SPOR10012 Introduction to Research - Formal Report

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Assessment Requirements

General instructions

The report should be double spaced throughout (except for table and figure legends, which can be single-spaced). Use Verdana font size 10. Use page margins of 3 cm at the sides, and 2.5 cm at the top and bottom of the page. Structure the report into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References

Any text that exceeds the page limits will NOT BE MARKED.

Introduction (2 side A4 maximum)

Provide a brief overview of the research area. Describe the prescribed research article. When describing primary literature give precise, detailed, and specific information about aims, methodologies, and findings. Give a clear statement of the experimental aims and research hypotheses for your experiment.

Methods (1.5 sides of A4 maximum)

Provide an accurate, concise description of:

  • Participants
  • Equipment and experimental protocols
  • Statistical analyses

Your description of methods should be as brief as possible yet contain sufficient detail to allow someone to replicate your study. When describing participants give mean ± SD for age, mass, and height. Only state on which degree course etc. the participants are enrolled on if appropriate. Remember – participants volunteered (they were not selected at random or made to take part). Full details (including manufacturer and model) of all equipment should be provided where appropriate. Do not write in lists or bullet points – explain what the equipment was used for using complete sentences. Describe the exercise protocols including what measurements were taken and when they were taken. Structure your writing throughout.

Results (1 side of A4 maximum for text excluding space for 1 table and 1 graph)

Always present group mean ± SD data. Remember to provide figure legends and numbering and show these in the correct place. Symbols and units should be presented consistently and accurately.

You must perform, describe and interpret appropriate statistical analyses to determine if there are any significant differences in your data. Report the outcome of these analyses as described in the supporting seminar and practical sessions.

Provide some text to describe the most important findings and integrate your figures and tables within the text where they are described.

Discussion (2 sides of A4 maximum)

Begin your discussion by restating your aim and main hypotheses. What were the main findings of the experiment? Do your results agree with those reported in the prescribed literature? Compare and contrast your methods and results with those in the prescribed literature. When comparing your work to the literature be specific and detailed. For example, include detailed descriptions of methodologies (e.g. what type of participants were studied and what exercise modalities were used). When making comparisons be as specific as possible – make reference to actual values reported in the literature. Sentences such as “supplementation caused a reduction in exercise performance” might be better written as “creatine supplementation resulted in a 15% decrease (10.2 ± 3.1 min vs. 8.1 ± 2.2 min) in subsequent constant power cycling exercise capacity at 85% maximal oxygen uptake” (author et al., year). Ensure all your arguments and explanations are based on sound scientific evidence (i.e. supporting literature). Provide suggestions regarding potential limitations of the study and for improvement of experimental design. If you are critiquing methodologies it would be useful to consult research methods textbooks. For example, a common error made by students on research modules is to suggest that a sample size of 10 participants is a limitation. However, a sample size of 10 may be appropriate given the nature of that specific research study. End your discussion with some suggestions for future research and provide a clear and concise conclusion.

References

If you cite internet sources you will receive zero marks for that piece of information. Cite your references using the APA system. If you reference non-prescribed sources (journals and textbooks that you found yourself) include a first page copy of that article (i.e. for textbooks, copy the front cover; for journal articles copy the first page of the article on which you find the abstract and all/some of the introduction) at the end of your report. This must be a copy from the original article (i.e. copying an abstract from PubMed or other database is not acceptable).

Failure to include copies of ALL citations/references will result in a grade being deducted. For instance, a 2:2 MID would drop to a 2:2 LOW.

IMPORTANT: YOU WILL BE CONDUCTING THE SAME RESEARCH PROJECT AND COLLECTING AND ANALYSING THE SAME DATA SET AS PEERS ON YOUR COURSE DURING TERM 1. PLEASE SHARE IDEAS AND SKILLS ACROSS TERM 1 BUT BE SURE TO PRODUCE YOUR OWN FORMAL REPORT. YOU MUST PRODUCE YOUR OWN WORK (I.E., INTRODUCTION, METHOD, RESULTS (GRAPH, TABLE, AND TEXT), DISCUSSION, AND REFERENCE LIST). COLLUSION AND PLAGIARISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Your work will be assessed in its entirety in the context of the module learning outcomes (see page 2) and grade-based expectations (see page 7-8). Thus, your coursework will be awarded a single grade. The grade-based assessment grid outlines the expectations of what you will need to produce to achieve each grade. For this piece of work greater emphasis will be placed on certain assessment areas compared to others. Thus the pie chart below demonstrates the emphasis/priority of the assessment areas for this particular piece of work.

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