to pay attention and elicits an emotional or attitudinal response from the reader.

It also causes the reader to continue reading.

The next paragraphs are readings to support the first paragraph.

This rationale’s main purpose is to present the justification of the study. The

researchers may cite the: (1) reasons why they have chosen the topic; and/or (2) cite the

problematic situation, which prompted the researchers to conduct the study from the

macro to micro levels, that is, globally, regionally, nationally, and locally, to zero-in on

the local setting of the study. Discussions claimed should be with legal basis relevant to

the study. The researchers may present pertinent statistical data that could support the

claims. The presentations should be emphatic and explosive. It should create an impact

on the reader of the research. It should prod the reader to go on and find out what good is

there in the research study.

The last paragraph of the rationale is the purpose statement. It states the purpose

of the researcher in order to address the gap or problem stated in the “situationer” and

cites the reasons for conducting the study.

The rationale should be two to three pages only.


Theoretical or Conceptual Framework

This is the overall conceptual underpinnings of the study, a theoretical rationale.

This begins by stating the existing theory that the study intends to confirm or to disprove.

In a study based on a theory, the framework is referred to as the theoretical framework; in

a study that has its roots in a specified conceptual model, the framework is often called

the conceptual framework.

This is not the explicit theory or conceptual model, and often the underlying

theoretical rationale for the inquiry is not explained. Rather, the framework is often

implicit, without being formally acknowledged or described. The theoretical or

conceptual framework should be a well-knit presentation wherein which to hinge the

study.

The theory or conceptual basis for the framework with which to anchor the study

should relate to the dependent variable/s or phenomenon. In this segment, variables in

quantitative studies are defined and operationalized. Supporting theories or concept may

be cited. The supporting theories should be related to the independent variables.

Sometimes researchers fail even to adequately describe key concepts at the

conceptual level. The researchers are interested in defining the concepts operationally.

Researchers should make clear conceptual definition of their key variables or phenomena,

thereby providing information about the study’s framework.

The researchers are required to present a schematic diagram of the theoretical

framework or conceptual framework. This is a symbolic representation of a

conceptualization. This is a visual representation of some aspects of reality as

investigated in the study and there is minimal use of words. This will help express
abstract ideas in a concise and readily understandable form. Schematic diagram, which is

common in both quantitative and qualitative research, represent phenomena graphically.

Concepts and the linkages between them are represented though the use of boxes, arrows,

or other symbols (also referred to as conceptual map). The schematic diagram is usually

presented in a separate page in-between narration or explanation of the theoretical

framework.

In qualitative studies, the researcher may opt to start atheoretical. Recently, an

induction is a more preferred process in qualitative studies. If this is favored, the

philosophical stance is discussed instead of a theoretical/conceptual framework. This will

include discussion on assumptions pertaining to: (1) ontology; (2) epistemology; (3)

axiology; (4) methodology; and (5) rhetoric. These enumerations are embedded from the

specific research tradition opted by the researcher. One must be careful in amalgamating

procedural inclination that does not clash in principle to each other.

For qualitative studies conducted using inductive methodology, the theory is the output of

the study. The narrative description and conceptualization in the results and discussion is

the theory itself. There are three ways to do the bottoms-up mechanism: (1) identify a

theory that would fit the data; (2) modify an existing theory to fit the data; or (3) create a

new theory grounded from data.


This is just a guide. The discussion must be grounded from the specific research tradition.
Figure 1. Sunrise Model – Culture Care Theory by Dr. Madeleine Leininger.
Printed with Permission © 2009
THE PROBLEM

Statement of the Problem

The Problem Statement renders a statement of the central problem of the study.

This is a general statement of the problem. A recommended wording of the Problem

Statement is presented below:

For Quantitative Research. The (purpose/aim/goal/intent/objective) of this

(quantitative design) study is to (experimental – test, compare or evaluate; comparative –

compare; correlational – examine or assess; simple survey – determine) the (identify the

variables or variables and its relationship) for/among (participant/s) at (site).

After filling in, it is advised to paraphrase the statement in correct syntax. The

subject of the study, what are to be measured, the time-frame and location are also being

identified.

For Qualitative Research. The (purpose/aim/goal/intent/objective) of this

(qualitative tradition) study is to (action of the research) the (foci/outcome:

encode/buzz verbs) of the (central phenomenon) for/among (participant/s) at (site).

