Moi University Research Projects

Moi University Research Projects

Moi University Research Projects

Moi University Research Projects – Guidelines:



i)Cover page

ii)Title page

iii)Signatory/Declaration page



vi)Table of Contents

vii)List of tables

viii)List of  gures


x)De nition of terms

Cover page

Follow the Moi University GESREC Guidelines format.

Title topic

The title of your paper should re ect as much as possible the subject of your paper and the question it tries to answer. Think about the two or three keywords that would apply to your paper and work them into the title. The title should be around 20 words. To be precise your title should be derived from your problem statement and the general objective. To the reader, both the dependent and independent variables should be forthrightly clearly in your title. Moi University Research Projects Guidelines

De nition of Terms

This section gives the de nition of important terms and concepts that are usually stated in the objectives, hypothesis, and research questions. This section should also include the \Operational de nitions”. These are de nitions that you have formulated for the study. It is stated in ways that make the variable or term measurable. In other words it is operationally de ned. Moi University Research Projects Guidelines




Generally, the introduction of an academic research proposal/report is made up of the following sections;

Background to the Study

Statement of the Problem

Objectives of the study (General objective and Speci c objective)

Formulating hypotheses

Signi cance of the study/justi cation

Background to the Study

This is a brief introduction which presents background information about the problem area, in the form of a discussion. It sets the stage for discussion of the speci c problem. It also sets the stage for the entire study and puts your topic in perspective. The introduction often includes spectacu- lar/salient and general statements about the need for the study. It uses dramatic illustrations or quotes to set the tone. In applied economics one would expect to see the global, regional, national or possibly local perspective of the economic phenomenon of interest.

Statement of the Problem

This is a clear statement of the speci c problem to be investigated. This should in a way indicate why the particular problem is of importance. It should outline the basic rationale on which the study derives. This section should be speci c and backed by evidence (e.g. statistical facts and gures). The statement of the problem is the focal point of your research. It is just one sentence but with several paragraphs of elaboration. Here, you are looking for something wrong, something that needs close attention. Present information (data/statistics and opinions of other writers or professionals) to show how the problem is a ecting business, social or political trends and why it is important enough to study. After writing this section, make sure you can easily identify the single sentence that is the problem statement. Clue: the problem statement is a statement about the “primary problem” that actually creates a “secondary” problem (e.g. impact of technology adoption on maize productivity). The research problem in this technology instance is the lack of insight in organizational behaviour as a result of rare research/literature on the subject, so the need for such a research. Clearly you should show existing contradicting situations/aspects of the economic phenomenon.

Objectives of the Study

The aims or objectives of the study is a paragraph or two that explains what the study intends to accomplish. This is a brief outline of what the researcher wants to nd out. It has the general and speci c objectives of the study. The general objective is stated in a general statement giving the major purpose of the study. Speci c objectives derive from the general, are more speci c and numbered. They must be SMART.

SMART objectives are:

Speci c { states exactly what you need to achieve;

Measurable { includes a quality or quantity measure;


Agreed { between you and your supervisor;

Realistic { can be challenging but must be achievable;

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Time-bound { with a clear end date or time-scale.

Hypotheses Formulation

The use of hypotheses is a must in applied economics. Use of reach problems is however optional. It depends on the supervisor or the student, sometimes on the nature of the study. Hypotheses must derive from the problem statement or the objectives. Moi University Research Projects Guidelines

While the research question is broad and includes all the variables you want your study to consider, the hypothesis is a statement about speci c relationship you expect to nd from examination of these variables. When formulating the hypothesis(es) for your study, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Good hypotheses meet the following criteria:

1.Identify the independent and dependent variables to be studied.

2.Specify the nature of the relationship that exists between these variables.

3.Simple (often referred to as parsimonious-using a minimal number of assumptions, steps, or conjectures-). It is better to be concise than to be long-winded. It is also better to have several simple hypotheses than one complicated hypothesis.

4.Does not include reference to speci c measures.

5.Does not refer to speci c statistical procedures that will be used in analysis.

6.Implies the population that you are going to study.

7.Is falsi able (testable).

As indicated above, it is better to have several simple hypotheses than one complex one. However, it is also a good idea to limit the number of hypotheses you use in a study to six or fewer. The nal criterion listed above warrants additional mention. A good hypothesis is not only testable, that is, something you can actually test for in your study, but it must also be falsi able.

You should always use ONLY null hypothesis in your study. Signi cance of the Study

This section shows the contributions the study will make to the eld of study. This can be the- oretical or practical contributions. These can also be numbered. This section points out how your study relates to the larger issues and justi es the reason for your study. It makes the purpose worth pursuing. The signi cance of the study answers the questions why is your study important (i.e. to whom is it important, and what bene t(s) will occur if your study is done)



This chapter entails:

Review of theories and concepts

Review of empirical literature

Summary of literature and emerging issues

Conceptual framework

Theoretical framework

This entails giving an overview (but somewhat lengthy) of concepts and work related to your study. This can be a summary of various research ndings and methods used. Research objectives, questions and hypotheses (that is if using one) should derive from the literature review. Sections can include the de nitions, concept and theory, the related studies and the theoretical /conceptual framework. The theoretical framework is an outline of the theory or model on which the study is based. Hypothesis should emerge logically from the theory. Theories or models can be more than one. But not all studies require a theoretical framework (It is however important in applied economics. Moi University Research Projects Guidelines

The following questions will help you write a concise literature review. What is the purpose of a literature review?

