Assignment Brief: Quantitative report

Learning Outcome Threshold Assessment Criteria
In order to pass the assessment you will need to:

1
Demonstrate a working knowledge and critical understanding of various methods of research into human behaviour and data analysis and their relationship to different types of research question.
Critically evaluate empirical studies on the basis of their validity, implications, ethics, and scientific rigour.

Reach a considered conclusion about the choice of research design and the use of particular methods of data analysis when evaluating how well a study addresses its research hypotheses or questions and related ethical issues.
2 Competently and appropriately select, use, and report on the outcome of relevant research methods and be in a position to undertake the Honours Project.
Analyse and report on the findings of data with minimal guidance.

Consider theoretical and real-world implications of the findings, how well they generalise, and study limitations.

Outcomes being developed and assessed
Critical Evaluation Analysis Communication

TYPE Report
WORD LENGTH 2,500 words +/- 10%. The word length includes the whole report (without references)
TITLE Students to construct their own title relevant to the topic covered in the study.
OVERVIEW The report is designed to allow you to conduct a full study and analyse the data using one of the statistical tests you learn in your lectures. The topic relates to real research being conducted in the department.You will be guided through the experimental work during your tutorials.
GENERAL CRITERIA Reports need to have the following structure and content in order to meet the outcomes being assessed (i.e. Analysis and Communication). Please also refer to the marking criteria below.

Abstract
The abstract should be a concise summary, which includes only the essential information from all subsections of the report, i.e. explains what you did, why you did it, what you expected to find, what you found, what it means in approximately 150 words

Introduction
(1) Background and rationale: The introduction should begin with a broad overview of the area and drill down into the specific areas to be researched in the study. You should provide a sound account of the theoretical framework of the study. Major studies in the area should be reviewed, understood and critically evaluated. It should outline the issues and/or position you are arguing for. It should build up a clear rationale for the research.
All information in your report should be relevant to the topic of the report. There should be references and examples that clearly illustrate a theory, or approach to understanding the topic under investigation. Support your points with appropriate references from books and journal articles using the APA referencing style both in text and in the reference list at the end of the report.

(2) Hypotheses
The introduction should develop like a funnel: you should start by referring to the general area of investigation which your study belongs to and then you should progressively narrow down to your specific aims and hypotheses. Your hypotheses should be testable predictions about what you expect to find, and they should be clearly based on the literature you have discussed above, with supporting reasons for why you have formulated these hypotheses.

Method
To include the appropriate subheadings:
• Design – what was the research design, what variables were used, and how were they operationalised?
• Participants – who were your sample? Include all known demographics including age range, mean, and standard deviation, ratio of male/female, as well as how many and how they were recruited.
• Materials – all materials and/or apparatus that were used, including software and any questionnaires (with refs.)
• Procedure – this should be a detailed description of what participants actually did in the study. Include ethics here.

Results
Begin with an introductory paragraph explaining what analysis method was used.
Provide (a) labelled table(s) in APA format with descriptive statistics, and comment on the table(s).
Provide a written description of the inferential statistics in APA format.
Include graphs where appropriate.
Include written material throughout to describe the inclusion of the tables and graphs.
Number tables and graphs and provide each one with a title.

Discussion
This section should begin with a very brief summary of your findings and whether they support or contradict your hypotheses. You should then link your research to previous research in the field. Discuss the implications of the findings for research in the area (e.g. do the findings support or contradict previous research? In what way? What theoretical or real-world implications do your findings have?) Discuss the limitations of your study. Make suggestions about how this work could be extended in the future, how you could address the limitations of your present study and expand on the present findings. Draw a unified conclusion.

References
These must be comprehensive and adhere to APA conventions. You should include citations for all information. Each citation should have a corresponding reference in the reference section. The Reference section should not have references that were not cited in the text.

Presentation
Your report should be written in grammatical academic English allowing a clear flow of argument the reader can readily understand.

ADVICE Refer to the advice and guidance you have been given in the unit thus far in both lectures and tutorials, in particular on how to write and structure a report.Refer to your IT handbook.

FEEDBACK You will receive feedback based on the University’s 2Q system. That is, there will be comments about the extent to which you met the criteria for the report and what you could do to improve. Thus the feedback provided can help you improve your knowledge and skills in this area which can be applied to similar tasks in the future.

SUPPORT Staff have Office Hours to provide you with support and clarification of feedback. If you have queries about the assignments please make use of them. Staff may also be contacted by email to arrange an appointment at a mutually convenient time to discuss any issues relating to assignments.

Finally you may wish to avail of the Study Hub services to assist you with any specific skills you wish to develop further (including academic writing, referencing, finding information, or managing your learning). Information on these services can be found here: http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/studyhub

SUBMISSION Submission is in electronic format only. You do NOT need to submit a hard copy. Only the electronic version will be marked.
SUBMISSION DATE On or before Thursday 21st January 2016 at 23.59
FEEDBACK RETURN DATE Thursday 11th February 2016
ESTIMATED GRADE DATE The following week approximately
MITIGATION If you have mitigating circumstances i.e. serious or exceptional factors outside your control which will impact on your ability to submit the essay then please speak to the Student Engagement and Mitigation Team (SEAM) as soon as possible. You can contact the SEAM Team through the Student Support reception on the second floor of the Campus Centre in Luton and in the H building in Bedford. For out sites, distance learners or if you cannot make it on to campus, email mitigation@beds.ac.uk.
Information on the process of applying to the mitigation team can be found here:
http://www.beds.ac.uk/studentlife/studentsupport/cant-hand-in-a-piece-of-work-or-sit-an-exam

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