Qualitative Research Action of the Foci/Outcome: Encode/Buzz Verbs


Tradition Research
Phenomenology -explore -lived-in experience
-describe -experience
-discover -meaning
-essence
Ethnography -describe -culture
-analyze -roles / life ways
-conduct an -cultural behavior / language / portraits /
in-depth themes
analysis -ethnography
-discover -culture-sharing group
Grounded Theory -understand -processes
-discover -social structures
-develop -social interactions
-generate -grounded/substantive theory
-discover -propositions

After filling in, it is advised to paraphrase the statement in correct syntax. The

subject of the study, what are to be measured, the time-frame and location are also being

identified.

The researcher analyzes the central problem by presenting each segment as

subproblem in which broad dimensions are divided into factors. The researcher should

identify the specific subproblems in logical and sequential order as they appear in the

paradigm. The problems must jive with the paradigm, conceptual framework, hypothesis,

and methodology and research instrument. This should be presented interrogatively. The

final question should be an output question.

For Quantitative Research. Research questions in quantitative research are

specific queries the researcher wants to answer in addressing the research problem. In

some cases, they are direct recordings of the statement of purpose, phased interrogatively.

It specifically: (1) identifies the key elements to be studied; and (2) guides the design and

methodology. It is carefully constructed and refined.

The PICO or PIO model is recommended in drafting the specific research

questions. Population: Who is the population of interest? Intervention: What is the

planned intervention? Comparison: Who is the comparison group; or what is the

comparison condition? Outcome: What is the outcome of interest? This format is

recommended:
Descriptive. In (population) what is the frequency/prevalence/average value of (interest)?
Intervention without an Explicit Comparison. In (population) what is the effect of
(Intervention) on (O)?
Intervention with an Explicit Comparison. In (population) what is the effect of
(Intervention) in comparison to (Comparative Intervention) on (Outcome)?
Intervention with Moderator. In (population) what is the effect of (Intervention)
in comparison to (Comparative Intervention) on (Outcome) vary by (Moderating
Variable)?
Assessment/Diagnostic without an Explicit Comparison. For (population) does
(Assessment/Diagnostic Intervention) yield accurate and appropriate
diagnostic/assessment information about (Outcome)?
Assessment/Diagnostic with an Explicit. For (population) does (Assessment/Diagnostic
Intervention) yield accurate and appropriate diagnostic/assessment information than
(Comparative Assessment/Diagnostic Intervention) about (Outcome)?
Prognosis without an Explicit Comparison. For (population) does (Condition)
increase the risk for (or influence) (O)?
Prognosis with an Explicit Comparison. For (population) does (Condition) relative to
(Comparative Condition) increase the risk for (or influence) (O)?
Prognosis with Moderator. For (population) does (Condition) relative to (Comparative
Condition) increase the risk for (or influence) (O) differentially for (Moderating
Variable)?
Causation without an Explicit Comparison. Does (Exposure/Characteristic) increase
the risk for (Outcome) in (Population)?
Causation with an Explicit Comparison. Does (Exposure/Characteristic) increase the
risk for (Outcome) compared to (Comparative Exposure/Characteristic) in
(Population)?
Causation with Moderator. Does (Exposure/Characteristic) increase the risk for
(Outcome) compared to (Comparative Exposure/Characteristic) in (Population)
differentially for (Moderating Variable)?

For Qualitative Research. Specific research questions for qualitative research

are only commencing points used for grounding data collection. It must be drafted in

such a way that it does not prohibit discovery. It is sufficiently flexible and can be altered

anytime in the research process. Grounded theory asks process questions,

Phenomenology asks meaning questions, and Ethnography asks descriptive questions

about culture. This format is recommended:

Meaning. What is it like for (Population) to experience


(Condition/Illness/Circumstance)?
Process. What is the process by which (Population) copes with, adapts to, or lives with
(Condition/Illness/Circumstance)?
Descriptive, Experiential. What is it like for (Population) to experience
(Condition/Illness/Circumstance)?
Descriptive, Cultural. How does (Cultural Group) manage/experience/address/structure
(Condition/Illness/Circumstance)?

Example:

The purpose of this study is to analyze the culture-based health care practices

among well and ill Cebuanos. This study will be conducted in the Province of Cebu for

the year 2008.

Specifically, the study attempts to answer the following questions:

1. How are the lived experiences of Cebuanos in the use of culture-based health care

practiced in the;

1.1. urban area; and

1.2. rural area?

2. How are the culture-based health care practices provided by the Tambalans in the:

2.1. urban area; and

2.2. rural area?