Why do we need a literature review?

To show the reader that you know the literature: (\Yes, I am aware of so-and-so’s results on this topic.”)

To educate the reader about the literature:(\If you want to know about this aspect of the topic, read so-and-so.”)

To motivate our research: \The literature has looked at this and that, but there is no good answer to this important question, which I address in this paper.”

How to nd the relevant literature?

There is so much out there. How do we nd the relevant literature?

Find one (or more) relevant journal articles.

Trace papers backwards.

Trace papers forwards.

Finding one (or more) relevant journal articles in agricultural economics: Use Google Scholar to search for relevant articles.

You can also access full online journal articles through Moi University Library website.

Search for the right keywords.

Limit yourself to journals in economics. They will also tend to cite and be cited by journals in economics.

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Trace papers backwards: Look at papers’ references (bibliography), and pick out what to search for next; Repeatedly.

Trace papers forwards: On Google Scholar, you can nd a paper and then see all subsequent papers citing that paper.

How to read so many papers quickly?

Read the title and abstract. Then stop to judge whether or not to delve deeper. If you do decide to delve deeper, read the introduction. The introduction should suce for you to get the main idea and understand what the author did, without going into much detail.If the paper is relevant to your research, skim the relevant sections. Pay special attention to tables and gures – they often tell the whole story. Only read an entire paper if it is very relevant. Expect 3-5 such papers. Moi University Research Projects Guidelines

How to structure a literature review?

Seek common themes that tie together more than one paper

Can you lump papers together in multiple ways?

Is there an order within each strand? -Is there an order within each strand? Is the chronological development important? -Do authors agree with one another in their conclusions, or do they contrast with each other? -Do they agree on methodology? -Arethere papers that t in more than one strand of literature? -Now that you’ve gured it out, tell the tale! You don’t have to go into great detail about every paper. A sentence or two is often – but not always – enough.



This section shows how the researcher will carry out the research. Sections are made up of the following:

1.Research design

The study area

The study population

Sampling procedures

Data types and sources of data

Data collection instruments

Pretest/pilot study

Data collection process

2.Theoretical model

3.Analytical framework

Empirical model speci cation

De nition of variables and a priori theoretical expected signs

4.Data processing and analysis

5.Scope of the study

6.Limitations of the study

7.Ethical Issues

I recommend that for a complete understanding of this section read the following books Adams et al [2007] and Bhattacherjee [2012] both are available for download.




All books, newspaper articles, journal articles etc used in writing the proposal should be stated in this section. APA format of referencing is the most preferred. Follow the Moi University GESREC Guidelines format.


This section consists of the time table and budget.

Appendix can be used to streamline writing the methodology and results section. If you condense your raw data down, there is no need to include the initial ndings in the results, because this will simply confuse the reader. Moi University Research Projects Guidelines

If you are in doubt about how much to include, you can always insert your raw data into the appendix section, allowing others to follow your calculations from the start. This is especially useful if you have used many statistical manipulations, so that people can check your calculations and ensure that you have not made any mistakes.



Proposal Contents




1.2Statement of the Problem


1.3.1General Objective

1.3.2Speci c Objectives 1.4 Hypothesis

1.5 Justi cation/Rationale



2.2Review of (previous ndings directly related to the problem statement)

2.2Review of (Economic theories and concepts underpinning your study)

2.3Conceptual Framework

2.4Theoretical Framework




3.2Study Area

3.3Research Design 3.3.1 Population 3.3.2 Sampling frame 3.3.3 Sampling design

3.3.4 Sample size determination

3.3.5 Data types and sources (Primary and secondary types and sources) 3.3.5 Methods of data collection (e.g. questionnaire, interview schedule etc. )

3.4Framework for data analysis

3.4.1Theoretical model

3.4.2Speci cation of Empirical Model

3.4.3Estimation process

3.5Data processing and analysis

3.6Variables and measurements

3.7Ethical issues

3.8Expected Output






Adams, J., Khan, H. T., Raeside, R.,and White, D. I. (2007). Research methods for graduate business and social science students. SAGE Publications India.

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Bhattacherjee, A. (2012). Social science research: principles, methods, and practices.

GESREC(2015) Guidelines for Writing thesis, Moi University Graduate Studies Research and Extension Committee.

Turabian L. Kate (2007) A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers.

Kothari, C.R.,(2004) Research Methodology-Methods and Techniques, (2nd.ed)New Delhi, Wiley Eastern Limited.

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