Your reader (that is, your marker) will have clear expectations about what a research write-up should look like – what you should write and the order in which it should appear. All research is different so all write-ups are different. But here is a rough summary of what might be in a typical write up. Here are the rough proportions and corresponding numbers of words given to each of these sections, although I should warn you that this is only a rough guide: some write-ups will be very different. Don’t feel straitjacketed by this. Chapters 4 and 5 in this imaginary write-up can present a bit of a problem in knowing how best to present them. With a scientific study in chemistry or biology or certain kinds of psychology experiment, you will present your chapters as neatly divided, like this. You may even separate fieldwork and findings into two separate chapters. However, in many kinds of research in the social sciences, particularly those involving case study, it is difficult to decide how Chapters 4 and 5 should be presented. Should they be two chapters, as above, or – given the wholeness stressed by a case study – should you present these as one chapter? All the time as you are presenting your findings, you will be testing them out against your thoughts and reflections – in other words, against your analysis.
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