Null Hypothesis

The Hypothesis states the researcher’s conjectures or “educated guess” pertaining

to differences or relationships. The hypothesis is stated in null form requires that

hypotheses be expressed as an expected absence of a relationship. This means that it

needs to be subjected statistically. The null hypothesis represents the formal statement of

absence until proven with significant relationships after doing the appropriate statistical
test. Null hypothesis are not required for plain descriptive quantitative study and

qualitative study.

Example:

Ho1. There is no significant relationship between gender and beauty.

Ho2. There is no significant difference between males and females.

Note: Qualitative studies do not have hypothesis.

Significance of the Study

This segment renders a detailed exposition of the importance of the study to

various sectors such as the management, the workforce, the clients, suppliers, and the

general public. The researchers need to identify those who are to benefit from the study:

people, institutions, and agencies. The researchers need to cite how they will be benefited

from the findings of the research. The researchers should not fail to include the other

researchers as beneficiaries and what they are expected to benefit. Presented below is an

example:

Nurses as rational being, constantly search for answers to satisfy inquisitiveness.

Faced with the challenge of nursing practice in diverse cultural settings and folk health

care differences, nurses learn to appreciate the importance of conducting studies in

addressing problems they encounter.

The findings of the study are beneficial to the following:

Cebuanos. The Cebuanos will benefit from the culture-based nursing care plan

that will be implemented. The traditional health care practices and culture of Cebuanos

are preserved and maintained, accommodated or negotiated, and when harmful to health

repatterned or restructured.
DEFINITION OF TERMS

The first step is to determine the key terms or phrases used in the study. The

researchers need to determine first its conceptual definition before defining them

operationally. Conceptual definitions are taken from books, encyclopedias, periodicals,

magazine and journals. After determining its conceptual definition, the researchers define

the key terms and phrases operationally. Operational definition is how these key terms or

phrases are: (1) taken to mean in the study; (2) used in the study; or (3) measured in the

study. Terms to be defined should be arranged alphabetically.

Example:

Cebuanos refer to the individuals who speaks Visayan dialect rooted from Astro-

Malayan language and who performs a specific culture-based health care practice. This

refers to the informants of the study.

Mathematics achievement is the measure of students’ learning in algebra. In this

study, mathematics achievement refers to the score of a student in the thirty-item teacher-

made test on polynomials.


Chapter 2

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

Provide an introductory statement of the chapter in this area.

Related Literature

An introductory statement should be made before presenting the related literature.

Conceptual literature cited should be taken from books, news papers or magazines. The

conceptual literature should be logically presented according to variables or phenomenon.

Statements copied verbatim from original sources should be typed single space inset. It is

advised that long citations should be paraphrased. In this case, the researchers should

restate the author’s thoughts in his or her own words. Citations should be documented

properly following the APA format. The researchers must provide a critique for every

abstracted literature. This should focus on the quality of the data and not based on

personal opinion.

Read and evaluate the relevance of the literature to your topic. After selection,

organize the literature into a coherent picture of studies and documents on your topic.

Write a review be developing summaries of the literature.

Sort literature and studies according to topical areas or “families of studies”.

Provide a topic side heading for each group. Literature can also be presented in sequence

from the oldest to the recent or vice versa.

To find out the relevance of the literature, the following questions may be used to

guide the researcher:

Topic relevance: Is the literature on the same topic as your proposed study?
Individual and site relevance: Does the literature examine the same individuals

and site you want to study?

Problem relevance: Does the literature examine the same research problem as

you propose in your study?

Related Studies

An introductory statement should be made before presenting the Related Studies.

This should be taken from published or unpublished thesis, journals and other research

study materials. This must be arranged logically by variables or by phenomenon. The

arrangement should be based on the paradigm. There is a need to cite those studies which

are relevant to the study. In presenting the related studies, the researchers need to cite the

methodology, the participants, the data analysis procedure, and the major findings. There

is a need to use the researchers own words in presenting the review. Citations should be

documented properly following the APA format. The researchers must provide a critique

for every abstracted related study. This should focus on the quality of the data, quality of

the used methodology and not based on personal opinion.

Overall Summary of the Review

The researchers need to cite first the similarities of the related literature and study

with the researchers own study. Then, cite the aspects where they differ. After which, cite

the aspects that make the study original or novel. Similarities and differences should be

compared even to their minor details.

Note: For qualitative studies which are inductive in nature, this chapter is omitted in
this portion and related literatures and studies are integrated in the results and
discussion chapter/s or collapsed in the theoretical framework as the case may be.
Chapter 3

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES

Provide an introductory statement of the chapter in this area.

Methods

A research method refers to the design for data collection and data analysis. The

major research design is quantitative and qualitative study. It should be discussed or

presented on how the design helps in data gathering.

For quantitative study, it could be non-experimental or experimental. For non-

experimental study, it could be descriptive correlational, univariate descriptive,

retrospective, prospective nonexperimental, natural experiment, path analytic study, or

comparative. For experimental study it could be true experiment (post-test only, pretest-

posttest, factorial, randomized block, crossover, wait-list), quasi-experiment

(nonequivalent control group before-after, time series, time series nonequivalent control

group design, time series with multiple institutions of treatment, time series with

intensified treatment, time series with withdrawn and reinstituted treatment), and pre-

experiment (nonequivalent control group after-only, one group before-after). The specific

design features must be presented (refer to p. 203 of Nursing Research, Polit & Beck,

2008).

Environment

If the study is qualitative or non experimental, the research environment should be

presented with its locale. The research environment presents a profile, historical account,

vision-mission, and the feature of the participants being studied. Present the practices,

lifeways, educational statistics, health statistics, as the case may be.


The research locale only refers to the place or locale of the study. If the study is

experimental, we only present the research locale without the research environment.

Participants

Subjects/Respondents/Informants. This presents the study participants. Please

use the appropriate terminology, informants for qualitative researchers, respondents for

those who answer the questionnaire, and subjects for those being acted upon by the study.

This specifies whether the participants comprise the universe or samples.

Describe the respondents by presenting the eligibility criteria (including inclusion and

exclusion criteria). This includes the characteristics and profile of the research

participants and how the researcher is going to identify them.

This presents a table of participants which depicts the population size, sample size

and percentage of samples in relation to the population.

Sampling Technique. This presents the sampling technique. For quantitative

study, probability sampling designs are recommended, but may use nonprobability

sampling designs. Qualitative study will only use nonprobability technique.

For quantitative sampling design, please consult a statistician for appropriate

recommendations.

For ethnography, starts with “big-net” approach conveniently, and 25 to 50

informants purposively chosen. From the 25 to 50 informants, 5 key informants are

purposively chosen. Another set of informants may be purposively chosen for focused

group discussions.

For phenomenology, five to ten informants are chosen utilizing criterion sampling

method, a specific type of purposive sampling design. All participants must have
experienced the phenomenon and must be able to articulate what is like to have lived that

experience.

For grounded theory, research is typically done with samples of about 20 to 30

people, using theoretical sampling. The goal is to select informants who can best

contribute to the evolving theory. Sampling, data collection, data analysis, and theory

construction occur concurrently, and so study participants are selected serially and

contingently; contingent on the emerging conceptualization.

Instruments

The most common research instruments are review of documents, direct

observation, participant observation, interview, self-made questionnaire. The researchers

need to decide on the type of research instrument that will best gather the data and

information needed in the study (questionnaire, opinionnaire, schedule interview guide,

observation). Specify the instructions for accomplishing, checking, scoring and

interpreting the instrument. Make sure the instructions are clear and explicit. Erroneous

instructions will affect the respondent’s responses and likewise the data.

Justify its characteristics if it possesses a good research instrument. If the

questionnaire is borrowed, please acknowledge the author or from the where it is

adopted. There is also a need to mention the source or author of the scoring pattern being

adopted. Describe the scoring or point system for every variable. The data quantification

should help in the statistical analysis. Explain also how the data will be interpreted.

Discuss validation of the instrument, its validity and reliability and/or the need for

revalidation. Discuss triangulation strategies. Research instruments, which have been

adopted from previous studies more often than not, do not need to be revalidated. When
changes or revisions have been made to suit the needs of the study, there is a need for

revalidation.

Instruments used from published studies that are not culture free needs validation

and item analysis. Instruments used in unpublished studies that are not rigorously

validated and item analyzed need validation and item analysis.

Quantitative researcher-made instruments need to be validated. Discuss content

validation (at least 3 experts) and face validation (pre-testing). There is also a need to

frame item analysis through three reliability tests. Cite the justification why there is no

need for validation.

Data Gathering Procedure

Dry Run Procedures. This segment renders an exposition of the dry run

procedures for establishing the functionality and reliability of the data collection

instruments.

Data Collection. This segment describes and narrates the step-by-step process,

courses of action or sequence of events in the administration of the instruments and the

retrieval of accomplished instruments. This includes what the researchers actually intend

to do and the individuals who will act as research aid. Take note of unusual events,

occurrences, or comments of the respondents in the course of data gathering. Be extra

observant and take note of whatever happens during data gathering, if triangulation was

employed.

Data Analysis (may use Statistical Treatment for quantitative research)

This segment discusses in detail the treatment of data. This presents the statistical

tests used in the processing of data. Describe the statistical tools used and for what
purpose it is used. There is no need to include the different formula/e and the legend for

the symbols used. Indicate also at what level of significance the interpretations will be

based. If a software was used in the computation, then indicate the software and its

version and license, if any (SPSS, MINITAB, STATA, etc.).

For qualitative research, please discuss on the specific data analysis procedure.

Discuss procedures on transcription, development of category schemes or themes and

coding qualitative data. For ethnography, phenomenology and grounded theory, please

utilize specific analysis techniques. For ethnography, the researcher needs to use analysis

of ethnographic data. For phenomenology, the researcher needs to use phenomenological

analysis. For grounded theory, the researcher needs to use specific grounded theory

analysis including Glaser and Strauss’s Grounded Theory Method, or the Strauss and

Corbin’s Approach. For descriptive qualitative studies not based on specific traditions,

utilize qualitative content analysis technique.

Specific data analysis procedures for focus group data and triangulated data

should be discussed in full details.


Chapter 4

PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

Present an introductory statement for this chapter. The chapter is organized and

divided into topics according to the sub-problems. The researchers present only relevant

data.

In reporting qualitative data, present the findings according to themes or schemes.

Since qualitative data is narrative and extensive, one theme should be presented in one

chapter and subthemes are emphasized with a header. Analyze the basic data and interpret

them in the light of the related literature. If opinions would substantiate the findings then

it should be supported with related literatures.

In reporting quantitative data, summarize the results and analysis through tables,

chart presentation or graphs. In reporting statistical tests of significance, include

information on the value of the test, degree of freedom, probability level, and the

direction of the effect. The analysis of data should be objective and logical. Interpret the

results in a narrative form after the table Textual presentation should supplement or

expand the contents of tables and charts, rather than duplicate them. Present facts as

much as possible. If opinions would substantiate the findings then it should be supported

with related literatures. In interpreting data, point those that are consistent or inconsistent

and based interpretation using implications or synthesis.


Chapter 5

SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Present an introductory statement for this segment.

SUMMARY

The Summary is the recapitulation of the problems and the methodology. Present

briefly on how the research was conducted including the summary of the problem in

declarative form, type of research, methodology employed, participants and place of

study.

FINDINGS

Present in outline form the main findings without giving any interpretation. The

order should follow the sequences of the topics previously based on the sub-problems.

CONCLUSIONS

Conclusion is the formulation of generalizations based on collected data. This

presents broad statements or generalizations based on the findings of the study with the

purpose of answering the main problems. Broad generalizations not supported by data or

findings should be avoided. The statements should be based from the theory used.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations are suggestions for the improvement of practices, policies, and

implementing strategies relative to the research. Recommendations are divided into

specific and general recommendations. Specific recommendations are based on the

findings and conclusions of the study itself. The researchers are advised to suggest five

related studies related to the undertaken study. These would serve as research buds. It

includes; (1) replication study for triangulation purposes; (2) more advanced or
sophisticated methodology based from the evidence-based practice hierarchy; (3) studies

that would cover areas uncovered by the present research; and (4) improved methodology

based form the weakness of the present study.


BIBLIOGRAPHY
AND CITATION
GUIDE

American
Psychological
Association (APA)
APPENDICES

1. The following documents are placed under appendices:

a. permission to conduct the study

b. cover letter to respondents

c. questionnaires, opinionnaires, interview schedule, observation guide,

checklist, testing instruments, appendix tables etc.

2. Make sure that whatever you append are related to your study and will be useful

in facilitating the understanding of the test of you study.


TECHNICAL WRITING

1. Never use personal pronouns like: I, me, we, are, us and you.

Always use: the researcher(s)

2. Acknowledgement of all sources.

3. Observe confidentiality.

4. Table should be in one page. If impossible, break it into two tables.

5. Number 1-9 (whole word); 10-up in figures.

6. Paging before chapter 1, use the lower case letters. (i, ii, iii, etc.)

7. Foreign words, dialects must be italics.

8. Never use abbreviations or symbols.

9. Page number should be written at the upper right corner of the page.

10. Define major terms as presented in title and subproblems of the study.

11. Borders should be measured one and one-half inches from left side while

measuring 1 inch from right side, top and bottom.

12. Everything should be in double space except for direct paragraph/long quotations

which is presented in single-space, inset with one tab in both sides.